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Party Planner Shares Her Secrets to Throwing a Lemon Party — and the Easiest Ever Lemonade Cupcakes Your Crowd Will Love!

Toast to a sunny summer day with a fun lemon party that's sure to bring a dose of sunshine to heart!

Steamy summer days are the perfect excuse for a fun lemon party, complete with themed decorations, refreshing sips, delicious food and fun games. The best part? Setting up your own lemon-themed party in the backyard is surprisingly easy.

“Nothing screams summer more than a tall glass of refreshing lemonade!” says Michelle Stewart, party pro and founder of MichellesPartyPlanIt.com. “A lemonade party doesn’t have to be elaborate, she assures. “A few decorations and coordinating touches are all it takes for a bright and cheerful shindig.”

To mimic the look of Stewart’s lemonade stand (above), drape tissue tassel garlands, like this Pink Tassel Garland (Buy from Oriental Trading, $7.99), above and across the front of a white picnic table. Next, use white wooden crates to raise cake plates and trays filled with sweet treats like pies, cupcakes, cookies and the like. Sprinkle a few yellow and pink extras around the table such as a yellow pail filled with pink and yellow tulips, decorative lemon accents and a DIY ‘lemonade’ sign made with a wooden plank and some bright paint. Finish by placing a lemonade-filled drink dispenser in the center of the table alongside empty glass bottles filled with paper straws for simple serving. Easy! Read on for more simple how-tos.

Start with lemonade

A lemonade-themed gathering wouldn’t be complete without its namesake sip! For a big batch of traditional lemonade that serves 6-8 people, combine 1 cup lemon juice with 1 cup sugar in a pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves, then add 112 quarts cold water. While you can use bottled lemon juice, fresh makes a flavorful difference — you’ll need about 5-6 lemons to yield one cup of juice. Tip: To make squeezing a cinch, cut lemons into quarters and process in a blender (skin and all!). Strain the mixture through a sieve into a measuring cup, then repeat until you have enough to make a few batches.

For a fun grownup twist, turn lemonade into a signature cocktail. To do: Add a handful of fresh mint leaves to a pitcher of lemonade; infuse overnight. As guests arrive, pour 1 oz. of citrus-flavored vodka into an ice-filled glass, then fill with lemonade. Top with seltzer, fresh mint and lemon wheels. Tip: Make your own citrus vodka by infusing lemon peels in a bottle of vodka for 3 to 5 days.

two glasses filled with lemonade and mint
JeniFoto/Shutterstock

Treat guests to a lemon meringue tart

Creamy-cool lemon meringue is always a major crowd pleaser during the summer months! But if you’re tight on party prep time, store-bought lemon pie filling (or pudding!) is the shortcut to this refreshing dessert! To make crust: Mix 6 Tbs. of melted butter with 212 cups of crushed shortbread cookies, press into a tart pan and pour in pie filling. For meringue: Whip 4 large egg whites until soft peaks form, then whip in 14 cup of sugar (1 Tbs. at a time) until stiff peaks form. Dollop on pie and bake at 425°F until the meringue is lightly browned (4 to 5 minutes).

Tip: Making your own homemade lemon filling can actually be a breeze — and this simple recipe from ATableFullOfJoy.com proves that! For an easy yet delicious homemade lemon meringue pie with a crunchy graham cracker crust, follow this step-by-step video.

Add little touches of lemon

“There is nothing cuter than a glass of lemonade with a chunky paper straw,” says Stewart. Add a whimsical touch to your get-together with chunky, brightly striped paper straws adorned with dollar-store pinwheels. To get the look, pop a handful of paper straws (Buy from Amazon, $9.50 for pack of 100) and dollar-store pinwheels into a large mason jar. Tip: For a chic touch, remove the pinwheels from their stakes and tie each onto a straw with ribbon.

mason jar filled with colorful straws and pinwheels
MichellesPartyPlanIt.com

Bake up lemon cupcakes

Decorated with citrus touches, these treats were a hit at Michelle Stewart’s lemonade bash. To make, stir up vanilla cake mix per box instructions and add 2 Tbs. of frozen lemonade concentrate. Bake in lined muffin cups, then let cool. Top with vanilla frosting and pink sprinkles. Add festive cupcake wraps and print lemon cupcake toppers (like Printable Lemon Cupcake Toppers), glue to toothpicks and stake into each.

Lemonade flavored cupcakes with lemon cupcake toppers
MichellesPartyPlanIt.com

Or try our delicious spiked lemonade cupcakes: Get the recipe here.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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