The Essential Tools You Need For Epic Outdoor Drinking

Staying at home? You can still drink al fresco with these shatterproof glasses and fun bar accessories.

Whether you’re trying to avoid crowds because of the delta variant or you’re just feeling antisocial, you’re not visiting a crowded bar any time soon. But if you’ve got summer-drink FOMO and yearn for a Tiki cocktail at sunset, staying home doesn’t have to hold you back. The fresh, COVID-safe air of your own backyard (or rooftop, or what have you) is the perfect setting for al fresco summer drinking, provided you’ve got a few essential tools.

Among the prerequisites are shatterproof drinking glasses, which decrease the likelihood of disaster when tipsy adults and freewheeling children join the party. Then there’s the issue of keeping your drinks chilled when the weather is hot, because no one wants a warm beer or a sweaty margarita. And then, of course, you need ambiance ― tropical umbrellas, quirky drink stirrers and Instagram-worthy beverage dispensers will make things feel fancy.

We’ve curated a list of must-haves that solve all those problems for you. Stock up now and you’ll have plenty of time to throw back some drinks before summer’s over.

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A gorgeous glass beverage dispenser
This is perfect for serving a crowd, easy to clean, and a show-stoppingly beautiful way to show off fruity summer drinks.

Get the Threshold Glass Modern Beverage Dispenser for $30.
A penguin cocktail shaker, just because
You may not have realized how much you need a penguin-shaped cocktail shaker until now. The best part is pouring your drink out of the penguin's beak in front of your guests.

Get the Viski Penguin Cocktail Stainless Steel Cobbler Shaker with Strainer for $24.99.
A kooky bottle opener
Unbreakable glasses in all shapes, starting with champagne
Crate & Barrel
All of the acrylic glasses we feature here are BPA free and absolutely unshatterable. This one from Crate & Barrel holds 9 ounces, is dishwasher safe, and you won't have to worry about smashing glasses next time you clink cheers!

Get the Acrylic Champagne Glasses for $4.95 each.
Stackable acrylic wine glasses
Crate & Barrel
These hold 8 ounces each and will save you a ton of space in your cupboards, thanks to their stacking capabilities.

Get the Stackable Acrylic Wine Glasses for $3,95 each.
Stackable acrylic margarita glasses
Crate & Barrel
And of course you need them for margs, too.

Get the Stackable Acrylic Margarita Glasses for $4.95 each.
Freezable beer glasses
There's nothing worse than a warm beer, and unfortunately that's a side effect of outdoor summer drinking. But these freezable beer glasses will keep your favorite brew perfectly chilled for up to two hours. Just place the glasses in the freezer for at least an hour before you're ready to drink.

Get the Rabbit Freezable Beer Glasses (set of 2) for $34.95.
Animal cocktail stirrers
You'll never forget which drink is yours when you've got a monkey sticking out of it.

Get the Metallic Safari Animal Drink/Cocktail Stirrers for $20.10+.
Umbrella cocktail picks
Those olives and cherries aren't going to skewer themselves!

Get the Umbrella Cocktail Picks (pack of 144) for $8.79.
Sphere ice molds
Want an ice cube that won't immediately melt in your drink on a hot day? These stackable molds make 2-inch diameter ice spheres.

Get the sphere ice molds (set of 2) for $14.95.
An ice cube tray that mimics crushed ice
This silicone tray makes 160 tiny ice cubes, mimicking the size and texture of crushed ice (because not everyone has a fancy crushed ice machine!).

Get the Houdini Crushed Ice Cubes Tray for $5.99.
Or a super fancy pebble ice maker
It’s not cheap, but it will bring you delight all summer and every day you drink anything cold. The GE Profile Opal countertop nugget ice maker starts producing little round balls of ice just 20 minutes after you fill the reservoir and plug it in. Bluetooth connectivity means you can schedule fresh ice in the app. You won’t regret it.

Get the GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker for $549.
Reusable plastic wine glasses
We can't resist a good thumb notch. These are lighter than your typical acrylic glasses, featuring a thin lip that makes it feel more like drinking out of real glass. They're infinitely reusable and recyclable and dishwasher safe, to boot.

Get the GoVino Jewel Wine Glasses (4 pack) for $18.49.
A wine chiller
This allows you to bring your wine outside without worrying that it'll warm up on a hot day. The stainless steel, double walled, vacuum insulated container keeps your wine, champagne and sparkling water chilled for hours. And it comes in 11 colors!

Get the Vinglacé Wine Chiller for $89.95.
A wooden gnome wine stopper
Every outdoor party needs a conversation starter, and this is a great one. Each little guy comes with a fun personality and name, like Gunter, Fritz or Helga -- and they're hand crafted in Maine!

Get a Handcrafted Wooden Gnome Wine Stopper for $48.
Color-changing straws
If you're making frozé or fun Tiki drinks, you need this 24-pack of BPA-free, reusable straws that change colors when you slurp on a cold drink.

Get the 24-pack of color-changing straws for $9.99.
A natural liquor infusion kit, to show off a little
This kit allows you to infuse two 16-ounce glass jars of liquor with a selection of flavors that are made of all-natural fruits and spices, like rum (peach and mint), gin (raspberry rose), whiskey (spiced orange) and many more options.

Get the Natural Liquor Infusion Kit from $32-49.
Glitter shot glasses that won't shatter
These are at once completely ridiculous but totally practical, thanks to their shatterproof design.

Get the Juvale Green Confetti Shot Glasses (8 pack) for $15.99.
Acrylic pilsner glasses
Say goodbye to those red plastic cups! These each hold 22 ounces and are absolutely unbreakable (and reusable!).

Get the Acrylic Pilsner Glasses (8 pack) for $23.99.
An unbreakable acrylic pitcher
Crate & Barrel
This holds 140 ounces, is dishwasher safe, and has the perfectly shaped lip for pouring your favorite big-batch drinks.

Get the Sora Acrylic Pitcher for $24.95.
If you're feeling brave: Colorful lowball glassware
End Clothing
If you're not worried about tipsy hands dropping your drinks on the patio, these are a gorgeous way to catch the light of a sunset. Each glass is individually mouth-blown from borosilicate glass of a different color, giving you pink, yellow, amber and classic clear options for your beverages. And they're dishwasher safe.

Get the Maison Balzac Medium Goblets, set of 4, for $69.
And a gorgeous glass pitcher to match
Maison Balzac also makes beautiful geometric pitchers that are heat resistant and dishwasher safe. They each have a 1.5-liter capacity and go perfectly with the aforementioned lowballs.

Get the Maison Balzac Coucou Jug in pink ($120), amber ($117) or miel ($117).

Before You Go

"A Spot at the Bar: Welcome to the Everleigh: The Art of Good Drinking in Three Hundred Recipes"

Best Home Bar Tools: Meaghan Dorman

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