Six Ways to Big Up Your Backyard BBQ Bash this Long Weekend

A long weekend is the only reason you need to gather friends and family for a backyard BBQ.

While it’s simple to throw some burgers – meat and veggie, naturally – on the bbq and call it a day (and there’s a time and place for that as well), there are added touches that could make your bash the one your guests remember.

Here’s how:

Have An Epic, Photo-worthy Charcuterie Board
Give your cheese and meat-loving friends a charcuterie board worth posting about. In addition to a cheese, complete your charcuterie board with a mix of summer sausage, original pepperettes, cantaloupe, pistachios, figs, grainy mustard, mini baguette crisps, seeded cranberry crisps, and basil pesto. For an extra pop of colour, add some fresh strawberries or raspberries – the more photo-worthy, the better, right?

Image: Schneiders

Impress the Kids with Homemade Popsicles
Especially if kids are part of the equation, homemade popsicles make a well-received addition to the post-dinner hangout. For an easy, healthy(ish), kid-friendly recipe, combine Greek yoghurt (two cups) with honey (two tablespoons), a cup of fruit, and a box of Smarties in a bowl.  Divide the mixture evenly among six plastic molds, then freeze the pops for 10 minutes. Next, insert plastic spoon or popsicle stick into centre of each pop. Place pops back in the freezer until frozen solid (and get ready to become a favourite aunt or uncle).

Get into the Games
The best gatherings are the ones that facilitate interaction – and perhaps a little friendly competition (made more fun when a little booze is added to the equation). That’s why lawn games – like washer toss, horseshoes, or croquet – are always a good idea. You can find these at big box stores like Walmart or Canadian Tire. If you’re on a budget, you can always buy a bag of balloons for a good, old-fashioned water balloon toss or fight.

Cap off the Meal with Iced Coffee
Instead of the typical post-dinner coffee or cappuccino, treat your guests to some quality iced coffee while it’s still warm enough to enjoy them. This can be done with regular coffee shaken over ice with sugar, or with an impressive Italian influence with things like Nespresso’s new Italian culture-inspired blends like Ispirazione Salentina and the Ispirazione Shakerato. Try adding cane sugar syrup (one teaspoon) and almond milk (two tablespoons).

Light Up the Sky with Sparklers
While fireworks may be a tad ambitious now that Victoria Day and Canada Day have passed, sparklers are always quick crowd pleasers once the sun goes down – for kids and adults alike. Just remember that the drunkest guy or girl at the party probably should sit this one out or be heavily monitored.

At the end of the day, the people make the party, so choose your party guests wisely.