Summer is the perfect time of year to host a barbecue. Whether it’s for Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, or anytime this summer, take advantage of the weather and host a party. Set up party games, enjoy the backyard or pool and make your barbecue a success with these four tips.

With so many barbecues taking place this summer, a theme will help make yours one to remember. From the décor to the food preparations, select a theme and carry it throughout your barbecue. The average grill out can be turned into a nautical barbecue, Hawaiian Luau, or one with southern charm. Other themes include: all-American, beach, backyard burger, surf & turf, dog days of summer, and under the sea pool party.

Depending on your barbecue’s theme, the food may vary. Remember barbecues aren’t for steaks, burgers, and hot dogs only. Expand your palate’s range and grill up some chicken, seafood and vegetables. Not only will your palate thank you but your guests will too!

Marinating infuses food with flavor while locking in moisture. A marinade can work in as little as 30 minutes to provide that extra flavor and juiciness, but thicker cuts of meat may need several hours. Before you start, determine if your meat will need a marinade, a rub, mop or barbecue sauce. You can easily mix and match them to take the same type of grilled meat in different directions. Remember to use ½ cup of marinade per pound of meat and always marinate in the refrigerator.

Soda and iced tea may be a traditional summertime beverage, but this year, offer your guests a refreshing, signature drink. A pitcher of cool sangria or punch makes any barbecue a little more special. From rum punches to fruity coolers, as well as red and white sangria, the possibilities are endless. For a quick solution, choose a crisp white wine, mix in orange liqueur, lemon juice, ginger, and mint leaves. Add a touch of summer fruit, and your signature drink is ready. Make sure to provide one special nonalcoholic drink so everyone can enjoy!