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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.