Outdoor entertaining tips: I absolutely love having parties on our patio in the summer. It's a great way to have some good food and drink while keeping it casual. Here are a few tips that might help you make your next outdoor event a success.
- Always have a backup indoor plan, you never know what Mother nature will bring.
- Set up food "buffet style", that way you can spend more time with your guests, and more of the food can be prepared ahead of time.
- If you are having a really big group, feel free to ask some of your friends to bring a side dish.
- Have the beverages be "help yourself". This will keep you free to concentrate on the food.
- Keep the food and the beverages in separate areas. This will prevent any traffic jams once dinner is served.
- Make sure not to let the food sit out too long. With the heat of the summer it can go downhill pretty fast.
Beverage choices: Whether you're entertaining indoors or out, it's always nice to have a good selection of beverages for your guests. Jane and I always go with a selection of wines, beer and non-alcoholic drinks. Sometimes we will also have a specialty cocktail if the menu calls for it. For instance if we are having some southwestern flavors we might go with mojitos. Here are some suggestions of beverages that will go with some types of foods.
- If you are having seafood or lighter fare you might want a white wine that is light and crisp such as Sauvignon blanc, Albarino or a Torrentes. If steaks are on the menu, a Cabernet sauvignon is most likely in order. If that's too big of a red for you then a Cotes du Rhone will be a little lighter. When doing the traditional burgers and sausage with all the trimmings any of your favorite style of beer is always a hit.
- If you are just having some light appetizers and drinks, I always like a nice sparkling wine. Be careful though as some sparkling whites can be very sweet which won't be complimentary to the food. Try a Spanish Cava or an Italian Prosecco.
- Anyway you do it as long as you have good friends, good food, good drink and hopefully good weather, your outdoor party will be a hit.