How to Host the Perfect Barbecue in the Time of Covid
As we leap into September, we begin to leave the dog days of summer behind us. This means more barbecues, colder cocktails and less sweating!
Now, socially-distanced barbecues might be the awkward new norm in this time of Covid, but if you’ve gotten this far, you can manage this! Barbecuing for a small group is an art, and the best part is there’s less to clean up!
Invite a few of your closest friends over and show off your grilling, mixing and hosting skills!
Quick Cleanup Before the Barbecue
One of the great things about having an outdoor gathering is that you don’t have to deep clean the inside of your home. There are a few key areas to hit like the entryway, bathroom and kitchen but besides that you can just keep the lights dimmed and the doors shut!
Be sure to clean the bathroom and kitchen with a disinfectant spray. If you’re feeling crafty, DIY a spray with just four ingredients. Check out this simple how-to from 40 Aprons. Once you have finished cleaning, apply a hand & cuticle oil to help replenish softness to your skin and nails. Cleaning supplies, even DIY cleaners, can be harsh on your skin. They typically cause dryness which can lead to further irritation. This Thai Essence hand and cuticle oil from Nail Magics super easy to use and will provide an instant feeling of relief.
A Menu For Everyone
There are a few guidelines to stick to in the era of socially-distanced get-togethers. Keep the food simple and portioned for individuals. It’s important to minimize the risk of people touching each other’s food. Avoiding items like dips and large bowls of snacks is a must.
With that being said, let’s talk about food!
Here are a few ideas for grilling up some very tasty appetizers.
Keep it simple.
- Skewers - You can put all kinds of skewers on the grill for a simple, yet delicious snack! If you’ve been gardening all summer long you may even have some vegetables that you can add to the skewers. Veggies like zucchini, squash, tomatoes and onion make great filler items on steak, chicken or shrimp skewers.
- Grilled Pineapple - Slice a fresh pineapple into rings and place them on the grill, 5-6 minutes per side. When they’re done, cut them into bite size pieces, sprinkle the slices with cilantro and add a barbecue drizzle. Pierce them with toothpicks and voila, you have an easy, delicious snack!
- Stuffed Mushrooms - This is a great snack that is ready to go for individuals so you don’t have to do any additional work. Check out this easy recipe from The Kitchn.
If you’re providing a main course for your guests, here are a few options that are simple and yet Covid-era-friendly:
- Grilled Drumsticks - Perfectly portioned for individuals, drumsticks are so simple to grill. Mix together a little salt, pepper, garlic and throw in some chipotle for spice. Rub olive oil onto 1.5 lbs of drumsticks then coat with your seasoning mixture. Grill for about 30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes or so. Here is a temperature guide you can refer to from Grill Insider.
- Gourmet Burgers - Everyone loves a good burger, right? Put a twist on a classic entree with these gourmet recipes that people will love.
- Grilled Salmon - This simple entree is light and pairs nicely with green summer vegetables. Dill, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic are just some of the seasonings that you can use to flavor your filet. Add a squeeze of lemon and you’ll have the perfect summer barbecue entree.
Time to Mix Things Up
Yes, we’re talking about mixing up some refreshing cocktails! Create a small menu with a handful of signature barbecue-inspired drinks to serve up to your guests.
- Palomas - Tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda make this super simple cocktail a barbecue must-have. Its refreshing kick complements grilled meats and fruits perfectly.
- Sweet Tea Bourbons - Right in the name, you know this is a signature barbecue beverage. Plus, it’s as simple as it sounds. All you need is bourbon, sweet tea and lemon liqueur
- Moscow Mules - A mule is a super popular drink and by offering it you can’t go wrong. All you need is vodka, ginger beer and lime! This is a refreshing drink that pairs well with many entrees on the grill.
Every barbecue calls for a few activities to keep people entertained while the food is cooking. Here are a few ideas that are both fun and allow people to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Corn Hole
- Bocce Ball
- Ladder Ball (shall we create a link for this as some might not know what this is?
Keep in mind that you may also want to disinfect equipment between rounds. Set up a hand sanitizing station for your guests and go the extra mile with the Thai Essence Hand and Cuticle Oil. This hand and cuticle oil will help alleviate dryness from hand washing and sanitizer use.
Gift Bags & Thank Yous
In a time of so much change, throw it back to the “good old days” when gift bags were handed out at the door as guests departed. Spending quality time with even a handful of friends this summer has been tough. That’s why a unique, lasting “thank you for coming” memento will make such a heartfelt difference.
So, what should you put in your gift bag?
Send the ladies home with a self-pampering gift set! Items like nail strengtheners and cuticle oils make great gifts this time of year. After a long hot summer, our skin, nails and cuticles could use a beneficial reset with moisture and strength. The Strong Botanical Strengthener supports strong, healthy nails in just a few applications. This is such an important product now that people - women and men - that are constantly washing their hands, cleaning their house and more. Add a cuticle oil, or even better, a hand and cuticle oil. Top off the gift bag with a trendy new polish!
Toss in a few items for the guys, too.
- Whiskey stones or glasses - these make awesome little gifts for guys that enjoy a whiskey neat or on the rocks in their down time.
- Manly scented candles - seriously, it’s a thing. There’s a huge array of “manly” scented candles that are becoming quite the trend.
- Nail strengthener - men suffer from cracked, peeling nails too. A nail strengthener is a great gift that can help repair their nails after the long summer. Check out this Botanical Nail Strengthener here.
At the end of the day, these last days of summer offer an incredible opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. Keep safety top of mind, provide a good menu and let the conversations flow!