As great as a classic margarita or ice-cold beer is when you’re sitting on the dock, sometimes you just want something a little more creative. If you’re hosting guests at the cottage for the weekend (or just want to treat yourself to a new kind of cocktail), we recommend these delicious drink options that will have everyone saying, “just one more.”
1. Irish marshmallows
The classic roasted marshmallow is about as good as it gets when it comes to summer nights around a bonfire—until you upgrade to this boozier version of course. Toast your marshmallow as per usual, but before you eat it, dunk it into a glass of Bailey’s Irish cream for a whole new campfire flavour.
2. Strawberry margarita Jell-O shots
Show off some serious Jell-O shot skills by using hollowed-out strawberries in place of plastic cups. Chop off the top of the berry, as well as a tiny sliver along the bottom that’s just enough for it to stand up straight. Scoop out the insides with a melon baller or small spoon, then fill the strawberries to the brim with your Jell-O shot of choice (these ones here use strawberry Jell-O, tequila, and Cointreau) and refrigerate for at least four hours. Get the full instructions (including how to properly cut the berries) here.
3. Bacon shots
For those with savoury tastes, these bacon shot glasses can be filled with your favourite liquor (vodka, rum, and whisky are all good options). Wrap three or four pieces of bacon around the outer side of a shot glass, overlapping and using toothpicks to create a secure cup. Microwave them for 1 to 2 minutes until the bacon is cooked to a golden brown, then remove the bacon cup from around the glass while it’s still warm and mold it into your perfect shot glass shape. See the full recipe here.
4. Watermelon keg
Forget a punch bowl or even a keg. Instead, build a custom drink dispenser with a watermelon keg. Trim a watermelon on one end so it will stand up straight, then cut off the top and scoop out the insides before installing the tap. Mix the watermelon innards with your liquor of choice and refill the melon for a fun, fruity keg.
5. Sangria snow cones
Sangria is already a summer staple, but when it’s frozen, it tastes especially great on hot, sunny days. Mix up your favourite sangria recipe (this one here will give you a dark, dramatic purple hue), then freeze it in a deep container overnight. The next day, shave off the sangria, and scoop it into a cup, or even better, a snow cone paper cup garnished with berries, mint, or a cinnamon stick.
6. Drunken grapes
Give your fruit a kick by soaking grapes overnight in a mixture of wine (1 bottle) and 1/4 cup of sugar. Once the grapes are plumped up, dry them and roll them lightly in sugar. Freeze the grapes for about four hours, and then pop them into your mouth to cool off on a hot day.
7. White wine fro-yo
If you have an ice cream maker, you can make pretty much any boozy flavour you like, but this white wine version will be the ultimate in refreshing (and pairs nicely with fruit garnish). Mix together Greek yogurt, sugar, white wine, and lemon, then churn it all up in an ice cream maker and freeze. Be sure to use a dry white so that your ice cream won’t come out too sweet. Get the full recipe here.
8. Peach sangria popsicles
Who can resist a cocktail on a stick? Create grown-up versions of every kid’s favourite summer snack by making a popsicle from white wine and peach schnapps—and don’t forget to fancy them up by including marinated fruit slices. Check out the full recipe here.
9. Watermelon Jell-O shots on a stick
Who says Jell-O shots have to be served up in plastic cups? Instead, try making these Jell-O shots on a stick that use multiple layers for an extra cute presentation. (Instead of mini watermelons, you could also opt for colour themes, such as red and white for Canada Day). You’ll need to create these in stages, since you’ll have to wait for each layer to harden before adding the next one, but the finished product will be worth the wait. Get the full recipe here.
10. Champagne ice cubes
Freeze sparkling wine in an ice cube tray for a way better mimosa experience. As the cubes melt, they won’t have quite the same fizz as a freshly opened bottle of champagne, but the flavour should still come through. And of course, these don’t have to only come out at brunch—you could also add the ice cubes to lemonade or a wine spritzer later in the day.