Barbecues are all about the good food, sunny weather and lot and lots of booze.
But if you're not careful, a day of eating burgers and drinking with your buddies can cost you a pretty penny.
Your best bet? Go with the cheapest liquor you can find — and lots of it. Sure, it's not the classiest move to bring a cheap bottle of wine to a barbecue, but it sure is the financially responsible way.
Here's how to make that bottle of vino even better without spending too much money:
Disguise White Wines
Sometimes, packaging something differently is the best way to distract someone from the price tag. A practical way to make a cheap bottle of wine look fancier is to surround it with a fancy ice mold.
Start by cutting a large empty soda or juice bottle in half, and place the bottle of wine in the center. Place whatever herbs, flowers or even fruit you have lying around the house in the container with the wine bottle.
Now fill your DIY bucket with water and freeze for a few hours.
When you're ready to party, pop that baby out of its plastic mold, and you have a fancy ice mold and some nicely chilled wine.
Decant Red Wines
Decanting really serves two purposes: first, to separate all that delicious wine from the gross sediment at the bottom of every wine bottle and second, to allow the wine to get a little air before it enters your mouth.
Why are these things important? Well, sediment just tastes gross, but giving your wine a little time to breathe can actually improve its taste and give young (read: cheap) wines a smoother finish.
If you don't have a fancy wine decanting device, a glass vase will do just fine. Just pour the wine in, let it sit for a minute and enjoy.
Make Sangria With Any Wine
This is my favorite party trick because for $20, I can get a group of 10 people happy and drunk.
Grab a cheap bottle of wine and a bottle of brandy. Dice up any type of fruit you'd like, and add it to a big pitcher with about 6 oz of fruit juice.
Pour in your wine, and let the good times roll.
Here's a classic sangria recipe you can try:
1 chopped apple 1 sliced orange 200 ml brandy 1 to 6 oz can pineapple or orange juice 1 bottle of red wine
If you're feeling more adventurous, you can swap brandy for your favorite liqueur or my personal favorite, sake. I also like to experiment with adding strawberries, jalapeños and even ginger to my sangria.
The point is, have fun, experiment and get everyone drunk.