Whether you're grillin' and chillin' or just lounging poolside, nothing compliments a summer activity quite like a boozy beverage. But how do you keep that wine cold as the weather heats up? Even more important, how do you keep the party going when the drinks are running low?
We've rounded up seven of our favorite drink hacks to keep you sipping all season long.
1. Chill a bottle of beer in seconds.
Stuck with a warm bottle of beer on a hot summer day? The Crazy Russian Hacker solves another boozy dilemma using only a can of compressed air. Inverting the bottle causes the air inside to become extremely cold. Simply spray it all over the beer bottle to chill it down to perfect drinking temperature in a matter of seconds.
2. Decant a bottle of wine in a blender.
On vacation and hankering for a big, bold bottle of red wine-- we're talking Cabernet, Syrah, Malbec-- but forgot to pack your decanter? Simply empty the bottle into a blender, blitz for 30-60 seconds and it’s ready to drink. The process of “hyperdecanting” was invented by Nathan Myhrvold of Modernist Cuisine. It works by quickly infusing the wine with oxygen in order to tame its tannins, the compounds which cause a harsh, drying sensation in your mouth-- and make it taste a lot better. This hack works even if you're dining al fresco.
3. Create an instant boozy slushie.
If you enjoy soda-based drinks, this amazing trick from The King of Random will keep you cool all summer long. Simply shake up a warm bottle of soda and stick it in the freezer to chill for approximately 3 hours. Remove the chilled soda from the freezer and gradually release the pressure by opening the cap very slowly. Then, retighten the cap, turn the bottle upside down and voilà - instant frozen beverage! Just mix with your favorite alcohol for an instant, frozen, alcoholic slushie.
4. Wonderful watermelon Jell-O shots.
Dazzle guests at your next summer soirée with these colorful watermelon Jell-O shots. Simply slice a medium-sized watermelon in half lengthwise and hollow out both halves. Evenly fill each half with a mixture of strawberry, cherry or watermelon Jell-O mix, gelatin packets, water and vodka. Refrigerate the vodka-drenched watermelon until the Jello-O mixture is firm and slice it up for your guests to enjoy. Boozy, fruity shots on the house.
5. Wine chillin’ with frozen grapes.
For serious oenophiles, there’s nothing worse than a warm, watered-down glass of Chardonnay on a hot summer day. Take a tip from The Geek Pub and plan in advance by simply popping some grapes in the freezer. When you’re ready to imbibe, just drop a few grapes in your glass, pour your favorite wine and savor it at your own pace. The grapes also make a delectable frozen snack after you finish your glass.
6. Hack your over-heated hangover.
These helpful tips from ASAPScience will help you enjoy alcohol, without the hurt. Each piece of advice is scientifically based, including eating fatty foods and carbs before a big night out-- which helps slow the metabolism and absorption of alcohol; drinking plenty of water so your brain doesn’t shrink causing a headache; and avoiding carbonated options which speed up the absorption of alcohol in your body. Your choice of breakfast the next morning is also critical. Items such as eggs, bananas and fruit juices are beneficial but perhaps, more importantly, they suggest knowing your limits before over indulging.
7. Uber your alcohol.
Whether you’re fresh out of whiskey, wine, RTD cocktails, mixers, or beer - there’s a boozy app for that. Apps such as Saucey, Drizly and Drync are growing leaps and bounds in major cities. They're promising customers optimal pricing and 30-minute delivery windows. So next time you’re playing beer pong, cooking Coq au Vin or in need of a six-pack to pair with your pepperoni pizza, take it high tech and save yourself a trip to the liquor store. These apps are especially handy if you've already been drinking.
Stephanie Miskew is a certified sommelier, wine educator and proprietor of The Wine Atelier, an online wine boutique. She also runs the The Glamorous Gourmet, a website dedicated to wine and entertaining.