Anyone can fire up a grill and put out squirt-bottle condiments. Here’s how to up your outdoor party game.
By Mike Fleming

We don’t have to tell you that champagne and white tablecloths aren’t required to make a party fabulous. Here are our sure-fire tips to turn your backyard barbecue into something special, for a bangin’ Fourth of July or any time summer’s outdoor party fever hits.

a32Frozen Fruit
Replace cocktail ice with frozen berries from the bag, or really earn your gay card by dropping a berry or two in each cube of your ice trays before freezing.

Burger Bounty
Go beyond ground beef with shrimp, lamb, tuna and salmon patties that the gays will rave about long after you call them an Uber.

Cue Cards
Got mad grill skill? Show it off with place cards on the staging table for rare, medium and done meats, as well as ID cards for condiments and side dishes.

tumblr_inline_nl5s177hbN1skjzu4Toppings Station
Squirt-bottle condiments are so basic. Set up a wide assortment of mustards, cheeses, pickles, crumbled bacon, guacamole, fresh jalapeno slices, barbecue sauces and salsas.

Nice Buns
The difference between traditional buns and brioche is nominal in price, but long on fabulous.

Elevated Sides
Corn on the cob and asparagus are awesome on the grill. Kick them up with infused butters like parmesan and chili powder, or basil and garlic.

teaTea Time
Add hibiscus simple syrup to a pitcher of sweet tea for a great color and subtle floral note that leaves them just this side of jealous of your genius.

Grilled Pizza
Put chilled dough on the grill, flip it, add toppings and let them heat. Put pizza in rotation with your meats and hotdogs on the Fourth, and they’ll still be praising you at Christmas.

Better Chips
Replace traditional potato chips with baked zucchini, squash and carrot slices in a bowl with ranch. Instant fabulous upgrade.

s-l1000Beverage Bucket
Serve your bottles – yes red and white, it’s too hot for convention – in a bucket of ice with a couple of non-alcoholic options. Your boys will appreciate a great display that’s easy to access and manage. Later, add single-serving jars of ice cream and let everyone serve themselves.


You can’t overdo the table. Look like you gave it the old gay try, even though it’s way easy, by bringing indoor décor out. Fabric napkins, placemats and candles are easy, and splurge on the good disposable plates. Add cut flowers and boom!

Game Time
Early arrivals and the post-lunch slump are problems solved with a collection of no-skills lawn games like Frisbee, badminton and croquet.

640px-Pontes_Collection_hand_fansHand Fans
A collection of inexpensive hand-fans help beat the heat, and odds are they will create their own gay activity in no time.

Rather than plastic wrapping everything and spoiling your Martha moment, put individual-portion side dishes in lidded jars. You can set one at each place if you’re seating, or pass them out if you’re not.

Light It Up
Holiday lights strung across the patio, around trees and across banisters serve as sparklers when the sun goes down.

Source: The Kitchen, Outdoorsman, Fab