A Lemon Inspired Birthday Party
WORDS:: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
PHOTOS:: LISA ATKINSON
Having your girlfriends over for your birthday lunch is a simple enough thing to do right?
Well, except when you’re in events, and you want your birthday to be extra special! I love a good party - and I’m not fussy on occasion. Whether it be graduations, birthdays, marriages, anniversaries - anything, I think that effort should be made, and that love should be shared amongst your family and friends. Celebrating my birthday with my girlfriends is a bit of a tradition, a nice long lunch started with cocktails and ending with dessert is always an afternoon well spent.
Since returning from the Amalfi coast midyear, I have had this little lemon obsession brewing in my head. The coastline has a beautiful connection to lemons. The lusciousness of the dark green leaves against the popping yellow has always been a colour inspiration for me, so this birthday - I took it that one bit further. Using this gorgeous dimpled fruit as a theme opened up so many possibilities - from the concept of the cocktails, to the gorgeously decorated cake. Lemon ruled the day! Mixing up four styles of plates, I was able to create an extended, casual setting that shone in the sunlight. Using a striped length of fabric, this created such a sharp look that was so simple to achieve - I can not stress how good fabric by the metre is for table dressing and it is so much more cost-efficient.
Flowers are everything to me so filling the table with baskets of yellow and white mingled in with branches of lemons added the finishing touch to the table. It looked fresh, colourful, casual and inviting. It also added an element of softness and texture against the modernity of the striped cloth.
Small touches like the lemon paper straws and my collection of lemon jugs on display continued the theme throughout. I always like to have a bar area that is self-serve, so I displayed a selection of gin’s (it was MY BIRTHDAY after all!) that can be garnished with both bright lemon yellows and lush green cucumbers. Herbs, whether potted or in a vase are a great way to decorate a space, and what’s best is that you can use them one the party is over - or even better to garnish your meal on the day!
Chyka’s Birthday Gin Cocktail
- 50ml gin
- 10ml lemon juice
- 5ml grenadine (or raspberry syrup)
- 10ml Sweet Vermouth
- Handful of fresh raspberries
- 1 egg white
- Raspberry to garnish or garnish with petal like I did!
“Dry shake” all ingredients in a shaker for about 30 seconds until the egg has emulsified and the berries have been pulverised. Add half a cup of ice, then shake again until cold. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a raspberry or petal.