Bringing together two great things to create a third, greater thing is not only a solid source of summer fun, it's the origin of many a seasonal staple. Take, for instance, the Arnold Palmer (lemonade + iced tea), or parasailing (parachuting + boating), or hats with tiny, battery-powered fans on the brim (hats + complete lack of shame).
But you don't have to just sit around enjoying the pairings of summers past — not when there are all sorts of new, crucial summer combinations just waiting to make your life easier/ cooler/ more full of ice cream. So put on your favorite fan hat, mix up a glass of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey and lemonade, and read on to discover more summer-improving pairings. Hey, maybe you'll find a new combo you like so much that you'll be inspired to keep the party going all year long.
Food pairings are a pillar of summer — the s'more, the cucumber and watermelon salad, the popsicle with booze. Add to this pantheon of summer hybrids the donut ice cream sandwich: a slab of ice cream between two cake donut halves, like a bagel-and-cream-cheese by Mister Softee himself. The donut holds filling better than a traditional cookie-based sandwich; also, it's a donut and ice cream at the same time, which I know is in your dream journal (didn't mean to read your dream journal, it was just out on the table). The donut ice cream sandwich is everything a good summer pairing should be — horizon-broadening, functional, and full of sugar.
As a kid, you only wanted two things: a limo with a pool in the back, and to meet Batman. As an adult, you only want two things: a cold drink at the end of the day and...okay, you're still waiting on Batman. But while you wait, why not blend those limo pool/cold drink dreams into a single, mobile-cooling/party unit reality? Cover your truck bed liner with a few five-pound bags of ice cubes — it's just as cooling as filling it with water — and use the icy wonderland as a beverage station at the next picnic you're invited to (or use it as a cool-off station for yourself). Sit on that ice, surrounded by drinks and fruit salad and uncooked meat, and try to tell yourself that childhood dreams don't come true.
While an outdoor movie screening already combines the thrill of watching a film in the summer breeze with the thrill of not having your seat kicked by a restless-legged stranger for 90 minutes straight, there's a way to take your summer movie game to the next level: screen a seaworthy movie in your pool. Set up a basic poolside theater: a DVD projector like the Epson MovieMate 85HD (which includes built-in speakers), an inflatable outdoor movie screen (or just a blank white wall to project the film on), and a few floating pool lounge chairs. Pick a nautically-inspired film, like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou or Pirates of the Caribbean (or Jaws, if you're evil), serve up some drinks, and float on into an evening of unique summer entertainment.
This summer, ditch your aunt's nine different types of potato salad and get your friends together for a potluck cocktail hour instead. Have each of your guests bring a pitcher's worth of their favorite refreshing summer cocktail, like Jack Honey Lemonade, or a whiskey iced tea made with Jack Honey. You may find a new summer signature drink — but let's be honest, most of the fun is in the trying.
But don't stop there — let your inner Thomas Edison out and see what other combos you can whip up this summer. Like, your camera + the Gawker Media rooftop? RSVP for Jack Daniel's Summer Swarm in New York City by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "HEY HONEY" — the first 20 people to respond will be invited to Gawker HQ on July 24 for a delicious happy hour. And don't despair — even if you can't make it, you can still win a trip on Jack Honey's tab. Enter their photo challenge for your shot at a VIP trip to Lolla '15 here.
By emailing your entry, you attest that you are at least 21 years of age. If you're one of the lucky few invited, you'll need to show proof of your age for entry.
Gabrielle Moss has written mostly funny stuff (but also some serious stuff) for GQ.com, The Hairpin, Nerve, etc. You can follow her here.