Throw an Outdoor Iced Tea Party

Pinkies up! You&ll have the perfect way to celebrate the summer with these recipes, crafts and decor ideas.

Apr 28, 2014



Two young girls play outdoors

Apr 28, 2014

It’s teatime – iced tea time, that is! Little girls, especially, love this classic party theme, and we have a cool twist that’ll take the fun from inside to outdoors. Enjoy the sunshine and don’t worry about any potential spills on your carpet; this outside affair will make a magical impression on your little guests.

The great thing about decorating for a tea party – hot or iced – is that the more eclectic the décor, the better. There is no need to head to the party store to buy matching tablecloths, cups and plates. Just open up your cabinets and use what you already have on hand. Mismatched tables and chairs will only add to the fairytale feel. Line a path with a few potted plants to guide your guests to your tea party wonderland.

While your guests will love sipping on iced tea and snacking on little treats (ideas below!), they’ll feel even more enchanted with some teatime-themed crafts to enjoy. Before the party, cut butterfly and dragonfly shapes out of paper, and tie each one to clear fishing line about a yard long. Encourage children to color in their flutterbys and then string them from tree branches. You can also use them to create name tags: After the kids color and decorate them, punch two holes in the center and thread a straw through. Not only is this a fun activity, it’s a great way to keep track of whose glass is whose! For a unique takeaway favor, set up a side table with a few plain plastic headbands, loose fabric flowers and nontoxic glue. The girls — and moms! — can make their own teatime fascinators to sport during the party. Hosting some gents? Have them decorate their own visors or caps.

Tea & Treats
Make your party the event of the summer by offering up unique beverages and tasty nibbles. We asked professional chef Eric Dougherty for one-of-a-kind, iced tea party–perfect recipes.

Watermelon Mint Iced Tea
“In my experience, some kids don’t want to see green stuff floating in their drinks or on their food,” says Dougherty. “So, using mint tea and using fresh mint only as a garnish will allow you to add as wanted. Frozen watermelon cubes are a fun alternative to ice cubes, and they add fresh flavor that complements the mint tea nicely.”

Serving Size: 1 cup, without ice                
Serves 6
Cook time: 10 minutes
Freeze time: 3 hours


  • 1 medium seedless watermelon
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 mint tea bags
  • Sugar to taste
  • 4 springs fresh mint

1. Cut watermelon into ½-inch-thick slices. Remove the rind, keeping the slices intact.
2. Chop half of the watermelon slices, puree, and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Chill juice in the refrigerator.
3. Cut remaining watermelon into ½-inch cubes, place on a plastic wrap–lined tray, and freeze for 3 hours.
4. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, immediately add tea bags, and stir in sugar. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, add watermelon juice, and refrigerate until time to serve.
5. Add frozen watermelon to the tea and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Raspberry Lemon Hibiscus Iced Tea
“The naturally decaffeinated hibiscus flowers will complement the raspberries, and the fresh lemons will make this tea seem like fresh berry lemonade — without the annoying seeds,” says Dougherty.

Serving Size: 1 cup, without ice                
Serves 8                        
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour


  • 4 cups water
  • Sugar to taste
  • 3 pints fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 cups cold seltzer

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add sugar, 2 pints raspberries, and hibiscus flowers. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of 2 whole lemons.
2. Strain out the flowers and raspberries with a fine-mesh strainer, making sure to press the juice from the berries to get their flavor and bright color. Chill.
3. Add seltzer upon serving, pour over ice, and garnish with lemon slices and fresh raspberries.

Turkey Cheddar Tea Sandwiches            
Serving Size: 1 whole sandwich    
Serves: 10
Prep time: 8 minutes


  • Honey mustard
  • 1 loaf sliced sourdough bread or your favorite white bread
  • 1½ lb sliced turkey
  • 10 slices cheddar cheese

1. Spread honey mustard on one side of 20 slices of bread. Layer turkey and cheese on 10 slices, then top with remaining bread.
2. Cut the sandwiches in quarters and serve.

Quick & Chewy Petit Fours
Servings: 12 petits fours                    
Prep time: 15 minutes


  • 1 box chewy granola bars
  • A container of toothpicks
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Unwrap bars and cut each into three squares. Insert a toothpick in each.
2. Set a glass or metal bowl over a pot of lightly steaming water.
3. Gradually stir in the chocolate chips, and continue stirring until melted to a creamy consistency.
4. Dip the granola squares into the chocolate and then lay them on wax paper.
5. Place into fridge until chocolate has cooled and hardened.
6. Serve on mini doilies.

Banana-Hazelnut Tea Sandwiches
Serving size: 1 sandwich                
Serves: 10 to 12        
Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 1 loaf cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 1 jar chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 6 bananas, peeled and sliced

1. Toast slices of cinnamon raisin bread until golden brown. Layer about 1 Tbsp of chocolate-hazelnut spread onto 1 side of each slice of toast.
2. Place a single layer of banana slices, overlapping slightly, onto half of the slices of toast. Top with remaining bread.
3. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out as many shapes from each sandwich as possible without using the crust. Serve 1 sandwich per person.

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