Whether you’re grilling for two or inviting a ton of friends over for a neighborhood party, this guide will help you plan a sizzling cookout your guests will love! Remember, celebrate responsibly.
When you’re getting the menu together, consider more than just the shopping list—think about your cooking or grilling resources too. If you’ve got a big crowd and a not-so-big grill, prepare some foods that can be cooked inside on your range top or in your oven. When your guests RSVP, find out about any diet restrictions. It’s super easy to grill up some fresh, seasonal veggies for vegetarian guests. And gluten-free bread from the oven is easy to get, prepare and serve.
extra Grilling Tips:
Once you have the menu and the guest list, make a shopping list. This is one trip to the store you don’t want to ad lib, and when your party starts you’ll have enough to do without crazy emergency store runs.
Check your grill’s fuel. You’ll probably find charcoal or propane at the same store as your food. Accessories like matches or charcoal starter fluid should be on your list.
Prepare early! Lay out all your meats and vegetables on separate trays (to avoid cross contamination) for easy transfer right to the grill.
Grilling with Spirit(s):
Chefs are now using gin, whisky, vodka and other spirits in everything from braised meats to barbecue and pasta sauces. You can do the same! The internet has lots of quick, easy and delicious recipes that will really wow you and your guests. Here are some of Henrik’s tips to “spirit up” recipes in a way that adds flair, flavor, and fun!
You’ve got your guest list set, your food secured and your grill loaded with fuel…nearly everything’s done. Now’s a good time to look after the table and bar. For your bar, our celebration specialists at Colonial are ready to help with all your beverage pairing and selection needs.
Along with cookout mainstays wine and beer, create a custom cocktail that can be made ahead in batches. Have a look at this Celebrate More Video to see just how easy, beautiful, and delicious it is to make a signature drink!
With just a few simple touches, you can really set a welcoming, cozy mood for your guests. For example, you can use some of the vegetables and fruits you’re grilling to make table centerpieces, bouquets and accents.
We’ve got even more fun tips for hosting a Summer Cocktail Party: Backyard Bash!
In this Party Guide you’ll find Patio Picks from our wine and beer departments, a list of plants that repel mosquitoes and other bugs naturally, and more delicious cocktail recipes.
Of course, you can always stop by Colonial to ask one of our Celebration Specialists to help you plan your next outdoor event.
Get to Grilling
Just about everything else is left up to the skill of the Grill Master—you. Many grills let you set different temperature zones at various areas of the grill. Using a little planning, you can do the same thing with a more basic grill. Pro tip: start with thicker cuts of meat first and end with the most delicate ones, like fish or shrimp.
While the Grill Master is at work, a companion or volunteer can set out the salads or side dishes, make sure everyone has their desired beverage, and do other last minute prep for the feast.
Here’s where sizzle meets steak (and other main courses): put your grilled masterpieces on platters and place them on the middle of the table, family style. It’s an informal and inviting touch that compliments the laid-back vibe of your gathering. All that’s left is to toast the Grill Master, and dig in!