Life

The Greatest Summer Day Drinking Beverages, Power Ranked.


Summer means day drinking in the sun, period. It’s one of life’s greatest joys. Sadly, since I’m pregnant, I will not be participating this year. This means that I will be sad. Very sad. The miracle of life is GREAT. But is the miracle of day drinking, greater? It’s a realllllly tough call.

“Don’t say that!” you say. “Your child might read this someday!” Well don’t worry, guys. That will never happen. I’m not going to teach him to read. I’ll be too busy day drinking! Of course, when you’re a mom, your day drinking does have to be a little different than your college days, obviously. You naturally switch to martinis paired with a handful of quaaludes. It’s a natural part of growing up.

But just because I can’t partake in the glory of 12 hours of full day drinking, doesn’t mean you have to abstain! And if you’re going to day drink this summer, you need to know what the absolutely best and worst day drinks are. So here is our definitive power ranking of summer day drinking beverages.

Our rating system today will be the amount of “Day drinking drunk friends that you make on the fly, and are convinced in the moment will last forever.”

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She loves Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain! And she’s so, so fun….you know….until she starts throwing up everywhere.

12. The Mint Julep/Mojito

I know that these drinks are not the same thing. I’m not a monster. But there’s so much mint in both of them. I’m not anti-mint like, for instance, after a nice meal or in a Girl Scout cookie. But Mint isn’t sustainable to me in alcohol. First of all, there’s the waste problem. The bottom of the glass is always filled with a grotesque, garbage-y combination of sugar and mint leaves. And you know what else is down there? Probably some precious alcohol. But I can’t get to it because it’s too sickly sweet to finish.

Then there’s the fact that I never want two of these unless I’m at a Kentucky Derby party. And even then, it’s more out of obligation than anything. I power through them at a Kentucky Derby event with the grim determination of a soldier on the fields of Normandy. The only time I went to the actual Derby, I had a fever of 103. Did I go to bed? Or a doctor? No. I went on anyway, knee deep in mud, chugging juleps like my life depended on it. It’s a tough job to be day drunk while on the brink of needing to go to the hospital, but that’s what makes us the greatest generation.

Rating: 1 drunk friend you met day drinking and decided was your soulmate. Her name was Jen or Jess…. or Jim? It definitely started with a J. Or an R maybe? She had a name, of that you’re sure. Unless she was a tree. It’s always possible you were talking to a tree.

11. White Wine Spritzer

“But Allison,” you may be saying, “how could you give white wine such a low ranking? You’d marry it if it wasn’t illegal to be in a polygamous marriage, and also, it wasn’t an inanimate object.” That’s all true, friend. But a spritzer is a whole different animal.

First of all: I think it’s cheating that part of your wine is filled with dumb soda. It’s like the amount of air pumped into a bag of chips. Wildly upsetting. Second point: let’s really dive into why you’re diluting your perfectly good glass of wine:

  • Do you like that it’s bubbly? Then drink champagne like a godd**n adult (Sorry for the swearing, Mom, it was an emergency).
  • Is it because you think it’s daytime and therefore a ‘lighter’ drink is more appropriate? Who are you to decide when it’s a good idea to chug a bottle of wine in the park?
  • Is it because you’re an alien from another planet who has landed here and the first place you visited was a weird garden party in New Jersey, and you thought: “That’s just what humans consume in groups?” If so, I’d like to start by saying, “Welcome. I’m so glad you got our note about “covfefe” and decided to accept the invite to see Earth. But also, you’re wrong. A white wine spritzer sucks, and you’re giving yourself away as an alien, Glishedovezorp. If you want to seem human, just hang around with me for a while, and I’ll steer you right. Just…try not to get green goop all over the carpet. We just had it cleaned.”

Rating: 2 new drunk friends, one of whom’s number you saved in your phone with a note next to his name that says, “to talk about gynecologists.”

10. Bloody Mary

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Bloody Marys don’t do it for me. I don’t want to chug thick, creamy tomato soup in my morning, you know? I also don’t want a pickle in my face right when I wake up (Shout to Michael Scott). And all those crazy toppings? They just coat your stomach, and make it harder to get day drunk.*

Look, when it comes to responsible day drinking, everyone knows that you start at 7am and don’t eat until 10 or 11 when you have a good buzz on. IT’S COMMON CORE. Bloody Marys completely disregard this important social, day-drinking contract. And when we ignore contracts like we’re the president and we’re supposed to pay a contractor, we might as well admit society has completely broken down and everything is meaningless.

*If you’re not allowed to get day drunk because of the human child you’re weirdly growing in your body, a Virgin Bloody Mary isn’t a bad choice. I had a couple at a drunken crawfish broil a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say, I didn’t hate it.

Rating: 3 drunk friends you met at the beach, and invited to your sister’s wedding because THE MORE THE MERRIER, RIGHT? RIGHT?

9. Gin and Tonic

If you’re a gentleman at a rooftop bar on a Friday afternoon (having absolutely crushed it at your finance job this week), you might be tempted to order a gin and tonic to start off your raging weekend. But for those of us that don’t think Patrick Bateman “totally gets us,” gin is a bitter alcohol to swallow. It’s a refreshing offering, I’ll give you that. But it takes me forever to get through one gin and tonic. It’s just so sour. Tom Collins are better, but I wouldn’t order one if I had my choice of other drinks.

There’s something I respect about gin drinkers though, like they’re part of a secret society at Harvard that I’ll only ever see glimpses of in mediocre Joshua Jackson movies. Gin and Tonics are genuinely classy. But I can’t rate this higher when I (quite frankly) just don’t like them.

Rating: 4 new drunk friends that you invite back to your expensive New York apartment with a view. Do they like Huey Louis and the News? They will.

8. Strawberry Daiquiri/Piña Colada

If you’re day drinking on the beach, a Strawberry Daiquiri or Piña Colada is the best. They’re practically smoothies! Look at you, making healthy choices. You’re not going to drink away your twenties and be left with absolutely no life direction when you turn 30. You’re going to go places with your life. Florida places.

Rating: 5 new 63 year old friends you met at a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. They passed you a flyer to come see their jam band later. That seems like a good idea.

7. Light American Beer

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Light American beers are… beers. They’re rarely particularly good beers. But if you’re at a dive bar at 2pm on a Wednesday, you know they won’t let you down.

And while these beers aren’t “delicious” or “an indication that the person who just ordered one on your Tinder date is employed in any way,” they are rated pretty highly. And that’s for one reason and one reason only: Drinking games.

Day drinking just isn’t day drinking without a beer pong table in someone’s backyard. When you want a beer you can drink out of used solo cups with a fly floating at the top, you turn to American light beers. These are the beers you can chug in four inch increments indefinitely (until someone beats you and your unstoppable partner or you pass out). And for that, they deserve to be honored.

Rating: 6 different drunk guys with whom you make out with at various points of the afternoon before throwing up all over the lawn.

6. Goose Island 312

Look, I have to throw out a little Chicago love here. 312 is the perfect summer beer. It’s light. It’s refreshing. It screams, “Summer.” Whether you’re watching the Cubs (you can insert “your team here” in your own head but I’m going to change it back to the Cubs when you aren’t looking), rocking in Grant Park during Lollapalooza, or heading down to Lake Mich for some R&R, you just can’t go wrong with the beer that makes you think, “OH MY GOD, WE ONLY HAVE TWO MONTHS BEFORE WINTER OVERTAKES US AGAIN, DRINK IN THE SUNSHINE, QUICK, THERE ISN’T MUCH TIME. WINTER IS COMING. IT’S ALWAYS COMING.”

Rating: 7 new drunk friends you made during a block party where you lost all of your actual friends. At some point, you also lost your shoes. But not your phone! It’s not with you at the moment, but you bet it is totally fine in that Wrigleyville bathroom. You’ll swing by and get it later. Plus, what do you need it for, to call your friends? Why?

These nice Logan Square folks are your freaking family now. And you love them. You. Love. Them.

5. Sangria

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What does fruit even do if it’s not soaked in booze? Why would you eat it? What point are you trying to prove?

Sangria is always a delight and should be ordered exclusively in pitcher quantities. Especially if you’re by yourself. Don’t try to be a hero here, you need that full pitcher. Whether you go white wine or red wine, you can’t mess up. It’s made for long, summer afternoons sitting on the porch with a ‘Lovah’ and a sweet loyal, yellow Labrador Retriever. You and your partner will laugh and laugh and then they will say that sweet little thing they always say:

“Allison, whose dog is that?”

“Ours now,” you’ll say with a wink.

“Wait, did you go buy a dog?”

“Not exaaaactly,” you’ll say, sipping sangria and basking in the afternoon sun.

“Allison, is that our dog? Or did you steal it. I’m starting to get the feeling that you stole him from somewhere.”

“I’ll never tell,” you tease, taking another deep drink of the delightful, earthy sangria you made in the wee hours of the morning.

“Allison, if that dog is stolen we’re going to be in big trouble. I don’t think a judge is going to let you off with a warning this time. Like at some point they do send you to prison. Why does this keep happening?”

To which you’ll only laugh and stand on the table to sway to the music. Life is short, and the only REAL prisons are the physical ones that society puts you in when you keep stealing people’s dogs.

Rating: 8 drunk friends that you make in the back of a police van. WOOOOOOO!

4. Mimosa/Bellini

Is there anything better than an “all you can drink” mimosa brunch? The answer is no. There is not. And also: No, I don’t care if that sounds basic. IT’S HOW I FEEL. A mimosa is the quintessential day drink. It’s appropriate before a wedding, at a baby shower, or for a cheers with your grandma. A mimosa is acceptable wherever and whenever you are.

You can drink them on a boat, or in a pool while you float. You can have them at a farm next to a Taylor Swift-screaming goat. They’re perfect at a castle while looking at a moat. You should especially drink them while wearing a monogrammed tote. Thank you mimosa, for all that you do for a hangover bloat. You’re the best, and that’s all I can….wrote.

Rating: 9 new drunk friends at the brunch table next to yours. Together, you made the restaurant run out of champagne bottles, and that’s a job well done.

3. Margarita

A margarita is perfect for day drinking. The salt gives it nutritional value, and the tequila gives your LIFE value. Now, Tequila drunk can turn you mean. But something in the margarita defuses all that, and just makes you happy. It’s impossible to not feel good while knocking back margaritas. Maybe it’s the endless chips and salsa you associate with them, and maybe it’s that they scream happy hour, all I know is that they’re a universally solid choice for a day drink.

Rating: Ten drunk friends that you follow to a bar for shots. BECAUSE WHATEVER IT’S THE FREAKIN’ WEEKEND, TODD, STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!

2. Blue Moon

A Blue Moon is always there for you. Find a restaurant patio with a good burger, and there’s nothing better than a Blue Moon (with a fresh orange slice in it) to wash it down. You also absolutely need a Blue Moon in hand when you’re watching your significant other’s softball league loss or at a backyard cookout. And it’s what you throw in the cooler for the beach or get someone if you don’t know what beer they want. It’s a drink that pretty much everyone can agree with. It’s not the best beer in the world by any means, but who actively dislikes Blue Moon?

Rating: 11 drunk friends who now have you on their email list for an intramural soccer league. You don’t play soccer, but you appreciate the passion they bring to Tuesday nights. Jake does need to get his act together if he wants to stay the goalie, though, you know? You’ve never met him, but you’ve definitely “replied all” to emails on the subject.

1. Prosecco

Why add juice when you can just drink delicious prosecco by itself (is a question I ask any and all people I meet)? Straight prosecco is very clearly the best day drink in the world. It’s simple. And it has everything you want. Refreshing? Check. Light? Check. Bubbly? Double check.

It is what I will miss the most this summer. So friends…do me a favor. Day drink for me. On rooftops, on patios, by pools, at the beach, at baseball games, in parks, at barbecues, on boats. And while you’re drinking — with the sun upping your buzz — think of me….and drink just one more. For it’s then, when you see only one set of drunken footsteps in the sand, that I will carry you.

Rating: 12 drunk new friends dancing the day away with you.

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