Courvoisier brand ambassadors Tristan du Plessis, Melody Molale and Fhatuwani Mukheli enjoy a cognac cocktail.
Courvoisier brand ambassadors Tristan du Plessis, Melody Molale and Fhatuwani Mukheli enjoy a cognac cocktail.
Image: Supplied/Courvoisier

Summertime brings longer days and shorter nights. As the work year winds down and the long-awaited December holidays approach, there's no better time to host a leisurely afternoon get-together that's all about celebrating life's joyful moments in style.

We asked three Courvoisier brand ambassadors — interior architect Tristan du Plessis, visual artist Fhatuwani Mukheli and social media personality Melody Molale — to share their tips for planning the ultimate daytime soirée:

The venue

The trio believe that it’s best to secure a venue for your get-together rather than opting to entertain at home. This will give you the chance to explore some of the amazing spaces your city has to offer and, as Melody cheekily points out, you won't have to do any of the cleaning up.

“I don’t compromise on ambience when looking for a venue; it needs to have good vibes,” she says. “For a summer event, it needs to be open and have some sort of natural feeling and flow.”

Fhatuwani agrees. His idea of the perfect venue is one that has an outdoor area with beautiful views, lots of plants and great light.

Tristan recommends selecting a space that's “visually appealing and ideally has enough talking points that it becomes an experiential stage rather than just an environment to have an event in.”

The guest list

The influencers stress that a successful party relies on inviting the right mix of people.

“I think it’s good to get a large group of people, together but make sure you curate your guest list so that everyone feels comfortable,” says Tristan. “Research the people you’re inviting and ensure there are similar types of guests, but also some who are on the opposite ends of the spectrum [in terms of their personalities and interests].”

Remember, it’s all about the chemistry. “[When I throw an event], I want happy people around me who love what I love. People with good energy [and who'll create the right vibe].”

Melody adds that her guest lists normally include a combination of industry peers, close friends and family.

Décor

Minimalism is the key trend to embrace when it comes to dressing your event spaces this summer with all three influencers recommending that you take a subtle and simplistic approach to the décor.

Melody suggests opting for natural tones with plenty of natural greenery and florals, which aligns with Fhatuwani’s preferred approach of using plants to add an aesthetic touch.

Tristian, who as an interior architect has created some of SA's most impressive spaces, counters that there'll be little need for additional décor if you find the right venue serving the right cuisine.

On the menu

Now that you have the venue, guest list and décor sorted, it’s time to plan the food. While all three influencers suggest having the occasion catered, their individual tastes come through in their recommended menu choices.

Fhatuwani would keep things simple with wraps and kebabs, while Tristan would opt for light, healthy and tasty Asian-inspired fare. Melody is a fan of keeping her guests comfortable by serving “easy food” that people enjoy, will immediately recognise and that isn't overly complicated.

And to drink

When it comes to drinks, all three influencers agree that Courvoisier’s Gala and French Twist cocktails should take centre stage.

Fhatuwani and Melody favour The Gala. A twist on a 1950s classic, this drink is a zesty mix of Courvoisier VSOP or VS Cognac and citrus tonic, served long over ice. If you don’t have citrus tonic, use Indian tonic and add grape fruit juice to taste. Courvoisier pairs perfectly with anything citrus.

Courvoisier VSOP French Twist.
Courvoisier VSOP French Twist.
Image: Supplied/Courvoisier
Courvoisier Gala.
Courvoisier Gala.
Image: Supplied/Courvoisier

Tristan’s choice is the French Twist, which is part Courvoisier VSOP Cognac and part Orange Curaçao or Triple Sec, syrup and lemon juice. Strained over crushed ice and lengthened with club soda, this cocktail is garnished with lemon and raspberries.

Music

No party is complete without some great music. We asked each of the influencers to give us their pick of the song of the summer to add to your playlist:

  • Melody: Osama by Zakes Bantwini
  • Fhatuwani: Call Me Up by Homeshake
  • Tristan: Nobody Else featuring Sio by Dwson

Selfies and snaps

Tag the photos you take at your summer soirée #CourvoisierMoments when posting them on social media.

* This article was paid for by Courvoisier.

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