If you are like me and live in Michigan, then you definitely know that summer is right around the corner. After a long winter and even a crazy April snowstorm, it seems like the cold months are finally behind us and that we can gear up for some fun times in the sun here.
Summertime in MI
When I start thinking of summer, one of the things that my mind immediately gravitates toward is the notion of the cookout. There are so many great things about a cookout. First, I think of all of the great food that is served at a cookout. The burgers, hot dogs, and side dishes are all wonderful and I love enjoying them. In addition, the cookout is a great time to enjoy being outside with great friends. Michigan is particularly awesome in this realm because there are so many great places to go do a cookout with friends. We have miles and miles of sandy beaches on three of the five Great Lakes. The final thing that I think about is having nice cold drinks at the cookout. For me, this is my favorite part. Although we live up north, it can still get pretty hot in the summer months, especially in mid to late August. Having some nice refreshing drinks is a great way to cool you down as well as quench your thirst after a great meal of cookout food.
When it comes to these cold drinks, I try to take great care in picking what will be served at the cookout. In some ways, I consider myself a curator of cookout drinks. Every cookout has a slightly different vibe; consequently, each one may call for a different kind of drink. You can’t always just go buy some light beer for the occasion. Sometimes, you need to mix it up.
When thinking about mixing it up, there are usually different angles from which I can approach the situation. Do I want to do something that is a little bit more involved, or can I keep it simple? This past summer, I was looking for something sweet to bring to a cookout and didn’t want to go the mixed drink route. It dawned on me that cider was the perfect solution. A hard cider goes a long way at a cookout, and people generally appreciate it.
Usually I shop for cider at Meijer because of the great selection. They typically carry the usual suspects such as Woodchuck and Angry Orchard. Both of these are great ciders that I love; however, since I am into trying out new things, I usually go for something else. One newer cider that has been in Meijer recently is Blake’s Hard Cider. It’s made from apples grown in Armada, Michigan and it is amazing. I bought a pack of it just to try it and totally fell in love. They offer a variety of different flavors. I haven’t tried them all, but so far my favorite is the Flannel Mouth. I know that next cookout I am definitely going to bring Blake’s Hard Cider. I can’t wait!