What’s a trip to the beach without a little buzz? From cracking open some brews on the beach to sneaking sangrias on the shore, beach drinking has grown from a pastime to an art over the years. Some states openly allow beach drinking, but that doesn’t mean you want to announce your party to your neighbors. Take your home bar on the road with this discreet list of essentials for a boozy beach day.
The most obvious and the most easily forgotten item is the humble bottle opener. If your cooler doesn’t have one, you’re not totally out of luck, but it would definitely make your day go a lot smoother if you manage to remember this tool.
You’ve probably been toting around a low- to mid-range Coleman or Igloo cooler for years. While those may be great for your backyard, YETI and Pelican have the market cornered on off-the-grid coolers, complete with sleek accessories. If you don’t feel like springing for a new cooler just yet, Igloo and Coleman dividers are easy to find or make. By creating different sections in the cooler, everyone knows exactly where the food, booze, and non-alcoholic drinks are.
You can get these wire baskets straight from your cooler manufacturer for a guaranteed fit, or measure your way to cooler perishables at your local office supply store. Now that you’ve sectioned off your cooler, you can submerge any meat and dairy you brought along. Placing the basket above this section keeps cocktail ingredients/garnishes, like oranges and mint, out of the heat and dry.
The trick to a pre-made cocktail is the packaging. Personal bottles and pitchers are fairly suspicious, especially if there are no children in the group. Ideally, you want bottles or cartons of fruit juice, especially ones that match the color of your drink of choice. Unless you use darker juices, save the dark liquors for a flask.
For maximum refreshment, create a nearly complete mixed drink with a juice, liquor, and syrup ratio of 3:2:1 (adjusting the syrup to your preference/liquor quality). Once at the beach, you can innocuously muddle fresh ingredients and top with fizzy mixers to breathe some life back into the drink.
For the fearless among you who want to make your own cocktails on the fly, a stealthy bar can come in handy. With only one side of the bar exposed, Tailgaterz Tailgating Tavern offers a concealed organizer for storing a few bottles and space for a small cooler. Optional side baskets keep your tools out of sight to random passersby.
Electric Cocktail Shaker
With or without a portable bar, a battery-powered cocktail shaker can go a long way. With the push of a button, you get a chilly cocktail without announcing your mixology skills to the entire beach.
There are many “sand-free” beach blankets on the market, but the simplicity of fabric choice goes a long way. Page One’s Waterproof Picnic Blanket saves your car from rogue sand with its relatively impenetrable nylon fabric. Protected from tipsy spills and sand, this blanket also provides stability with spaced out anchors that can be filled with sand or held down with pegs.
Turtleback Sand Coasters
Unlike the various cup stakes out there, turtleback sand coasters keep drinks more stable and close to the blanket. The biggest enemy to beach drinking is sand and the design of these sand coasters helps you win that battle more often than not. They can hold bottles and cans in koozies with no problem, but larger cups and bottles may not fit as well.
If you want a classier look than a red Solo cup, the beachside glassware market is flexible. Jokel offers easy-to-fold, dishwasher safe stemless wine glasses and pint glasses. Just be wary of your grip before you Hulk out on a Negroni.