How to Host the Best Backyard BBQ

By  May 15, 2014

There’s nothing better than a festive backyard barbecue party to kick off the summer season. Invite your friends over for a laid-back evening filled with easy-to-eat (and prepare!) snacks and delicious cocktails. The best part about these events is that they can be chic and totally family-friendly at the same time—just follow these tips!

1. 

Set a Festive Atmosphere With Delicious Décor

It goes without saying that grilling parties are all about the food, but don’t forget to create a festive party atmosphere that’s equally delicious. Use your theme as inspiration for creative centerpieces: Think DIY mini charcoal grills that pack a major cute factor. To make them, simply fill colorful melamine bowls with charcoal and orange sprinkles to act as the “embers,” then hot-glue black-painted bamboo skewers across the top to create the look of a charcoal grill. Give your mini grills a sleek, modern stand by painting acrylic shot glasses or tea-light holders silver and flipping them upside down to act as a base. Check out a detailed tutorial of this project and a matching Charcoal Grill Place Card Holder project at blog.hwtm.com.

 
2. 

Set Up a “Make Your Own Hot Dog” Bar

Treat your guests to a tasty menu featuring grilled corn, colorful veggies, and cut fruit. For the main course, set up a build-it-yourself hot dog station filled with a variety of fresh toppings like salsa, meatless chili, coleslaw, sliced tomatoes, and diced onions. This will enable your guests to fix things up just as they like them, and it means a little less work (and more mixing and mingling time) for you.

 

3. 

Cool Off With a Creative Cocktail

What’s the secret ingredient to a refreshing, perfect-for-summer cocktail that’s easy and delicious? Popsicles! I love strawberry and tangerine fruit bars, but you can really use any flavor you like. Just make sure to choose ice pops made with real fruit for the freshest taste.

To create a light spritzer, combine equal parts champagne and ginger ale in a glass. For a fruitier cocktail, go with 3 parts ginger ale plus 1 part white rum or vodka. Add the popsicles to both versions right before serving. They’ll dissolve into the drinks as guests enjoy them. To make a “mocktail” version for little ones, simply leave out the alcohol and dip the pops into ginger ale or sparkling fruit soda.

 
4. 

Customize Your Condiments

Kick basic condiment bottles up a notch by replacing the labels with some grilling-themed printable party circles from Hostess With the Mostess. These also work great as gift tags for take-home favor jars filled with homemade barbecue sauce. Click here to download the party circles and other coordinating printables, including colorful signs for your hot dog station, featuring themed phrases like “Come and Get Your Grill On.”

 
5. 

Serve Up Some Grill-Inspired Treats

For a sweet finish, dress up chocolate cupcakes with crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows to give them “s’more” appeal. For the finishing touch, add some fiery “GIMME” and “S’MORE” cupcake toppers, which can be downloaded for free at hwtm.com. Another fun way to play up your theme in the treats: miniature charcoal grill cake pops. Kris from kCreative Cake Pops whipped ours up in perfect detail. Party guests are sure to go crazy over these little treats, which would also make for a great take-home party favor!