As the weather warms and summer approaches, one finds oneself reminiscing about days gone by. Some are pleasantly hazy and yes, this is possibly due to the mischief inducing cocktails.  Nevertheless, I find myself transported back to the oh so scrumptious and mouthwatering palate pleasers of this seasons past revelries. It is due to these retentions I feel I ought to jot down a small list of the key ingredients involved when organising your very own barbeque, picnic, party etc, etc. It’s time for Dick’s guide to BBQ, the ultimate guide to hosting an elegant soiree.

The best place to start is of course, the beginning, and more often than naught that’s location.  But where, Dick? Patience my young merriment makers, the perfect plan takes time. Now, there is every chance it will likely be sizzling outside, and as a gambling man I say you take the chance and host your event in the open air, as no other season quite presents this opportunity.  If your place of residence happens to have a generously sized garden area then splendid, but if not then splash the coin and hire yourself a spot, but for lands sake make it a nice one.

Equally as important are the nibbles. It is far easier to decide on a theme for your food once you know the theme of your gathering. Meat for barbecues, sandwiches and cheese for a cheeky picnic but Dick has some go to moves and some guaranteed people pleasers. The first being some form of protein, great guns in the morning don’t forget the protein! Some sort of beefy treat, I’d suggest pinwheels to keep it fun or concoct your own interpretation of a slider. If beef is too heavy rustle up some salmon. You’ll need yourself some greens and salad but by no means assume this is the vegan option, the perfect host covers all areas so phone ahead and ask what they’d like.

It is not a party without some liquid refreshments and it is not refreshing unless there’s a percentage on the bottle. Purchase based on the guests attending but make sure to stock up on the essentials. Vodka, whisky, wine and gin are always favourites, but you absolutely must experiment with cocktails if you are to keep your attendees tickled and bubbling, something Dick does do oh so well. Some daiquiris here, some old fashioneds there and some martinis to round it all off.

It is true, the perfect host supplies the food, the drinks and the venue but above all else one is charming, charismatic and  never too busy to mingle with all those present. A well-mixed cocktail and a smile can win the heart of anyone. A well timed game of rounders never goes a miss, no matter the occasion, and what better time than to make sure you gents are wearing your Sporty Dicks. 

Wash it all down with an Earl Grey Martini

  • 50ml/2fl oz gin

  • 35ml/1½fl oz strong cold Earl Grey tea

  • 20ml/¾fl oz lemon juice

  • 12.5ml/½fl oz sugar syrup (sold as ‘gomme’ syrup)

  • ½ free-range egg white

  • twist lemon peel, to garnish

  1. Place the gin, Earl Grey tea, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white into a cocktail shaker and shake well.
  2. Double strain the liquid into a Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.


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