I just returned from SheVentures, an amazing women’s adventure and empowerment camp in Chattanooga. As I write this, my head is still thinking back on all the excitement of the weekend overcoming fears (outdoor rock climbing and mountain biking), accepting new challenges (setting up camp, building a fire, and yoga) and bonding with other women also sharing these experiences. Saturday evening was spent around our campfires celebrating our successes and failures while sharing a beer or cup of wine, and it got me thinking about the social aspects of sharing drinks with others.
During the fall, my husband and I love to get up into the mountains and hike and explore with the kids and family. When we get back to our campsite we usually share some wine while we build a fire and prepare dinner for the night. It is a great way to wind down after a long day of hiking (and wrangling children) and to share in the pleasure of being together in nature. For hiking, lighter is better, so I usually pack canned wine. If you have not tried wine from a can, it is also a great option for boats, poolside and tailgates. My favorites are Underwood’s Rosé and Pinot Noir or Bollicini Prosecco and Rosé bubbly. They chill quickly, are lighter than their glass counterparts, and are easy to dispose of.
When we campout with the kids or stoke the fire-pit with neighbors, one must-have are ooey-gooey S’mores. There is something so comforting about sitting around with others and roasting marshmallows with great conversation and sharing a nightcap. My preferred night-cap pairing with milk chocolate and marshmallow is Barsmith’s Red-Eye Rye. It is a Rye whiskey from Nashville infused with Arabica coffee. I like to sip it on the rocks, but it also makes a great alternative to a White Russian by adding some cream over ice (skip adding any vodka as this spirit is 80 proof). If you really wanted to step up your dessert experience, it would be delicious mixed into hot chocolate!
And it wouldn’t be fall in Knoxville, Tennessee without UT football and tailgating! While tailgating usually involves a cooler full of beer, I favor more elevated beverages to sip on. Owl’s Brew Radlers are a great alternative to the everyday light beer. They blend craft brewed beer with brewed tea, spices, and fruit- all natural, refreshing, delicious, and only 3.8% ABV. I also drink loaded Topo Chicos if it is hot and humid and I need something cold and invigorating. Take a Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral water and drink down about 2 ounces and pour in either Dulce Vida Lime or Grapefruit Tequila. Add a splash of lime and a little salt to the rim, and you have a low calorie (66 calories), low carb (2g carbs) alternative to a Margarita or Paloma.
Whatever your fall drink of choice is, get outside, enjoy the cooling temperatures, and share it with a friend, family, or neighbor!