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Grace and Grit barbecue pop-up

Tim Coughlan at the grill during a Grace & Grit barbecue pop-up earlier this season. Grace & Grit will take up a ‘barbecue residency’ at McCall VIneyards this fall (Credit: Madison Fender)

What better way to welcome the unofficial start of the summer than with a Memorial Day cookout? Next weekend marks the first major opportunity of the season to gather friends and family for an afternoon eating and drinking in the sunshine.

Here is the ultimate northforker guide for upping your grilling game and mastering mixology along other tips, tricks and recipes that will leave your guests impressed.

Become the grill master

  • There’s something about an open flames of a grill that offers a primal outlet to both play with fire and to turn a piece of raw meat into sustenance. Tim Coughlan, the pitmaster at Grace & Grit caterers in Southold, gives us some Southern flair with his barbecue tips. He shares some easy ways to veggies, too.
  • If you’re opting for surf not turf, consider grilling fresh, locally caught whole fish. It’s not intimidating when armed with the know-how of Charlie Manwaring, owner of Southold Fish Market.

Pairs well with

Recipes for summer cocktails. (Credit: David Benthal)
  • When making the perfect margarita, simple is always better. It all comes down to the right balance of tequila, fresh lime juice and agave, just ask mixologist Joe Coleman. He shares his easy and delicious recipe for an unforgettable margarita. More in the mood for a Tom Collins? Coleman’s got you covered.
  • As for local craft beers, here are some expert brew and bite pairings. May we suggest an IPA?
  • Rosé season is upon us, and it’s a great choice, but the best parties have many options. Here are some great local wines that will suit everyone, no matter if they’re sipping white, red or pink.

The guest with the best

Braun Seafood Co. seafood boat.