Sips and sun!
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Poolside cocktail
Credit: Savin Madeleine / EyeEm/Getty Images

When it’s hot out and you are ready to get your chill on, there’s no better way to cool down than to make an easy cocktail as you make your way out to lounge poolside. With the rise of canned Rosé and alcoholic seltzer, it’s easier than ever to enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverages by the pool or in the park without breaking no-glass rules. In celebration of Saturdays spent soaking in sun, afloat on your new unicorn float, sip on something cool, refreshing, and boozy. All you need is a cooler filled with easy-to-assemble ingredients to make the best waterfront cocktails.

The Cooler

The key to an ice-cold drink is properly packing your cooler to ensure that it will retain a very cold temperature for the duration of time that you are outside. Before you fill your cooler with a bag of ice, if you’re planning for a full day in the sun, layer the bottom of the cooler with a few blocks of dried ice. The dried ice will keep the ice cool, and in turn, keep everything thing else in the cooler cold. I picked this trick up from my super savvy and hip sister who regularly frequents music festivals and uses this hack to keep her drinks cold over a long festive weekend.

Pre-cut Fresh Fruit

Stop by the produce aisle in your grocery store to pick up a container of freshly cut fruit. Most stores usually cut their fruit that day for optimal freshness. Stick to fruits that will best enhance a cocktail, such as pineapple chunks, strawberries, watermelon and kiwi. You can purchase your citrus fruits to cut and store in a zip-top bag when you get home. Oranges, limes, grapefruits and lemons are all great options. If you are tight for space in your cooler, transfer the pre-cut fruits from their containers to zip-top bag as well. The fruit will add flavor to your drinks and will also soak up the booze, which makes the perfect snack after your drink is finished.

Canned and Boxed Alcoholic Drinks

Canned wines and cocktails make it easy to tote (and chill) your favorite drinks that you can dress up with other mix-ins once you’ve reached your destination. Turn your canned rosé into a fruit-filled sangria or bellini. If you have a group of friends chilling with you by the pool, you might also want to consider boxed rosé (or other wine varieties) for more volume. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of ice on hand if you take this route, as you likely aren’t fitting a box of wine in your cooler. For some, t would not be a summer party without a gin and tonic in your hand. Grab a 6-pack of canned tonic water with a bottle of flavored tonic syrup and a stash a small bottle of gin in your cooler. (You could also transfer your booze to a more discreet insulated bottle, like the Corkcicle canteen.) And if you are a vodka, whiskey, or tequila drinker, you’re in luck, because these liquors are available in boxed forms as well.


Aside from the fruit, carbonated water, soda, and fruit juice are the perfect items to pack in your cooler for the day at the pool. Keep it simple and purchase canned beverages. If you prefer your drinks on the sweeter side, you can also make a small batch of simple syrup ahead of time. Do this by combining equal parts water to sugar, and warm the mixture in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved (or use this no-heat hack). Store the simple syrup in a Mason jar or other air-tight container.

To really kick your drinks up a notch, you can include a few packages of fresh herbs such as mint, basil and rosemary in your cooler to finish your poolside cocktails. And finally, don’t forget to pack a bag of plastic cups, spoons and straws to mix and sip your cocktails in. Also, keep a few trash bags on hand to dispose of leftover trash.