Spring fever might have everyone going out on the town to play but we know that sometimes the most fun can be found right in your own backyard. Host a friendly barbeque and invite everyone to your place for a day or night of chowing down and drinking up!
SIMPLY BETTER COCKTAILS
It’s the season for fresh cocktails with a citrus twist like the Stirrings Kiwi Drop. Mix Stirrings Lemon Drop mixer with Smirnoff Citrus Flavored Vodka for a drink that your guests enjoy. Garnish with a slice of kiwi at the bottom of your glass for a pop of color. We like making a big batch of this cocktail before the party starts, adding thin slices of lemon and kiwi and putting it into a large glass drink dispenser for guests to serve themselves.
When the night air is warm, make sure you have plenty of mocktails available to keep everyone hydrated. Pitchers filled with water and thinly sliced wheels of lemon and orange look chic on your bar and remind guests that non-alcoholic drinks are on hand – especially for your designated driver!
SIMPLY BETTER FOOD
One of our favorite summer menus includes a mouthwatering Pulled Pork Sandwich that has all the best elements of a barbeque with no time spent at the actual grill. It’s a great dish to prepare the night before and can be made in bulk to easily serve a large group of hungry guests. Serve the savory and sweet pork with homemade BBQ sauce and cool, creamy coleslaw on a toasted hamburger bun or ciabatta roll.
In our opinion, the key to a successful barbeque is the quality of the meat on the grill as well as the variety of tasty condiments on the table. Besides the classic choices of ketchup, mustard and relish, why not whip up a gourmet sauce like chipotle aioli, which adds a smoky richness to all types of burgers, sandwiches and wraps.
SIMPLY BETTER TIMES
Entertaining outdoors on a terrace or in a backyard is a relaxed way to unwind with friends and neighbors without the fuss of a formal seated meal. Keep your event casual by letting people come and go as they please like an Open House.
If you are lucky enough to have a patch of grass to call your own, encourage your guests to play a spontaneous game. Leaving out a croquet set or a few badminton racquets will start some friendly competition or at least help burn off some of the calories from the BBQ feast!
Music will set the stage for many more nights of cocktails and conversation so don’t forget to create a start-of-summer playlist of some new and classic tunes. By the end of the season, the songs will bring back some fond memories.
A seasoned event planner and entertaining expert, Celia Chen is the Founder and Editorial Director of Notes on a Party, an online magazine about entertaining that celebrates Events from the Inside Out™. For more inspiration, ideas and tips on party planning, visit www.notesonaparty.com
©2011 Diageo, Norwalk, CT. Please Drink Responsibly.