I know Labor Day weekend typically marks the end of summer, but if nothing else, 2020 has proved that time is a social construct, so I for one am just going to keep pretending it’s summer all year. (And I know summer technically ends on September 20th but much like Memorial Day is the unofficial start, Labor Day is the unofficial end. So don’t come for me.) One way to pretend like it’s summer all the time is to drink summery drinks no matter the time of year.
2019 may have been the summer of hard seltzers, but 2020 for me is all about the canned cocktails. They’re delicious, they’re portable, and best of all, half the flavors in the variety box aren’t undrinkable (okay so that was a White Claw subtweet). My point still stands. Here are some of the best canned cocktails to stock up on.
Boulder-based Cocktail Squad® has something for every type of liquor drinker, whether you’re a whiskey girl (Whiskey Sour, Bourbon Smash), a vodka lover (Greyhound, Vodka Soda), a tequila drinker (margarita), or a gin sipper (gin & tonic). The small batch original flavors all pack a serious punch at 10% ABV per can, but if you’re in a more casual drinking mood (can’t relate) the new Whiskey Ginger and Vodka Lemon are a responsible 5% ABV. See if Cocktail Squad is available in your area here.
First of all, I’ve got to say that this comes in some of the best packaging ever—plus, I love that these cans look like rugged sodas or a kombucha or something. They’ll never know it’s alcohol! These canned vodka sodas come in a variety of flavors from your traditional lime and black cherry to the more snazzy watermelon and cucumber mint (plus there’s also a grapefruit option). They’re only 99 calories per can, sodium- and gluten-free. Available on Drizly.
Truthfully, I’m not a gin person so I can’t vouch for these, but thankfully Tanqueray doesn’t need my endorsement because there are plenty of actual celebrities who swear by the stuff. And now you can get all the natural flavors of Tanqueray in a convenient can. There are three varietals: Tanqueray Gin & Tonic, Tanqueray Rangpur Lime Gin & Soda, and Tanqueray Sevilla Orange Gin & Soda, all 6% ABV and available in a 4-pack.
New this summer to Clubtails are two flavors: Strawberry Daiquiri and Blueberry Mojito. I’ll take a million of each, please. There are a bunch of other flavors if those aren’t your scene—including, but not limited to: Bahama Mama, Sex on the Beach, Scredriver, Watermelon Margarita, and others. All have a hefty 10% ABV and are perfect for drinking on-the-go.
Mimosas in a can made with brut from the Finger Lakes region of NY, plus real juice. That’s it, that’s the product. Ohza has three different brunch-inspired drinks: a classic mimosa, a bellini, and a mango mimosa. With 140 calories per can, that’s less than what you’d get if you made it yourself, and there’s no added sugar. At 5% ABV these are perfect to start your day with.
As we’ve previously established, I’m a sucker for cute packaging, and Fling’s is f*cking adorable. Boulevard has been brewing beer for decades but decided to dip their toes into the craft cocktail pond, and the result are fun varietals like a blood orange vodka soda (need), mai tai, mojito, and more. They vary in intensity from a casual 5% to a solid 9% ABV, so there’s really something for everyone in your group.
Again with a pretty cover, these Organic Premium Spritzes are a fave of Gwyneth Paltrow and Olivia Culpo. But stay with me, because they’re actually good! They don’t have artificial flavors, colors, or added sweeteners, and have five different varieties. I liked the grapefruit & hibiscus paloma spritz, which had a bit of a kick (think like gingerbeer); plus the elderflower & ginger margarita spritz. Other varietals include the brunch-friendly Mango & Peach Rosé Bellini Spritz, Sunrise Rosé Sangria Spritz, and Mandarin Rosé Mimosa Spritz.
For the wildcard in your friend group (if you don’t know who it is, it’s you), there’s Belle Isle Canned Cocktails, which are made with… wait for it… moonshine. But don’t get scared because they are a respectable 5% ABV and not the instant blackout you think of when you hear “moonshine”. Honey Hab & Pineapple combines honey-habanero moonshine with bubbles and real pineapple. Blood orange & soda , ruby red & soda, and shine & soda mix Belle Isle’s moonshine (in the case of the first two, infused with fruits) with a splash of soda.
Sold on that name alone, tbh. These canned cocktails, made with spirits distilled in Virginia, range from 4.5-10%ABV and come in four varietals. The Orange Smash is basically a screwdriver with lemon lime flavors added for an extra punch; the vodka soda has a twist of lime and is only 90 calories; the vodka mule combines ginger and elderflower; and the gin & tonic has notes of citrus and juniper.
Made with wine, fruit juice, sparkling water, and natural flavors, MOVO wine spritzers are only 100 calories per can with no sugar added. They come in three types: peach white blend, raspberry rosé, and blood orange sangria. And probably the best part is that since they’re canned, you don’t have to worry about bringing a corkscrew to the beach.
We can’t go to Italy right now, but we can get Italian spritz culture in a can with Ramona, a line of canned wine spritzes. No Aperol spritz, sorry, but all three can varieties are made with sparkling organic Sicilian wine, so you can pretend like you’re on your Italian vacation. There’s a blood orange, a ruby grapefruit, and an unconventional Meyer lemon. All the spritzes clock in at 7% ABV, which is more than your average seltzer.
Images: Monica di Loxley / Unsplash; Cocktail Squad, CANTEEN, Drizly, Clubtails, Ohza, Boulevard, Miami Cocktail Co, Belle Isle, Devil’s Backbone, MOVO Wine, Ramona
Just as my colleague Alise Morales is the undisputed Doll Correspondent here at Betches, I am too dubbing myself the Senior Hard Seltzer Correspondent (though I fully admit that my articles are no American Girl Dolls Ranked By Betchiness, but I do my best). I’ve already broken down what your favorite White Claw flavor says about you, but why stop there? What if you’re not a White Claw Outlaw? What if you’re *gasp* a Truly Thot? A Bon & Viv kid? (I clearly made all these terms up.) Never fear, I’m here to tell you, like a drunk Buzzfeed but probably still more logical, what your favorite hard seltzer brand says about you.
People who drink White Claw go one of two ways: they either embrace the frat bro branding and are therefore wanted in several states for their petty crimes, or they are “old people” (read: over 30) who think they’re winding down but are in actuality blacking out on Tuesdays after chugging four of these in an hour. So basically, the same person just plus or minus a side of self-awareness. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but I will: drinking these is not a valid defense in court. I will also let you in on a secret: everyone wants you to shut the f*ck up about these.
Unlike some of its bougier counterparts, Trulies are upfront about what they bring to the table, which they communicate through bold packaging and the fact that you can find them next to the checkout counter at your local Walgreen’s. The people who drink these are always yelling without intending to, and true (pun not intended) to the name, their main personality trait is that they consider themselves “brutally honest”, which we all know means “lacking tact”.
Let me guess: your name is Kaylee or Hayleigh or Mickayyleaighgh, you live in Buckhead, Atlanta or somewhere similarly preppy, and you have a designer Frankenstein of a dog. Yes, I know the outdoorsy design on the cans would lead one to believe I would go the “you actually enjoy hiking” route, but I’m not that literal. You see, these flavors are so bougie (“lemon agave hibiscus”? It’s lemonade, call it what it is) that the people who drink this are the people who barrel curl their hair for fun. I see your melon basil and while yes, you sound delicious, I’m not sure I can hang with your crowd considering I don’t have a trust fund. Also what the f*ck is a “yumberry”?
I’ve heard the strawberry flavor is actually good, but I have yet to try these considering I am over the age of 23. When it comes to Bud Light Seltzer, we can go one of a few ways. First, there’s the obvious: you just graduated college, are living in FiDi with six roommates and three fake walls (“The closet is a flex!”), and are biding your time until Jake’s Dilemma reopens. Then, there’s the other slightly obvious: you’re stuck in a miserable 9-to-5 working like, insurance or some sh*t, and just long for your college days (you probably also have a rack of Bud Light beer in your fridge and a lonely beer bong collecting dust in the corner). Or, finally: you’re just a regular guy/gal who isn’t into all these high-falutin trends like “adaptogens” and “açai” that you see on Instagram, and prefer the simple things in life.
The thing is that High Noon drinkers are better than everyone else, but they aren’t showy about it. In fact, some say they, like their go-to seltzer, are overly sweet. When High Noon drinkers discover a new trend, they won’t say anything when you hop on that bandwagon two years later and act like you invented it. You want to hate this person, but you can’t find a reason, and anyone you express your jealousy to will just think you’re the asshole.
Bon Viv is that girl nobody paid any respect to in high school, but once she got away from her small town, she was the f*cking Queen Bee in college. She left all those haters in the dust and had an instant come-up. The thing is, though, she still keeps it real. Yes she did get invited by a well-known fashion brand to a trip to Paris, yes she’ll still be at your 10-year reunion, no she is not interested in trying one of your “weird wrap things”.
These things pack 12% ABV per can (for reference, most of these other brands clock in around 5%). I mean this from the bottom of my heart: If you drink Four Loko seltzers, I am afraid of you. You have nothing to lose. You probably use your iPhone without a case, just out here raw dogging it. You may likely have a death wish. Just stay away from me.
Images: djile / Shutterstock
The best—if we’re being honest, maybe the only good—part of the summer of 2020 has been the books. From twisty thrillers to steamy romances, we’ve had it all. Our summer 2020 reads are hot, sweet, evocative—kind of like a really good cocktail. And since you’re likely reading any number of these with a drink in your hand anyway, I thought I’d do the work of pairing some of the biggest summer reads with the perfect drink. You’re welcome.
‘Luster’ + Death In The Afternoon
I love a Death in the Afternoon—and no, that’s not just when my coffee crash hits—because this cocktail almost begs you to drink it. It’s so glamorous, yet kind of out-there (tell me the last time you saw one of these on a cocktail menu… exactly). Not to mention, it’s delicious. I think Raven Leilani’s Luster is just as compelling. So much of this book is about that all-too-familiar striving for satisfaction, electric and desperate and wry. Luster is the perfect accompaniment to this cocktail because it hits those same dark and quixotic notes. Another irresistible point of symmetry is that this drink has only three ingredients, mirroring the open marriage at the center of this story.
- ¾ oz absinthe
- 4 oz chilled prosecco
- 1 sugar cube
Pour the absinthe into a champagne glass. Slowly add the chilled prosecco; if you do it right, your drink will turn an enchanting, iridescent green. Drop in the sugar cube and enjoy that gratifying fizz while it lasts.
‘Hysteria’ + Tequila And Habanero Sour
This book burns with sensual urgency, sort of like the burn from the habanero in this twist on a sour. Jessica Gross’ immersive and dark debut is complex and beautiful, hitting every note in that virtuosic range between desire and shame. I couldn’t resist matching Hysteria with this spicy tequila sour, a drink that encompasses an equally impressive range of flavor and fragrance.
- 4 oz blanco tequila
- 2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ½ oz agave
- 2 dashes habanero hot sauce
Add the tequila, lemon juice, and agave into a shaking tin. Throw in the hot sauce and five to seven ice cubes, then shake vigorously for almost a full minute (if your arms can hold up). Fill two rocks glasses with ice and pour out the mixture through a strainer, dividing the cocktail between the glasses equally. Garnish each glass with a freshly sliced lemon wheel.
‘The Death Of Vivek Oji’ + Mezcal Aperol Gimlet
Akwaeke Emezi’s story about community and loss is the real deal. The masterfully rendered characters and shifting points of view create a poignant vision of the kaleidoscopic world surrounding Vivek. I found it nearly impossible to put this book down, which is why I had to pair it with a drink that I also find impossible to put down: this complex, bittersweet, vibrant mezcal Aperol gimlet.
- 2 oz mezcal
- ¾ oz agave nectar
- 1 ½ tsp Aperol
- ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- grapefruit zest for garnish
Combine the mezcal, agave, Aperol, and lime in a shaking tin. Add five to seven ice cubes and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain your cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a generous strip of grapefruit zest, if you have it.
‘Pizza Girl’ + Rum And Cherry Coke
Pizza Girl will take you for a ride in the very best way. Jean Kyoung Frazier so clearly, brilliantly—and almost harshly, because it’s so relatable it may feel like an attack—renders the mistakes, tragedies, and miracles of youth. I couldn’t resist going a little more literal with this one and pairing Pizza Girl with a riff on a rum and coke. This one’s hopefully a step up from what you were drinking in your high school friend’s basement while your parents thought you were studying, but it’s still a throwback to those days. (Not to mention, it goes great with pizza.)
- 2oz Flor de Cana rum
- 4 oz cherry Coke
- 1 maraschino cherry
You know this song, right? Fill a tall glass with ice and add your rum and cherry coke. Give it a little stir and add a maraschino cherry so you can practice tying the stem into a knot with your tongue when you’re finished.
‘Last Call On Decatur Street’ + Sazerac
Iris Martin Cohen’s Last Call on Decatur Street perfectly captures the blurry beauty of a long night out in one of the most bewitching cities in the world. (Ugh, remember nights out?) A Sazerac is really the only match for this dazzling ode to New Orleans, since the drink was created there in the early 19th century. The dreamy absinthe rinse along with a bold bolt of rye will bring you to the exact sort of summer night Cohen conjures in her page-turning second novel. Just maybe pace yourself with this drink, or you may find yourself having a blurry night of your own.
- 1 ½ tsp absinthe
- 2 oz rye
- 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 ½ tsp simple syrup
Pour the absinthe into a glass along with two ice cubes; swirl the glass and coat the interior. Set aside and add rye, both bitters, simple syrup, and ice to a separate mixing glass. Stir for about a minute. Then, empty the absinthe and ice from the first cup and pour—through a strainer—the contents of the mixing glass into the rinsed glass.
‘Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop’ + St. Germain
Aside from my friends and family, I probably miss traveling the most. Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop is a tonic for anyone craving adventure. For a more immersive experience, fix yourself a St. Germain champagne cocktail to go along with it. This drink is as lovely, effervescent and delightful as Roselle Kim’s transportive tale of Vanessa’s voyage to Paris. Plus, it’s French AF so it will really set the scene.
- 1 oz St. Germain
- ½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 oz chilled sparkling wine
- lemon zest for garnish
Add the St. Germain and lemon juice in a shaking tin over ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and pour into a champagne glass. If you want to get really fancy with it, chill the glass first. But if you can’t wait, don’t worry about it. Top with cold sparkling wine and garnish with a twist of lemon zest. If you don’t have a shaking tin, you can make this one right in the glass—just make sure you pour in the St. Germain and lemon juice first.
Image: Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com
If you asked anybody last fall what they thought their summer would be like, I’m sure nobody could have predicted we’d all be relegated to our homes, avoiding a deadly virus. (And if you did, give me your number because I need some advice on stocks.) Bars may be opening to varying degrees where you live, but maybe you don’t feel comfortable venturing out just yet. Or maybe you just prefer drinking in the comfort of your own home, which, before quarantine happened, we all complained was a better way to pass the time anyway! So if you’re not an overachiever who has taken this time to learn how to bartend (and who wants to buy random sh*t like vermouth and bitters anyway?), then it’s time to stock up on canned drinks for summer. They’re portable, they’re delicious, and you don’t have to make them yourself. Here are some canned drinks you can take to your next socially distant park hang.
Created in Los Angeles and produced in Ventura, CA, Livewire canned cocktails are created by top bartenders and the cans are designed by tattoo artists, which is good for your Instagram but bad for my hoarding tendencies. (What, I like to save pretty things…) Three drinks are now available: the Heartbreaker, a mix of vodka, oroblanco grapefruit, kumquat, jasmine, and ginger; the Honeydew Collins, which contains gin, honeydew, lime leaf, coconut, and elderflower; and the Golden God, which is made of Rye whiskey, brandy, apricot, green tea, and elderflower. Fancy. They’re available at select stores in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York, or you can just buy a 4-pack online.
Cutwater Canned Cocktails
So basically you’ll never have to buy a bottle of liquor ever again if you just stock up on Cutwater Spirits, because they’ve put pretty much every cocktail imaginable in canned form. From a Bloody Mary to a tequila paloma to your basic vodka soda and so many f*cking more, they legit have it all. I sounded like an infomercial just there but it’s legitimately true. I the grapefruit vodka soda, which has a nice flavor kick without being too abrasive like ahem other grapefruit canned drink varietals, as well as the tequila margarita, which knocked me on my ass at 12.5% ABV. Truly something for everyone. They’re currently available in a bunch of states and on Drizly and Reserve Bar.
Prairie Organic Spirits
I love the design of these cans because they kind of look like you’re drinking an old-timey soda and not a cocktail with 5% ABV. Just in case, you know, you might need to disguise the fact that you’re getting buzzed…in front of your mom, not anything illegal, of course. Prairie’s canned cocktails come in three varietals, all made with Prairie Organic vodka or gin. The cucumber lemonade and grapefruit are made with vodka, and they are pretty self-explanatory in terms of flavor and ingredients. If you’re a gin person
I don’t trust you you can try the Minnesota Bootleg, a blend of gin, mint, lemon, and lime flavors. So like, kind of a gin fizz, maybe? Find them at a local retailer.
Speaking of super cute packaging, Two Chicks is a female-founded company that makes a number of equally tasty and pretty canned cocktails, and they’re all sparkling, because obviously. What I love about this brand (aside from what I already said) is that they have cocktails you’re not really going to find anywhere else, like a sparkling apple gimlet and vodka CuTea (vodka with peach, cucumber tea, and thyme). They also have your classics like a citrus margarita and paloma, though. I’ll take one of everything. Buy locally or through services like Drizly.
Started by Shay Mitchell, Noah Gray, Max Dworin, and Kelli Adams, this sh*t looks and tastes like summer in a can. Their canned tequila soda has 5% ABV and 100 calories, and it’s made with blanco tequila from a woman-owned distillery in Mexico and uses real lime and grapefruit juice. You really can’t go wrong with either of the two classic flavors, lime and grapefruit.
McBride Sisters Collection SHE CAN Wines
McBride Sisters was started by (you guessed it) sisters Robin and Andréa McBride, who had no idea the other existed until 1999. I’m going to need a movie about their life ASAP, and it will be the new Parent Trap. While they have a bigger bottle collection, they offer canned sauvignon blanc and rosé. The sauv b is a New Zealand wine and the rosé is a California wine, a nod to how one sister grew up in New Zealand and the other in California. I’m telling you, they need a movie!! You can bu the cans directly through their site, and stay on the lookout for SHE CAN spritzers.
Cupcake Canned Wines
If you’re more of a wine drinker, Cupcake wines have three types that come in a can: the sauvignon blanc, rosé, and sparkling rosé. All are perfect for summer and can be purchased at your local liquor store or, again, online. As an extra bonus that literally seems too good to be true, the cans are 375mL which means there is half a bottle in every can. Let me repeat that: HALF A BOTTLE IN EVERY CAN.
14 Hands Unicorn Rosé Bubbles
Speaking of wine, 14 Hands Unicorn Rosé Bubbles is pretty much the cutest canned drink ever, and that’s all there is to it. I am told the flavor is “light, fruity and crisp,” but I’m going to level with you guys: all wine tastes the same to me unless that wine is Chardonnay, which I categorically hate. This wine has scents of cranberry, pomegranate, and Bing cherry, but again, I went to a wine tasting once and was literally Michael Scott being like “this tastes like a red.” Regardless, this rosé is cute and it tastes good, and you can get your hands on some online or through Drizly.
Bud Light Seltzer
We have now reached everyone’s favorite portion of the article: seltzers. And I’m not going to cover the obvious ones, but I do feel the need to include Bud Light on here. The thing is that these are actually good!! And they’re one of the only companies that has a strawberry flavor, which is a personal favorite. You can pretty much get it wherever you can find Bud Light—I trust that you don’t need my advice on this one.
Volley Spiked Seltzer
Tequila drinkers (hi), this one’s for you. Volley is the first clean spiked seltzer since it’s made with only three ingredients: 100% blue agave tequila, sparkling water and organic juice (as if I care, I’m putting alcohol in my body). It’s made with 100% blue agave tequila, so to me it tastes like a tequila soda, which happens to be my go-to bar order. They’re basically like if you want the taste of tequila without all the commitment, and there are four flavors: zesty lime (tastes like your standard tequila soda with lime and it is, in fact, zesty), sharp grapefruit (like your skinny girl paloma), tropical mango (which is surprisingly really good and kind of tastes like soda), and spicy ginger (like a tequila mule). Check out their website where they will direct you to a third party retailer that ships to your state.
Another hard seltzer that is kinder on the body (well, as kind to your body as an alcoholic beverage can be) is Vizzy, which contains Vitamin C. This is bad news for me because I am known to drink when I am getting sick, because I subscribe to the “alcohol kills the germs” mentality. So now that we have alcohol that contains vitamin C, it’s game over. In any case, Vizzy has more ~elevated~ flavors like pineapple mango, black cherry lime, blueberry pomegranate (it’s getting wild over here), and strawberry kiwi. You can order through Drizly, Instacart, or at a retailer near you.
Crook & Marker
From spiked lemonade to tea to soda to coconut (water, I guess?) Crook & Marker has basically every type of hard fizzy drink you could ever want. I can always get down with a hard lemonade, and their classic, blueberry, raspberry, and watermelon flavors are a definite step up from the hard lemonade you stole from your parents in high school (not naming any brand names, but I think you know the one). You can find them at a local grocery store or similar retailer.
Images: Maria Oswalt / Unsplash; sipwhiskey.com; cutwaterspirits.com; prairieorganicspirits.com; twochickscocktails.com; drinkonda.com; mcbridesisters.com; cupcakevineyards.com; 14hands.com; budlight.com; jensensliquors.com; vizzyhardseltzer.com; crookandmarker.com
Spiked seltzers are the drink of summer, whether we are having a summer or not. Ever since they burst onto the scene, people have been obsessed with them. And for good reason: they taste amazing, are not super high in calories, and are easy to chug in rapid succession. While I know what your favorite flavor actually says about you is that you bought the variety pack and the can you’re drinking was the first one you reached for in the box, I think it can go a little deeper. Just like your horoscope, your preferred White Claw flavor could reveal some latent personality traits that you never wanted to admit to yourself. Or this could be a totally made-up thought exercise I did for fun. I guess only you can decide, based on whether you agree with what I wrote about your flavor of choice!
All the 70 Calorie Ones
I haven’t tried any of these, and I’m looping them all in together because the idea is the same. If you are seriously the type of person who is so preoccupied with counting calories that you’re going out of your way to shave 30 of them off of your alcohol, I’m going to also venture that you’re the person posting their at-home workouts on Instagram. Even worse, you’re not even improvising by using wine bottles as free weights. No, you already had a full rack of free weights on deck and enough resistance bands to supply a gym. Chill the f*ck out—drinking 100-calorie hard seltzers isn’t going to sabotage your physique. You might want to turn your attention to the pizza you drunkenly inhaled after chugging six of these bad boys.
I’m sorry, if you’re drinking plain White Claw, you are a serial killer. The whole point of these is that they kind of taste like fun, flavored seltzer, but they also get you drunk. You just took the fun out of it, and not even in a way that makes sense. If you want to get drunk off plain seltzer, they already have that, and it’s called a vodka soda. Only someone who literally enjoys murder would want to sip a semi-flat soda that only just gets you buzzed.
Black Cherry is the elite of White Claw flavors, simply because it tastes good, and speaking from experience (last week), I could drink an entire case without getting sick of it. What makes Black Cherry so good is that unlike some of the other flavors (lookin’ at you, “Natural” Lime), it doesn’t taste like I’m being smacked in the face with artificial cherries created in a lab. Like, I don’t pick up a can of boozy seltzer expecting to drink freshly squeezed cherry juice, but I expect some resemblance to the real thing. So, the Black Cherry drinker is also real af, because real recognize real. Black Cherry doesn’t mince words, she calls people out if they’re acting foolish (she’s been known to be called an asshole at times for her bluntness). She doesn’t Facetune, not even to make her teeth whiter. When she skips a workout to eat pasta on her couch, you’ll know about it. When she posts a thirst trap, she captions it, “look how good my boobs look.”
The mango-drinking bitch is always on a vacation, if not literally, then in her mind. She’s the one who’s posting thirst traps from her parents’ backyard. When she emerges from quarantine, the only skill she will have mastered is her camera’s self-timer and which angles she can sit in that still show off her butt. She’s the only person you know who will have worn a bathing suit this entire summer.
It’s not enough to just be lime—no, this has to be Natural Lime. But there’s nothing natural about drinking a malt beverage disguised as water with fruit. If you swear by Natural Lime, you are definitely someone who eats a plant-based diet because you don’t trust the “chemicals” in processed foods… but then gets bi-monthly lip injections.
Grapefruit drinkers are not to be trusted. The thing with Grapefruit White Claw is it sounds good, and it is for the few sips, until you realize this sh*t is extremely f*cking abrasive. Even the name is abrasive—we all know what a grapefruit is, you don’t need to specify that it’s a ruby grapefruit.
The person who enjoys this sh*t seems great at first. She always seems to have fun plans going on and invites you out to brunch reservations at the most lit spots where the mimosas flow freely without a time limit. And even better, she sometimes pays! It’s everything you could ever want, until you realize that nothing in life is truly free. If you don’t respond to her texts immediately, she starts subtweeting you. If you can’t make one of her club reservations, you better not geotag yourself anywhere other than your bed, because you’ll get an eyeful in the DMs the second you hit post. And god forbid you post a photo she took without giving her photo credit—she may send a hit squad after you.
Raspberry wishes it could be black cherry, but frankly, it’s just a little too fake. Raspberry is the type of person who posts #nofilter, when you can tell they played with the brightness, contrast, and highlights, and also applied a full face contour. Raspberry would never get plastic surgery, but regularly gets facials, highlights, and lash extensions. If Raspberry were a castmember on Vanderpump Rules, it would be Scheana, and that should tell you everything you need to know.
Okay, so you want a vodka soda but you promised yourself to stop blacking out on weeknights? We understand and we empathize. Will a Lemon White Claw transport you to the beaches of Ibiza? No, absolutely not, but it will give you the delicious citrusy alcohol taste of cheap vodka that’s reminiscent of all the bars we wish we could visit right now. Anyone chugging this flavor just really misses sweaty dance floors where finance guys try to hit on you when their girlfriends are in the bathroom. Tbh, same.
Watermelon White Claw tastes sort of like nothing, with a hint of watermelon and a hint of alcohol. Drinking this is like drinking a club soda with a splash of vodka in it while watching someone eat a watermelon on IGTV. That said, this beverage will provide you with the closest approximation to summer that we will experience this year. Watermelon White Claw is the official drink of everyone mourning their vacations. Drinking this will take you to a different place—no, not the beach you’d had planned, but more like, your Aunt’s house in New Jersey where you constantly get yelled at for forgetting the recipe to potato salad. (Hint: the secret ingredient is mayonnaise.)
Let’s call a spade a f*cking spade: this is orange. It’s orange who went to a fancy private school and came back to their hometown with a rebrand and a new vocab. But the thing about Tangerine is that while you want to hate it for insulting your intelligence by literally being orange and claiming otherwise, you can’t because just like Black Cherry, it tastes pretty damn close to the real thing. Sure, Tangerine is a little extra, but she still gets the job done, and let’s be real! Who among us is not a little extra sometimes? Tangerine is the one who peer pressures everyone into going all-out in theme for a Zoom video chat, but it ends up being really fun. She plans a minute-by-minute itinerary on your group trip, which leaves you all exhausted, but you know if you’d left it up to anyone else you would have all been hungover to even visit one site. She does dance challenges on TikTok, but she’s actually like, really coordinated. You want to hate, but you just can’t.
Images: rblfmr / Shutterstock.com; White Claw
Labor Day has passed, but summer is still here until September 22, whether you like it or not. TBH, I’m pretty over the heat, but for those of you who would like to take advantage of the final days of summer, here are some Brunch Boys approved spots to add to your end of summer bucket list. I’ll just be here with my AC in my face until it’s officially fall.
City Vineyard is a restaurant and wine bar located at pier 26 on the Hudson River with three different bars and two levels of fun. The ground floor is more of a traditional table service restaurant area, while the upstairs deck is more suitable for snacking. It’s perfect for a nice meal out or just for having casual drinks. I’d recommend trying some of their house wines—it is a wine bar after all, and they have a few options on tap. The wines pair nicely with a charcuterie board or an oyster platter. In addition to having good food and drinks, City Vineyard has an awesome atmosphere. Look right, you’ll see the Freedom Tower; look left, you’ll see the most gorgeous sunset (if you go on a Monday, you can enjoy a free sunset movie screening). Since Bryant Park’s films are finished for the season, City Vineyard is a nice spot to relocate.
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North River Lobster Company
If you’re looking for another activity to do on the pier, check out North River Lobster Company on pier 81. It’s a three-story boat that actually leaves the dock every 45 minutes for a joyride up and down the Hudson. It costs 10 dollars to board the boat, but you can stay on as long as you want aka unlimited river rides. Although there are definitely options to sit inside, you are essentially on the water, away from the shade any skyscrapers or trees would normally provide, making this the ultimate spot to optimize your tan and vitamin D intake (always wear SPF, duh). The boat has plenty of picnic tables and benches where you and your friends can order food while sunbathing, snacking on lobster rolls and
chugging drinking whatever your heart desires. They also have deep fried mac and cheese lobster cubes…need I say more?
Smokey, saucy, savory and satisfying. There’s never a bad time for a BBQ, but summertime especially makes me crave burgers and beer. Pig Beach is a huge outdoor BBQ pit on the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. This spot has tons of options from both the smoker and the grill. They’ve got ribs, brisket, pork shoulder, hotdogs, burgers, I could go on and on. Definitely order a side or two to cool off your mouth from the spice: housemade pickles are always a good option. They also have a special mac and cheese with—get this—toasted goldfish crackers *drool*. Aside from having bomb BBQ, Pig Beach has fun outdoor games that give it a chill, tailgate-y vibe. The best part, though? It’s dog-friendly. Bring your pup to the picnic. Insider tip: If you’re craving Pig Beach during the colder times of the year, check out the pop-up location in the Village. You won’t get the full outdoor experience, but your tummy will thank you.
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Tacocina @ Domino Park
If you haven’t been to Domino Park in Williamsburg yet, you should definitely take a stroll. Domino Park opened this past June just north of the Williamsburg Bridge, right on the East River. Like Pig Beach, Domino Park is dog-friendly and even has its very own dog park. My favorite part, of course, is Tacocina. Danny Meyer, one of the prolific restaurateurs of Union Square Hospitality Group, also famous for starting Shake Shack, opened Tacocina. What Shake Shack is to Madison Square Park, Tacocina is to Domino Park. There’s first come, first serve outdoor seating available in the designated area of the park. They have a daily happy hour from 4-6 on the weekdays and are open from 11am-10pm (11pm Friday and Saturday). It’s the ideal waterfront snacking spot to get your chip and guac on. My top three drinks to order are the Michelada, which for those of you who don’t know, is sort of a bloody Mary made with beer; the Paloma; and the Mezcal Negroni. While Tacocina is open year round, now is the time to go in order to enjoy longer, sunnier, days.
Although we are in the middle of the concrete jungle, there are tons of places where you can cool off, poolside. Some pool passes can be a little pricey, but for a whole days’ entertainment, it’s worth it. I suggest befriending a SOHO House Member to score an invite to the newest location in DUMBO. DUMBO House opened its doors (but more importantly, its rooftop) earlier this year. This chic club is members only, so you’ll need the hookup. Once you’ve made it onto the list and are finally poolside, you will find, hands down, the most spectacular view of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. My favorite drink is their house tequila special: picante de la casa. As for food, they have plenty to pick from, including small snacks and larger entrees. They also have quite the selection of vegan options, since it’s in Brooklyn and it’s 2018. Although you may have seen this rooftop pool all over Instagram, taking photos is highly discouraged, so be discreet if you wanna tweet.
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For more drool-worthy brunch recommendations, follow Brunch Boys on Instagram and satisfy all your food porn cravings.
Images: Jonathan Gallegos / Unsplash; Instagram / @montiankari, @pigbeachnyc, @dumbohousebrooklyn
I don’t know about you, but this heat wave is seriously fucking me up. After spending all winter becoming one with my couch, I was really ready for another four months on my couch to get back out there this summer. Instead, I’m finding myself yearning for the days when lying under a blanket didn’t feel like entering a sweat lodge. SO: even though we all get a pass on going outside this week, summer should be your most social season—and dating is no exception. Sunlight makes people happy, happy hours make people drunk, and drunk, happy people have more fun on dates. It’s basic math. Of course, not all summer dates are created equal. So while you’re fielding texts from Hinge matches, keep in mind that many invitations are still worth ignoring. Here’s what these date locations say about your date’s intentions.
Their Local Coffee Shop
In non-summer months, this has potential to be a fine option if you’re on antibiotics. It’s easy to cut short, requires minimal dressing up, and is overall a low-cost alternative to meeting for drinks. And going to the guy’s usual local spot can give you a sense of his overall vibe, though the implication that he’s hoping you’ll go home with him obviously stands.
During the summer though, this invite is all kinds of sus. If they’re trying to meet you at 2pm on a Saturday down the block from their apartment, they likely haven’t left their apartment in six weeks and will be rolling out of bed, wiping Cheeto crumbs off their shirt, and contemplating cancelling five times before they finally walk down the block. Oh, and they’ll probably try to steer the “date” back to their place to continue whatever TV show they were binging within 30 minutes of meeting you. With all the outdoor options and day-drinking venues summer has to offer, if the best they can do is a non-alcoholic beverage in their zip code, they either don’t give a shit about this date at all, have no social life to speak of, or both.
Picnic In The Park
Whether or not this is a red flag is kind of subjective. If you’re a fan of watching ants climb all over your food while dodging Frisbees, enjoy! (Yeah I hate picnics. Sue me.) The plus side of a picnic invitation is that it’s (meant to be) romantic, so the person who suggests this is definitely making an effort. The downside is that they require a ton of work to pull off effectively. So in Scenario A, your date shows up with a small suitcase worth of supplies (coolers, something to sit on so you don’t get grass stains, etc). While sweet, it also makes it painfully evident how much effort they put in and could be a turn-off early on. It also makes it impossible to continue the date afterward because they’re carrying around 10 pounds of picnic supplies.
In Scenario B, your date brings two 99 cent cans of Arizona iced teas and nothing else, you’re both covered in sweat and grass stains within 10 minutes, he gets embarrassed and tries to act like you’re too high maintenance to cover up that he planned a shitty-ass date. Ultimately, inviting you to a picnic means they’ve thought about this date way too much (and have probably done this exact date with their ex) or way too little. You can appreciate the gesture, but I do not recommend going on this date.
^The last time someone actually enjoyed a picnic.
Rooftop Bar With Their Friends
This is also kind of a mixed bag, but for different reasons. If they invite you to this a few days in advance, it’s ideal. It likely resembles the weekend plans you would have made for yourself anyway, and it means they want you to meet their friends. Win-win. If they invite you to this while they’re already there, it’s a very different story. This means they got drunk and horny, and are too awkward to actually meet someone at the bar full of equally drunk singles. Instead, they started going through their phone and messaging their last week of matches. While the commitment to not meeting people is admirable, you’re better than this. Being available on-demand for whenever they’re done with the social part of their night and just want to get laid is never a good look.*
*If you’ve been on a few dates already, this could be a cute “had a few drinks and started thinking about you” type text. But keep an eye on whether they actually introduce you to their friends when you show up, or if they just try to hustle you home.
Weeknight Dinner Reservation
Like the coffee date, this is normal/fine other parts of the year. But IMO, scheduling an 8pm dinner on a Wednesday is a little formal for a summer date. Has he never heard of happy hour? And is he just expecting you to waste prime drinking hours just to exchange information about your siblings and hometowns over cloth napkins? This date option implies that they’re highly traditional, operate by a strict schedule, and are probably not that much fun. This holds especially true if the restaurant they choose also offers a happy hour menu and they purposely choose not to do it. Who hurt you????
Their House In The Hamptons
This date is the easiest to decode. If they invite you to their house in the Hamptons, MARRY THEM. Seriously. Lock that shit down before the next heat wave rolls through.
Ultimately, dating in the summer is easier than dating in the winter. But because we can’t have nice things, that doesn’t mean some red flags don’t apply. Summer is the time to be your most fun self, taking advantage of long summer nights and half-off drinks. If their best self doesn’t crave margaritas after 12pm from June-September, think carefully whether this is someone you’re interested in dating. And maybe give your number to the people you see out at your favorite summer bars instead. At least you know they have good taste.
Images: Giphy (5); Jelleke Vanooteghem / Unsplash
Summertime is coming and that means bikinis, sun, pool bars, and the beach. Obvi you’re going to drink this summer, because otherwise, really what is the point of existing? But we all know that alcohol is the absolute worst if you’re trying to lose weight. Or even maintain your weight. Alcohol fucks up your metabolism and makes you crave fried cheese, scientifically speaking, so weight gain comes easy. The least you can do is make sure the calories in your drinks aren’t pushing you over the top. Too many piña coladas or pre-made margaritas and you won’t even fit in those cute white cutoff shorts you’ve been saving all winter. Here’s what you should be ordering.
1. Vodka Soda With Lime
This is the holy grail of the basic bitch drink. Sorry, but there is a reason. Soda water has 0 calories, so you’re just drinking the vodka cals, and the lime totally disguises the taste of the vodka. There are only 60 calories in one shot of vodka, so assuming one drink is like a shot and a half, we’re looking at about 90 calories per drink, so you can get hammered guilt-free. Bonus tip? It’s clear, so when you get sloppy as fuck, you’re at least not sloshing something colored all over your white shorts.
2. Skinny Margarita
A regular margarita at most *shitty* bars is a nasty, syrupy, pre-mixed abomination that will run you 455 calories for 8 ounces, and I am not fucking kidding. This is a horrible bastardization of what a ~real~ margarita is supposed to be: tequila, lime, agave, and sometimes a dash of OJ or soda water. But fear not. You can still force the bartender to make you a real marg by ordering it “skinny”. It sounds douchey to order, but this is what margaritas are supposed to be made with and will only run you 100 calories a drink. It won’t be overly sweet and disgusting and it won’t set you back too many calories. Order it on the rocks with salt like a goddamn adult.
3. Gin & Tonic
For most low-cal drinks, you want as few ingredients as possible. A gin and tonic is a classic that they have everywhere that will only run you 150 calories per drink. If you can’t stand the taste of gin (fair), add lime to disguise the alcohol. Bonus points if the bar has diet tonic, which is zero calories, and now you’re looking at a 90 cal drink for just the alcohol.
A Paloma is so refreshing and summery, and it’s only 160 calories. It’s made with tequila, soda, grapefruit juice, and lime. It’s a safe choice to order if you want to mix it up, and it isn’t loaded with sugar or calories so you won’t feel like a dehydrated sugar monster if you pound these for hours on end.
This is my new favorite brunch option, but really it can be drunk always. A champear is just champagne with a splash of pear juice, and it is fucking amazing. The pear juice is so minimal that it’ll only run you 18 calories, and a glass of champagne is only 90 calories. It’s classy af and delicious, and way better than mimosas so do this for your next day drinking excursion and be guilt-free.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2); Pixabay (2)