How to throw the perfect all-American barbecue

The sun is out and the days are long. There’s no better time to luxuriate in the warmth of the outdoors and talk with friends over the grill. The best part? It's easy to have a wonderfully indulgent summer party provided you have the key elements in place.

1. Keep it coZy

If you’re inviting friends over for a spontaneous barbecue, make sure you make your backyard feel as inviting as your dining room. A textured table cloth with matching napkins will bring the look together. Some party string lights in the tree will surely set the right mood, and always remember to place the food close to the action. Keep it fun and intimate by putting the finishing touches on your dishes right at the table. A drizzle of oil or vinaigrette, fresh herbs or grated cheese and everyone will be ready to dig into those lovely barbecue dishes.

2. Prep the Grill Master station

It goes without saying that the grill master is the backbone of any summer garden party. Be sure the grilling area is fully prepped with whatever they may need, like vinaigrettes and barbecue sauce to drizzle over the meats and vegetables so they can focus on making every morsel delicious while chatting with guests about the perfect way to cook a steak.

3. Take an inspired twist on the classic BARBECUE recipes

To make sure your spontaneous summer party is one to remember, add a few twists to the classic barbecue recipes to keep the party inspired, conversation going and plates filled. Small additions such as swapping corn for asparagus or fennel on the grill or melting Castello Burger Blue sliced cheese atop a steak or burger make all the difference, and take no time at all! Place fresh herbs on the table and allow your guests to pick and choose and play around with different flavors as you serve the freshly grilled delights.

4. Dips, dips and more dips!

Barbecues are all about the dips and sauces. Ketchup, mayo, honey djion and yellow mustard are the staples. Add pickles, avocado, grilled red onions and jalapeños for an extra level of deliciousness.

5. Get the BARBECUE side dishes right.

Sides make the meal. From a simple corn on the cob topped with butter or cheese to a fresh Caesar salad, spiced baked beans, Mac and Burger Blue Cheese – whatever tickles your fancy, just make sure you have enough for everyone! Get inspired for your barbecue side dishes here

6. Out with the mixers, in with the bottles.

Keep the barbecue informal, and your hands free, by having ice- and blender-free drink options. Ginger beer, wine, juices, sparkling water, prosecco and beer should cover it. And of course, should cocktails be essential to your party, go for a large punch option that you can fill ahead of time and let guests help themselves. It’s also a great ice breaker to get the party started.

Are you ready to host a spontaneous garden party? No need to stress, we have a guide on what you’ll need packed away to relax when hosting right here