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7 Tips (And Two Recipes) For The Perfect Summer Picnic

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Summertime is picnic time. So grab your family, your friends and your dog and hit the outdoors with these food and drink recipes and simple tips for a Pinterest-worthy picnic on a beautiful day.

1. Signature sips
Looking to mix up some drinks in addition to pouring the ready-to-serve? Nothing says summer like a cold glass of iced tea, and this cocktail recipe provides a refreshing, grown-up twist on the classic summertime sip. Plus, it makes enough for four servings so you can prep ahead of time and just pour over ice once you’re ready to kick back and relax at your picnic spot.

The Perfect Picnic
8 parts Sauza Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila
12 black tea bags
48 parts water
2 cups sugar
Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
Lemon wedges for garnish

Preparation: In a medium saucepan bring water, tea bags and sugar to a rolling boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour into a thermos with lemon. Cool sweet tea in refrigerator for several hours. When the tea is cool, add the Tequila. Once you’re at your picnic, just pour over ice and enjoy! Optional: garnish with fresh mint.
Serves 4

2. Picnic Jar-gon
Mason jars are synonymous with picnics and perfect for packing your meal, including the salad recipes below, pasta salad or a layer dip. They also make the perfect drinking vessel for enjoying your Sauza Sparkling Margarita Watermelon or Perfect Picnic cocktails. Just dress up with a decorative straw for pretty sipping.

3. Make A Summery Salad
Salad doesn’t need to be limited to just plain old lettuce- instead, mix up the classic salad with this yummy-Mexican themed recipe that won’t wilt. It can all be made ahead of time and portioned into mason jars for individual servings that transport easily.

Gazpacho Tomato Salad Salad
· 2 lb. mixed tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
· 2 small small red and yellow bell peppers, cut in ½-inch dice
· 2 scallions, thinly sliced
· ¾ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
Dressing
· 2 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed
· 1 lb. seedless cucumber, chopped
· ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
· 2 scallions, roughly chopped
· 2 small garlic cloves
· ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 3 tbsp. sherry vinegar
· ¾ cup kosher salt
· ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
· Several dashes Tabasco sauce

Preparation:
Salad: Toss tomatoes, peppers, scallions, and parsley in a large bowl. Mound mixture in center of bowl.

Dressing: Put bread in a colander and place under cold running water until very soft and mushy; gently press out excess water from bread. Place in a blender; add remaining dressing ingredients and puree until mixture is very smooth and uniformly green. Pour dressing around tomato mixture in bowl right before serving, and toss.

4. Basket brilliance
Want a picnic basket but don’t think you’ll get enough use out of it? Think again! A beautiful basket is essential for your picnic and useful long after it’s been emptied of its tasty cargo. Repurpose your basket for a rustic flower arrangement, use as a napkin and utensil holder at your next BBQ, or line with a pretty dishtowel to convert it to a bread basket. My favorite use for it? Transform into a portable bar by setting a tray or baking dish of ice within the basket, and use it for chilling and carrying drinks (Like tequila!) at your next outdoor get-together.

5. Beautiful Bandanas
Being outdoors is no excuse to not sip and savor in style! Swap out the paper napkins for pretty bandanas rolled up and tied with twine for an option that is as pretty as it is functional. Bonus: They’re eco-friendly and won’t blow away once the breeze picks up.

6. Divide And Conquer People always ask, "What can I bring?" Pick one thing for each person other than the requisite bottle of wine and it makes your life a lot easier and is a nice way to include everyone.

7. Don't Bug Me! Don't forget to bring bug spray of the strongest kind. Citronella candles, spray, the works. Nothing ruins an outdoor party faster than your guests getting bitten upby mosquitos. It really does.

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