There’s really nothing like spending the sunset of a warm Saturday afternoon by the grill, surrounded by friends, libation in hand. But too many summer parties end up populated with yellow bags of chips and cans of cheap domestic beer, the outdoor equivalent of a house party centered around a beer pong table in a dingy living room. You’re better than that. You’re better than yellow bags of chips.
Any successful soiree requires attention to detail, primarily in the realms of drink, décor, ambiance, and appetizers. So we’ve teamed up with Shutterfly to cover you every which way and ensure that your guests leave already clamoring for the next round.
The Right Gear
It’s the little things that do the job above and beyond, but the trick is to be efficient about them while making it look effortless to your guests. Shutterfly’s got a plethora of goblets and barware that can be personalized to match your theme, guest names or anything else. Our favorite is the pilsner glass designed to perfect your pour, but have a look at a few other options below.
The Right Grooves
We put together a new AirowsFM playlist stacked with soulful and summery cuts that’ll carry your gala from the golden hour to the last lingering guest. Check it out here.
The Right Grog
Maximize your window of social opportunity at your own shindig by preparing beforehand as much as possible. With regards to drinks, that means concocting a batch drink that’s simple and universally sippable. Our recommendation: the brandy-based Love-Drunk Punch, highlighted in Assouline's fantastic Vintage Cocktails recipe book, which receives extra marks for its not-too-sweet yet tropical flavor.
- 25 oz. Brandy de Jerez
- 25 oz. dry sherry
- 25 oz. Grade A Canadian maple syrup
- 15 oz. lime juice
- 10 dashes, angostura orange bitters
- 1 teaspoon, ground cloves
- Garnish of orange wheels studded with cloves
- Pour all ingredients except cloves in a punch bowl.
- Take one cup of punch and add ground cloves. Dry-shake vigorously in mixing tin and then add to punch bowl and stir.
- Garnish with orange wedges, add ice to bowl (style points for one huge ice cube).
The Right Grub
Lastly, the same rule for drinkery applies to food and we took a page (literally) out of the Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto cookbook. Turkey may not be what the meat-smoking masters are known for, but they do keep it simple and they do keep it delicious. Read on for the recipe.
- One 3-4 lb. skin-on, nonsolution turkey breast
- One cup of butter
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Seasoned firewood (ideally oak)
- ¼ cup pork ribs and turkey rub
- Start the fire.
- Trim the breast and apply the rub.
- Cook the turkey until golden, then wrap.
- Finish the cook by continuing to cook the turkey breast until internal temperature registers 160 F (~1 additional hour).
- Let rest and then serve.