Us Kiwis love throwing a killer BBQ, it’s part of our DNA. But forget the days of standing around with a can of Double Brown in shorts too short waiting for sausages to sizzle—it’s time to embrace this Kiwi classic with a new age spin. Whether we are adopting autumn as the new best BBQ season or we’re just in denial about losing summer, it’s just one more reason to get friends together and have a great time.
Here are our top tips to help you create an awesome autumn BBQ.
Choose A Theme
While it’s not essential, if nailed correctly, a good theme can take your amazing barbecue to astonishing. Between dressing up, dressing the BBQ area and picking a meal theme, sticking with one idea is a fun way of collaborating with friends and just makes it more…fun!
The broader the theme the better—a letter or a colour is perfect for getting those creative juices flowing. That said, try and think about the night ahead, not so great for them if they’ve arrived with a comb, fro and flares in accordance and compliance with the Facebook invite that stated “Theme: Disco -70’s – No dress up, no entry”, only to discover you’re hitting the town afterwards.
Pick Up Produce From The Local Markets
We love the revival of local famer’s markets in Auckland with the aroma of fresh produce and the smiling faces of those who sell them. They are usually more cost effective in and there is also just something fun about getting up and out to the market place and scouring through all the different offerings. This item or that? It’s all part of the experience.
Markets place have a cool, lax atmosphere which is totally refreshing, especially if you spend any time in traffic during the week day. In fact, getting out to a farmer’s market can be just the escape you need and perfect pre-BBQ activity—especially when joined by your best bud or bae. For some wicked market place picks check out our favourite markets.
Dazzle Guests With Creative Cuisine
Just because it looks amazing doesn’t mean you were practising your Betty Crocker act all day in the kitchen. You were at the markets remember? Creative cuisine doesn’t mean complicated. Some of the best dishes say it all in the title, like barbecued mushrooms with feta and mesclun or barbecued asparagus with hazelnuts and mint. Feel free to use those. They’re simple but delicious, easy to prepare and on track with that diet that’s slipping out of sight as fast as winter as coming.
Make sure you have a selection of meat and vegetable dishes and don’t forget to make everyone bring something too. Not only does it get them involved and add some interest, it’s a no brainer to take some heat off the host (that would be you). The markets should be a good start otherwise for primo sausages Grey Lynn Butchers pull through time and time again or for great selections of a variety of cuts Gourmet Direct of Remuera doesn’t disappoint.
Considering you are already putting on a remarkable spread for your nearest and dearest, it is fair to ask your guests to bring their own beverages to drink; as a host however it is always nice to have something on hand for that friend who forgot, as well as for those thirstier chums.
Moa Cider is a definite BBQ buddy—there’s something about the crispiness about this beverage that makes it so sweet to chug down with a BBQ dinner. Extra for experts: design a cocktail menu and supply guests with cocktails throughout the affair. Grey Goose Vodka has a large assortment of cocktails on their website, all of which look a tasty accompaniment to a tasty meal.
Remember: It’s Not Summer
A deal breaker could be rain dampening your plans so remember that Girl Guide motto: be prepared. Try not to cancel the BBQ if it rains. Seriously, your friends have planned their weekends around your event. If you don’t have a garage or covered area to shelter the BBQ from the wet, cooking your BBQ goodies indoors won’t be the worst thing ever. Throw all of the couch squabs on the floor of the lounge, grab some blankets and tell stories in to the night… you could go as far as a board game but we’ll draw the line at fort-making.
Have a Lite + Blunt Umbrella on hand just in case it rains and don’t forget it can get chilly when the sun goes down, so making sure your guests don’t get cold is priority. Blankets or ponchos is cute. Whiskey will do the trick, too. Triple points if you have outdoor heaters or a fire pit.
Come One, Come All…
The more the actual merrier. Barbecues are chilled and positive, so why not get the whole squad around, including that Little Miss who has been grinding your gears lately. It’s a sweet late afternoon/early evening start to a night out, or an excuse to invite that guy or girl over who’s been on the radar for a little while now. And really, we all know that when we chuck a group of people together there will be great conversations that may or may not lead to some drama. And, who knows? Two of your mates may meet, fall in love and you’ll be thanked during their wedding speech. #lifegoals
Sweeten The Deal With A Dessert
So you’re nearly everyone’s BFF. The Autumn BBQ has been a hit and you can already hear your now ex-frenemy suggesting one at her place next week. But wait, there’s more. Smores? Marshmallows on sticks? Ice-cream? Tiramisu you prepared earlier? Whatever the dessert of choice, it settles dinner, sparks a little energy and can be used for the perfect wind down if it’s Sunday night and work starts 8am Monday. Bon Appétit.
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