Most people focus on the meat when it comes time to throw a barbecue, with the sides being the second part of the planning. But if you’re standing out on the deck or in the backyard on a hot summer day, you and your guests are going to get thirsty. So, what should you serve along with your tasty, smoky meal? Well, the truth is, almost anything!
Beer and summer just seem to go together, especially at a barbecue. But there are so many brands and flavors to choose from. That’s why it’s best to have a variety of beer options for your guests. Head to your local beer store and pick up the standard favorites. Then add a few of the imports into the mix. This will help please every palate in your group. You’ll be lucky if you have any left at the end of the day.
Expensive, 100-year old wines won’t be savored the way they are meant to at an outdoor barbecue. Instead, grab a sparkling white wine with some bubbles to please those wine drinkers in the group. A rose wine is also a good option. Bottle or box, it won’t go to waste. But keep the alcohol level low, especially if your barbecue lasts into the evening.
Barbecues originated in the southern states of America, so it only makes sense to add a southern spirit to the list. Bourbon has a woody flavor, thanks to the oak barrels it is aged in, so it matches perfectly to the smoky flavor of your meat. Choose your favorite brand and serve it neat or on ice, depending on your guest’s preferences.
Whiskey, vodka, and rum are the most popular spirits around. But you can also add scotch, gin, tequila, or anything else you and your guests like to partake in. Have a selection of mixes, like juice or soda, to go with them. And keep an eye on your guests. Too much of these and they could be sleeping before the meal is served.
There is nothing better than an icy drink on a hot day, especially one that can be made in batches. Blender drinks like Pina Coladas, Daiquiris, and Margaritas are a great choice. Even adding some Bailey’s Irish Cream to a blender full of ice is refreshing, though the pure alcohol will catch up to you if you have too many.
A nice, fruity punch is a must, especially when you can make a large batch of it at once to refresh your guests throughout the day. Best of all, you can either make this a grown-up version with some alcohol in it, or you can leave it alone so the kids can enjoy it as well, leaving the spirits on the side for those who want to add a shot to their cups.
There are always a few members of the group that don’t or can’t drink alcohol, like designated drivers, pregnant women, or children. For these barbecue guests, set out a selection of non-alcoholic beverages. This could include soda, lemonade, punch, or even plain old ice water to keep them hydrated throughout the day.
Something else to consider is ice. Most of the drinks above will need it, so be sure you have as many bags as you can stock on hand.