Take the Labor Out of Your Labor Day

An outdoor dinner party

It’s the last gasp of summer, so before you put away the grill for the season, here are some ideas for eating and drinking over the three-day holiday weekend. We’ll have you mashing avocados, creating a new signature burger and jumping from summer sippers to fall-ready rich wines. When it comes to beer, we’ll show you the hottest trends, as well as some surprising tips on pairing cocktails with food. Finally, a couple out-of-the-box ideas on an atypical vessel for serving wine and a dramatic way to open sparkling.

From a Classic Dip to a Smokin’ Sandwich Spread

Classic Guacamole Recipe
Photo by Meg Baggott / Styling by Ray Garraffa

With the NFL season kicking off next weekend, it’s time to hone your chip and dip game. Is there anything better than freshly made guacamole? We’ve got a classic recipe and one with a California twist. Also, let us know what ingredients do you put, or would never put, in your version of guacamole.

And before you put that grill away for the season, ever consider smoking ketchup? It’s part of chef Tyler Kord’s signature sandwich spread, Smoked French Dressing. Try it on a burger or your favorite deli sandwich.

Speaking of grilling, take some time to learn how this cooking technique transforms food, and how braising, simmering or roasting can change ingredients, from meat to vegetables.

Barbecue. Just Barbecue.

Wines from Light and Lively to Big and Bold

Two glasses white wine outside

Albariño is hot, and a perfect wine to drink outdoors. Learn the story behind Spain’s seafood-loving white wine and get 10 recommended bottles.

However, just because it’s still summer doesn’t mean you have to let red wines fall by the wayside. Sometimes you want something big and bold regardless of the weather. Find out some of our top picks, running the gamut from Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet, Zinfandel and red blends.

Break from the Ordinary Beer 

Different sour beers.
Photo by Amber Bach

Ready to take a walk on the wild side when it comes to beer? Try a sour. They’re tart, low in alcohol, and a perfect accompaniment a day of snacking. Crack open a gose, Berliner weisse, dry-hopped sour or a grodziskie.

Also, find out why brewers are deciding to not filter their beers, and some of the best brews exemplifying this trend.

Cocktails for Cookouts

Different types of cocktails to make for a cookout.
Photo by Meg Baggott / Beverage styling by Tracy Allan, Q36

Some of the best bartenders in the country match drinks with barbeque, burgers, cured meats, salmon and lobster.

Looking for tips on outdoor-ready cocktails? Break out your favorite pitchers, and don’t forget to stock up on ice. Check out recipes for four sangrias, each made with a different Spanish wine: Viura, Cava, Tempranillo and Garnacha Rosado.

How to Open and Serve Wine…With a Twist

A bottle of wine being poured into a mug with popcorn in the background.
Photo by Tracy Allan / Q36 Creative

What kind of glass do you like drinking wine from? Find out why one of our editors often reaches for a coffee mug. And if you’re outdoors and opening a bottle of bubbly, now might be the time to (safely) saber a bottle of Champagne. Also, have a lot of open wine bottles after your guests have left for the evening? Here’s five ways to handle the leftovers.

Published on August 29, 2017
Topics: Holiday Entertaining