Serving one simple, signature cocktail, instead of stocking a full bar, can help cut expenses. Jonathan Pogash recommends a crowd pleaser that highlights summer flavors. "I try to get as much of an idea of what everyone likes. There are some common ingredients that pretty much everyone likes, Who doesn't like lemonade? Classic tropical ingredients I think are really great for the wide audience. Just flavors of the summer, banana, coconuts all of these things," he said.
Another way to make a drink special -- an inexpensive garnish that also adds flavor. "Whether it's in the nose or flavor, in the pallet. A long grapefruit peel l that i'm expressing over the top, and some rose petals," Pogash said.
Hosts can take the same approach to food, with items that are easy for guests to self-serve or to share. Pogash would pair his spiced lemonade cocktail with something like a shrimp, sausage and pepper dish. "The hint of spice to compliment that andouille sausage, some peppers in there, some bell peppers, sweet peppers in there. I think just really works well, a perfect meal, a perfect cocktail food pairing."
Be sure to make enough for leftovers when cooking on the grill. It could save you the fuel costs of firing up again for another meal.