Summer Entertaining Essentials

Summer is around the corner and guests are soon to follow. Get ready with these outdoor entertaining essentials.

By Mike Crisolago, Tara Losinski and Vivian Vassos

Go Infrared

For those who want to go high-tech with their grill, the Char-Broil Gourmet TRU-Infrared Gas Grill leads the pack in infrared cooking. This infrared barbecue keeps your meat juicy and fresh while cooking it on any of its 680 square inches of porcelain-coated grill. Made of stainless steel and accompanied by a covered side-burner, the infrared grill introduces you to a whole new barbecue experience.

Price: $479. Where to find it: The Home Depot  —MC

Get Grilling

Char-Broil doesn’t just make barbecues – they teach you how to get the most out of them. From drool-inducing carnivore creations to veggie delights and even dessert (bacon chocolate chip cookies, anyone?), with more than 200 recipes. Canada Grills! ($27) will thrill grill masters of all culinary tastes.  —MC

Glasses in Bloom

No need to worry about breakage as these graphic plastic wine glasses and tumblers are a safe alternative for outdoor entertaining. Plus, in tropical shades of yellow, blue and coral you can either co-ordinate or introduce contrast to your garden parties. Buy all three hues and help your guests keep better track of their cocktail with their favourite colour.

Price: $5-$6. Where to find it: the Bay  —TL

Let the Good Times Flow

Keep refreshments close at hand with a beverage dispenser that adds style and interest to your outdoor oasis. Fill it with your favourite summer blend or simply with ice water and slices of citrus to quench the thirst during hot summer days and nights.

Price: Glass Beverage Dispenser Where to find it: HomeSense  —TL

Join the Club

Canadian Club’s export manager William (The Real) McCoy didn’t let a minor setback like Prohibition stop him from quenching his customers’ thirst for whisky. Rather, he manned the shipping docks, smuggling the spirit to very grateful American neighbours. In honour of McCoy, the 154-year-old brand has released Dock No. 57, a new line of spiced and blackberry offerings that add a flavourful twist to the classic Canadian whisky.

Price: $25-$28. Where to find it: available in select provinces wherever spirits are sold  —MC

Garden Party

Time to get the garden guest-ready and if you’re looking for a little made-in-Canada advice, look no further than Gardening Naturally: A Chemical-Free Handbook for the Prairies ($25) by Sara Williams and Hugh Skinner, which covers everything from lawns to vegetables without the use of potentially harmful substances. And from across the pond, Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds ($25) will inspire you to add a soothing water feature to your outdoor space.  —VV