Most people in the United States celebrate the 4th of July (Independence Day) with a BBQ and fireworks. If you’re going to attend one of these great American BBQ traditions this year, then you’re going to need a few basic items, such as what to drink. I have great tips to create one of a kind items, cheap! The best part about these ideas is that you can use them all summer long, not just for the 4th of July!
Every BBQ needs a pitcher to hold ice cold beverages in. You can find plastic beverage pitchers at Wal-mart and Dollar Tree for $1! Pick up enough to hold a couple different selections of drinks.
To turn these ordinary plain beverage pitchers into amazing creations, you will need paint, permanent markers, a straw, a sponge, scissors and a paint brush.
If you have kids, let them decorate one of the pitchers however they want to. Or, give suggestions such as cutting a star shape out of the sponge and having them dip the sponges into red, white or blue paint and then sponge star shapes all over the outside of the beverage pitcher.
You can also put approximately ¼ of an inch of paint in a paper cup. Have the kids dip a straw into the paint in the cup. Then have them blow hard into the straw from the end that doesn’t have paint on it and point the end that does have paint on it at the outside of the beverage pitcher. Paint will splatter everywhere but it will also give the effect of bursting fireworks on the pitcher.
If you want to decorate the pitcher with something besides red, white and blue 4th of July theme, use permanent markers and draw items on the outside of the pitcher that remind you of summer, such as a hot dog, a charcoal grill, a sail boat, a beach ball, etc. I suggest using permanent markers instead of paint because they dry faster and will be easier to draw with.
Now that you have your beverage pitcher you will need some cups to pour the drink into for everyone to enjoy. Around our house growing up we usually used plastic cups and wrote each person’s name on them so they know which cup was theirs since they are all the same. Now, we still use plastic cups, however then we have everyone sit down and decorate their cups using markers and stickers. Each cup will be as unique as the person decorating it and there will be no confusion as to whose cup is whose. Little kids won’t misplace their cups because they will be so excited at their creations they will keep track of where their cup is (usually it stays with them through the whole night and they don’t set it down or let it out of their sight).
For ice cubes to keep your drinks cool, consider purchasing ice cube trays or candy trays that have shapes to them such as animals or hearts. These will look great and the kids will love using them and eating them.
Since the kids are going to eat the ice cubes or ice cubes left in cups are going to melt on hot summer days, no one likes a watered down drink, use the ice cube trays to make a bunch of ice cubes before the party using the drinks you will be serving. If you are going to be serving lemonade, pour lemonade into ice cube trays and freeze it into ice cubes. Do this for each different type of drink you will be serving. This way you can serve the matching flavored ice cubes with the drink and when the ice cubes melt it will just be refilling the cup with the same flavor drink that the person was drinking instead of watering it down. Use Tupperware containers or large freezer bags to store the ice cubes in, in your freezer after the liquid has frozen solid in the tray and you have removed the ice cubes from the tray.
If you use candy mold trays to make your flavored ice cubes, consider making some with a Popsicle stick in them. Simply lay the Popsicle stick in the slots for the sticks that would be attached to the candy and let the Popsicle freeze into the flavored liquid into an ice cube. Then pop them out and serve them to the kids as popsicles!
Another frozen desert treat you can make for the kids is frozen yogurt popsicles. This idea came from a Trix Yogurt commercial; however you can use any yogurt. Purchase yogurt that are in containers without sloped sides or whose sides slope inwards at the bottom of the container not the top (don’t use Yoplait as their containers are cone shaped with the narrow end being at the top). Prior to opening the yogurt, stick a Popsicle stick into the lid of the yogurt and about half way in the yogurt. Put the yogurt container with the stick into the freezer and let it freeze for a couple hours. Bring the yogurt out of the freezer when you’re ready to serve it and remove the lid from the container. Then push the yogurt out of the container by holding the Popsicle stick and gently pushing down on the bottom of the yogurt container while pulling on the Popsicle stick at the same time until it comes out of the container. If it doesn’t come out very easily, fill a bowl with hot water (from the faucet or boil water on the stove). Dip the yogurt container into the hot water for 5 seconds and remove. The hot water will soften the yogurt that was stuck to the sides of the container and allow you to remove it quickly and easily.
Hopefully these simple little tips and ideas will help you out this summer at your BBQ parties!