How do you normally celebrate Memorial Day? If grilling, pool time and sipping on summer ale isn’t somewhere in your description, you might be doing it wrong. Whether you go big for Memorial Day weekend or it’s just another summer day to you, these are versatile essentials you could use for entertaining any summer gathering.
Memorial Day Must-Haves:
1. Hammock – Relaaaaaaaax. Rig up this hammock between two trees, a tree and a building, whatever you’ve got around you, and take a moment to enjoy the rare breeze you catch while swinging in the hot summer air. This durable, two person hammock will become your favorite place to take a break from grilling, drinking and mingling this holiday weekend.
2. BBQ Sauce – Let’s not leave any room to question here, Memorial Day is mostly (if not all) about the BBQ. You may have your own top-notch recipe, but why not try something new? This smoky bourbon black pepper sauce is a feast of flavor for any protein. A little smoky, a little sweet and even a little spicy, this sauce covers all the bases, so go ahead and slather your BBQ in it, unapologetically.
3. Party Tub – Instead of having friends and guests reach into that dirty cooler you’ve used on every outdoor trip since childhood, display your summer drinks proudly with a beverage tub! Casual in its functionality, but elevated in its presentation, this hand-hammered, aluminum tub won’t rust, keeps drinks chilled and its handles make carrying from kitchen to yard a breeze.
4. Summer Craft Beer – To fill that beverage tub you’ll need the perfect summer ale – Deschutes Twilight is a crisp, refreshing, golden ale that pairs perfectly with fun in the sun.
5. Summer Cookbook – Hone your BBQ talents this Memorial Day with a little help from Master of the Grill, a cookbook that encapsulates the essence of summer food and how to perfectly execute it. Become the king of the grill with expert tips on getting tender, full-flavor BBQ every time, as well as how to use tools like a pro and the pros and cons of different grilling techniques.
6. LED Grill Light – The good times probably won’t stop when the sun goes down. Keep the festivities going into the night and get the most out of your holiday weekend with an LED grill light. Forget using your phone screen as a light with one hand and flipping those last few burgers with the other, just clamp this nifty tool to your grill hood and remember, the night’s not over.
7. Smoker – This is the key to really reveling in your Memorial Day barbecuing prowess – smoke the meat! Get maximum flavor and that restaurant quality taste with seriously little to no hassle with a smoker on hand. Think of it like the slow cooker you never had, only this one imbues your food with all the smoky goodness of a proper BBQ outing. When you taste it you won’t believe you did it yourself.
8. Himalayan Salt Block – Okay, we searched for something a little more… unique, to serve your Memorial Day apps on. We’re thinking this salt block, which pulls double duty as a serving tray, should be just the right touch to elevate your summer bash. Perk: anything it touches is enhanced in flavor.
9. Fire Pit – The sun sets, bellies are full and the night cools down, it’s a great idea to cap your celebrations off with a bonfire. Whether on the beach or in the yard, a fire pit is that essential something to bring friends and guest together all cozied up with your bottles of Twilight ale, around a crackling fire. Protected by an enclosed spark screen, of course.
10. Outdoor Dining Set – The piece de resistance to your Memorial Day entertaining – the extra-long table. Watch all your guests gather around a wood-crafted table with folksy dining benches for a photograph-worthy celebration of all things summer. It’s functional, but adds a lot of charm to the otherwise ordinary ritual of grilling and drinking in the yard.
And Now…Our Grilled Drink Recipe!
Grilled Peach Old Fashioned
Since we’re already in the spirit of grilling, let’s include our drink in on the fun. A modern, summer twist on a classic cocktail is introducing grilled fruit. In this cocktail recipe (courtesy of Martha Stewart) we grill our favorite summer fruit, peaches, and instantly amp up an already fantastic drink.
What you’ll need:
2 ripe yellow peaches
2 tablespoons sugar
6 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
4 dashes of bitters
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 ounces bourbon
1. Quarter peaches and grill until charred.
2. Muddle sugar, thyme, bitters, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.
3. Add bourbon, and divide among 4 ice-filled glasses.
4. Garnish with peach section and thyme sprigs.
It’s that easy. It just takes a few items, and a great cocktail, to perk up what should already be a great Memorial Day weekend.
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