We’re in the thick of al fresco drinking season—whether it’s poolside or stoopside—any excuse to sip a spritz outside is a good one. Rather than shoving a bottle of wine into a tote and calling it a day, equipping yourself with some outdoor drinking essentials is a worthy investment to avoid lukewarm disappointment.
With an array of new ready-to-drink cocktails and canned wines on the market as well as backpocket entertaining tricks—like make-ahead batched cocktails—there’s never been a faster track to unfussy, effortless summer drinking. Here, we share the basics to make the most of any outdoor drinking occasion.
Recipes to Try
When mixing drinks for a crowd, consider batching and freezing your stirred classic ahead of time for cold drinks on demand, or pre-mixing the base of an Americano or Negroni Sbagliato to simply top with bubbles when it’s time to serve.
Bottles (and Cans) to Try
Any of these sommelier- and retailer-recommended summer wines—ranging from juicy piquettes to laid back, chillable reds—would make for great outdoor drinking, but for something even more portable, look to canned wines such as Artomaña Txakolina Xarmant and Prisma Pinot Noir; or other RTD options like the botanical-forward AMASS hard seltzers (think of these as a grown-up White Claw) or a refreshing St. Agrestis spritz.
Set the “Table”
At a minimum, keep a designated (and easily packable) picnic blanket on hand. And for a subtle park picnic upgrade, invest in a low, foldable camp table to give you extra square footage and a bit more stability to hold your drinks.
For low-stress drinking, shatter-resistant glasses are a must. Fluted acrylic glasses and stemless plastic wine glasses are a step up from Solo cups not just for their stylish appearance, but also their reusability.
To keep your drinks ice-cold, look no further than Yeti’s range of coolers, which are the next best thing to having an actual outdoor fridge. Insulated wine bottles and tightly sealed insulated growlers are excellent alternatives when you’re looking to pack lighter, too.