Memorial Day

Event designer Jung Lee gives entertaining tips


No case of the Mondays here. While it’s important to honor our veterans on Memorial Day, the long weekend is a fantastic excuse to celebrate summertime. We spoke to celebrity event designer and Clos du Bois ambassador Jung Lee about how to throw a fab, on-the-fly get-together.

Any tips for hosting an outdoor party in Miami humidity?

Always have a refreshing beverage available for guests. Memorial Day is also National Chardonnay Day this year so it is a great reason to incorporate wine into everything from your food to décor and, of course, your drinks. While white wine might seem obvious to serve in the summer heat, I like it really chilled so I freeze green grapes for a few hours and drop them in my glass. They also make for refreshing little bites.

Do you have any party favor ideas?

In my experience, when your centerpieces are done right, your guests want to take them home. Repurpose those used wine bottles as vases for your favorite blooms on your table. The trick is to use a glass bottle cutter (easy to find online) to create the size and shape of your “vase.” It gives it a very clean edge and eliminates the bottle neck so you can do more with your flowers. I like to create a collection in different heights with a single gorgeous blossom. Try garden roses and peonies.

Can you share any easy, quick recipes?

My go-to is a fruit-filled punch. It’s easy to mix up and put in a beautiful large bowl for guests to self serve. I open and pour in three bottles of Clos du Bois North Coast Chardonnay, 2/3 cup orange liqueur, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2/3 cup simple syrup. Stir in thinly sliced star fruit in spirit of the holiday, and 2 limes thinly sliced. Drop in a few raspberries for a pop of color.

Any last-minute tips for the host/hostess?

If you’re in need of an easy way to feed your guests and don’t have time to make a huge meal, try a DIY taco bar. Everyone is happy and it takes a lot of prep work off of your plate. The only thing to prepare is the protein, and I usually go for spicy grilled shrimp or chicken. Then heat store-bought soft taco shells on a large plate and put different toppings in mix -and -match bowls (clear and white ceramic). I recommend shredded Monterey Jack cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa verde, parsley, cilantro, pickled onions and sliced avocado.

What would be a good playlist?

This weekend I’m sticking to a mix of upbeat songs from Pandora and letting it take the vibe from there! Also the Mood Booster Playlist on Spotify or new album from Samsaya, a mix of pop with global influences, are great too.

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