Food

12 ingenious products to help you host the perfect summer party

If you're planning on throwing a get-together anytime soon, these products will help you be the hostess with the mostest. Check out these clever ideas for your next bash:

1. CHILL Cooling Pour Spout, $15, Amazon

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Nothing is more annoying than when your white wine isn't chilled in time for a get-together. Luckily there's the CHILL—it cools wine and functions as a drip-free pour spout and air-tight stopper. Keep one in the freezer so you're always ready to entertain. The same brand also makes freezable wine glasses, which are a great accessory for your outdoor bash.

2. Ironwood Gourmet Cocktail Plates, $36 for four plates, Amazon

Trying to nosh while balancing a drink in one hand and a plate full of canapes in the other is tough. These beautiful wooden plates from Ironwood Gourmet solve that cocktail-hour conundrum. The round plates have ample space for hors d'oeuvres and a round opening designed to hold a wine glass. Want something with a little more surface area? Try these best-selling acrylic ones also on Amazon.

3. Dapper 'Staches Drink Markers, $14, Amazon

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Those clever wine glass tags only work on vessels with stems. These silicon drink markers, however, stick and re-stick onto any smooth surface, like a cocktail glass or beer bottle, because it's not just wine glasses that need to be claimed by party-goers throughout the evening. Added bonus: these will satisfy anyone who wants a hipster 'stache or just wants to mock those who have one.

4. Stainless Steel Cooler with Shelf, $140, Amazon

This stainless steel cooler does so much more than your standard IGLOO. It has a bottle opener on the side with a small trough to catch the caps, it's bottom shelf is great storage space for mixers, food, or anything you want to keep out of the sun, and it comes equipped with a drainage plug for easy cleanup. Looking for something a bit more fun? This inflatable cooler can turn any space (even the pool) into a drink station!

5. MYdrap Cotton Disposable Cocktail Napkins and Placemats, $20 - $27, Amazon

There are so many reasons to love MYdrap cocktail napkins. They are made out of 100% cotton, they come on a easy-to-dispense 50-sheet roll and they are both washable and disposable. They also come in tons of fun colors and patterns so you can mix and match to set the perfect vibe for your party. MYdrap also makes placemats and dinner napkins to meet every mood you are in - go wild!

6. LED Globe Bulb String Lights, $26, Amazon

There's no better way to set the mood at any party than with interesting lighting. Hang these globe lights around a backyard or even in a living room to add some glam to your bash. As the sun goes down, these will serve as excellent mood lighting for drinks and dancing.

7. AURA Eco-friendly Disposable Plates, $16 for 50, Amazon

You certainly aren't going to break out the fine china for your get-together, but you don't have to choose disposable plates that are completely boring. These eco-friendly ones from AURA come in a delicate flower shape and are also available in bowl and salad plate versions.

8. Simple Flow Double Mason Jar Drink Dispenser, $50, Amazon

Want to serve a variety of refreshments to quench the thirsts of all your guests? This elegant glass beverage server from Simple Flow has two separate sections for dispensing punch, iced tea, and more from easy-to-use spouts. It holds 3 gallons. Want something you can label? Try this version from Estilo.

9. ICED Dip-on-Ice Serving Bowl, $17, Amazon

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Crab spread and creamy onion dip are delicious party foods, but after hours sitting on the buffet table they are not the safest things to eat. Avoid giving food poisoning to guests at your next soiree with an iced dip bowl that will keep its contents at food-safe temperatures. This $17 set from Prodyne includes a stainless steel 22-ounce dip bowl that nests inside an acrylic bowl filled with crushed or cubed ice. It also has a snap-on lid for storing leftovers in the fridge.

10. Glass Dish in Wicker Serving Tray, $19, Amazon

Instead of putting all the appetizers on one table, why not scatter them around the party? This will give your guests an opportunity to mingle with each other and spread out a bit. This two-piece set by RPI Dish also comes with a small set of sterling silver tongs. Score!

11. Vodka Zinger Natural Flavor Infuser, $25, Amazon

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What could be more impressive than showing off your master mixology skills with flavored vodka you infused yourself? The Vodka Zinger lets you infuse your spirits with fresh fruit, herbs and more by putting your favorite ingredients in the bottom compartment. Then you just twist it back on, shake, and let it soak. A mesh screen only lets the extracted flavors in, so there's no messy pulp in your drink.

12. n'ICE Cubes Stainless Steel Drink Chillers, $15 for six, Brookstone

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Ice cubes made with water are so five minutes ago—as in, they melt in a drink in about five minutes. Instead, slip a handful of frozen n'ICE cubes into whiskey, vodka, white wine and more to avoid a watered-down libation guests won't want to finish. The stainless steel liquid-filled cubes are ready after four hours in the freezer and can be easily rinsed and dried for reuse.

Ellen Sturm Niz is an editor and writer living, parenting, and working in New York City. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.

This article was originally published in June 2016 on Today.com.

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