Summer Kick-Off: Cocktail and Oyster Party

As we patiently await our pool installation, I have been pre-maturely collecting items for outdoor entertaining. (Ask me how impressed my husband is that we have patio furniture arriving next week, but have no patio!) Our new backyard will have an outdoor kitchen and dining area so I knew outdoor glasses and dishes were a must – and when I found everything I needed at Kitchen Stuff Plus, I couldn’t wait for my own patio to be finished to throw a little “welcome summer” cocktail and oyster party. Luckily my in-laws graciously allowed us to use their patio in exchange for a few cocktails.

I did up a little flower arrangement with a mix of grocery store stems and clippings from my garden and tossed a length of cheesecloth on the table for a laidback feel. I love how the woven placemats added some warmth to the clean lines of the black melamine plates.

I wanted to keep things simple appetizer wise and opted for an oyster bar served on a galvanized tray with a variety of condiments! I know raw oysters can be a bit controversial, but I swear if you try them with one of these condiments you are bound to love them!

If shucking oysters makes you nervous, you need this oyster knife set. I was amazed at how well the wood block holds the oyster so you can easily and safely use the knife to open the shell. A total game changer for oyster lovers!

Classic Mignonette:

2 Small Shallots
½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Dice your shallots and place in a small glass dish/bowl. Cover with ½ cup red wine
vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
prior to serving.
Caesar Granita:
1 Cup Clamato
1 oz Vodka
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Hot Sauce (to taste)
Caesar Rim (substitute salt and pepper if need be)
Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish. Cover and place in freezer over night or at least 4 hours prior to serving. Remove from freezer and use a fork to flake the frozen granita into a serving dish.

Chimichurri Mignonette:

1/3 Cup packed Basil
1/3 Cup packed Cilantro
1/3 Cup packed Parsley
1 small Shallot
1 clove Garlic
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until almost smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.

This little serving tray set is so versatile- it can be used for the condiments and then the bottom tray can be used for the shells! It would also be perfect for chips/crackers with a variety of dips!

I like to pair oysters with a sparkling wine (we went with a local sparkling rose) or a citrus-y cocktail. Don’t these wine and cocktail glasses look like real glass? Everyone
was shocked that they are actually acrylic, perfect for future pool parties!

Mojito Pitcher:

30-40 Mint Leaves
3 Limes quartered
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup of your favourite Rum (traditionally white rum, but I like dark rum!)
1 Litre Soda Water

Add your mint leaves, quartered limes, and sugar to the pitcher. Use your muddler to squeeze the limes and crush the mint leaves. Add the rum and soda water and mix. Refrigerate prior to serving and add ice. Serves 6-8.

The countdown is on until we can host in our own backyard – stay tuned for many more backyard parties and entertaining tips at @jyll_mackie!



Jyll is a mom of two young girls, who works full time in public health, and is passionate about creating a beautiful and comfortable home. Jyll and her husband have spent the last five years renovating their 1970s home, doing all the work themselves, and encouraging others to make the most of their own spaces. You can find Jyll on Instagram @jyll_mackie where she shares large-scale renovations, budget decor tips, trial-and-error experiences, and lots of DIY!