It seems to me that the days of entertaining may just be back!
I wasn’t around in the 1950s – but from television and movies, boy did they know how to entertain! A party for that era was a social event! The women had long dresses and fancy hairdo’s, then men looked dashing in their suits. But it wasn’t just that, the drinks were made for sharing, to be enjoyed. And they were so fancy!
Fast-forward to 2015. Everyone is so busy all the time. But when I was challenged by Not Quite Nigella to make the perfect welcome drink as part of the #madeinhouse series I thought – why not use the opportunity to have a barbeque with my friends and family and put my welcome drink making skills to the test!
Here are my best tips for a terrific event:
Many couples have children, and night time is not always a good time. The perfect time for a barbecue is the mid-afternoon. People have eaten lunch already, and you can start with nibbles that people will enjoy, rather than nibbles people will just inhale to fill the gap!
Because everyone is busy these days, if you make the time convenient, you will get the best attendance rate!
On the Menu: Keeping it casual and fun is the key! Buy ingredients that are easy to put together at home.
First things first – serve a welcome drink!
To set the tone of your barbecue, think about the types of glasses you serve, and keep the drinks simple and delicious. My personal favourite is the ‘Summer Stormy’ – which is a quaint variation of the ‘Dark & Stormy.’
For this recipe I used Mason Jars with a little twine wrapped around the lid and tied in a bow (super cute!). I also cut up some fresh lemons, limes and oranges and quarter filled the glasses with the fruit. For something a bit spesh, I added a stalk of rhubarb – it made for a terrific ‘stirring stick’ — and looked adorable.
Here is my recipe for a refreshing Summer Stormy: (1 standard drink)
- 30ml Bundaberg Rum Small Batch
- 1/4 cup various citrus fruit
- Ginger Beer
- Lots of Ice
Add all ingredients into the mason jars, stir well with the rhubarb and enjoy!
It is good to prepare a tray of welcome drinks to give out just as your guests arrive. Don’t forget to also have access to either a water fountain or prepare some flavoured water for the non-drinkers. View the full recipe.
Suggestions for nibbles for a casual event include:
- Mini Quiches – you can make them in advance and freeze them!
- Caprese Bites. Grab a toothpick and skewer one cherry tomato, one basil leaf, and one small bite of bocconcini cheese. Simple, delicious and refreshing!
- Fruit Platter – not only is it healthy, good for the kids. In the hot weather particularly, grab watermelon, pineapple and strawberries! Add a small bowl of fruit yoghurt as a dipping sauce.
- Mini Toasts with Pesto – You can buy pre-made packets of flavoured mini-toasts or bagel crisps now. Spread with some freshly made pesto – or serve in a bowl and let your guest help themselves.
Side Salads for Mains:
- Coleslaw – buy it or make it at home (it is surprisingly easy) – everyone loves it!
- Simple garden or Greek salad.
- Boil up some small potatoes, add some salt and pepper and a little butter and serve hot in a bowl topped with parsley.
As this is a barbecue – you need food that is easy to prepare!
- Barbecue Pork Ribs – you can eat them with your hands!
- Organic Pork Sausages – sausages aren’t just for kids when you buy good quality organic style.
- Corn Cobs done on the barbecue with a little bit of chili oil – just delicious!
I now challenge my friend, Mrs Woog of Woog’s World, to show me her best welcome drink.
I want to see your best welcome drink suggestions! Whether you’re throwing a party for having a casual get together with friends, what’s your secret weapon when it comes to the welcome drink? Upload your welcome drinks using #madeinhouse on social media for us all to enjoy!