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How do you serve strawberries for a party?

Strawberries are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be served in many different ways at parties and gatherings. They make a great addition to desserts, drinks, appetizers, and more. When served thoughtfully, strawberries can add a pop of color, flavor, and fun to any party menu.

In this article, we will discuss how to choose, store, prepare, and serve strawberries for a party. We will provide tips on pairing strawberries with other ingredients, using them in drinks, incorporating them into desserts, and presenting them beautifully. Whether you are planning an elegant dinner party or a casual summertime barbecue, these strawberry serving ideas will ensure your guests enjoy this sweet, juicy fruit.

Selecting Strawberries

The first step in serving great strawberries is choosing high-quality berries. Here are some tips for picking fresh, flavorful strawberries:

  • Look for berries that are brightly red colored all over and plump in shape. Avoid any with green or white tips.
  • Select strawberries that are fragrant and free of mold.
  • Choose berries with green, fresh looking caps still attached.
  • For the best flavor, pick strawberries that are fully ripe but still firm.
  • If buying pre-packaged strawberries, check that they are not crushed, leaking juices, or moldy.
  • Opt for organic strawberries when possible.

The season for fresh, local strawberries runs from April through July in most regions. Strawberries sold in winter are typically imported from warmer climates. Imported berries are often not as sweet and juicy as seasonal, locally-grown strawberries.

Storing Strawberries

To keep strawberries fresh and delicious until party time, proper storage is important:

  • Do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to use them. The moisture can cause them to get moldy quickly.
  • Keep strawberries stored in their original container in the refrigerator until a few hours before serving.
  • Lay the container flat so the berries are not crushed by any weight.
  • Use within 3-5 days for maximum freshness and flavor.
  • Do not remove green caps before refrigerating, as this helps preserve freshness.
  • Avoid storing strawberries near foods with strong odors that may seep into their delicate fragrance.

With proper refrigeration, fresh strawberries will maintain their taste, texture, and eye appeal for your party.

Cleaning and Hulling Strawberries

When you are ready to serve or prepare the strawberries, they will need to be cleaned and have their caps removed. Here is the best method:

  1. Rinse the strawberries gently under cool running water. Do not soak them, as this pulls out their juices and flavor.
  2. Spread the berries out on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and pat dry.
  3. Using a small paring knife, cut a cone shaped “plug” out around the cap and stem of each berry.
  4. Work from the stem end and slice off the cap, removing the green top and white hull in one piece.
  5. Discard removed caps and hulls.
  6. Check each hulled strawberry and trim off any remaining white hull with the knife.
  7. Keep hulled berries stored in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use.

Slicing, Dicing, and Quartering Strawberries

Most desserts and recipes call for sliced, diced, or quartered strawberries rather than leaving them whole. Here are some tips:

  • Sliced strawberries: Leaving the tip intact, slice each berry lengthwise into pieces about 1⁄4 inch thick.
  • Diced strawberries: Dice into 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch cubes.
  • Quartered strawberries: Cut each berry into 4 wedges.
  • Use a sharp paring knife to make clean cuts without crushing the berries.
  • Keep cut berries stored in an airtight container, layered between sheets of paper towel, until ready to use. They will get juicy.
  • Save any juice that accumulates in the bottom of the container to add to recipes.

Pairing Strawberries with Other Ingredients

Strawberries pair wonderfully with a variety of flavors that complement and enhance their sweetness. Consider these tasty combinations for your party:

Sweet Partners

  • Whipped cream
  • White and milk chocolate
  • Vanilla (extract, beans, yogurt, ice cream)
  • Pound cake or angel food cake
  • Marshmallow
  • Honey
  • Brown sugar
  • Mascarpone

Fruity Partners

  • Melons – cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
  • Mangos
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges

Herbs and Savory Partners

  • Black pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Lemongrass

Mix and match these complementary flavors when incorporating strawberries into party foods and beverages for layered, gourmet taste.

Using Strawberries in Drinks

Strawberries are wonderful mixed into drinks for parties. Their sweet juice takes on the flavors of spirits, herbs, fruit, and carbonation delightfully. Consider serving these strawberry drink options at your next gathering:

Strawberry Cocktails

Puree hulled strawberries in a blender until smooth. Strain out seeds if desired. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of strawberry puree per serving into cocktails such as:

  • Strawberry daiquiri – blend with rum, lime juice, sugar
  • Strawberry margarita – blend with tequila, triple sec, lime
  • Strawberry mojito – muddle mint with puree and mix with rum, lime, soda water
  • Strawberry martini – shake puree with vodka, dry vermouth

Float fresh sliced strawberries or thyme sprigs on top for garnish.

Strawberry Non-Alcoholic Beverages

  • Strawberry lemonade – blend strawberry puree with lemonade
  • Strawberry iced tea – mix sliced berries into freshly brewed tea, chill
  • Sparkling strawberry soda – stir puree into lemon-lime soda or prosecco
  • Strawberry infused water – slice berries and steep in water, chill
  • Strawberry smoothie – blend berries with yogurt and milk or juice

These fruity drinks are perfectly refreshing for warm weather parties. Garnish with slices of lemon, lime, or extra strawberries.

Serving Strawberries for Dessert

No party spread is complete without something sweet for dessert. Here are wonderful ways to serve strawberries for dessert at your gathering:

Simple Strawberry Desserts

Let the strawberries shine with these easy dessert ideas:

  • Slice berries and serve with whipped cream for dipping
  • Layer sliced strawberries and vanilla yogurt or custard in parfait glasses
  • Hull strawberries and stuff with vanilla whipped cream or chocolate mousse
  • Thread whole berries onto skewers for dipping in chocolate fondue

Fancier Strawberry Desserts

Impress your guests with these elegant strawberry desserts:

  • Strawberry shortcake – biscuits topped with macerated berries, whipped cream
  • Crepes filled with strawberry preserves, ricotta, and sliced fresh berries
  • Mini strawberry tarts – bake mini tart shells, fill with pastry cream and top with glazed berries
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries – melt chocolate, dip hulled berries halfway, set on parchment

The natural sweetness of ripe strawberries means you need little added sugar in dessert recipes. Let the fruit flavor shine through.

Strawberry Dessert Sauces and Toppings

Drizzle these easy homemade strawberry sauces over pound cake, ice cream, angel food cake, or fresh fruit:

  • Strawberry puree – blend or mash sliced ripe berries with a bit of sugar until saucy.
  • Balsamic strawberry sauce – simmer sliced berries with balsamic vinegar and sugar until thickened.
  • Strawberry coulis – puree cooked strawberries and strain out seeds.

Or, make a quick berry whipped cream by folding sliced strawberries into freshly whipped cream. Sweetened strawberry puree also makes a luscious cake filling or topping.

Savory Strawberry Dishes

While we mostly think of strawberries as belonging to dessert, don’t forget their versatility as an addition to appetizers and small bites. Consider serving these savory strawberry dishes at your party:

Strawberry Appetizers

  • Strawberry bruschetta – top grilled bread with ricotta, sliced berries, and balsamic glaze
  • Strawberries wrapped in prosciutto – wrap hulled berries with thin ham slices
  • Strawberry caprese skewers – stack mozzarella, basil, berries on skewers
  • Strawberry pancetta crostini – top toasted bread cubes with pan fried pancetta and sliced berries

Savory Strawberry Salads

  • Strawberry spinach salad – toss baby spinach with sliced strawberries, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette
  • Strawberry summer salad – mix berries with watermelon, arugula, goat cheese, and mint
  • Strawberry kale salad – massage sliced berries into kale leaves with lemon juice and olive oil

The natural sweet-tart flavor of strawberries complements salty meats like prosciutto and rich cheeses beautifully. Take advantage of this at your next party.

Serving and Presenting Strawberries

The visual appeal of fresh strawberries can be highlighted with creative servings styles. Follow these tips for an eye-catching presentation:

  • Leave whole berries with stems attached for a rustic look.
  • Serve sliced berries fanned out overlapping each other.
  • Alternate direction of overlapping slices for dimension.
  • Layer berries and sauces in clear glasses to show off colors.
  • Skewer berries on picks or weave through hollowed citrus slices.
  • Display them at different heights on tiered platters.
  • Include a mix of whole hulled berries and artful slices.

For buffets, offer a bowl of fresh, cleaned whole strawberries alongside syrups or sauces in small ramekins for dipping. Provide berry spoons or small forks so guests can enjoy putting together their own strawberry creations.

Pretty servings encourage your guests to dig into sweet, juicy strawberries at your summer events.

Top Tips for Serving Strawberries

Follow these key tips for guaranteed strawberry success at your next party:

  • Shop for ripe, fragrant berries without mold or damage.
  • Refrigerate unwashed berries in their container until a few hours before serving.
  • Clean, hull, and slice strawberries just before use to prevent getting mushy.
  • Enhance berries with flavors like chocolate, vanilla, balsamic, mint, and lemon.
  • Incorporate into both sweet and savory dishes for versatility.
  • Go for visual appeal by highlighting berries’ bright red color.
  • Offer whole berries, artful slices, and dipping sauces for interactive serving styles.

With their sweet flavor and bright color, fresh strawberries are sure to be a hit at your next party when thoughtfully served. Now that you know all the tips and tricks for choosing, preparing and presenting this abundant summer fruit, your guests can fully enjoy strawberry deliciousness.


Strawberries are a perfect addition to any party menu. Their sweet, juicy flavor and vibrant red color brighten up every dish and drink. By following the advice in this article for selecting, storing, hulling, slicing, pairing, serving, and presenting fresh strawberries, you are sure to impress guests and delight their tastebuds. Ripe, seasonal berries treated with care and creativity will be demolished with smiles at your next gathering. The only question is – which of these tasty strawberry party recipes will you try first?