Not all Hollywood stars leave the cooking up to their private chef. Take Pitch star Ali Larter. The actress and mom of two, has a busy life already, but add blogging, cookbook writing, and entertaining to the mix and she's a real life Energizer bunny. The star regularly throws dinner parties, loves to cook, and believes that entertaining is a metaphor for life.
"If you mess up, laugh at it and order in pizza. What's important is putting yourself out there," she said in an interview with Pop Sugar years ago.
Despite her hectic schedule, Ali still loves to entertain and hosted a margarita-themed party in LA in June. Original Margarita Soirée with Cointreau was born out of shared passion for fresh flavors and spirited revelry. The Acapulco-inspired included cooking and cocktail demos by Ali herself.
"When hosting, I believe effortless entertaining is the new elegant. Fresh cocktails and fabulous food help set the tone for a soirée whether you're entertaining two or 20."
There are, however, a few must-know tips and tricks to make it work. Take theme, for example. While she appreciates a fun theme when it comes to a kid party, she prefers to keep it theme-lite when it comes to adult get-togethers.
"There is something to having things look effortless that relaxes people at a party. I do get a little silly over holiday stuff, I enjoy that. But overall, I am about things that feel more organic and feel easy, just one or two pops, but not silliness. "
Here are some more of Ali's tips for throwing the perfect summer soiree.
It isn't a party until the cocktail shaker shows up.
"No soirée is complete without a good handcrafted cocktail."
Ali loves to keep things seasonal, so for summer, that means citrus. Right now, she's loving margaritas made with just three ingredients: Cointreau, blanco tequila and fresh lime juice.
When she's feeling feisty, she'll infuse the tequila with a jalapeño pepper a few days before the party to create a cocktail that is both refreshing and spicy.
Ali's Jalapeño Margarita
"It's a chic, summertime cocktail in a snap that's an instant crowd-pleaser, elevating your party to a soirée. Brace yourself, this margarita brings some heat to the party!"
- 1 750ML Tequila
- 1 jalapeño, halved with seeds intact
- 2 oz or 4 tbsp spicy tequila
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 oz or 2 tbsp Cointreau
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
Combine 4 tablespoons spicy tequila, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons Cointreau, 1 teaspoon agave syrup and ½ cup ice cubes in a cocktail shaker.
Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Fill a rocks glass with fresh ice cubes. Strain the margarita over the ice cubes and serve. Garnish as desired.
Ali's White Peach Iced Tea
"Teddy always wants a sip of my coffee or tea, so I concocted a decaffeinated kid-friendly treat that makes him feel so grown up!
"Brew tea, add sweetener and bring to room temp. Add peaches, lemon juice and serve in big boy cups."
- 4 decaf herbal tea bags
- Choice of sweetener to taste
- 2 white peaches, sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
Brew tea and chill. Add sliced peaches, sweetener of choice, and lemon juice. Serve over ice.
Ali once threw her son a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party with green juice, green salad and green cake.
While she loves a good theme, she likes to keep it simple when it comes to decorating. The theme should be obvious, but elegant.
Ali isn't afraid to feed a crowd. She's been known to cook up a feast for her friends after a night out, even if that means 3:00 a.m. fondue.
"If entertaining a big group, an easy trick is to serve a platter of the grilled fish and put out bowls filled with salsa and creme verde. Marinated grilled-pineapple skewers are also a favorite as a fun dessert to round off an evening of flavors and heat."
Ditto goes for breakfast or brunch parties when you can grab a big skillet and cook everything from eggs to bacon in it. Just cook it up, set it in the center of the table and serve!