Hi Pizzazzerie party friends! Meredith from The Party Press here! While Courtney is saying “I Do’s”, I’m sharing with you a few ideas on how you can say “I Do” to a grill-out with a gourmet twist! I was recently asked to design a cookout-themed party as a “thank you” for the Downtown South Bend (a.k.a, DTSB) Board of Directors, and while the heat may have been on broil, the refreshing cocktails and cool color tones brought a nice breeze to the scene. The goal was to give the guests a traditional cookout with an upscale flare and it was so much fun to assemble. With the mini Weber grills and barbecue tools fanned out of a wicker urn, we tied grill-related items into the decor to mix some “casual tradition” in with the “gourmet.”
The menu was a ball to coordinate, as well. I worked with Carrie of Chic Eats Catering to put a gourmet spin on some classic barbecue favorites. Food items included Petite Peppered Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches with Balsamic Onions & Blue Cheese Horseradish Spread, Tangy Pulled Chicken BBQ, Mini 4 Cheese Mac-n-Cheese, Roasted Asparagus Potato Salad and Asian Crunch Cole Slaw. Delicious! Dessert items included mini strawberry shortcake parfaits, mini oreo cheesecakes and chocolate truffle pops! Drink items included Orange-Infused Water, Iced Tea, an assortment of beers, wine and an easy-to-make Orange Citron Cocktail.
Orange Citron Cocktail
(inspiration from delish.com)
2 oz. Absolut Citron Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
Splash of Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz. Orange Juice
The paper products were another element that took top priority. It was important to me that they coordinate seamlessly with the color scheme and overall feel, hence the twine, kraft backing and aqua/orange color palette. We started with the invitation which was being hand-delivered, so we took beer bottles and designed a 3.5″ square invite to tie around the bottle neck. The coordinating pieces fell into place with the food tent cards, mason jar tags, favor tops and banner hanging above the food table – all assembled with twine!
Overall, one of my favorite elements of the entire party were the cute favors! We wanted to send guests home with something grill-related, something local and something from Downtown South Bend. After tossing around barbecue sauce and marinade ideas, it clicked. Aaron, the host, was able to get a downtown, high-end Grill to concoct a dry rub especially for the party guests and we bottled it up with a recipe tag that said “Spice up your next cookout on us!” For your next cookout, try this recipe to give your goods a kick:
LaSalle Grill Dry Rub
1 part Onion Powder
2 parts Paprika
1 part Garlic Powder
1 part Dried Oregano
1 part Cayenne Pepper (powdered)
I hope your next Cocktail Cookout has some spice to it and that you’re able to use a few of these gourmet tips to fire up your grill and wow your guests!