9 of L.A.’s Best Bartenders Share Their Beach Drinking Hacks

Not that you would ever do such a thing

In an ideal world, we’d be able to sit on one of our many lovely beaches and sip on beer, Palomas, and rosé all day. But unfortunately booze on the beach is a huge no-no, not allowed, illegal in these parts. Just out of curiosity we asked some of our favorite bartenders how they drink under the radar. Again, not that we’re condoning this, it’s just research. You know, for funsies.

Danielle Crouch of Here’s Looking at You: “Our hot summer day staple is to get a Black Forest Extreme from Coffee Bean and add a split between Aged Caçhaca and Rye.  We drank these almost daily for an entire summer. Mountain Dew Code Red bottles are great for sneaking Negronis. We fill an iced tea bottle with Old Fashioneds.  This can get dangerous quickly, so exercise caution.”

Dave Purcell of Melrose Umbrella Co.: “Put cocktails in squirt guns. Super soaker spritzer. Instead of Jell-O shots, make a whole Jello mold.”

Aaron Melendrez of Salazar: “I’m the king of infusing watermelons. It’s super old school but it’s inconspicuous and it keeps you hydrated. What you do with the watermelon is make a little hole in the top big enough for the bottle neck to fit in. Put the watermelon on the bottle and turn it over. Let it soak for an hour and refrigerate it. Watermelon is like a big giant sponge. It does really infuse as much as it soaks up. It’s delicious though, just add a little tajin after you cut it open.”

What? It's just a watermelon.
What? It’s just a watermelon.

Photograph courtesy of Aaron Melendrez

Beau du Bois of The Corner Door: “We discretely dig a hole in the sand—ideally placed inconspicuously under our tent. A hole big enough for say, a 5-gallon Cornelius Keg that I like to fill with margaritas or palomas. Once the hole is dug, well, you know the rest. A little ice in the hole will help keep it cold but I recommend making sure the keg is real cold before heading to the beach.”

Garrett Mckechnie of Bar Mattachine: “My boyfriend and I made some caipirissimas once on the beach in Tulum [Mexico]. Pack of sugar, some lime wedges, Havana Club 7 yr. and ice. Pour it back and forth in cups, and damn. We were happy.”

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, Cooking Channel stars and creators of McNuggetini: “We’d probably go for dumping rum and pineapple juice into a fresh young coconut with the coconut water and appearing to be healthier than we are. I mean c’mon. ELECTROLYTES.”

This but leave out the flowers?
This but leave out the flowers?

Photograph by Caroline on Crack

Jen Len of the Jonathan Club: “Nontransparent insulated, reusable water bottles because they keep it cold and you can’t see through them to give away your secret!”

Devon Espinosa of Sawyer: “Using any of the Clover Juices out there would make a great match for your favorite spirit. Add an ounce to 2 ounces of booze to your bottle of juice (with a couple sips taken out of them). It’s an easy travel cocktail definitely worthy of having in a cooler at the beach. Some of my favorites: Sunrise (orange, carrot, coconut elon, watermelon rind, lime, mint) would go great with gin, vodka, rum, tequila or any white spirit for a refreshing libation. The Clover (kale, cucumber, celery, spinach, pear, cilantro, mint, lime) takes tequila to another level.”

Ken Baranda, bar consultant: “I usually go to Paradise Cove. Since they sell booze it’s all good. If going to a public beach, and you are willing to break the law (something I don’t endorse) a Gatorade bottle filled with your fave spirit or cocktail and a dash of red food coloring seems to work just fine.”