Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer across the U.S. But for those of us below the Mason Dixon Line, where kids get out of school just in time for Memorial Day weekend, it's the perfect time to unwind after a long school year and bring back our favorite summertime recipes.
If you stumbled upon this post looking for recipes and not as a #BOTENATION devotee, you've probably already read 100 blog posts about recipes for Memorial Day. This one is going to be a little different from all the others because Memorial Day weekend with the BOTE crew tends to be next level.
Some of us wake up at the crack of dawn for a 20-mile paddle on the Traveller or a 15-mile mountain bike rip, or possibly both, followed by slamming chiller lites at the sandbar while keeping a safe distance from the youths who have been partying all day. Others will spend the morning paddle board fishing, chilling on the inflatable dock all afternoon while the kids splash around, then invite over a couple of neighbors for a smaller get-together. And the remaining few will park it on the beach for a stupid number of hours and catch a few baby waves paddle surfing (because, exercise), then head to the nearest friend's house who has already cooked and stocked the cooler for a stress-free evening of mooching off everyone else's hard work.
Just kidding on the last one. Kind of.
THIS YEAR, WE'RE KICKING OFF SUMMER WITH UNCOMPLICATED FOODS AND SIMPLE COCKTAILS, LEAVING PLENTY OF TIME TO MAXIMIZE EVERY MINUTE OF DAYLIGHT AND GET IN ALL YOUR HOBBIES.
There's no right or wrong way to do Memorial Day weekend, but no matter how you do it, you have to eat and you surely need to stay hydrated. This year, we're kicking off summer with uncomplicated foods and simple cocktails, leaving plenty of time to maximize every minute of daylight and get in all your hobbies.
Presenting our essential recipes for Memorial Day 2020, paired with their (basically) essential BOTE gear counterparts.
COCKTAILS: THE MOST ESSENTIAL NON-ESSENTIAL ITEMS
Refreshing Gin & Tonics
You've heard the buzz and spotted them around town last summer but never took the plunge. Guess what? This year is your year. We guarantee once you get a taste of it on a hot summer day there's no turning back. Just like the Inflatable Dock, a Gin & Tonic is the quintessential refresher you never knew you needed.
When the days are long and hot but the water isn't quite warm enough to dive in, we recommend making you and your significant other or roomie a couple of personal gin & tonics while lounging about on your inflatable dock for a few hours to properly unwind before inviting over the neighbors. Just like a traditional dock is perfectly useful but a floating inflatable dock is much cooler, traditional G&T's will always hit the spot but can be dialed up with fresh ingredients like mint, berries, and citrus.
When hunch punch and cake are on the menu, too, we like to lighten up our G&T's by replacing some of the tonic with soda water. Even if you've been making traditional G&T's for years you'll never notice the difference, trust us.
LIGHTENED UP GIN & TONIC
2 OUNCES GIN (WE LIKE HENDRICKS OR TANQUERAY)
1-2 LEMON OR LIME WEDGES
3-OUNCES SODA WATER
1-OUNCE TONIC WATER
Requisite Hunch Punch
No one wants to be stuck behind the bar making cocktails for the entire party. Plus, it's more efficient to make one giant cocktail for everyone at once.
Just like a solid hunch punch recipe, a sup cooler is the most multi-purpose item in your holiday weekend toolkit. Portable and versatile, load up a KULA 2.5 as your paddle board cooler seat for a docile morning of fishing, then load it down with our KULA 2.5 Hunch Punch recipe to rage until well after the sun goes down.
KULA 2.5 HUNCH PUNCH
2 PARTS VODKA
1 PART FRUIT PUNCH
1 PART SPRITE
1 PART MANGO JUICE
1 PART PEACH JUICE
Mix it up in your KULA 2.5 sup cooler, put the lid on it, and keep it chilled while you're keeping it chill. Ladles are for losers, drink it straight from the tap! P.S. Drop the vodka for a kid-friendly and booze-free alternative.
SEAFOOD: BECAUSE IT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE BRISKET & BUTTS
Spicy Seafood Boils
Get out of your grill 'n chill comfort zone and make something everyone can get excited about: peel and eat shrimp. Just like the 12' HD, peel and eat shrimp is the ultimate crowd pleaser.
The beauty of peel and eat shrimp is that it doesn't take much to dress 'em up. Follow a classic shrimp boil recipe or make personal shrimp boil foil packets on the grill. If shrimp aren't your thing, this boiled seafood recipe is a foolproof way to get the party started with any type of seafood from lobster to mudbugs. And the 12' HD? Simplicity is perfection here with just a leash and paddle, but dressing it up with all the fixin's, like a KULA 2.5, Tackle Rac, and Travelink™, make it even more delicious.
THERE ARE FEW THINGS MORE REWARDING THAN COOKING UP A BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF FRESH-CAUGHT FISH AFTER A DAY OF PADDLE BOARD FISHING ON YOUR RACKHAM PADDLE BOARD.
Catch ‘n Cook
If you're a novice cook, you're probably not going to go straight for Garlic Parmesian Baked Grouper for your Memorial Day weekend festivities. And if you're in the market for your first paddle board, you may not be eyeing our Rackham paddle board. But here's the thing, you definitely could. And maybe you should.
There are few things more rewarding than cooking up a beautiful piece of fresh-caught fish after a day of paddle board fishing on your Rackham paddle board. This fresh fish recipe can be easily adapted for any flakey, white fish, like red snapper, redfish, trout, flounder, or halibut. And if cooking your catch is your thing, don't think twice about it; Rackham is the board for you.
SWEET TREATS: GOTTA HAVE 'EM
Gimme All the Watermelon
The most approachable item on your Memorial Day spread is easily the watermelon. It's that refreshing and crowd-pleasing eye candy that gets adults and kids excited to rehydrate and cool off after hours of jumping off your inflatable dock, paddle board fishing, or generally baking in the sun.
Just like watermelon, an inflatable paddle board is the most approachable item in your Memorial Day toolkit. It's basically a giant flotation device that provides hours of entertainment for guests of all ages. Plus, it's packable and portable. Need we say more?
Slice watermelon into classic triangles with the rind intact for portable, personal snacks.
Make the Cake
Half the time we find ourselves wondering if we really need to make a cake. But this is Memorial Day weekend, guys. The kick-off to summer. You absolutely need dessert at your Memorial Day extravaganza just like you 100% need Aero Chairs.
Sure, you could opt for frozen popsicles and folding plastic chairs if you want to cut corners, but is now really the time to cut corners? The thing about cake is that you didn't know you needed it until you took that first bite and wondered why you ever doubted it. Aero Chairs are the icing on your Memorial Day cake, making it a little more leisurely and enjoyable, but not so indulgent that you have a guilty conscience the next day. To do Memorial Day right, you make the cake. You buy the far superior Aero Chairs. And you enjoy your slice of cake while sitting in your Aero Chair.
From cupcakes to cookie cake and the iconic Dairy Queen ice cream cake, make yourself a cake or pick one up at the shop around the corner. You won't regret it and your kids and neighbors will love you for it. Plus, you totally deserve it.
It goes without saying that we'll all drink gallons of water, get plenty of sleep, and wear copious amounts of sunscreen. Hell, we might even squeeze in some exercise. But when it comes to making sure grub for the holiday weekend is super tasty and totally stress-free, these are our favorite foolproof recipes to get the job done so we can get outside and have some fun.