In partnership with our friends from the Miami Cocktail Company
Travel, beach days, picnics and camping have one key element that can create or break an experience: the fridge (and its contents).
HOW TO PACK A REFRIGERATOR
We’ve all been there: It’s time to pack your fridge for the first time since last summer and realize it’s stored in some sleepy garage or attic, and surprise, surprise, fight to keep anything from getting cold. You can avoid this if you only bring in the refrigerator the night before, so the ambient temperature of your home can lower the temperature of the refrigerator, which will make it easier to keep the refrigerator longer. If you can nail it to a particularly cool place in your house, like a basement, even better. Similarly, keep everything that happens in the refrigerator in the refrigerator until the last minute. And packing the refrigerator itself should be the last thing you need to do before you hop in the car and drive off.
A TWO COLD APPROACH
The key to keeping the refrigerator cold is not opening it too much. This is hard to avoid if you have all the goods in one huge refrigerator. Consider sharing drinks and food and putting them away. Use a high-load refrigerator for food, and something like this bag from Business & Pleasure Co. for drinks. That way, you can reach for all the necessary cocktails and sparkling water in a can without raising the temperature of the food.
We like the combination of ice sources – heavy models set the bottom of the refrigerator, and loose ice fills the gaps. Put the things you need to keep the coldest on the freezers. From there, it’s a bit like a Tetris game. Wire coolers – the ones we use after baking cookies – can help you get even layers for efficient packaging. Too many air gaps in the refrigerator will speed up the melting of the ice (ice will work to cool that extra air, instead of isolating itself), so fill those extra gaps with more ice, not more food. The ideal ratio of ice and food in the refrigerator is two to one.
DO NOT TAKE
It’s tempting to drain the melted ice water from the fridge – and if you’re on a longer multi-day camping trip, that’s the thing. But if you’re on a day trip or overnight, don’t: That water is almost as cold as ice and will do a pretty good job of keeping things cool. Cold water will also do a good job of insulating the remaining ice, keeping it cooler than being exposed to air.
CURRENTLY IN OUR COOLING
Okay, technically, popcorn and crackers shouldn’t go in the fridge, but they absolutely go with everything else on this list.
Miami cocktail Margarita Spritz
The portable marga is a summer sensation. No snorting around the citrus shakers and strainers, and any surface around you inevitably becomes sticky – just a delicious cocktail ready when you want it. Our pick is the Miami Cocktail Company – it’s as clean and fresh as you want a margarita to be, but elderflower and ginger are exciting new additions. There is a little orange juice that will sweeten it instead of added sugars, which rounds out the transparency and nicely reflects the citrus flavors of Key Lime.
In our opinion, the more aggressive the bubbles, the better. Topo Chico won overwhelmingly in this category.
Our favorite solar-powered snack. Chances are you’ll eat most of the bag on the way to your destination, so protect your bets and bring two.
Mini Tajin with fruits and vegetables
Hot weather means eating cold, crunchy, refreshing fruits and vegetables like jica, cucumber, watermelon, melon and mango – all of which taste even better with this Mexican blend of chili lime and salt. Cut out your products and take a secret shower when you get to your destination. These mini bottles are both cute and adorable at the same time.
Thin, sharp and spicy just enough to be able to enjoy themselves, but not so much that it overcomes what you pair them with. We currently love the caramelized onion flavor.
Grillo’s pickle chips
An obligatory moment of pickles. Grillos are fresh, crispy, vinegar, garlic – basically everything we want.
Bitchin ‘Sose Heat
The name on this tub can raise some eyebrows. And the heat level of these things requires warning. We’ve loved the original and chipotle flavors for a long time, but we recently tried Heat and it’s no joke (we’re talking about the spirit of pepper and habaner). There is something unusually refreshing about eating spicy food when it is hot.
Delicatessen salads (and something sweet)
Even though you have a refrigerator, it’s a smart idea to pack food that works well at room temperature. We approach a gourmet salad and stay away from ingredients that suffer if they sit for too long, so we avoid milk-based toppings, opt for firm greens instead of tender salads, use vegeta instead of mayonnaise and stick mostly to plant-based. These recipes will be in heavy rotation all summer.
A simple straw that goes with anything and gets better while sitting.
Brown butter Pecan Blondies
End the day on a sweet note. Blondes are easy to thrive on and pack on, and they’re big, so you don’t have to worry about nailing them a little.
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