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Hosting a barbeque can be as fun and relaxing as summer itself. Add some sophistication to your summertime celebration with these outdoor party ideas.
Regardless of where the cooking happens, there should be plenty of room for friends to hang out and relax. If you're a city-dweller without a sprawling lawn, head up to the rooftop or balcony and spread out a few beach blankets and folding chairs; consider it barbeque nouveau. Set a festive summer time mood with some laid-back music. If your guests are going to be out in the sun, be sure to have some sunscreen on hand.
Help your guests chill with a refreshing wine cocktail. "Winetails" are an elegant way to keep your guests cool and begin the festivities without bringing on drowsiness. Ecco Domani winetails like the Ecco Frutta, the Ecco Freddo, or the Domani Limonata are perfect combinations of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio and fresh fruits like watermelon, mango and peach.
Barbeques usually involve people coming and going throughout the day, so make sure there are plenty of snacks laid out before and after grilling for your guests to munch on. For a quick and easy party dip, homemade guacamole is an instant summer hit. Mash avocados with minced red onions, tomato, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste.
There is no better occasion to relinquish your cooking responsibilities than at a barbeque, which is informal by nature. Rule of thumb: you supply everything that goes on the grill, plus the accompanying buns, sauces, condiments, and an array of beverages. Then allow your friends to contribute the rest. Make a list before the party, since your friends will ask you what to bring. Your list can include salad, hummus, chips, dessert, etc. Your guests will be happy to help, and will enjoy contributing to a successful party.
Whether you're grilling beef, chicken, or fish, it's best to take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before cooking and let it rise to room temperature. When it's time to grill, remember that the meat will continue to cook after it is removed from the barbeque. Remove it from the heat, and give it at least five minutes before serving to let the juices redistribute themselves.
Depending on the kind of meat you're serving, you may want to tenderize it with a marinade. For beef, Ecco Domani Merlot is the perfect overnight tenderizer. Add some salt, white pepper, and another of your favorite spices, such as oregano or thyme. If ribs are more your style, try Chef Rodelio Aglibot's Hawaiian and Asian-inspired Sticky Baby Back Pork Ribs recipe for a modern approach to a barbeque classic.