Rooftop Picnic w/ Dr Pepper!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dr Pepper®. The opinions and text are all mine

Is there anything better than a summertime soirée?

Friends, food, music, and a stunning location are all necessary elements for throwing a successful summer bash. But how exactly do you narrow down the particulars? Cohesiveness is key to being a good hostess. And lucky for you, I’ve got the allll the entertaining tips to make it easy, breezy, peasey.

Let’s party.

My most important party planning tip is to simply know your audience. Sure, your friends are great and funny and you should SO have your own TV show. But even the closest, most easy-going pals appreciate attention to detail. So when you’re establishing a party agenda, remember to cater to their needs. Foods they enjoy, music they love, and of course, the cool refreshing taste of ice-cold Dr Pepper.

Because obviously, anyone who’s anyone loves Dr Pepper.

What’s great about summer is that it’s easy to take your party just about anywhere. Whether it’s a backyard, a park, a beach, or a city rooftop, summertime keeps your destination flexible. So instead of gathering your friends at the same old spots — be it your apartment, local watering hole, or the like! — be bold and try something new. Your guests will automatically get excited about the change-up, and you can feel good knowing that your party is already generating buzz.

Living in NYC gives me endless choices for my celebrations, but for this particular fête I chose my own rooftop. Not only are the views are sensational — do you see these pics?! — there’s plenty of space for everyone and a breeze just strong enough to keep things temperate.

With the location settled next comes the food, which is clearly my area of expertise. When you’re hosting a party that’s not kitchen-adjacent, low-maintaince foods that are easily transportable, can withstand heat, and appeal to a broad set of tastes is a MUST. This might sound like a big challenge, but trust me — You’ve got this!

For my rooftop gathering I prepared a mix of tapas/mezze style eats that appeal to virtually any dietary need. Doing so is not only inclusive, but it’s healthy too! I started by preparing a simple pico de gallo, which is naturally vegan and takes all of 5 minutes to make. It’s fresh, fast, and a universal crowd-pleaser, so it’s always a good place to start. But if your friends like their salsa a little more adventurous, try my pomegranate mango salsa or fiery strawberry salsa! Both are equally fast and easy, but with more unexpected kick.

My simple sun-dried tomato hummus recipe (vegan), leftover jalapeño popper corn dip, and a store-bought olive tapenade (also vegan!) + blue-cheese dip rounded out my mezze selections, along with a selection of crackers, some gluten-free. Overall it’s a simple, streamlined spread, but its consistency makes it work. The “dip” theme brings it all together, with some grilled chicken strips thrown in for men who always need a protein (you know the type). Most importantly, it ALL tastes great while sipping on Dr Pepper.

Clearly the beverage of choice here is Dr Pepper, and it’s easy to see why. Its sweet, crisp, vanilla-cherry taste pairs well with savory, spicy, earthy, OR cheesy foods, it literally compliments everything. Unfortunately Dr Pepper is not sharing their secret 23-flavor formula anytime soon, but the good news is this — the #PickYourPepper campaign makes it more fun to enjoy than ever! Colorful, kooky, and totally fun, the #PickYourPepper bottles let you express your personality AND your love of Dr Pepper, all at the same time. Simply upload your Dr Pepper receipts to the summer rewards platform, then earn cool swag! The more Dr Pepper you drink, the more awesome stuff you earn, including retro specs (looking good), a pool float (SO necessary), or even bluetooth speakers!

And speaking of speakers (#pun), don’t forget that music makes the mood! A carefully curated playlist that spans decades (’50s – today!) + genres (rap, rock, pop!) will give everyone something to sing about. Xo