(photo courtesy of Terri Stewart)

We typically associate the 4th of July holiday with barbeques, but why not turn it up this year and make it into a luau?  Luaus are fun, different and exotic, especially if you don’t live in Hawaii.
With some fun menu items and a few decorations, you can turn a regular old BBQ into a memorable luau your guests will be talking about for a while.

Tropical Themed Decorations For Your 4th of July Luau

Decorate your party space with tiki torches.   You can try inexpensive LED torches that are much safer and reusable.
Add a few festive touches from your local party supply store like an inflatable palm tree cooler or a tablecloth of Hawaiian print fabric from a fabric mart.
Encourage your guest to dress in Aloha attire, including Aloha shirts, a dress or t-shirt with aloha print, board shorts or flip flops.

4th of July Leiskukui Nut Lei

Of course, no luau is complete without leis.  Make a red, white and blue splash with fresh orchid leis with blue and white and red and white tinted orchids from FlowerLeis.com.
Kukui Nut Leis are great party favors for guests.  They’ll stand up to the summer heat and your guests will have a memorable gift to take home and keep all year.  Plus, they come in a value conscious 4-pack.

Menu Ideas For Your 4th of July Luau

Traditionally, a pig is roasted, but that may not be feasible for you in your backyard.  You can serve a tasty Kalua Pig dish without building an imu, though it will taste like you did.

Just pierce a pork butt all over with a carving fork, then rub Hawaiian salt or sea salt and liquid smoke into the meat.  You can find liquid smoke in most supermarkets.  Place it in a slow cooker for 16 to 20 hours on low (turning once during cooking).  Then shred the meat after taking it out of the slow cooker.
You can also cook it in the oven at 350 for about 5 hours or until tender.  Just add a little water into the roasting pan and cook covered with foil.
Serve this with buns or rolls for Kalua Pork sliders.  Add some coleslaw for crunch.  Ono!

The Signature Luau Drink

A signature drink brings a party theme together, so serve up those Mai Tais and you’ll start feeling those Hawaiian trade winds before you know it.  You can usually find some pre made Mai Tai mix at your supermarket, but in case you don’t, just mix:

mai tai

courtesy of Johnny Silvercloud

1 oz coconut flavored rum
1 oz spiced rum
1 tsp grenadine syrup
3 oz pineapple juice
2 oz orange juice
Ice cubes

Garnish it with a maraschino cherry and a pineapple wedge.

Or do a alcohol free version by mixing 3 parts pineapple juice, 2 parts orange juice and some ice cubes.

It doesn’t take much to turn an ordinary BBQ into a fun, tropical 4th of July Luau celebration your friends and family will talk about weeks.  There’s always a way to bring more Aloha into your life.