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Labor Day might mean the end of summer, but we’re all about ending things with a bang: and here at Casa de Suna, that means a fabulous cocktail party.

Our favorite way to fête summer’s final weekend is with an outdoor cocktail bar–and we’ve got all the tips you need for a perfect setup.

First, Plan the Menu

Rather than planning a strictly thematic affair, we like deciding on a color scheme or aesthetic and building out your decor from there. It always helps to work with the setting. One of our favorite ways to nod to summer’s final days is by giving your party a nautical tilt (pun intended). One of our favorite summer party tricks is to fill a repurposed fishing boat with ice and top it with oysters, lemon wedges, and various sauces. Oysters are easy and portable–and September is the first summer month that they’re technically appropriate to eat. In terms of tablecloths, Axlings white linen is the perfect homage to the “no white after Labor Day” rule–and it pairs beautifully with their green vardag napkins.

When it comes to the main course, we have a clear no-fuss favorite for end-of-summer entertaining: the CDS take on a classic Maine Lobster Roll, which always pairs perfectly with our herbed French Fries. Offer up our Heirloom Tomato Salad for those with dietary restrictions (we always recommend one hearty, shellfish-free option, since it’s a common allergy). For dessert? Our Blueberry Upside-Down Cake is always a crowd-pleaser. We’re hungry just writing this. When it comes to the plates, you can’t go wrong with REVOL, and their caractère dinner plate in Cumulus White makes the perfect visual backdrop for any meal–because, trust us, you’re going to want to Instagram this. We’ll get to the cocktail glassware later, but as far as your water cups go? Give things a surrealist spin with REVOL’s crumple cups in grey pebble; which are both chic and entertaining for adults and children alike.

Next, batch your cocktails

Our number one trick to a successful Labor Day soiree the CDS way is a cocktail bar. Batching cocktails into pitchers at the start of the night reduces overall friction significantly: it means guests don’t have to wait in line for a bartender to serve them or, and if you’re hosting and bartending, it frees up your time to mingle with your guests. Start with the vessel: our Costa Nova Brisa Pitcher is a hearty ceramic that’s not too fragile for an outdoor event, and it’s gorgeous glaze makes it a statement piece in and of itself. Buy one pitcher in the Sal glaze, and another in Ria Blue, and use them to serve two signature cocktails (more than two tends to be overwhelming; two is just enough to please those who favor one type of alcohol and those who prefer another), each denoted with a place card (why not these, from CDS fave Dear Annabelle?). Our Elderflower Gin and Tonic is the perfect summer refresher, and the Hard Meyer Lemonade is equally appealing–especially to those who prefer vodka. The lemonade’s yellow will look

Want to share what you’re up to for Labor Day weekend? Remember to tag @casa.de.suna and #casadesuna on Instagram.

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