Editor's Note: Drinking and driving on the road is highly illegal, so why would it be acceptable on the water? Always drink responsibly.
For some, planning a day on the water is all about the activities: fishing, bodyboarding, jet-skiing, or simply sun-bathing. While that all sounds sensational, my first and all-consuming thought is: “What are we eating?”
If you find yourself wondering the same thing, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Let’s be real, the one of the best part about being out in warm weather is day-drinking. From a DIY mimosa bar to a charcuterie plate, you’re sure to be the crowd favorite with this boozy-boating basket of goodies to kick off your brunch on the water. Best part is, it can be your sailing companion throughout the entire warm-weather season. Let’s start here, shall we?
DIY Mimosa Bar
Who doesn’t enjoy a refreshing mimosa in the morning? If you can think of someone, you should probably distance yourself—seriously. So, what’s better than a crisp, citrus mimosa while soaking up the sun? A create-your-own, customizable mimosa bar, of course! Packed with a puckering punch, this DIY bar will become a staple for every on-the-water weekend activity.
To get started, you will need:
- Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava (Club-soda makes a non-alcoholic version that is just as fun!)
- Juices: Orange, Cranberry, and for the adventurous—Pineapple, Pomegranate and Grapefruit
- Garnishes (simply because they’re snazzy): orange, pineapple, and grapefruit slices—or to really jazz it up, toss in some pomegranate arils, everyone in unison, say “Oooh.”
Feel free to add or subtract any other ingredients, this is just a list to get you off the ground or possibly put you there (depends on the number of mimosas consumed). One last thought, if you want to imagine yourself setting sail off the coast of a tropical island, or if you actually are, make a Hawaiian Mimosa. All you need is champagne, pineapple juice, and a splash of Malibu Rum. I’ve never been on an island, but I imagine this is what it would taste like as a flavor!
The easiest, most cost-efficient way to supply your guests with food in a family-friendly fashion: skewers! From meat and cheese, cheese and fruit, or even pasta salad skewers; the possibilities are literally endless.
For some inspiration, here are a few recipes below:
- Fruit skewers stacked with cubed melons, berries, grapes, and pineapple; making it a summer-body friendly snack!
- Pasta Salad, yes you can string it all together on a stick! Just be sure to use a noodle like tortellini, the traditional penne won’t cut it – trust me.
- Anti-pasta skewers loaded with the essentials: Italian meats, cubed cheese, olives, grape/cherry tomatoes; honestly, whatever you want so long it isn’t a noodle.
For my fellow germaphobes, this option is the best. You can enjoy all of the water activities with a peace of mind (and not having to worry about any dirty fingers touching every morsel on board).
Originating from France, charcuterie refers to any smoked, dry-cured or cooked meat. Don’t stress over correct pronunciation, as long as you have bottles on deck, your guests won’t be paying any attention. Think cheese plate, now think BIGGER! A charcuterie board is a great way to layout all of your picnic essentials while taking up minimal yet valuable space on board. Get as creative as you’d like, or keep it simple and sweet. A charcuterie board is easy on any wallet-size.
The essentials include:
- Meats: Salami, Pepperoni, Sopressata, Prosciutto, or even a Pâté.
- Cheese: Gouda (aged and smoked, my personal favorites), Sharp Cheddar, Bleu Cheese, Brie, or if you’re making impressions – Chèvre (goat cheese).
- Bread/crackers: you could do your favorite cracker, but to really crank it up a few notches, try sliced baguettes or some pita crisps – you’ll learn why a little further down the list.
To really impress your guest, or if you enjoy a nice mix of flavors, you can make your board more elaborate with these accompaniments:
- Cornichons (pickles that too are fancy and French).
- Stone ground or whole grain mustard—you know, the seedy kind.
- Fruit, like grapes, dried cranberries, or even apples—both pair well with cheese, especially brie!
- Nuts, like Marcona Almonds—a Spanish nut, roasted with a bit of olive oil and salt, not to be mistaken as a clove of garlic.
- Hummus, olive oil (either infused or plain), or a balsamic glaze for guests to drizzle over their masterpiece—now do you see why I suggested the pita and baguette?
- Olives themselves: green, black, Kalamata, or stuffed.
- And of course, wine. I’m not a sommelier by any means, but Steven Grubbs of Empire State South in Atlanta is. It just so happens, he also owns a 1982 Catalina 25 that he sails on Georgia’s Lake Lanier. Therefore, he not only knows wine, but he’s the best sipping sommelier sailor there is!
So, there you have it. If you were looking for the perfect décor for a pontoon picnic, sorry that’s another article. But hopefully this one sparked some creativity for your next day of boating festivities! And don't forget to check out these articles that might also help you during your brunch on the water:
- Boat Grills: BBQ Equipment on the Water
- Cooking on a Boat: Essential Ingredients for Seafaring Chefs
- How to Party on a Boat
- Propane Safety for Boats