Spring is here and most of the country is shedding its winter layers in anticipation of long, warm days followed by balmy nights.
Thoughts are turning to picnics, barbecues, and pool parties. And, while cracking open an ice-cold lager or a hard seltzer is never a bad idea, there’s a world of canned and bottled beverages and cocktails worth exploring. Here are five that should be in your beach cooler this summer.
The Aperol spritz is close to the perfect drink. The bitter orange in Aperol cuts the sweetness, and the combination of prosecco and seltzer tickles the tongue and provides refreshment. Aperol now makes the spritz in ready-to-drink bottles that are an infinitely more sophisticated addition to your beach cooler. Pour them over ice and garnish with the traditional orange wheel and green olives or simply add a festive paper straw and drink straight from the bottle. Aperol spritz is sold in three-packs for about $14.99.
Finnish Long Drink
The origins of the Finnish Long Drink go back to the 1952 Olympics when the government of Finland commissioned a new alcoholic beverage to be served at the Summer Games. The beverage combines soda and a gin base (think of a gin and tonic with fruit notes) and was recently introduced in the U.S. in cans. Long Drink is available in original, cranberry, strong, and zero sugar and costs around $14.99 for a six-pack.
Wolffer No. 139 Dry Rose Cider
The Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Montauk, Long Island makes surprisingly exceptional rose wines, but it’s the vineyard’s dry rose cider that’s a happy surprise. The vineyard uses New York State apples for its pink-hued cider that’s super crisp and drinks more like a sparkling rose than a cider. A four-pack costs around $15.
Lyre’s Canned Cocktails
If you’re searching for a refreshing cocktail — or two — or three — but have to steer the boat or drive your buddies home then you’ll want to stock up on Lyre’s canned cocktails. These delicious pre-made cocktails come in Amalfi Spritz (like an Aperol spritz), Classico (sparkling wine), G&T (gin and tonic), and Dark and Spicy (dark and stormy) but have zero alcohol. They’re also vegan, low sugar, and come in gorgeous packaging. $44.99 for a set of three-four-packs.
Dogfish Head Canned Cocktails
Yes, Dogfish Head brewery now makes canned cocktails. The Delaware-based brewery also distills its own vodka and whiskey. The canned cocktails are available in strawberry and honeyberry vodka lemonade, a blueberry vodka shrub, blood orange and mango vodka crush, lemon-lime and gin, and bergamot cherry whiskey sour. The cocktails cost about $15 for a four-pack and are available in most states.