I know your summer calendar is filling up with activities, and the most frequent offender is the BBQ. It may be a summer cliche, but doesn’t something about longer days, warmer evenings, and sunshine all week-long just inspire you to invite all your friends, neighbors, and family over for some chillin’ and grilin’? But with BBQs left and right, how can you make your night stand out in a crowd of hum-drum evenings? After the jump, five tips for making your BBQ the best on the block.
- Hire babysitters at a nearby house. The summer BBQ is a great opportunity for kids and adults to socialize together. But why not ditch the kids for a few hours and designate your event as “adults only.” Instead of asking parents to find their own childcare, hire teenagers to sit at a neighborhood house and watch the kids while the parents party down.
- Ditch the traditional BBQ fare. Hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob are so last season. Grill steak and veggie kabobs, serve up chicken chili with cheese and sour cream, or give the guests chili dogs and Portobello mushroom burgers. Because your BBQ is cool like that.
- Dress it up. The traditional BBQ is a casual, dressed-down affair, sometimes including leis or the infamous Hawaiian shirt. Add some glitz and glamour to yours by asking guests to dress up for the occasion. Go black tie, or better yet, all white! Live dangerously!
- Delegate. When people offer to help, let them. You’ll get better side dishes if you ask guests to each bring one. Be specific when asking for people to bring food—there’s nothing more depressing than piling your plate high with three different varieties of pasta salad.
- Stock the bar. Beer and sangria are BBQ staples. Set your BBQ apart by offering full bar service, complete with mixed drinks, wine or even a shot that goes with the night’s theme or meal. Make a statement by hiring a bartender or waiter for your BBQ! Trust me, no one will forget that … but make sure they don’t have so many drinks that they can’t remember.