So you’ve chosen to have your wedding in the summer? Summer weather can be gorgeous, with nice warm temperatures and beautiful sunshine. Many people also associate fruit with hot summer months, so it may be worth it to incorporate some into your special day. Not only will seasonal fruits be inexpensive to purchase, but they also add fresh flavor that will help keep your guests cool and wanting more.
In addition to utilizing fruit in appetizers and food dishes, you can also plan a few tasty beverages, with alcoholic and non-alcoholic variations. Furthermore, seasonal fruits are the perfect way to add some color to your big day. Utilizing the wonderful flavors and scents of the season will provide a unique flair that your closest family and friends will be sure to love. Consider incorporating the following fruit types into your summer wedding reception and you’re sure to have happy guests singing your praises!
Cherries and Blackberries
Nothing makes me think summer more than cherries and blackberries. In fact, some of my fondest memories of summer include eating frozen cherries while lounging on the porch drinking blackberry lemonade. These tiny bite-size fruits are perfect when used in both desserts and drinks. Cherries typically include pits, however, so be sure to keep this in mind when incorporating them. If you find cherries without the pits, consider freezing them and offering them as an alternative to ice for drinks. They serve as a tasty way to cool drinks without watering them down! Blackberries also add a nice dark color that contrasts well within a glass of lemonade or even a margarita. Keep in mind that blackberries do have quite a few tiny seeds, so consider straining a purée for guests to use in their cocktails.
There are many different types of melons, such as watermelons, honeydew melons, and cantaloupes, and they’re available in a wide variety of colors. Melons can actually serve as a beautiful edible centerpiece for your wedding. If you haven’t seen one before, investigate edible arrangements online or at a local shop. Most flower shops have started offering them, or you can make your own! Whichever you choose, make sure to incorporate creative cuts and designs that will make your melons stand out even more.
Additionally, melon kebabs are a wonderfully fun dessert item. Serve them alongside some tasty yogurt and honey dipping sauces and your guests will be raving over their healthy, but delicious, dessert.
Puréed watermelon makes for a delightfully refreshing drink, with or without alcohol, and can be enhanced by adding frozen cherry ice cubes! Watermelons have also been used to create elaborate vessels, like swans or even functional drink jugs. What better way to serve your watermelon purée drinks than from a watermelon with a spout? If you’re really creative, you can even use the hard rinds from your melons as decorative dishes! Cantaloupes and honeydew melons, cut appropriately, also make perfect, colorful serving trays for fruit salads or skewers.
Lemons and Limes
It wouldn’t be summer without the colorful citrus flair of lemons and limes. These two are most commonly used as garnish for drinks, like margaritas, iced teas, or the tasty Moscow mule. Consider having fresh lemonade or limeade available for your guests as well. Fleshly squeezed lemonade is also perfect for alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Again, add in those frozen cherries or blackberries and you’ll have summer in a cup all evening long! Alternatively, Key lime and lemon meringue pies are tangy treats that truly sparkle with a touch of fresh citrus squeezed or zested on top.
Another part of the citrus community, mandarin oranges will bring a much needed acidity to many dishes. While mandarin oranges are smaller than oranges, they are arguably sweeter. As a result, they’re a perfect pairing for a cold fruit salsa. Additionally, they’re a delicious decoration on tarts and pies, as well as a sweet splash of flavor in lighter drinks, like lemonade or flavored seltzers. Mandarin oranges don’t often have seeds, so they can be added to most fruity alcoholic drinks without extensive preparation. The sweet, yet tangy flavor pairs very well with drinks that are rum-based.
Not just for the Georgians anymore, peaches are a delectable addition to a variety of dishes. Grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream makes a fantastic dessert, while peach salsa can take hearty multigrain chips to a new level. Peach cobbler is also a perfectly scrumptious dish that can be prepared in large batches. Furthermore, peaches are great when used in drinks. Work up a delicious smoothie bar as part of your cocktail hour and give your guests a healthy flavor packed beverage. Alternatively, use peach purée instead of orange juice for an Italian twist on the standard mimosa to make a Bellini.
Strawberries are a very hearty fruit that hold form and look visually stunning. Whole strawberries, or even slices, can be used as a nice alternative to citrus for garnishing drinks. Strawberries are also a great addition to edible centerpieces. If you choose to have a chocolate fountain at your reception, strawberries will be the perfect fruit choice for dipping. Additionally, strawberries make a wonderful addition to fresh lemonade.