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.

11 Unusual Cutting and Cheese Boards

Fred & Friends, Amazon
Fred & Friends, Amazon

Planning a wine and cheese party? Make sure what you're using to serve snacks is just as cute as your food is delicious.

1. Mouse Trap; $21

A cheese board shaped like a mouse trap

Fred & Friends, Amazon

At first glance, this item just looks like an oversized mouse trap. Ingeniously, the snapping part of the trap can be removed to reveal it's actually a cheese slicer. A chunk of cheese can be displayed and sliced on the 9-inch-long board—just don't invite any mice to the party.

Find it: Amazon

2. MOUSE BOARD; $30

A board shaped like a mouse hole with a mouse-shaped cheese cutter on top

Fred & Friends, Amazon

If a mouse trap is a little too macabre for your shindig, consider this adorable alternative. Assemble your cheeses on the 8-inch-long board and slice them up with a mouse-shaped knife that can be stored in the Tom and Jerry-esque mouse hole at the bottom.

Find it: Amazon

3. STATE SLATE; $20

Cheese and crackers arrayed on a slate cheese board

Bison Hill Stonecrafts, Amazon

Celebrate cheese from all over the United States with this patriotic slate. You can even grab a piece of chalk and write down the names of all the cheeses for hungry guests. Creator Bison Hill Stonecrafts will even personalize your board with a laser engraving, if you'd like.

Find it: Amazon

4. Log and Axe; $25

A cheese board shaped like a cut tree trunk

Fred & Friends, Amazon

Give your cheese a rustic presentation with this log and axe set-up. The solid beech cutting board is shaped like a log and comes with an axe-shaped knife to help you bring out your inner lumberjack.

Find it: Amazon

5. Mariner Wheel; $35

Invite all your sailor friends over for snacks with this nautical cheese board. When each of the four differently-shaped knives are placed into their respective holes in the board, the board looks like a ship's wheel.

Find it: UncommonGoods

6. Cheese Degrees; $20

A cutting board with a protractor design

Fred & Friends, Amazon

Make sure everyone gets an even amount of cheese with this obsessively precise cutting board. Whether you want perfect cubes or exactly portioned triangles, this cheese board can help ensure that everything is perfectly sliced.

Find it: Amazon

7. The States; $28

A cheese board in the shape of New York state

Amy Stringer-Mowat and Bill Mowat, UncommonGoods

Celebrate your home state with a bamboo cutting board created by New York-based woodworkers Amy Stringer-Mowat and Bill Mowat. You can see all the available state shapes in this PDF.

Find it: UncommonGoods

8. Voodoo Doll; $20

Pull out this voodoo doll-shaped board when you're feeling a little vindictive. You can hack away at meats and cheese and then store the knife appropriately in the wooden doll's back.

Find it: Overstock.com

9. Ampersand; $48

Delight your guests with some knowledge about where the ampersand comes from while using this board, which lets you fill a twisting line of crackers around three different cheeses.

Find it: UncommonGoods

10. Say Cheese; $19

A cheese board shaped like a smiling mouth

Fred & Friends, Amazon

Smile! It's cheese time. This mouth-shaped cheese board looks just as happy about the selection as you do. Underneath all the food, the board says "say cheese" in the center.

Find it: Amazon

11. The Obsessive Chef; $27

A cutting board with measurements on it

Fred & Friends, Amazon

This product comes with a series of lines to guide the cutter, including how to medium dice, small dice, brunoise, fine brunoise, batonnet, allumette, julienne, and fine julienne. The lines are burnished instead of printed, so they'll never get worn away.

Find it: Amazon or at one of the retailers below:

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availability.

A Massive Beef Recall Due to E. Coli Might Affect Your Memorial Day Meal Plans

iStock/Kameleon007
iStock/Kameleon007

If your Memorial Day weekend plans involve grilling meat, you're going to want to take some extra precautions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that 62,112 pounds of raw beef are being recalled due to possible contamination with E. coli bacteria, which causes food poisoning.

The meat originated with the Aurora Packing Company of North Aurora, Illinois on April 19. Aurora Packing is recalling the products, which have an EST. 788 number on the USDA mark of inspection found on packaging and were shipped to stores around the country. The meat was packaged in multiple cuts, including ribeye and briskets.

Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli, is bacteria that affects the gastrointestinal system, causing cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious symptoms that can derail one's celebratory mood. If you think you've purchased any of the contaminated meat, it's recommended that you immediately discard it.

[h/t USA Today]

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