Which Drinks Should You Serve at a BBQ?

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A BBQ is a great excuse to have friends round and enjoy some time together with good food. While you may have your menu all planned, the drinks are just as important. Here are some of the classic drinks that are served at BBQs, so you can make sure there’s a good choice for your guests and plenty to go round.


Beer is a classic for BBQs. It’s refreshing and easy to serve and goes well with most barbie foods like hot dogs and burgers. You should consider stocking up on NZ beer, and get it chilled before people arrive. Beer comes in a number of varieties, so unless you want to stock everyone’s favourites, you should choose a good all-round beer. How much you stock will depend on how much your friends like to drink. On average, guests will drink one bottle of beer per hour, but some will drink much more.


Wine is another easy choice for BBQs. Some people like to pair their wines, so you should consider choosing bottles that work with the food you are serving.

Some basic wine pairings are:

  • Red wine – works well with red meat like steaks or burgers
  • White wine – tastes best with chicken and seafood
  • Rose wine – works well with veggie foods as well as desserts
  • Sparkling wine – goes well with similar foods to white wine, and sweeter varieties are also great with dessert courses

If you’re serving wine, consider having a few varieties to suit different tastes. Of course, you don’t have to follow pairings exactly, especially at an informal party, but it can enhance your dining experience if you learn a little about wine.


Cocktails are also perfect for parties, but you should keep them simple. Look at making cocktails such as sangria or rum punch, so people can pour themselves. Cocktails aren’t too everyone’s taste, as many varieties can be quite sweet, so you should make sure that there are alternatives too. 

Soft drinks

Whether it’s the designated drivers, or people who just need a break from the beers, soft drinks are essential at parties. They often run out, so make sure you stock up! Make sure you have a variety of sodas, as well as the basics such as water. If you’re serving alcohol on a hot day, you might want to consider putting jugs of cold water out, so people don’t get dehydrated or drink too much too quickly. 

Make sure you stock up on ice too. You may want to consider hiring an ice machine for larger parties, as there will be a constant supply to keep drinks cool. After all, nothing is worse than the lukewarm drinks at the end of the night.

If you’re throwing a party, then drinks are just as important as the food. Make sure you provide a variety of options for your guests and keep them at the right temperature. If you’ve got a large number of people coming over, consider asking them to bring contributions too, so you don’t spend a fortune on your party. 


Melissa is a young and energetic writer, a mom to a sweet little boy, and a fur-mom to two perfect pooches. Before becoming the Associate Content Director for Project Female, she was a journalist specializing in topics related to women in politics and policy affecting women.

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