How to throw a Jimmy Buffett Margarita-ville Style Party
Think of a tropical place, the sun on your face, a frozen concoction that helps you hang on - now you're in MargaritavilleTM ! It may not be a real town, but it's a definite state of mind that Jimmy Buffett glorified in a magical location that he called Margaritaville.
Recreate that laid-back, sun-soaked feeling by throwing a MargaritavilleTM -inspired party this summer - we'll show you how.
From decorating ideas, to food and drinks you'll want to have, right down to the music, everything is here to help you kick off those flip-flops and have a great time.
Just in case you aren't familiar with them...
Jimmy Buffett is an American singer-songwriter, author, and actor - although by far best known for his unique style of music that celebrates tropical island escapism and a casual and care-free lifestyle. In the 1960's he began his music career, dabbling in country-western style, but in the 1970's he moved to Key West, Florida and influenced by the tropical subculture there, began establishing the easygoing beach-bum persona that he is best known for. He eventually gained widespread popularity in 1977 with his breakthrough hit song, "Margaritaville", from the album "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes".
Since then, Buffett's image has become synonymous with tropical beaches, margaritas, flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts. His concerts continue to draw thousands of wildly devoted fans, affectionately known as "parrotheads".
The first thing you'll need is a great Invitation!
Setting the stage for your party is key for getting your guests in the spirit of your theme.
That's what makes these fun, tropical and colorful custom invitations in a Margarita-inspired theme just perfect! All invitations include free customization and envelopes too. Prices vary depending on style, but all orders are produced in just 24 hours.
Click on any invitation to view details and start customizing for your party!
Browse more terrific Margarita Invitations
This is where the fun begins!
Think tropical getaway to a sleepy seaside town - sun drenched beaches and seashells, the sound of the surf, palm trees, and definitely some parrots. This style is more casual, not so "luau".
Close your eyes and imagine napping in a hammock strung between palms on the beach, a white-washed beach cottage, flip-flops and bare feet, walking down by the shore.
It's more 'Key West', and less 'Hawaii'.
Now you're on the right track to MargaritavilleTM...
To help you set the mood
Why the music is so important
I truly believe that music is one of the most important elements to successfully integrate your theme seamlessly. To make this one authentic, there just has to be Jimmy Buffett tunes. With nearly 50 years of music making behind him, Buffett has tons of songs to keep the mood going all night. Create a playlist from these great selections and your guests will relax and unwind instantly. Mix in some more music from the islands, a little reggae, some steel drums, and the scene will be complete.
This is hands-down the best collection of Jimmy Buffett songs I have ever owned. This 4 disc box set is amazing and divides the songs into four sections (boats, beaches, bars, ballads) so there is absolutely something for everyone!
If you're looking for an economical addition to your music collection this disc is perfect for containing all of the best known and well-loved songs. A must have for any Buffett party.
A great collection of Jimmy Buffett songs - includes fan favorites and some newer tunes as well.
Additional music by other artists
Include some music in the mix that brings the islands home and compliments your Jimmy Buffett songs perfectly!
No fussy food here
MargaritavilleTM is a laid-back place. No fancy food, just easy to make, easy to eat grub.
But even if the food is casual, do jazz up its presentation by serving on colorful trays, beautiful Mexican-patterned platters or Fiesta-ware type dishes. Use one really big platter and place all the main dish items all around on it together. Remember, everything doesn't have to match. The idea is that this is a casual gathering using everyday items and mismatched glasses and dishes.
Keep it casual, keep it simple
Cheeseburgers in Paradise
This is actually a title of a Buffett song, and so cheeseburgers should always be a part of any Margarita-ville party! Serve with a Mango Relish to give them a tropical twist. Just dice up ripe mango, tomatoes, and jalapenos. Throw in some thawed frozen corn kernels. Add fresh lime juice and lime zest with a dash of white wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar. Yum!
Always delicious and always a favorite. You can make your own, or you can buy them frozen, pop them in the oven and it's no fuss. To really make them fantastic, create a Pina Colada dipping sauce by combining a little pina-colada mix with plain greek yogurt. Add a little shredded coconut. Taste and sweeten with a little artificial sweetener or sugar if still needed.
Caribbean Jerk Chicken
"Jerk" is a seasoning blend, best known in Jamaica, and used as a dry rub on meats. Spicy and flavorful, it's perfect for barbecued chicken. And it's zesty flavor is absolutely amazing when accompanied by a margarita!
Fruit, luscious fruit!
I can't think about the Caribbean without envisioning all the beautiful, exotic tropical fruits that grow there - like mango, papaya, kiwi and pineapple. Definitely have fruit at your party - a platter is nice or a fruit salad, served in a big watermelon, cut in half, scooped out and used as the serving bowl.
Salsa & Chips
A standard party favorite and very appropriate here! Try the Tostito's brand lime-flavored tortilla chips for a twist.
Buffett sings of fish in so many of his songs... so any dip or spread made from ingredients from the sea are most appropriate!
Of course, there will be Margaritas!
Of course there will be Margaritas, that goes without saying! You just can't have a Margarita-themed party without 'em. In addition to the regular lime flavored, consider also having alternative flavors as well - like mango and strawberry. The hands-down best way to make margaritas for a crowd is with a margarita machine and I really do recommend investing in one, because once you have one of these parties, you will surely want to make them an annual event! But for any purists who believe only the classic margarita will do, check out:
As not everyone is partial to the tequila in margaritas (I know, can you believe it?) having a wine-based drink available is a good idea too. A great choice to offer is Sangria. Consider making your own special home-made brew. It's fun, it's really easy and it's totally refreshing on hot summer days. Best of all, you can (and should) make it ahead of time, so it's another no-fuss idea that makes it easier for you to enjoy the party too. For more information on homemade sangria, check out:
If you'll be having beer too, consider brands that go with your laid-back beach bum theme, like CoronaTM or LandsharkTM
Other great tropical drinks you might want to include:
- Pina Colada
- Tequila Sunrise
- Bahama Mama
Recipes for these drinks are readily available on the internet.
Limes, lots of limes!
Don't forget to stock up on limes, you're gonna need 'em!
The frozen concoction that helps us hang on
Jimmy got that right. These are delicious and just the ticket to transport us to Margarita-ville.
You have to look the part!
Think tropical vacation style...
Sarongs, sun-dresses, hawaiian-print tops are all great choices for the ladies
Great stuff for Parrotheads
Since Jimmy Buffett fans are known as "parrotheads" no party would be complete without some parrot-themed items.
To place under your drinks.
Buffett fans are a fun-loving lot, that's for sure!
Let us know!
Jimmy Buffett sings his anthem song
One of Buffett's most famous songs, "Margaritaville", is the signature tune of those that dream of trading it all in and running off to live a laid-back lifestyle in a tropical climate.
Your guest will love it
I did this one year at one of my margarita-themed parties and it was a big hit, so I thought I'd share it with you.
Buy pin-back buttons, such as those shown below, trying to select as many different designs as you have guests. If it's a very large party this may not be possible, but try to have as few duplicate buttons as possible. Just make sure you have enough so that everyone can have one - including the hosts, of course.
Now there's two ways you can have your guests select a button. One way is to place all the pins in a basket or spread them out on a table and each guest choose their own as they arrive at the party. The second way is to place all the pins in some sort of container that they cannot see into. Greet your guest and have them (very carefully) reach in and take one button from inside the container, sight unseen. This method can be pretty funny depending on who gets what, because the only rule is YOU MUST WEAR THE PIN YOU CHOOSE. No switching allowed.
Your guests will have fun checking out each others pins, and getting laughs out of all the sayings - and who winds up wearing them. Trust me.
There's more where these came from...
You really have to have palm trees!
If you're lucky enough to live where you have real, live palm trees, dress them up with twinkle lights and you're good to go. But if you're like me in the dreary Northeast, you'll need to improvise because a party theme like this just has to have palm trees. Don't you agree?