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Garden party
Pottery Barn's mason jar drink dispensers

With Memorial Day on the horizon and shorts-wearing weather hitting a forecast near you, it?s time to think about that loveliest of summer traditions: the garden party.

Here, a few new ways to make yours unique:

Decor Paper lanterns are always welcome, but this year we?re going for more original touches like wine-bottle tiki torches ($60) or high-design piñatas ($140 to $150). We?re particularly loving Horne?s new outdoor Pin Tables ($130), which stick into the ground for instant (and movable) surface space.

Food No need for heavy, labor-intensive dishes. Go for fresh, scoopable fare like radish salad, crab toasts and strawberry-rhubarb-mint-cobbler for dessert. As for drinks, in addition to iced tea and lemonade, try Lillet?s new Rosé aperitif wine ($19), which is made from a blend of red and white Bordeaux grapes and crisp fruit liqueur. Serve it on the rocks or with a slice of citrus.

Extra-Special Accents Then there are the unexpected touches like a mason jar drink dispenser ($69) or modernist paper plates ($13 for 12) that make a party extra memorable. Our summer must-have: wooden ice-cream spoons ($50 for 100) customized for the event.

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