Boat Drinks: Cocktails to Enjoy on Memorial Day

Boat Drinks: Cocktails to Enjoy on Memorial Day

| 05.23.24

With summer bearing down on us, it's time to think about getting out of the office — long term. One of the season's great pleasures is an afternoon or evening out on the water, and we believe an easily-mixed or pre-prepared cocktail adds to the conviviality and makes for an excellent host gift, or a little something for your guests. 

This Memorial Day, take to the seas with a tipple!

When I spritz, you spritz, we spritz


It’s little wonder the Aperol Spritz has taken brunch by storm — a pre-batched mixture of sparkling wine, highly carbonated soda, and an aperitif is always welcome during the easy hours of the day, from dawn to dusk. We recommend trying a couple different mixtures beyond the ubiquitous orange and figuring out what’s just right for you. All of these can be gently poured into a swing-top vacuum bottle such as the 64-oz. Stanley (in hammertone green to show you appreciate a classic). It's got a wide mouth to facilitate pouring without disturbing the carbonation, and the steel construction makes for peace of mind in rough seas.

Each recipe is given in parts to allow you to accommodate the the party or keep it intimate, as desired.

Classic Aperol Spritz: 

Classic Aperol Spritz - (Image by Delish)


3 parts dry sparkling white wine such as Prosecco

2 parts soda water

1 part Aperol or similar aperitif 

Directions: Pour over ice and garnish with a slice of orange — if they'll let you in the galley.

Elderflower or "Hugo" Spritz: 

Elderflower Hugo Spritz - (Image by Aisling Larkin)


3 parts soda water

2 parts elderflower liqueur

1 part sparkling white wine. 

Directions: Pour over ice and add a couple sprigs of mint, gently beaten against the back of your hand. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Consider the Gin & Tonic

Gin & Tonic - (Image by Home Bar Menu)

Gin is a very polarizing thing, even when consumed in the tropics. Generations of drinkers snuck a bit from their parents' liquor cabinet, figuring they could top it up with vodka and no one would be the wiser — only to surreptitiously ruin their love for Christmas trees. The cocktail revival brought gin back into the mainstream, and a contemporary rise in more floral, “new west”-style gins expanded the palate such that there’s something available for everyone.

The expansion of the public's perception of what gin can do is mirrored an explosion of high-quality tonic waters, each of which is to the store-brand varietals as a roadster is to a city bus: Made from similar components, they'll both get you where you're going, but one is vastly more fun. Producers have returned to using fine raw materials to create their tonics, and added new expressions designed to be mixed with the new crop of gins. Fever Tree is available in grocery stores, while Tomr's Tonic is available as a syrup, should you want a little more control on your mixture.

As always, a drink this simple lives or dies on the basis of its ingredients, so be sure to mix and match your favorites dockside until you find the right combination. While fanciful, aromatic garnishes are increasingly popular in the Spanish fashion, while underway nothing beats a simple citrus wedge, allowing your guest to adjust the acidity to taste.

A simple Recipe for Grog

Navy Grog - (Image by Dos Maderas)

Grog harkens back to the days where British sailors were given a daily provision of rum called a tot — measuring a little more than 2 oz. — lengthened with water to about 6 oz. and dashed with citrus to ward off scurvy on long voyages. It’s also the simplest and most effective way to connect with the spirits of adventure and alleviate the worries of a wild, untamable ocean that drove our predecessors to a solid tipple in the first place. We suggest adding ice, and using a rum with a healthy starting proof to offset the water and open the bouquet.