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9 Helpful steps to catering for a crowd at your Heritage Day braai

Heritage Day is fast approaching... get involved and plan a gigantic jol!

21 Sep 2018

(image: iStock)

There’s nothing better than a good old South African bring ’n braai. Apart from your salad-and-garlic-bread responsibilities, here’s how to host a doozy.

1. Stop shopping
Fridge and freezer space is at a premium at any get together, plus there are always leftovers galore after a braai. Around the 10th, stop any grocery shopping and eat your way through your supplies. Consider it an exercise in creative cooking.

BONUS: You can justifiably check spring-cleaning off your to-do list.

2. Ice, ice baby
If your thriftiness outweighs your laziness, put your ice trays to work. As soon as you’ve acquired that freezer real estate, put a clear bin bag in a freezer drawer (or two), and start filling it with homemade cubes.

PRO TIP: Fill some ice-cream containers with water and freeze them to make big blocks of ice.

3. Stay cool
Speaking of keeping things cool, even if you manage to empty your fridge you’ll still need dedicated booze-cooling vessels. (Here’s where those big block of ice will come in handy.) Create a chill corner somewhere outside for cooler boxes, buckets, blow-up kiddie pools and the like. Don’t have enough? Some bottle stores will loan you a metal ice tubs if you buy your booze from them (and pay a deposit).

PRO TIP: Top-load washing machines make excellent booze coolers. Chuck in some ice and voilà!

4. Raise the bar
Next to your chill corner, create a replenishing station – ideally a table where people can fix their drinks. Put all your bar paraphernalia here, from jiggers to chopping boards. If you want, you can rent glasses from big bottle stores, else get some paper party cups.

PRO TIP: Tie your bottle openers to the table leg with some string so they don’t vanish into the braai void.

5. Get trashed
Because Heritage Day is all about loving our country, don’t be a douche – make sure you recycle the bottles and cans from your braai instead of adding to our landfill. Crates are your friends here. Put a bunch next to your bar for recyclables, and then have black-bagged bins around for rubbish.

PRO TIP: If you want to separate your recycling, label your crates.

6. Deliver the goods
Carting heavy booze around is a hassle. Use these great tips on how much booze to buy for a party and then get it delivered, nice and chilled and just before Blitz o’clock. Again, big bottle stores do this, or try out the cool Bottles app, which is like Uber but for bringing you booze.

7. Pack a punch
Want to know the secret to any good party? It’s punch. Try out some of these killer recipes, or invent your own. Remember, you must use local brands, it’s Heritage Day after all.

Rooibos tea punch

Fruity sparkling wine punch

Strawberry and pineapple punch

Melon punch

8. Call the shots
Apart from punch, you need a fun boozy gimmick to keep things festive. These gin and tonic jelly and coffee liqueur jelly shots are the bomb.

9. Be responsible
Don’t let your mates drive home wasted. If they’ve been dumb enough not to cab it to your boozy braai, park them on your couch for the night or pour them into a reputable taxi.

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