11 Tasty Beer Alternatives to Try This Summer

Sometimes the thought of a light, bubbly, refreshing drink on a beach is enough to help us power through to the weekend. For the times when a beer just won't do, here are 11 summery alternatives, from spiked lemonade to wine slushies.

1. SPIKED SELTZER

A can of Spiked Seltzer with a mermaid logo on the beach

There are a ton of spiked seltzers on the market these days in an effort to find drinks with fewer calories. The company that nabbed the actual name "Spiked Seltzer" is a great place to start, especially since it's the easiest to find. The bubbly drinks come in either bottles or cans (we prefer them poured over ice) and have 140 calories. It has a fairly light taste with just a slight kick at the end, which is surprising because it's masking 6 percent ABV. There are four flavors: orange, cranberry, grapefruit, and lime.

2. CHARCOAL PROBIOTIC CIDER

Four bottles of 101Cider charcoal cider on a gradient

This is a cider and kombucha in one. The probiotic drink is made with charcoal, lavender, and blood orange, and delivers a yeasty, sour kick at the end. The earthy tasting drink is just one of the many unusual flavored ciders that 101 Cider House is slinging. You can also try fun flavors like Cactus Red (a baby pink drink with a vinegary aftertaste) or Island Hopper (a tropical cider with guava and passion fruit). You can buy it online in either bottles or cases.

3. FROSÉ

A glass with pink slushie and a strawberry

Take matters into your own hands and grab a blender. Following one of the many recipes online (like this one from Bon Appétit, you can create the trendy frozen drinks that'll be cropping up at various bars around the country.

4. ROSÉ CIDER

Three rose cider bottles on a gradient

Looking back, it's amazing that these two beloved drinks weren't combined sooner. The crisp, dry taste of wine mixed with the sweet taste of cider makes for an amazingly addictive drink that you're going to want to have all summer. Besides being delicious, the 11.3-ounce bottles also have some of the best packaging we've seen. We're sure they'll turn up in beach selfies all over Instagram.

5. GIN AND TONIC IN A CAN

A can of Gordon's gin and tonic on white

Sure, you can buy gin and tonic water separately, but sometimes you just want to open the fridge and grab a drink that's already made. These 375 milliliter cans contain a nice ratio of gin and tonic, along with a little taste of lemon.

6. FISHERS ISLAND LEMONADE

Three cans with white and yellow stripes

Be careful with this drink: Fishers Island Lemonade packs 9 percent ABV, so be sure to pace yourself. You would never be able to guess it from the taste, though. The beach town classic has a delightfully mild taste that's more like lemonade than alcohol. Before you reach for another, just remember that each can has vodka and whiskey, and like a Long Island Iced Tea, it can sneak up on you.

7. WINE IN A JUICE BOX

Three boxes of wine that are yellow black and purple

Juice boxes aren't just for kids. Bandit offers their range of wines in containers that look suspiciously like the classic juice packaging. Simply screw off the cap, pop in a straw, and you have a drink that can be enjoyed on the beach, at a barbecue, or during an outdoor movie. Of course, they're pretty big and you're expected to pour it into a wine glass, but where's the fun in that? Get one in cabernet, red wine blend, or chardonnay.

8. SCOTTISH RASPBERRY GINGER BEER

A bottle of raspberries Crabbie's and a glass sit on a bar

Ginger beer is a great soda for a Dark and Stormy, but the alcoholic version is tasty enough on its own. The super gingery booze is perfect for anyone who loves a drink with a little more zip. For something a little sweeter, the classic ginger beer company Crabbie's has a fairly new flavor called Scottish Raspberry that has a lovely, summery, pink color.

9. ALCOHOLIC ICE POPS

A frozen pink pop on yellow

Why drink your booze when you can eat it? These ice pops are flavored like popular cocktails like Moscow Mules or Bellinis (or champagne, if you're a purist). Best of all, it has a lighter ABV of 4.5 percent.

10. VODKA COCONUT WATER

Coconut water with vodka in a can

Coconut is arguably one of the best flavors of the summer, and now you can drink it all season long with this spiked coconut water. The boozy beverage comes in cans that are made with vodka and pure coconut water. At 5.5 percent ABV, this drink is best served icy cold..

11. TEQUILA BEVERAGE

Tequila drink in black matte aluminum bottle on an orange background

Tiqo is a mysterious new drink that bills itself as a "premium tequila beverage." The caramel colored beverage comes in a sleek, matte black bottle with an understated minimalist design. Inside, tequila is mixed with coconut water, ginger, turmeric root, and lime.

Oscar Mayer Is Renting Out the Wienermobile on Airbnb For Overnight Stays

Airbnb
Airbnb

Oscar Mayer is about to make all of your hot dog dreams come true. To celebrate National Hot Dog Day (today), the meat-industry titan has listed its legendary Wienermobile on Airbnb for overnight stays. Mark your calendars for July 24, when reservation opportunities will go live throughout the day, with prices starting at $136 per night.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The 27-foot-long locomotive hot dog, parked in Chicago, can accommodate two people and includes a sofa bed, sitting area, and outdoor space with a bathroom and “hot dog picnic zone” where you can lounge in Adirondack chairs while enjoying a savory snack. The 'mobile will also be packed with all the hot dog amenities you didn’t know you needed: Highlights include a mini fridge stocked with hot dogs and Chicago-style fixings, a custom Wienermobile art piece by Chicago artist Laura Kiro, and an Oscar Mayer roller grill that you get to keep forever. And that’s not the only souvenir: each guest will also receive a welcome kit with as-yet-unidentified “hot dog-inspired accessories.”

Other features include air conditioning, free parking, breakfast, a hair dryer, and the essentials: towels, bed sheets, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper.

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

Interior of Wienermobile on Airbnb
Airbnb

The booking dates overlap with Chicago’s famed Grant Park music festival Lollapalooza, which takes place from August 1 through 4. The lineup this year includes Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, The Strokes, and Kacey Musgraves, to name a few. What better way to stay nourished and well-rested after a musical marathon than in a cozy, oblong automobile filled with meat?

If you can't book a Wienermobile getaway, you can still celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month by hosting your own hot dog picnic wherever you are (just make sure you know the proper way to plate, dress, serve, and chow down on a plate full of frankfurters).

Check out the full listing on Airbnb.

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Why Are There 10 Hot Dogs to a Pack But Only 8 Buns?

tacar/iStock via Getty Images
tacar/iStock via Getty Images

Watching competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut cram dozens of hot dogs down his throat would make anyone crave a grilled log of processed meat this summer. But shopping for hot dogs can be a confusing experience. The dogs are typically sold in packs of 10, but the buns are sold in packs of eight. What's behind this strange dog and bun inequality?

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—yes, there is a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—there’s a good reason for the discrepancy. For starters, distributors of hot dogs are almost always different from manufacturers of baked goods like rolls. The hot dogs are sold in packs of 10 because producers of meat (or meat-like) products selected that quantity when hot dogs started to sell at retail grocery stores in the 1940s. Oscar Mayer, which led the charge into direct-to-consumer hot dog packaging, sold hot dogs by the pound in accordance with how meat is typically priced. Having 10 dogs that weighed 1.6 ounces each seemed like the ideal distribution of weight.

Bakeries, meanwhile, have standards of their own. Buns and sandwich rolls are usually sold eight to a pack because the baking trays for the elongated buns are typically sized to fit that number. Two sets of four buns come off the tray, which is the reason why buns are often still attached to one another when you open a bag.

These standards were created independently of one another: Bakeries weren’t too preoccupied with hot dogs when they were settling on a four-roll tray standard, and hot dog manufacturers weren’t thinking about how difficult it would be for bakeries to break from their conveyor system to offer 10 buns to a pack.

It can be frustrating if you buy just one or two packages of each, but if you’re hosting a big enough party, the uneven number doesn’t matter. You just need to buy five packages of buns and four packages of hot dogs to have 40 matching pairs. No complicated calculations required.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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