How's summertime treating you? There's still one more month of summer break for most people. Is it flying by too fast?
School’s still out. Fun’s so IN.
Sand. Sun. Chill. Relax.
Pool parties. Backyard BBQ’s. Labor Day weekend.
Pinot Grigio. Chardonnay. Rosé. Yes, way! All. Day.
Grillin’ and Chillin’
Sun’s out, outdoor temps are running high, and grilling outdoors is definitely the way to go when hosting the summer party at your place. Keep the heat outside of the kitchen, and don’t miss a minute of the conversation… or the juiciest summer gossip.
What’s on your grill this summer?
Are you more of a hot dog and hamburger kinda BBQ’er? Or do you tend more toward steaks and seafood? Perhaps you’re more inclined to sear traditional bar-b-que chicken… or you’re more of the veggie-loving type?
Are you most interested in making the best price performing menu, keeping food costs lower so you can splurge on drinks? (No shame in that!) Or, do you aim to impress with your culinary expertise, rockin’ out amazing chimichurri churascos, garlic prawns, chicken shwarma, and the like?
No matter what you’re cookin’ up at your summer parties, there are three main things to consider…
#1: Are you having a good time?
Are you able to connect with your guests, and remain calm, cool, and collected? Are you able to talk with your guests, and enjoy their company?
If you find yourself rushing around, sweating the details, worrying about burning the meat and getting grumpy with your guests, you might want to re-think your menu and style.
Potlucks are still in… consider that as the way to go if you’re not diggin' the cooking + hosting combination.
Cheese and wine is always a crowd pleaser. Spruce it up with crudites and dips, a charcuterie array, maybe some fancy olives and nuts?
If you are loving the role of the host, truly grillin’ and actually chillin,’ good for you! Just make sure that someone’s watching the kids swimming in the pool, and that someone’s on duty to consistently refill your shatterproof wine tumbler.
Keep it up, grill master!
#2: What’s quenching your thirst?
Are the drinks in the cooler well paired with the food you are serving? Summer parties call for refreshing wines, frosty local brews, and creative fruit infused cocktails and mocktails.
Looking for awesome summer wines to cool you down in the heat? Wine Enthusiast offers a great list of suggestions for wines under $20. It's always a good idea to offer a mix of wines, including some summer-friendly reds, but chances are, the white and rosé varieties will be more of a hit at afternoon and early evening summer parties. Here are five fun, summer reds from Italy that you might want to know about, especially if the fun's going on after the sun goes down.
As far as beers go, try a summer IPA, a fruited lager, sour beer or tropical-influenced saison to beat the summer sun. Check out this list from Thrillist for some fresh, inspired finds that are sure to jazz up your beer cooler at the party.
Three easy-for-entertaining summer cocktails that you can batch up and serve quick and easy are:
Huckleberry Margarita: 2 tablespoons fresh huckleberries or mulberries, muddled | 2 ounces tequila | 1 ounce grand marnier | 1 oz simple syrup | 1 ounce lime juice | a pinch of lime zest | ice | sea salt for the rim | lime wedge garnish
Mezcal Mule: 2 ounces mezcal | 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice | 4 ounces ginger beer or ginger ale | ice | mint sprig garnish
The Close Shave (from Esquire Food and Drinking): 1 ounce vodka | 1.5 ounces elderflower liquor (St Germain) | splash of proseco | fresh herb garnish
Don’t forget the kids. They get thirsty too! Consider jazzing up your lemonade with some fresh berries or watermelon, or making a refreshing tropical fruit virgin spritzer.
#3: What is the big-picture impact of your summer party?
No need to be Debbie-downer here, but these days… we can’t for one minute take for granted the importance of being conscientious about our choices and how they impact the planet. It is possible to have fun and relax while being smart, thoughtful, eco-conscious human beings at the same time. We can have more fun, celebrating summer AND ourselves, knowing that we are doing our best to protect the future of our planet.
Offering HaloVino re-usable wine tumblers is just one way you can be eco-conscious at your parties, and everyone’s parties, for that matter! But, it's only one piece to the puzzle.
What is actually going on the grill and what your food and drink is being served on and in are as important as anything when planning and hosting your party.
Read more about how you can take your party next-level in terms of being cool, conscious, and eco-friendly in this article. Don't be a "trashy" host!