I am such a summer baby. I was born in Vermont in late July in one of the very few months that it didn’t frost that year, and living up to my warm-weather beginnings I can’t get enough of the summer heat. However, that being said, I definitely do find ways to cool down and enjoy the Colorado sun without completely melting. One of my favorite summer activities? Picnicking!
When it comes to picnics I freely admit to the fact that I like to go a bit overboard. Each time I host a picnic I like it to be reminiscent of those old school movies that the wicker basket is carried by horseback into a moor in the English countryside and the picnic goers are decked out in cap sleeves with full skirts or suspenders. Though, that doesn’t exactly happen here in the mountains of Colorado, you can most definitely make a picnic a classy affair! Especially if you bring your fancy-pants basket to the beloved Jazz in the Park here in Denver.
Packing Your Picnic
I love the whole process of a picnic- the prep work of fitting beautifully prepared foods into perfect little glass containers, the Tetris packing, even the schlepping of a giant basket to the perfect patch of grass with a blanket laid out. You follow this with the Christmas-esque unboxing of good food and tasty beverages and you’ve made me a super happy gal. So, after many a picnic done quite well, and some mistakes of course- here are a few helpful tips for making your picnic as perfect as can be!
Choose your Basket Carefully!
The basket is a big deal! If you’re a picnic connoisseur like I am, you might want to invest in a fun, fancy basket that makes your life easier with built in wine glasses, plates, cooler bags, and cutlery (I have this basket and LOVE it!) But if you’re not a basket type of person and are thinking more on the lines of a picnic in a backpack to take for hiking- choose a pack that can fit all of your necessities.
Plan Your Menu for Portability
Picnic menus can greatly vary. Some days I tote along pre-made baguette cold cut sandwiches, and some days (let’s be honest, most of the time) I am feeling a bit extra and pack a plethora of fancy nibbles. When planning think about the containers you have to use, the liquid content of each dish, and whether or not food combinations don’t do well when mixed. A good example is caprese. I love the combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil but sometimes large slices of tomato can overpower the other two ingredients and turn everything into a sloppy mess. SO circumvent this issue with the same taste, I swap tomato slices for cherry tomatoes- same great dish, no mess!
Beverages are the Stars of the Show!
Food is great and any outdoor event done right has plenty of it- but I really do believe that beverages are the stars of a great picnic. I love the feeling of drinking something bubbly out of a proper glass in a park it makes me feel like I have my life together, which even at thirty sometimes feels like a rare occurrence! For my latest picnic I partnered with KYLA Hard Kombucha to bring a bit of kombucha with a kick into my beverage rotation. Though truth be told, the rotation might be on hold because these kombuchas are incredible!
KYLA ferments their live cultures up to a 4.5% alcohol (seriously, so fun!) so you have a functional, gluten free beverage that gives new meaning to a party culture (I 100% just cringed at my own pun, but it had to be said!) I’ve tried KYLA’s two flavors, hard kombucha with a hint of ginger tangerine, and hard kombucha with a hint of hibiscus lime, and I literally could not tell you which I liked better. And while they’re non-pasteurized, they are shelf stable so it makes them super easy to tote along to your picnic- I do prefer them cold so your cooler bag comes in handy. While you can definitely drink these straight out of the bottle (don’t forget your bottle opener!) I decanted these gorgeous little fizzy drinks into my basket’s built in wine glasses. The fermentation bubbles gave everything a celebratory air, and you know you’ll feel great in the morning because KYLA contains the SCOBY! Big win!
Little Things Make a Picnic Special
On top of fizzy goodness, pay attention to detail when packing your picnic. If your basket doesn’t come with cutlery, make sure to pack forks, spoons, knives, serving utensils and maybe even some salt and pepper shakers! I also like to bring cloth napkins, it brings the feeling of formality to a casual affair. Also, the blanket is super important! No one likes to be eating their prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe and be covered in ants. A blanket large enough for the whole party, or a few for couples or friends makes a world of difference. There are actually even blankets like this one with a water-resistant backing if you’re somewhere a bit damp. Want to make your picnic a party? Add a Bluetooth speaker into the mix!
If you’re following my play by play, the picnic you’re hosting is quite a bit of work, but when you host something special for your friends or loved ones it leads to summer memories you’ll never forget! After the prep is done and dusted, sit back, pick up your glass of KYLA Hard Kombucha, and enjoy your summer! You deserve it- you Jane Austen hero(ine) you!
Have you tried a hard kombucha product? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!
I was compensated with product and payment to facilitate this post. Some links are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.