When we reach June we can safely say that the true Summer has actually arrived. After a glorious Spring where the weather was stunning but we had to keep isolated socially, we are now in a position when we can meet up with some friends and families in our new social bubbles as long as we stay outdoors, and this makes fine weather all the more important. Although June has been a bit of a washout so far, parts of next week, and particularly next weekend, are looking so much better. They are looking like barbecue weather, to be exact.
But what makes the perfect barbecue, and are there any things you can do to make it even better. Here are some of my tips to improve that Summer barbecue.
Choose your food and drink carefully
The right food and drinks make your barbecue go off with a bang. Normal lager and beer in cans just does not cut it, you want to aim for a good range of craft beers that will truly compliment your food choices. Melvin Beer has a brilliant range of crafted beers that have been dry hopped for longer than most to give them their distinctive flavour. Their range includes 2×4 Double IPA, Melvin IPA India pale ale, Heyzeus Mexican style lager and Killer Bees American Blonde Ale. Their distinctive can designs are a real talking point and are totally Instagram worthy, and what is inside them tastes the business – definitely worth a look.
The other drink I would suggest is some kind of cocktail. Maybe go down an old route and opt for some sort of frozen Margherita or a Pina Colada, or you can invest in a cocktail making book and try to make a variety of different drinks.
For me, the best barbecue food is all about the freshest products that you can get from a local farm shop. Avoid the big supermarkets and shop locally and independent. We are lucky enough to be able to get award winning produce from our local farm in Essington, they stock a great selection of sausages, steaks and chicken, as well as fresh bread baked daily in their bakery and a range of salad that is also produced on the site.
The local farm shop will also have other items that can be added to your feast if you are planning some sort of buffet. I am thinking of quiche, potato salads, fresh coleslaws and cured meats. These will give your food options an extra edge.
With the weather so changeable, adding a gazebo to your outdoor space is the best way to make sure you don’t have to abandon your barbecue part way through. You can pick these up in a range of sizes from your local garden centre (all open now) and are another great way to shop local and support stores that are reopening now.
With people having no opportunity to dress up recently, why not have a theme for your barbecue? This week would traditionally see Royal Ascot, so you could have a ladies day themed party, complete with hats, a cheeky online bet and the races watched online. This could be great fun and give everyone the opportunity to get really dressed up, even if they are just going to be in the garden!