Summertime Grillin’ and Drinkin’ Tips

By Fabiana Santana

Summertime Grillin' and Drinkin' Tips grilled-fishSummer is in full swing and that means it’s time to dust off the grill and get cooking!

The Fourth of July is the unofficial grilling holiday of the year. But there are only so many hamburgers and hot dogs a girl can eat. So, we asked renowned chef Laurent Manrique of Millesime in New York’s Carlton hotel for his top tips on grilling great seafood  that will both impress and intrigue guests at your backyard BBQ.

And while you might be tempted to bring out the blender, there is no need. We’ve got you covered this summer with light and refreshing cocktails that pair perfectly with grilled seafood. 

Go surfing.

Summer is all about hitting the waves, so why should your grill be land-locked with burgers and steaks? Grilled barbecue clams are an unexpected yet delicious option for any backyard event, says Chef Manrique.

Grilled Barbecue Clams Recipe

Raw-Bar Grilled Barbecue Clams Recipe

The raw bar at Millesime restaurant at the Carlton Hotel.

What you’ll need:
  • 24 littleneck clams
  • ¼ cup bottled BBQ sauce
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make it:

1. Preheat your grill to direct, high heat or heat coals until white and hot.

2. While the grill is heating, in a medium-sized bowl, mix together the shallots, red wine vinegar, butter, BBQ, pepper and salt. Set aside.

3. Shuck clams* open on the half-shell, being careful to keep as much liquid as possible.

4. Add a dollop of the reserved sauce to each clam.

5. Place the clams on the grill until the BBQ sauce mixture begins to bubble, a maximum of about 2 minutes. Remove from grill and serve with grilled slices of sourdough bread. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

* Chef Laurent Manrique’s tip: An easy way to open clams is to pop them in the microwave, three at a time, for about 11 seconds. The heat shocks the clams and they’ll open slightly making them easiest to shuck with a knife. 

Showoff your grill skills.

Knowing how to work a grill is key for any summer event. Following these easy tips from Chef Manrique will leave your party fool-proof:

  • Use thick fish steak (tuna, salmon and mahi mahi work best). Whole fish like snapper, trout, and striped bass are also great to grill.
  • Tender filets do not work well on the grill, unless you use a metal basket, or wrap the filets in foil.
  • Make sure your grill is very hot and avoid using too much oil if you are marinating fish.
  • For fish steak, allow 6 minutes of cooking per inch off thickness.
  • Make sure the skin is very crispy before turning the fish to grill the other side.
  • Sauce vierge (made with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato and chopped basil) is a perfect sauce for grilled fish. Or you can simply use a mixture of lemon, oregano, capers, and olive oil.
  • For a sauce with a kick, try a mixture of sesame oil, chili garlic paste, diced mango, cilantro and mint.

Serve a refreshingly unexpected cocktail at your summer soiree.

The Rosé Sparkler Recipe

Instead of the standard beer or frozen drink, try a simple, festive cocktail, such as the Rosé Sparkler from Courvoisier Rosé.

The Rosé Sparkler Recipe


  • 1 part Courvoisier® Rosé
  • 1 part Thatcher’s™ Organic Blueberry Liqueur
  • 3 parts Champagne


Shake first two ingredients and strain into chilled Champagne flute. Top with Champagne. Garnish with blueberries and a cherry dropped in.

Raspberry Mint Lemonade Recipe

Raspberry Mint Lemonade Recipe

A refreshing drink for the hot summer days!

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of raw sugar or agave
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cups of fresh mint, rinsed

Muddle mint and raspberries together. Place in a pitcher and add remaining ingredients. Stir until well blended. Serve chilled or over ice cubes.
Spicy Skinnygirl Margarita Recipe

Spicy Skinnygirl Margarita Recipe

  • 4 1/4-inch slices jalapeño (seeds removed)
  • 1 1/2 ounces Skinnygirl Margarita
  • Handful of ice

In a cocktail shaker, muddle jalapeño slices. Pour Skinnygirl Margarita over the jalapeños. Add ice and shake. Pour into glass with ice.

More Summer Recipes
Celebrate Summer: Cookouts & Cocktails
All The Single Ladies – Throw A Cocktail Party!
Dress Up Your Summer Salad