Bespoke Post's Buyers Reveal What You Need to Elevate Outdoor Happy Hours
The buyers behind one of the most expertly curated gear shops out there tell us about their favorite go-to outdoor hang essentials.
It may seem that enjoying some adult beverages and snacks with friends on your patio or in the park is a simple endeavor. Load up a cooler with a bottle of wine and some ice cold beers, a bag of chips, and voila: Happy hour. However, there’s solid (ok, anecdotal) evidence to support that putting a bit more thought into it is well worth the effort. After all, we deserve to treat ourselves these days considering the past year and a half.
To help you kick up your outdoor hangs a notch or two, we enlisted the expertise of Bespoke Post’s Jackson Fust and John Dennehy, whose job as buying managers is to test, vet, and curate all the products in the brand's subscription box program and online shop. So, it’s not a stretch to say they are—quite literally—experts in the realm of outdoor drinking and hanging.
Here’s what they recommend to maximize your al fresco imbibing and eating all summer long, and beyond.
"This flask lives perfectly at the intersection of good design and high functionality. Because it's double walled, it keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold, so it's perfect for any season. It holds 750ml—perfect for a bottle of wine or a fifth of gin (no judgement). The cups are magnetically attached and seamlessly integrate to the flask itself, saving room. Best of all, it has a screw on cap that ensures you're not going to accidentally knock the lid off when it's in your backpack and fill your backpack with liquid (which I've done with another bottle and is really the most dreadful experience)." - Dennehy
"My favorite thing about this set is that it is the perfect way to get to know bitters. It's affordable and offers the perfect amount to try the 9 different flavors. Bitters can be really intimidating in my opinion—I've tried to read a lot about them, but it seems to be one of those things that you just have to start testing to see if you like a certain flavor. This way you aren't over-investing in an entire bottle of any flavor only to find that it doesn't suit your taste buds." - Dennehy
"My favorite cocktail has always been the margarita, so I was thrilled to have my team bring this box to life. What's even better is that we were able to partner with artisans in Mexico to bring all of the hard goods to life! The mix in here from Hella Cocktails is leagues better than what you can usually find at the liquor store and is perfect for customizing—I like to muddle in some jalapenos in my glass to add some heat, and I'm planning on tossing in some watermelon this summer like my favorite local taco spot does." - Fust
"I love making a craft cocktail as much as the next person, but sometimes I just don't have the energy. At the same time, I'm probably past the college-phase of mixing vodka with Diet Coke. Enter the Citrus Sweet Tea Mixer. It's the great middle-ground between the two. It's a really bright flavor that's perfect for summer and it's versatile enough to mix with vodka, bourbon, gin, or just seltzer. Fantastic for any party because it goes with whatever a guest wants to add." - Dennehy
"These are three different honeys that are great for really anything and offer different flavor complexities. The mild is infused with red hot chili peppers, the bourbon barrel aged variety is infused for three months in charred white oak bourbon barrels, giving it notes of bourbon (duh), caramel, and vanilla. Finally, the hot variety is infused with habañero peppers and isn't for the faint of heart—the heat comes sooner and lingers longer. All three are perfect for summer staples like fried chicken, biscuits, or pizza, but also for more unexpected uses like cocktails, drizzled over ice cream, or served with fruit." - Dennehy
"Chef Marshall came to Harlem from Jamaica and he's working to spread the flavors of Jamaica to the US. In this three pack you've got what you need: the marinade, the BBQ sauce, and the hot sauce. All three are traditionally used in famous Jamaican jerk chicken - but really are great with any meat or vegetables. The marinade is best applied before cooking, BBQ sauce for adding to your food, and the hot sauce is great for a heat-packed accent on your BBQ." - Dennehy
"I use this apron all the time at home. It's super sleek design (really nice buttery vegan leather straps and black denim) but isn't so expensive that you feel you have to be precious with it. It's made in Canada by an artisan who really has a knack for aprons. It's also got two big pockets which are great for holding tools if you need to transport back and forth." - Dennehy