As the summer begins to really heat up, why not also heat up the barbecue too! Sitting in the sunshine, surrounded by friends with a drink in hand is my idea of heaven. Last weekend the girls from university came over for a fun-filled weekend and we had a BBQ in the afternoon. BBQ’S however do take a little time to plan, simply because there are so many parts to a BBQ; meat, salads, decoration, lighting, and of course the drink.
As you know already I love the Scandinavian way of life, whether it’s hygge or lagom. And with Midsummer’s Day creeping up on Saturday 24th June I thought there was no better time to talk to you about how to hold the perfect BBQ.
Given Scandinavia’s long, dark winters, it’s not surprising that the arrival of summer is a big deal throughout the Nordic countries. In Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve is one of the most important days of the year, rivaling Christmas with its festive spirit and traditions all across the country. The celebration involves families dancing around a maypole and flowers and greenery is placed over houses and barns, supposedly to bring good fortune and health to people.
Obviously my theme was Midsummer’s Day so I ensured we had lots of fairy lights hung above the decking, that we had a beautiful table runner from IKEA and we didn’t go sparingly on the greenery and plants dotted around the decking area.
Choose colorful items to brighten up eating spaces and ensure you have enough lighting for when the sun goes down, and blankets for your guests in case it gets chilly. Citronella candles will keep unwelcome bugs away and provide additional lighting, while fairy lights or lanterns will help your outdoor space feel cozy.
However, other themes could be Hawaiian luau, birthday party, or even Alice in Wonderland.
- Meat selection including piri piri chicken, halloumi burgers and HECK sausages
Start with a clean, oiled BBQ grill to keep food from sticking and get the coals burning 30 minutes before you want to start cooking. Avoid turning the meat too much, and once cooked let them rest for a moment.
Then grab your meat, and make it healthy too but including a vegetarian option as standard, and having chicken. I would recommend marinating the chicken the night before so the flavours are amazing! And grab your sausages from one of my favourite brands HECK.
- Summer Vegetable Kabobs
Prepare tender, slightly charred vegetables at your next barbecue with this simple recipe. The white wine marinade really adds a unique flavor to the veggies making this dish stand out.
- Pearl couscous, beetroot and fruit salad
Swedes are great lovers of salads and make a considerable use of beetroots (beets) as they grow well in Sweden. This recipe is super simple; cook the beetroot, add the couscous and then add the fruit or vegetables.
- Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad
There aren’t many summer dishes as pure as a sweet corn and tomato salad. It’s summer eating at its more blissful: sweet and crunchy, juicy and tangy. And so easy too!
- Roasted butternut squash and chickpea salad
This plant-based side is perfect for a BBQ. There’s not much I love more than veggie meals like this one – it can be served as a light main dish or flavorful side.
- A selection of breads
- Snacking items such as crisps and olives
No explanation needed – simply head to your nearest store and grab a load of crisps, and a few jars of olives.
Sure, you can throw some beers in a cooler and call it a day. But to make your barbecue memorable, why not select a special drink to serve guests? I always go for two options, a bottled cider and a cocktail which I make from scratch at home.
Rekorderlig Cider is my favourite summer drink; refreshing, tasty and a true favourite when it’s super hot. They have array of mouth-watering flavours including Strawberry-Lime, Wild Berries, Passionfruit, and Mango-Raspberry.
In a jam jar, mix gin with cordial. When ready to serve, divide the mixture between 8 glasses, top up with apple juice, apple slices and ice.
Why not start your own summer the same way?
I am running an amazing competition I am running in collaboration with Rekorderlig. You could be in with a chance to win a £400 acne voucher. All you have to do is follow Rekorderlig on Instagram and post a photo showing how you’re refreshing your style for summer using #StartTheSwedishWay, tagging @rekorderligcider and @sophiessuitcse. Terms and conditions apply: rekorderlig.com/gb/terms
*This post is in conjunction with Rekorderlig Cider but all thoughts are my own, as always!