Every year, you probably attend at least a couple of backyard barbecues. They are popular for a reason. There is something special about gathering outside on a warm afternoon with family and friends.
Now that you are playing host, you are probably wondering what you can do to make the get-together a little extra special for your guests. You can try these five tips to kick your backyard gathering up a notch.
1. Treat Your Guests to a Fun Drink
If you want to really impress your guests, you may want to trade the bottled beer for a unique cocktail instead to really show you went the extra mile. A summertime favorite that is sure to please is a Moscow Mule with Absolut. Serve it over crushed ice in a chilled copper mug with a wedge of lime. This cold, refreshing drink is the perfect option to cool your guests down in the afternoon heat.
2. Add Some Variety to Your Menu
Mixing up your menu can really breathe some new life into traditional barbecue fare. While you should keep some simpler grill classics for less adventurous eaters, you may also want to consider incorporating some new things. One way to do this is to serve some meats that don’t often make an appearance at a barbecue, such as lamb or goat. You can also introduce some unique flavors to your sauces.
If you would rather stick to traditional grilled meats, you can still have some fun with your side dishes. Grilled watermelon or bacon-wrapped corn on the cob can be interesting alternatives.
Another way to bring some variety is to set up a hamburger topping station that includes some unconventional topping options alongside classics like lettuce, tomato, and ketchup. For example, you can set out these items for your guests to try:
- Fried egg
- Roasted red peppers
- Shoestring fries
- Goat cheese
Uncommon condiments can also spice things up. Your guests will love to try sriracha aioli, ginger horseradish, or cilantro pesto on top of their burgers.
You will of course need a grill in order to prepare any of these ideas. If you’re in the market for a charcoal grill, there are many elements to consider, with so many models on the market.
3. Pull Out the Yard Games
A few yard games will help your guests work up an appetite. You can go with known crowd-pleasers, like cornhole or horseshoes, or opt for something a little different, like giant Jenga.
If you have guests who don’t know one another, yard games can be a great icebreaker. They will also keep children occupied and out from under your feet as you work the grill.
4. Set the Mood in Simple Ways
A barbecue should be easygoing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set the mood with centerpieces, lighting, or other decorations. The key is to keep it simple and effortless. String lights will add sparkle once the sun starts to set. Tea light candles in jars will give a cozy, casual vibe. Sunflowers or hydrangeas are unassuming flowers that will bring some color to your table. A bright patterned tablecloth will upgrade your patio table. Little details like these will give your gathering an extra special feel without much work on your part.
5. Make Dessert Interactive
Even though your guests are sure to be full from dinner, everyone can make a little more room for dessert. Keep it simple with a campfire favorite: s’mores. They are easy to make and sure to please all age groups. Your guests will have a lot of fun putting their desserts together.
As the host, you want to make sure the day is special for your family and friends, but don’t forget to have some fun yourself. Your guests will have a better time if they see that you are laughing and enjoying yourself, too.