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Easy Ways to Host an Amazing Barbecue

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There’s a recipe to a successful barbecue. It’s all about enjoying good food and drinks in an outdoor space with friends and family. That doesn’t mean you always have to serve the same spread of hot dogs, burgers and light beers.

You can shake up the menu at your next barbecue without needing to do any extra work. It’s easy to introduce new and complex flavors when you opt for high-quality ingredients like Johnnie Walker Black Label and locally sourced vegetables. In the same time it takes to flip a burger and crack open a beer, you can prepare unexpected and delicious food and cocktails for your guests.

There’s no reason to keep settling for the same old barbecue. Whether you’re hosting a group of friends or grilling with your significant other, these tips will help you entertain with style and ease.

Mix Two-Step Cocktails

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You don’t need the skills of a professional bartender to serve drinks beyond beer and wine. Two-ingredient cocktails like the Highball are perfectly designed for backyard barbecues. It’s simple and the presence of Johnnie Walker Black Label adds a flavorful complexity that few summer cocktails can rival.

Start with the standard recipe for the Highball. It calls for pouring Johnnie Walker Black Label and soda water over ice and garnishing with a wedge of lemon or lime. In less than a minute, you can make a drink with the bubbly quality you want from a summer cocktail that also features hints of vanilla and smoke.

That’s only the beginning of what you can do with the Highball. Feel free to experiment with a variety of soda water mixers to bring out different elements of Black Label.

Create a Build-Your-Own Highball Station

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There’s a simple formula to the Highball, but it still allows for endless variation. You can let your guests in on the fun by creating a Highball station, stocked with whisky, garnishes and a wide selection of mixers. 

You can include some fresh fruit at the Highball station and encourage your guests to make the Berry Highball. It’s as simple as tossing some berries—we recommend strawberries, but it works well with any kind—into the classic Highball. The fruit infusion gives the drink a subtle sweetness that is perfectly suited for summertime sipping.

Be sure to add lemonade to your Highball station as well. Guests can swap in the summertime treat in for soda water and make the Lemon Highball, featuring a mouthwatering balance of citrus and sweetness.

Making a Highball station is as simple as laying out ingredients you already have on hand. It also means that guests can have the cocktail exactly the way they like it—and that the host can spend less time mixing drinks.

Connect Your Bar and Grill 

burrata salad
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The versatility of the Highball means you can pair it with whatever you happen to put on the grill. Should you barbecue some vegetable kabobs, you can serve it with a Ginger Highball. The spice notes from the ginger ale complement the earthy flavors of fresh produce, all rounded out by the deep smoothness of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

Ginger Highball

  • 1 1/2 oz Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 4 1/2 oz Ginger Ale
  • Pour into a Highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

While the premium whisky’s subtly smoky notes goes well with food fresh from the grill, you can think beyond the barbecue when coming up with Highball pairings. One combination we really love is preparing a tomato salad and burrata appetizer and serving it with the Watermelon Highball. You can appreciate how the fruit-forward cocktail cuts through the acidity of the tomato while you welcome your guests and wait for the grill to heat up.

Watermelon Highball

  • 1 1/2 oz Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 1 1/2 oz Soda Water
  • 3 oz Watermelon Juice
  • Pour ingredients into a Highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a watermelon slice and cucumber wheel. 

Don’t those pairings sound a little more interesting than a burger and a light beer? Pick up a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label and discover what it can add to your next barbecue.