The Best Mezcal Watermelon Recipe and Other Summer Party Tricks

Chefs reveal their best tips for summer entertaining.

Can you share a golden tip for summer entertaining?

Daniel Eddy, chef and partner of newly opened Rebelle

Daniel Krieger. (Photo: Daniel Krieger)

Daniel Krieger. (Photo: Daniel Krieger)

“A clam bake! For me, the summer is all about being outdoors with friends and this is a great way to feed a big group of people and still be able to be a part of it all. Lobster, mussels, clams, potatoes, corn and drawn butter, what could be better?”

Joe Campanale, partner and beverage director dell’anima, L’Artusi, Anfora, L’Apicio and Alta Linea at The High Line Hotel

 Joe Campanale. (Photo : Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for City Harvest)

Joe Campanale. (Photo : Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for City Harvest)

“I’m encouraging people to drink vermouth this summer. Get a few bottles of vermouth, like Contratto Bianco and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, a bottle of soda water, ice and a couple of oranges, a peeler and wine glasses. Then arrange them on a tray and let your guests assemble their own vermouth on the rocks.”

Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of Dirt Candy

Amanda Cohen. (Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for OTG)

Amanda Cohen. (Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for OTG)

“Mezcal watermelon! Cut a plug in your watermelon, dump in a bottle of mezcal, let it sit overnight. Have your guests squeeze a lime wedge over each slice and roll it in some chili salt before they eat it, or eat it all by yourself because who needs friends?”

Ben Daitz, chef and partner at Num Pang

Ben Daitz. (Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

Ben Daitz. (Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

“I spend a lot of my summer grilling for friends at my house in Hudson Valley, and last year I finally got a Big Green Egg barbecue, which is perfect for entertaining. My favorite thing to make is a local, free-range hickory-and-mesquite-smoked chicken, and I serve it with grilled asparagus topped with a vinaigrette of black olive and pickled, locally foraged ramps. It’s really simple and perfect for summer.”

Anita Lo, chef and owner of Annisa

Anita Lo.  (Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest)

Anita Lo. (Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest)

“Sautéed sea robin filet with Long Island corn, clams and basil is my perfect summer go-to meal. I love to take people fishing and clamming in the afternoon in the bay near my house on Long Island. Clams are always easy to find, and sea robin is almost a guaranteed catch. Then this is a fast and easy dish for entertaining, and I can use basil from my garden.”

Wylie Dufresne, award-winning chef and owner of Alder

Wylie Dufresne. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

Wylie Dufresne. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

“There is a great pasta dish that I like to make. I puree some frozen corn and mix that up with a little crème fraîche. I toss that sauce with some pasta and top it with sautéed mushrooms, raw radish and basil. It comes together so quickly; you can make the sauce in two minutes and sauté the mushrooms while the pasta is cooking. Perfect for a last-minute get together!”

Ken Oringer, chef and owner of Toro

Ken Oringer, at right. (Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Ken Oringer, at right. (Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

“Summer is all about inviting a bunch of friends over and throwing some paella on the grill. I like to stay pretty classic with mine when cooking at home, some chorizo, clams, mussels and shrimp, and I cook it until the bottom gets this great crust. Served with cava straight out of the porron!”

Kyle Hotchkiss Carone, partner at Café Clover

Kyle Hotchkiss Carone. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

Kyle Hotchkiss Carone. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

“The best summer entertaining doesn’t involve cooking. It’s wonderful to make a chilled watermelon gazpacho and top it with peekytoe crab and fresh avocado, and serve it alongside some rosé. Easy and refreshing for the hottest summer days.”

Jimmy Bradley, chef and owner of The Red Cat

Jimmy Bradley. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

Jimmy Bradley. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

“I love to get perfectly ripe peaches from the farmers market at the height of their season and serve them a few different ways. For an easy appetizer, I’ll serve halved, grilled peaches with toasted pecans, fresh burrata and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. For dessert, I’ll peel and slice peaches and macerate them in a little barolo wine, sugar and lemon zest, then serve them with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.”

Mike Price, chef and owner of West Village restaurants Market Table and The Clam

Mike Price, at left. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

Mike Price, at left. (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

“I’m from Maryland, so seafood means summer to me. On those really hot summer days, I’ll put out a huge raw bar for friends filled with clams, oysters and a chili lime mignonette. Sometimes I’ll throw a lobster louie on there too with some house-made thousand island dressing, it’s such an old-school dish that’s really fun and easy to make ahead of time.”