Remember those warm cottage days when you’d head outdoors to play games instead of getting your kicks on Candy Crush on the Internet? Well, we’re going back in time. But before we get there, we’re making sure we’ve got a proper summer drink in hand. Garden parties are more fun than ever now. Gone are the boring days of beer and wine spritzers. Now we’re all about friendly competition and mixed drinks. So hightail it out into your garden and play—but not before you mix up some cocktails to turn your next backyard soiree into a special treat for all.
4 GARDEN PARTY GAMES WITH COCKTAILS TO HELP US WIN
1. PLAY: BOCCE
Categorized as a ball sport, Bocce’s history dates all the way back to Roman times. Developed by the Italians, it’s a game for all ages. Skill and strategy—paired with a tumbler filled with Negroni—will spark conversation and a healthy dose of competitive fun. Franklin Advanced Bocce Set found at SHOP.CA $49.99
Set includes eight 90mm bocce balls and one 40mm plastic pallino. It also comes with a pro-style carrying case so you can take your bocce to any backyard, park, beach, or barbeque for extra hours of grownup play time.
DRINK: NEGRONI COCKTAIL
- Combine one part (1 oz) gin, one part (1 oz) vermouth rosso, and one part (1 oz) Campari in a cocktail shaker, along with ice.
- Strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice, and garnish with orange peel.
2. PLAY: CROQUET Croquet is a sport that involves hitting plastic or wooden balls with a mallet through hoops or ‘wickets’ embedded in a grass playing court. Croquet originated in Britain and naturally pairs with, you guessed it, a Gin and Tonic. The rules of Garden Croquet are simple and can be played on a lawn of almost any size:
- The starting point for all balls is a spot three feet in from the boundary directly in front of the first hoop.
- If a striker’s ball goes off, there is no penalty. It comes back on three feet and the turn continues.
- In a croquet stroke, the croqueted ball does not have to move when the striker’s ball is struck.
- Combine 1 part gin with 3 parts tonic in a rocks or highball glass.
- Serve over ice and garnish with a wedge of lemon or lime.
3. PLAY: BADMINTON Perhaps it’s the excuse to wear white, paired with the light, intoxicating drink of a Pimms in hand, that makes hosting a game of badminton the ultimate in any outdoor party. Badminton extends back to the mid-1800’s in British India. It’s a game that follows the basic beauty of tennis but on a much smaller scale. Get the net out, start mixing up a pitcher of Pimms and start swinging. Coleman Badminton Pro Set $64.99
- Prepare a highball glass with ice. Into it, combine 50mL of PIMM’sNo.1 and 150mL of lemonade (still or sparkling). Add fresh mint and orange, lemon, and strawberry slices. Garnish with fresh cucumber slices.
- Fun for a crowd: multiply the recipe into a pitcher.
- Alternate: Use ginger-ale, or lemon-lime soda such as 7Up.
DRINK: GINGER BEER SHANDY
- Have handy 1 bottle of chilled ginger beer, 1 bottle of well-chilled wheat beer and some lime wedges.
- Pour equal amounts of ginger beer to wheat beer into a glass, over ice. Serve with and serve with a fresh slice of lemon or lime.
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