Stay cool deliciously with this genius idea. 

By Stacey Ballis
June 22, 2021
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Want to have a summer get-together that is super easy and extra cool? Skip all the BBQ planning (and heat) for one night and invite people to come chill--literally--with a frozen dessert party in the backyard. It can be an afternoon pick-me-up party for the whole family, or an elegant after-dinner dessert party for the grownups. Or just plain old Thursday night!

Why to throw a backyard frozen dessert party

Different than an ice cream party, which is great, but calls out for toppings and garnishes (and leaves guests a bit overindulged), this party is all about simplicity. Sorbets, Italian ices, sherbets, and the like shine on their own, so there's no extra fussing needed. All you need are cups or cones, a variety of flavors, and some friends or family. No advanced setup needed beyond sourcing the pints or quarts. When everybody's there, just pull the treats out of the freezer and start scooping.

Sorbet
Credit: Getty / Cleardesign1

How to plan a backyard frozen dessert party

If you are hosting an adult gathering, think about serving some prosecco with the icy sweets; a scoop of sorbet in the bottom of a glass of fizz is a delightful refresher. And while you can certainly load up on offerings from your supermarket's freezer, think about picking up at a local scoop shop or Italian ice stand to make it extra special. Grab at least one flavor per two people attending, and balance between some basic fruity standbys that everyone loves like strawberry and peach, one classic lemon, and then at least one fun exotic like mango, cantaloupe, or lychee. The more people, the more flavors you can taste. Grab some cookie scoops instead of the larger ice cream servers: Smaller scoops means people can taste multiple flavors in reasonable amounts.

Want it even easier? Go for popsicles or paletas. Just load up a cooler with all kinds of flavors and let everyone go to town--no scooping or spoons required. Chances are somewhere in your community someone is selling paletas; often Latino markets will have both fruit and cream paletas in their freezer case in fun flavors like mangonada (mango with chili pepper), mamey, coconut, and arroz con leche. 

Instant summer bliss, no fire required. BBQ who?