CLOSE

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.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Oreo, Amazon
arrow
Food
Try New Oreo Flavors Each Month With a Cookie Club Subscription Box
Oreo, Amazon
Oreo, Amazon

The best cookies are the kind that are delivered directly to your doorstep. Now, as delish reports, the Oreo cookie brand is offering that service to its customers on a monthly basis. Oreo fans who sign up for the Cookie Club will receive a curated box of goodies around the beginning of the month.

Each subscription package comes in a box decorated with the cookie’s iconic design. Inside recipients will find two snacks, which can be any combination of the brand’s many cookies and candy bar flavors (such as classic Oreo and golden Oreo cookies as their examples).

The delivery also includes a recipe card and an Oreo-inspired gift. That gift could be a mug, a hat, a game, or any piece of Oreo-branded swag the company can fit into the box. According to one Amazon user, the box for January included cinnamon Oreo cookies, chocolate hazelnut Oreos, Oreo hot cocoa mix, Oreo socks, and a recipe for cinnamon Oreo mug cake.

The subscription costs more than it would to purchase the cookies from a store, but for true fans the higher price tag may be worth it. The Cookie Club is an opportunity to try out new Oreo flavors that you may have had trouble finding otherwise. It also makes a great gift for any adventurous cookie fans in your life. Subscriptions are available to purchase exclusively through Amazon in 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month packages, with the prices for each coming out to around $20 a box.

[h/t delish]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
©Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello
arrow
Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Inside the Kitchen of Thomas Jefferson's Acclaimed—and Enslaved—Chef James Hemings
 ©Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello
©Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

James Hemings once prepared lavish dishes for America's founding fathers at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Virginia plantation. Though enslaved, he trained in France to become one of colonial America's most accomplished chefs. Now, archaeologists have uncovered the kitchen where Hemings created his elaborate banquets, LiveScience reports.

Researchers at Monticello are conducting a long-term effort, the Mountaintop Project, to restore plantation premises, including slave quarters, to their original appearance. Archaeologists excavated a previously filled-in cellar in the main house's South Pavilion, where they found artifacts like bones, toothbrushes, beads, and shards of glass and ceramics. Underneath layers of dirt, experts also uncovered the kitchen's original brick floor, remnants of a fireplace, and the foundations of four waist-high stew stoves.

"Stew stoves are the historic equivalent of a modern-day stovetop or cooking range," archaeological field researcher manager Crystal Ptacek explains in an online video chronicling the find. Each contained a small hole for hot coals; centuries later, the cellar floor still contains remains of ash and charcoal from blazing fires. Hemings himself would have toiled over these stoves.

During the colonial period, wealthy families had their slaves prepare large, labor-intensive meals. These multi-course feasts required stew stoves for boiling, roasting, and frying. Archaeologists think that Jefferson might have upgraded his kitchen after returning from Paris: Stew stoves were a rarity in North America, but de rigueur for making haute French cuisine.

Hemings traveled with Jefferson to France in the 1780s, where for five years he was trained in the French culinary arts. There, Hemings realized he was technically a free man. He met free black people and also learned he could sue for his freedom under French law, according to NPR.

And yet he returned to the U.S. to cook for Jefferson's family and guests, perhaps because he didn't want to be separated from his family members at Monticello, including his sister, Sally. He later negotiated his freedom from Jefferson and trained his brother Peter as his replacement. Hemings ended up cooking for a tavern keeper in Baltimore, and in 1801, shortly after turning down an offer from now-president Jefferson to be his personal chef, he died by suicide.

"We're thinking that James Hemings must have had ideals and aspirations about his life that could not be realized in his time and place," Susan Stein, senior curator at Monticello, told NPR in 2015. "And those factors probably contributed to his unhappiness and his depression, and ultimately to his death."

Hemings contributed to early America's culinary landscape through dessert recipes like snow eggs and by introducing colonial diners to macaroni and cheese, among other dishes. He also assisted today's historians by completing a 1796 inventory of Monticello's kitchen supplies—and he's probably left further clues in the estate's newly uncovered kitchen, says Gayle Jessup White, Monticello's community engagement officer—and one of James's relatives.

"My great-great-great-grandfather Peter Hemings learned to cook French cuisine from his brother James on this stove," White tells Mental Floss. "It was a spiritual moment for me to walk into the uncovered remains of Monticello's first kitchen, where my ancestors spent much of their lives. This discovery breathes life into the people who lived, worked and died at Monticello, and I hope people connect with their stories."

[h/t Live Science]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios