The weather is warmer, the clothes are smaller and you suddenly get an urge to throw a “darty” (day party). Whether you’re up for a standard “get-together” or think you can handle a Project X style soirée, here are some ways to ensure you have the greatest summer shindig ever.

By Devin Rawiszer | Editor-in-chief

First things first, drinks.

What will you provide the people in need of some cool and delicious alcoholic refreshments? Let’s think outside the box here. Not only is watermelon a refreshing fruit for the summertime, but it’s also the perfect way to get a party started. Plus, the fruit is filled with 92 percent water, meaning a magical arrangement of hydration and fun.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 whole watermelon
  • Vodka of choice (Citrus flavor recommended)
  • Funnel
  • Solo cups

What to do:

  1. Wash the watermelon
  2. Cut a hole at the top (Make a few inches deep)
  3. Funnel in around one cup vodka, or as much will absorb into the melon.
  4. Close up the plug at the top, and wait a few hours.
  5. Pour in the remainder of the vodka until fully absorbed.
  6. Refrigerate for 24 hours and enjoy!

If vodka isn’t your scene, try getting a craft keg. Yes, you heard me. A craft keg full of wonderful and delicious ice cold beer for an entire day of dartying. Total Wine is the perfect spot for a variety of kegs and definitely won’t disappoint on the prices.

Here are our top 5 picks if you’re looking for a good time:

  1. Cigar City Jai-Alai – 1/6 Keg – $87.99
  2. Swamp Head Big Nose IPA – 1/6 Keg – $89.99
  3. Intuition I-10 IPA – 1/6 Keg – $89.99
  4. Founders All Day IPA – 1/4 Keg – $129.99
  5. Lost Coast Great White – 1/2 Keg – $189.99

Keep cool and buy a pool.

Keeping your cool is a must during these next few months of unbearable temperatures. To make your darty even sweeter, get a pool. There’s plenty of affordable and really awesome temporary pools on the market. Plus, a ton of them fit up to 10+ people. If a pool isn’t your thing, get something water-related. A slip-n-slide is the next best thing. Invest in one of these bad boys and you will not regret it.

Idea: Summer Escapes 12′ x 36″ Quick-Set Inflatable Round Family Pool — $99

Summertime, And The Grilling’s Easy

By Ryan Emke | Contributor

Let’s be honest, many folks out there could use a bit of “polishing up” when it comes to their grilling skills. Sure, you may have a loyal group that keeps attending your barbecue sessions, but they’re likely a bit more intrigued by the prospect of free beer and scantily clad ladies in bikinis, versus your overcooked, hockey puck-esque frozen patties you so graciously offer up from the grill. But fret not, you Bobby Flay in training you, here’s a few simple tips for sprucing up your outdoor culinary repertoire:

  1. Incorporating some fruits and veggies into the mix can go a long way, both for flavor and visual appeal. For something healthy and frickin’ delicious, try grilling skewers of cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, mushroom, pineapple, red onion and a protein of your choice (fresh Mayport shrimp fit the bill perfectly). Baste with anything from Peruvian sauce to sesame ginger glaze.
  1. As we already discussed, your burgers really need some work. There’s obviously endless ways to go here, but since this issue can only hold so much, you owe it to yourself to try a caprese burger. You wanna use something with a bit of fat content to it, try 80/20 ground chuck. Along with the usual salt/pepper/garlic, add diced sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and a generous drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar into your ground beef mixture. Throw onto a hot grill and cook to your desired doneness. Add a fat slice of fresh mozzarella on top, and let it melt right quick! Pesto mayo and arugula would seal the deal on your bun, but let’s not show off here …
  1. For a change of pace on your typical grilled steak, here’s a crowd pleaser: Take your favorite cut of beef (the correct answer here is Ribeye), and marinade in a mixture of light soy, agave nectar/honey, fish sauce, ginger, Thai basil, scallion and sesame oil. Sear on a hot grate over fiery coals, then move that thang to the side to rest and cook not a moment past medium!

If you try one of those each of the next three weekends, that’ll almost get you to the next issue, where we might just send some more ideas your way. You may notice an increase in house guests as well, and it’s surely not due to the 12-pack of Natty you so generously opened up to the public …

Crank the Tunes

Last, but certainly not least, get some music! Break out the iHome, Bose speakers or anything that plays music at a remotely loud level. Music will not only disguise the awkward silence before the drinks kick in, but it’s a positive addition to the environment for your party people. Now you’re fully prepared to have the best darty your little heart desires! #dartyon