As you know we are fabulous at running events (and modest, obviously) so we thought we’d help you out with 7 tips on throwing a bonfire party to remember!
Make sure your party goes with a bang, while actually keeping it simple and stress-free. Pick and choose from the ideas below and follow our easy tricks and tips.
1. REMEMBER, REMEMBER, TO STOCK UP ON GIN
The drinks, make sure you have all the ingredients you need for the perfect G&T. Whether you prefer a surprisingly spicy gin, a classic, or a fruity little number our 3 for 2 and Gin Festival In A Box ranges have got you covered! Great value for money, plus Gin Festival In A Box also include your tonics and glasses, bonus. Don’t forget the garnish! We've created a fantastic Guide to Gin Garnish blog for you (there’s us being modest again).
2. BANGING COCKTAILS
Take a look at our favourite Bonfire Cocktails and Winter Warmers to keep everyone toasty while you’re outside enjoying the fireworks. You could even wow your gin buddies by making Pumpkin Spiced Gin in 15 minutes! All of these recipes can be made beforehand and kept simmering on a low heat on the hob, or in your slow cooker, so you’re not chained to drinks duties all night - you’re welcome!
3. FEED THE MASSES
It will be chilly, so as well as warming cocktails, soup is a fantastic staple for an outdoor party. Plus you can have a mug of soup in one hand and your drink in the other!
Pumpkin Spiced Soup
Get your leftover Halloween pumpkin used up! Note, you need a blender for this recipe.
1kg Pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into medium chunks
1 medium sized Red Chilli, chopped fine
Small handful Coriander Leaves
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 can of Coconut Milk
Pop your chopped pumpkin in a large pan with the water and boil until it’s softens. While this is boiling, put the chilli, coriander leaves and garlic in your blender, add a pinch of salt and pepper and whizz. Once the pumpkin is tender, add it to the blender and whizz until fairly smooth. Then pour the mixture back into the pan, add your coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. It's that simple, just keep it warm in the pan and let people help themselves.
For the more traditional bonfire night food, there are some truly amazing, dedicated blogs out there. One of our favourites with all the classics, including toffee apples, parkin and bonfire toffee, is this BBC Good Food Bonfire Night Recipes.
4. LIGHTS, BUNTING, ACTION
A string of lights and some bunting indoors and outdoors can make it look like you’ve spent hours making your house/garden look amazing and it only takes a few minutes. Have a look at the reduced Halloween section for a few bargains...
5. MAKE IT BYOB
Let everyone know you’re making toasty warm cocktails and G&Ts, then if your friends want something different they can bring it themselves. Most people are in the habit anyway, plus it keeps costs down and makes sure you don’t run out of booze. *Warning* avoid the random, sticky liqueur that someone* always brings for a round of shots.
* You know who you are, it's not big, it's not clever and please stop making us drink this stuff!
6. BUILDING YOUR BONFIRE
You have a couple of options, either way, use your common sense and set your bonfire up away from your house, any trees or overhanging wires - generally anything that could catch fire. *Disclaimer* we make no claims that you have common sense. Remember - someone will need to be sober and responsible for the fire, think about roping in, erm, we mean asking nicely, a friend who’s driving.
Option 1. Keep it simple and use your chiminea or fire pit, or pick one up from your local supermarket - prices start at around £20.
Option 2. If you have the space/have access to a bigger space you could build a fire. First, remember to pick a site away from things that could catch fire! For a big bonfire you need it to be at least 6 metres away from buildings/trees/phone lines etc - not just around the edges but above where it will burn. Then either dig out a shallow pit or create a circle of stones to contain the fire, or do both.
The cheat sheet way of building a fire
Start with BBQ fire lighter cubes at the bottom! Get a pack/s where you just light the whole thing, no mess, no fuss, no lighter fluid smell. Then stack kindling upright around the fire lighter pack, in either a teepee or square shape (leaving a gap for airflow). Which shape depends on how the wood fits in your fire pit/area. For a bigger bonfire using the square is generally easier (so it has sides and a roof like a log cabin). Then pop your logs around that and ta da! All you need to do is light your BBQ fire lighter and then keep it topped up with wood (or get your sober driving friend to top up if you’re having a drink or 2...or 5…).
If you are building a bigger fire, using pallets, rather than logs will make you life even easier. Just go to your local supermarket and ask if they have any spare - more often than not they will give you whatever they have for free.
7. FABULOUS FIREWORKS
There will be so many firework displays that you actually don’t need to do your own! Just get some sparklers in, so you and your mates can be 5 again - spelling out your names and rude words! Keep a bucket of water handy for safety/ to be the place where they cool before you bin them afterwards.
However, if you have enough outdoor space, fireworks do add those Oooooos and Ahhhhhhs to your bonfire party. This is another subject which has many excellent dedicated blogs, we recommend you start with How to Safely Light Fireworks. It’s not that we’re saying you can’t be trusted to think safety first… however…! Then pick your faves and plan your display, another great blog to help with this is How to Set Up a Fireworks Show.
For more tips and tricks on making your bonfire party the best you’ve ever had, take a look at our 15 Tips for Throwing the Perfect Gin Party. Have a fabulous bonfire night!
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