(Editor’s note: What are the most popular drinks outdoors? We polled thousands of our Facebook fans, who cast over 27,985 for 100 different libations. We were very surprised that not a single alcoholic beverage made the the Top 5 (I guess that tells you something about how we entertain). So without further ado, here are some of the most popular 11 outdoor drinks!)

Popular Drinks: #11 – Wine Cooler

(0.8% of the votes in our poll)

11 Popular Drinks: Outdoor Drinks - Poll - 11 Most Popular - Wine Cooler - Wine Coolers

Limoncello & Raspberries!

I’m relatively “new” to wine coolers. The store-bought ones I had years ago always struck me a bit too sweet, so I avoided them for years.

While I’d always thought of wine coolers as something you buy, I didn’t realize how easy they are to make! Combine some red wine, a lemon lime beverage, and grenadine. Voilà! Wine cooler!

Or red wine, a peach, 7-up, and ice… Bingo! Wine Cooler!

The one to the right is made with Limoncello, a lemon liqueur mainly produced in the region of Italy around Naples and Sorrento. (I lived there as a kid and remember seeing farmers carrying giant baskets of lemons on their heads, without using their hands at all!)

Popular Drinks: #10 – Fruit Smoothie

(0.9% of the votes in our poll)

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Fruit Smoothie

Our Fruit Ninja gets quite a workout since smoothies are my daughter’s favorite drink. Hers are delicious and healthy, based on banana and yogurt, with strawberries and other fruits added.

The first smoothies in the U.S. appeared in California the 1930s, but the recipes were from Brazil. There are other kinds of fruit smoothies around the world, like Sharbat, which uses flower petals, and is popular India.

Popular Drinks: #9 – Ice Cream

(0.9% of the votes in our poll)

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Ice Cream

What can I say? Ice cream isn’t a drink, but it came in 9th on our “favorite drinks” poll anyway. I suppose it really is sort of a frozen drink. Eat it slowly enough and it is a drink. And it’s very easy to blend with alcohol or root beer for a root beer float!

I still remember the first time I gave a tiny spoonful to our son when he was an infant. He recoiled from the spoon, thinking it was baby food, then tasted it and leaned forward and gave me a look of surprise and wonder that I don’t think I’ve seen since.

Popular Drinks: #5 – Coffee

(2% of the votes in our poll)

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Coffee

One of my favorite travel memories involved coffee and my wife. We were on an anniversary, went to Amsterdam, and had coffee in the morning a plaza. We were unplugged from our jobs, our daily lives, even our kids. We just sat, sipped, and watched.

Gazing out at the historic buildings, the cobblestone street, and people walking and biking to work — was as exhilarating for me as a great movie (And I love movies!).

That was a decade ago, but I remember the coffee. Big, wide cups: almost like small soup bowls with delicious cafe latté, with foam on top.

What a beautiful, morning outdoor drink!

Popular Drinks: #4 – Soft Drinks

(2.4% of the votes in our poll)

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Soft Drinks

I suppose everyone has their favorite. For years, mine was Diet Coke. I used to be a soft drink fanatic, often drinking five or more diet sodas a day.

One day, visiting a health club, I heard a health lecture about Aspartame, the sugar substitute used in some soft drinks. I immediately stopped my “habit”. That was two years ago. I miss the hissing sound of opening a can of soda, and I miss the taste.

In any case, soft drinks are so popular as an outdoor drink, that Pepsi alone beat out every alcoholic drink except beer, wine, and margaritas! Sorry, Piña Colada and Sangria!

Popular Drinks: #3 – Lemonade

(2.7% of the votes in our poll)

Popular Drinks: Outdoor Drinks - Poll - Most Popular - Lemonade

Lemonade

Well, it isn’t even close in popularity to the two top outdoor drinks. But if that’s true, why do kids always have lemonade stands in the summer? My guess is that it’s not only taste, but color. Seeing that bright yellow just makes me feel a little happier.

Lemonade isn’t the same around the world. Here and in Canada, it’s squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and water — usually with ice added. But head to the United Kingdom and it’s a soft drink — lemon-flavored, carbonated, and sweetened.

Of course, there’s “hard lemonade” too, which is lemonade with malt liquor — i.e. beer — added!

Popular Drinks: #2 – Ice Water

(21% of the votes in our poll)

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Ice Water

I guess my biggest surprise is that ice water isn’t the top outdoor drink. Water itself is the most consumed drink in the world. But as outdoor drinks go, there is one ahead of it.

Obviously ice is a big part of this. I suppose ice has been with the world as long as snow and hail and glaciers have been around. But easily available ice in hot summer months? A different story!

You can go back to 400 BC, when Persian engineers had already mastered ways to store ice in the summer that they brought down from the mountains the previous winter. That ice was used to chill treats for royalty. So think about THAT next time you have an ice water on your porch — 2500 years ago, you’d be a baroness, empress, or queen!

Our bodies generally need as much as a gallon of water or more every day (depending how active we’re being, and — noticing the heat wave going on — the temperature).

Popular Drinks: #1 – Iced Tea (Ice Tea)

(45% of the votes in our poll)

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Iced Tea

Whether you call it ice tea, iced tea, sweet tea, sun tea, or whether it’s made with tea leaves or not — this drink was by far the most popular in our poll. It got nearly half of 27,985 votes as the favorite outdoor drink.

In a way, it’s not a shock. After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, according to the British anthropologist Alan Macfarlane (in his 2004 book The Empire of Tea, written with Iris Macfarlane).

It makes sense that it would win our outdoor poll. Iced Tea is cold. You usually have it with ice. You can sweeten it or not. You can add flavored syrups — like lime, strawberry, passion fruit, raspberry, and the ever-popular lemon.

So it’s refreshing and can have such a variety of tastes. And the caffeine can help give you energy. I’m drinking iced tea as I type these words. (Well, I actually set my glass down when I type).

One note on Sweet Tea. I’m from the Midwest, so I don’t see it much unless I travel into Kentucky or further south. It’s usually made by adding sugar (or syrup) to black tea in hot water. Then it’s served ice-cold, but can be flavored too. I’m no expert on it, but I always enjoy having it.

So what are your favorites? Any we missed? Let us know– we love to hear from you!


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