End of Summer Shandy Party
We decided to host an End of Summer Shandy Party to celebrate those last few days of summer, but wouldn’t this make a great, Game Day gathering or family reunion too?
It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of summer, it seems like it went by super fast this year. Before you know it our yards will all be covered by pumpkins and leaves, but before that happens I wanted to have one last shin dig to send summer on her way in style.
I got the inspiration for my End of Summer Shandy party while attending a local red carpet event, that had a DIY Shandy Bar. Needless to say my husband and I were completely blown away by the idea of the multiple imported kegs and an endless array of fresh squeezed juices to stir in making a custom shandy to your personal taste. The inspiration was born, I just had to re-create this idea on a smaller backyard scale.We opted to include 3 types of beers including a pale, medium, and dark variety. We also decided to make the medium option a light version so anyone, eehmm, the ladies, that might be worried about the calorie content could make a more calorie conscious decision. Then we added our 5 favorite mix-in juice options from the event.
A fresh squeeze lemonade, limeade and orange juice; plus a rich organic cranberry juice and pineapple juice. We almost added a fresh squeezed grapefruit juice but remembered that some of guests, like us, can not have grapefruit with certain medications, so we opted out, even though it would have been a good choice too, better safe than sorry.The combinations you can achieve with these juices can make so many incredible combinations like a cranberry-orange, orange pineapple, cranberry-lime, or lemon-lime. So the varieties are really nice for your guests. The basic idea is that you add as much or a little of the fresh fruit juice to your beer to create a shandy of sorts. Hence since one can not survive on beer alone, that’s right your heard me correctly, you can not survive on beer! We decided the perfect backyard accompaniment would be to host a build your own gourmet hot dog bar with all the trimmings.Ron grilled up the hot dog and zucchini logs on The Big Green Egg for the perfect smoky flavor. We opted for a vegetarian option since one of our sweet friends no longer part takes in the rest of our carnivores habits.While I baked up the Southern Bird Dogs, the Zucchini Veggie Dogs for our non red meat eaters, and Tater Tots for the Top Your Tots Bars all in the oven.Here is a look the House Special Menu we hung up to give our guest a few inspirational ideas of savor combos they could create. I can not for the life of me remember where I heard the Southern Bird Dog before, but a friend of mine calls them this all the time for her grandkids. I just thought it was the cutest name for chicken fingers on a bun so I borrowed it Lisa, I hope you don’t mind. I thought it would be fun to just lay out the table with basic butcher paper and write where everything was going with a sharpie. This step made my prep work a lot easier, along with the set up portion.Then it was just about pulling the pre prepped items out of the refrigerator and placing in there homes, you can not get easier then that. Then at the end of the party your roll up and throw it, away easy clean up too. Plus with handwriting the condiments names, I was able to get a little cheeky with some of the descriptions like “Give Me Your Tots, Man!” from Napoleon Dynamite and “Got Buns Hun?” as nod to the song, Baby got Back. The top you tots bar turned out great too because you could also add any kind of ingredient to you tots as well. Like chili cheese tots, barbecue bacon tots, nacho tots (not yo tots), or loaded potato tots. I saw a lot of great combinations for those through out the night people really got creative which was a lot of fun. Here is a look at the Southern Bird Dog which is a chicken finger instead of hotdog, topped with barbecue sauce, cheese, and onion straws. I actually tried one of these myself and it was very good. Everyone really liked having a variety of meats choices as well, not just being a basic hot dog. Another great tip is to use popsicle sticks as your spreaders for the condiments. I basically did this out of necessity because I did not have enough mini spreaders that matched, and my OCD kicked in at the last minute with all the extra long plastic knives sticking out of these tiny jars. So I got popsicle sticks and stick them into each of the jars to use as a knife and they worked like a charm.Here is a look at the Hawaiian Dog which is just a basic hot dog topped with cheddar cheese, pineapple and bacon bits. I am 100% sure that this was Ron’s since he was super excited about this recipe, he loves Hawaiian Pizza too, so this was all him. I also got to try a bite of this one, and I have to say it was really good. The is the beauty of a making a gourmet DIY bar like this, with very little on the investment side, you can offer you guest some unique and fun opportunities to get creative with their food options, simply by have fresh quality ingredients that pair well together.
For example, this is a picture of the lovely and super healthy veggie log. Which is a grilled zucchini strip, topped with cheddar cheese, fresh tomato, fresh avocado, yellow peppers, spring onions and cilantro. Our vegetarian guest was so happy that she was able to part take in building her own creation the exact way she wanted it. I got to say I think it might be the best looking creation of the bunch.
All of the ingredients were fresh, and they had the option of adding heat or spice to their meals or not. It did not feel as if the guests had to have a special dietary request made ahead of time, it was just easy and a simple adjustment made by the hostess to make sure that all the guests felt completely at ease. This is something to always remember when hosting an event or party.Below we have a picture of the Korean Slaw Dog for my friends that do like the heat. Start with a regular hot dog and the toppings include broccoli slaw, jalapeños, pineapple, spring onions, yellow peppers, and …….As you can see the entire party was a relaxed easy going vibe nothing to fancy or uptight just a bunch friends chilling and having a good time. Until this occurred. Clearly my taking pictures might have made a few people a bit nervous and there was a freak Sriracha explosion. So for the protect of all of our guests, the names and faces have been removed from all photos in this post, and there will be no further discussion on this topic. LOL, you know who you are, and you could have put someone eye out with that incident! Good lord it was Sriracha, and we were wearing white for the last day of the season! So with that being said, I will move on and give you a quick peek at dessert, which was individual single serve homemade cherry pies. Honestly, it was actually more of a crumble or cobbler, I guess since it did not really have a top crust, but let’s just say it was delicious, and everyone loved it.I just loved this sweet little cherry yarn garland that I picked up at my local Hobby Lobby craft store. I swear they have the cutest stuff sometimes and it is always seems to go with what I am doing at the moment perfectly. Although it has inspired me to try and make some of my own for another project, should I find myself with some extra time.
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