Celebrate the first of summer’s holidays with sauce for whatever you’re putting on the grill, as well as drinks and snacks.
White Gold barbecue sauce
James Argo spent nearly two decades perfecting his mustard-based barbecue sauce. He began selling the sauce through word-of-mouth in 2020, as he turned his hobby into a Statham-based business, Oconee Creations. Word spread, and now his sauces can be found in 74 stores in six states. The original flavor has been augmented with spicy, jalapeno, “wingy” and white gold flavors. The white gold version won the 2023 University of Georgia Flavor of Georgia barbecue sauce competition. It’s the one we tried and is Argo’s take on the white barbecue sauces beloved in Alabama. The combination of mayonnaise, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and spices is lightly sweet, with plenty of tang and black pepper bite, as well as a bit of lingering heat at the end. Argo rates it as mild to medium hot, and we rated it as perfect for smoked or grilled chicken, on which white barbecue sauce traditionally is used. It also is delicious mixed into slaw or slathered on grilled corn.
$11 per 16-ounce bottle. Available at New York Butcher Shop in east Cobb and Milton, Buckhead Butcher Shop, Midtown Butcher Shoppe and oconeegoldbbqsauce.com.
Cocktail infusion jars
Your Memorial Day picnic deserves a craft-level cocktail that can be made easily. We have fallen in love with the infusion jars from Milton-based McKinnon’s Dry Craft Cocktails. These canning jars are filled with dehydrated fruits, herbs and infused sugar cubes. You fill the jar once with your choice of alcohol, refrigerate, and let the contents steep for three days. Then, you drain off the infused alcohol and repeat the process once more. We tried strawberry lemonade, a mix of dehydrated strawberries and lemons, dried basil and a big cube of citrus-infused sugar. Perhaps you’ll do as we did, and fill the jar the first time with vodka, then the second time with white rum. We sipped the results exactly as they came from the jar, but we also mixed it with lemonade and sparkling water. Shannon McKinnon Blake opened her Milton-based business in 2021, with 12 year-round flavors and rotating seasonal flavors, such as summer punch and spiced pear. The blueberry mojito is next on our list.
$20 per jar to make eight to 16 cocktails. $55 for a three-pack. Available at Bloom, Savory Gourmet, Evimero Marketplace, Lily’s Pharmacy, the Painted Bloom at the Market, Reynolds Makery & Pulperia, the Local Exchange and mckinnonscocktails.com.
Can a Southern summer get off to a proper start without a bowl of boiled peanuts at hand? If you’re vacationing in Edisto Beach, South Carolina, you can get them from the Happie Chicks’ cute ice cream/boiled peanut truck, as it makes its musical way along the streets of the beachside community. Ginger Hodge and Jill Deardorff have been selling boiled peanuts on Edisto Island for nearly 10 years. If you can’t make it to the beach, they will ship those peanuts to you. The 2-pound bags are just right for sharing at your Memorial Day picnic, and the peanuts also will freeze perfectly, if you want to enjoy some later in the summer.
$24 for two 2-pound bags of classic peanuts, $25 for two 2-pound bags of low salt or spicy habanero peanuts. Available at buyboiledpeanuts.com.
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