Labor Day: Summer Barbecue Recipes

Happy Labor Day! We took care of the planning with these tasty recipes for a backyard picnic party (with a few cocktail ideas as well), so fire up those coals, break out the marinades and seasonings, and ice down those brews.

For some refreshing spiked lemonade recipes, click here.

Spicy Mango and Pineapple Salsa

Start off with a great tropical appetizer. This refreshing recipe for mango and pineapple salsa makes for a sweet and spicy treat, perfect when paired with some nice crunchy chips for scooping. Otherwise, try using it as a topper to chicken, fish and seafood.



  • 1/2 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 white or red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced
  • 3 tbsp. mango Scotch bonnet hot sauce (see recipe below)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cilantro, roughly chopped to taste

Mix chopped mango, finely diced onion, and pineapple in a bowl. Add hot sauce, cilantro to taste, and salt; mix gently to combine ingredients. Chill in refrigerator and serve.

Mango Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce


  • 6 medium Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 Thai chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple, chopped and juice reserved
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wearing gloves, de-seed and chop peppers. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Add mix to a food processor or Vitamix blender, and blend until smooth. Portion into jars and let sit in refrigerator for 24 hours before eating.

Tropical Chicken Sliders (makes 6)

Chicken-Pineapple-SlidersSimple and sweet, this recipe for grilled chicken and pineapple sliders will have guests clamoring for more from the grill.


  • 3 chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness and halved
  • 6 pineapple rings, cut fresh (reserve juice for marinade)
  • 6 Hawaiian rolls
  • 3 tbsp. pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • Squeeze of half lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Red onion, sliced

Combine pineapple juice, cider, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a large ceramic bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. While chicken is marinating, stoke the charcoal briquettes until the grill reaches medium-high heat. Clean and lightly oil the grate, which will help prevent the chicken from sticking. Cook the chicken until lightly browned on both sides—flip once—and the thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Halfway through grilling the chicken, place the pineapple slices on the grill and let sit for about two to three minutes per side, until grill marks begin to appear. On the bottom half of each bun, spread a small spoonful of teriyaki sauce. Top with lettuce, chicken, pineapple slice, and red onion. Enjoy.

Southern-Style Coleslaw

Southern-Style-ColeslawWhen it comes to backyard barbecues, few foods are more fitting than an old-fashioned Southern coleslaw. The perfect blend of sweet and tart, this recipe will have guests loading up on sides or topping a hot dog, burger or pulled-pork sandwich with this special treat.


  • 1 lb. shredded cabbage (red and green mix is best)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • Squeeze of half lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

In a bowl, add mayonnaise, onion, buttermilk, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic powder, and mix thoroughly. In a large bowl, add shredded cabbage and carrot. For a simple shredding method, use a food processor. Add mixture and combine thoroughly, coating cabbage evenly. Taste for seasoning and moisture: add salt, pepper, garlic powder and mayonnaise accordingly. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. If possible, let sit for 24 hours, allowing for all the flavors to combine completely.

Shandygaff - Beer RecipeThe Beer Cocktail

When it comes to sweltering summer tipples, beer is a solid go-to sip. But instead of simply icing down a few cases, attempt a more measured approach and mix three beer-based cocktails: the Shandygaff, the Shandy, and the Snakebite.

The Shandygaff (UK version)

The Shandygaff has some lofty heritage under its belt, with wordsmith Charles Dickens himself calling it “an alliance between beer and pop.” The simple recipe of beer and ginger beer, the Shandygaff originated in the United Kingdom; however, we prefer a German-style pilsner for the base and Fentimans, a ginger beer original, for the sweet.

Pour ginger beer into a tall pilsner glass. Carefully pour pilsner into glass. Garnish with orange peel. Enjoy!

Shandy Beer Cocktail with Cigar City White Oak-aged Jai Alai IPAThe Shandy (US version)

The United States version of the Shandy takes on a more citrus bent, swapping the ginger beer for lemonade. The Shandy has seen a fairly large explosion in popularity lately, with a number of breweries canning pre-made versions (like Leinenkugel’s, Harpoon Brewery, and Shock Top). Yet a freshly stirred version is not only better in taste and profile but also simple to make.

We are partial to hoppy IPAs, so add Florida flavor with one from Cigar City Brewing’s IPA catalogue. We recommend the White Oak-aged Jai Alai, though the Humidor Series—aged in Spanish cedar—is a great beer as well.

  • 12 oz. White Oak-aged Jai Alai IPA (Cigar City Brewing), chilled
  • 4 oz. lemonade

Pour lemonade into a tall pilsner glass. Carefully pour beer, give a light stir and enjoy.

The Snakebite

For a more potent beer concoction, substitute the ginger beer for a cider, and you have the Snakebite. Again, there are differences in recipe depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re on, but in the United States, it’s all about stout. For this recipe, we’re stirring everyone’s favorite stout, Guinness, with Florida-made Kelly’s Traditional Irish Cider for a brooding and flavorful sip.

  • 1/2 pint Guinness
  • 1/2 pint Kelly’s Traditional Cider

Pour cider into a pint glass. With a downturned spoon over the glass, pour stout slowly over the back of the spoon allowing the beer to run down the sides of the glass and creating a layered affect with the cider.

Optional: Top with ¼ oz. of blackcurrant liqueur. Raise a glass and cheers!

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