Choosing Beverages for Your Party

When you are having a party, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration when you are trying to select beverages. What you offer to drink will be very different at Christmastime than in the summer, or if your party is late morning versus early evening. Where your party is located will also help you determine what to serve, as will the type of tone you want to set.

Something for everyone:
It is important when having a party to include everyone’s drink taste and to have something available for all likes and dislikes. This does not mean that you need to offer every beverage known to man or that you need to have a full bar available. However, you might want to have on hand a white wine, a red wine, beer and a couple of hard liquor options, or a mixed drink like pitchers of margaritas or martinis. Be sure to keep a variety of mixes on hand, as well as non-alcoholic options for those who don’t want to drink alcohol.

A formal affair:
If you are striving for a more formal tone, and are perhaps having a sit-down meal, then pre-dinner cocktails are in order. On the table you may have just a bottle or red wine and a bottle of white wine per each 4 guests. This gives your guests the choice. If you have help with serving, they may want to keep an eye on empty bottles and replace them as needed. Another great touch is an after dinner wine or a dessert wine. These wines can be enjoyed on their own or with a dessert, just be careful in matching the dessert wine to the dessert.

Something celebratory:
If you are celebrating a new job, an engagement, a wedding, a new baby, retirement or anything else, then your only choice is champagne or a sparkling wine. Many people find champagne too dry, therefore the sweeter sparkling wines make a great replacement and you still get the fun of the exploding cork. So lift your glass high and make a toast with some bubbly. It’s the perfect way to celebrate.

Fun in the Sun:
If your party is an outdoor one, like 4th of July or Cinco de Mayo, or even just an old-fashioned cookout, there are so many options for beverages. Having something for everyone is essential. Offering a pre-mixed fruity light drink will be a hit definitely. Mix up a batch of sangria with some red wine and fruit or a wine punch to dip into and you’ll have happy partygoers! Make sure you keep your summer party drinks cool for your guests and have lots on hand, especially if you are outside. Another consideration in hot weather is to make sure your guests avoid heat stroke, so keep lots of water on hand also to hand out, maybe alternating it with the alcoholic beverages.

All About Outdoor Cooking

The type of food cooked in the outdoors depends significantly on the purpose of the pursuit and the location of the outdoor cooking site. While someone at a public campground may be able to access a grocery store easily and be able to prepare a great many varied dishes, someone else on an extended trip deep in the backcountry may need to improvise a little more to cook up a meal or depend upon dried meats, vegetables, and starches such as ramen, polenta, and dried potato flakes. Those who savor the whole outdoor adventure would also look forward to making use of wild vegetables and fruits, not to mention fish and game.

Camping food needs to be very high in fat and carbohydrates to provide energy for the camping activities. Hikers very often carry bars of chocolate, energy bars, and even sports drinks. Another necessary part of every hiker’s or camper’s equipment is water purification chemicals.

The most traditional method of cooking at the campsite is by the campfire. Food can be roasted (who among us has not enjoyed the hot dogs and smores roasted on the campfire), baking, grilling (also an extremely popular technique at the campsite), frying, boiling, and steaming.

Another commonly used technique is the baking of food in envelopes of aluminum foil. Entire meals can be cooked in this manner by placing the foil packets on or under the hot coals. Tree leaves such as the banana can also be used. These are environmentally friendly and do not ignite as they contain enough oil to resist the heat from the flames. In addition, they can add a special flavor to the food which the foil cannot.

Long distance truckers, automotive trailers, and rally drivers have been known to have cooked on accessible sections of the vehicle engine. Another novel way of cooking is using volcanic lava to cook food wrapped in foliage.

While outdoor cooking undoubtedly brings its share of excitement, it is important to follow some safety precautions so that the experience remains fun and does not become dangerous. Primarily, keep the cooking site away from the sleeping area. When camping in the wild, keep food away in places where the animals cannot get them.

Remember that the outdoors can be greatest adventure ever and some of the best memories of your life will probably be those related to the marvelous outdoor experience. So enjoy the bond with Nature, but give her the respect she deserves!