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I Tried A Bunch Of Boozy Party Hacks And Found The Legit Ones

Happy summering.

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Hey! I'm Hannah from BuzzFeed's food team, and I love wine...a lot. 🍷

Hannah Loewentheil/ BuzzFeed

During the winter months, you'll find me hibernating with a full glass of cabernet sauvignon, but in the summer, I prefer to ~liven things~ up with things like ice cream cocktails and sangria party punch.

So I headed to Pinterest to find some cool, new summery tricks featuring — you guessed it — booze!

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I wanted to find a mix of practical party hacks (like how to chill a warm wine bottle ASAP) along with some fun party tricks that my friends would love (DIY rosé gummy bears, anyone?). I tested out eight hacks, and here's how they all worked out.

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1. Chill wine really fast by wrapping it in a wet towel, then sticking it in the freezer.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

The idea: So your friends are a few minutes away and you forgot to chill the rosé. It happens! But I found a few different tricks for chilling a bottle of wine ASAP. One crowd favorite is submerging the bottle of wine in an ice bucket with salt, but even that takes a while (and not to mention a lot of ice). Then I saw this post, which says you can chill a bottle of wine in seven minutes flat by wrapping it in a wet dish towel or paper towel and popping it in the freezer.

Did it work? Yes!

The results: I started out with a lukewarm bottle of rosé. The poor wine had been sitting out in a sunny room all morning so it was in rough shape. I soaked a dishtowel in water (at this point, you'll want to make sure the dish or paper towel is really, really wet, not just damp). I wrapped it around the bottle of rosé, and left it in the freezer for seven minutes. When I took it out the wine was pleasantly chilled. It was by no means ice cold, but then again, you wouldn't want to serve freezing wine anyway.

2. Use a folded sheet of paper to open a beer.

The idea: According to popular Pinterest and YouTube legend, If you don't have a bottle opener handy, you can crack a beer with just a piece of paper. Fold the sheet down until it forms a lever, then use that to pop off the cap. (Confused? I was too. Here's the full tutorial.)

Did it work? Well, not for me...

The results: I will start with the disclaimer that I can hardly open a beer with a bottle opener. I don't know how to shotgun or funnel. But still, I was getting pretty fed up with my inability to succeed here — and after going through about 12 sheets of paper, I still couldn't get the damn thing to work. Finally, I asked a coworker and beer lover to help me out. Matt struggled a little bit at first, but persistence paid off and he succeeded in getting the bottle cap off. He did, however, walk away with a small wound on his pointer finger, so be careful if you try this at home, kids.

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3. Use raisins to instantly revive sparkling wine that's gone flat.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

The idea: You know those times when you open a bottle of sparkling wine and it sits out long enough that your precious bubbly looses its effervescence? It's a tragedy. Well, I saw that a handful of bloggers claim you can revive flat sparkling wine by adding raisins to your glass. It all comes down to science, which I know little about, but supposedly any carbon dioxide that's left in the wine will cling to the raisin's surface and release bubbles.

Did it work? Sorta.

The results: I used cava for this experiment, and dropping a few raisins into my glass definitely added some bubbles back into the it, but it didn't taste nearly as bubbly as it did when I first popped open the bottle. I had to keep adding raisins because the cava kept losing its effervescence. That said, it was definitely drinkable, and it tasted a whole lot better than flat sparkling wine.

4. Use frozen fruit to instantly chill your wine without diluting it.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

The idea: Sometimes, you just gotta chill your wine ASAP and you don't have time to wait around. Now, your first instinct is probably to reach for the ice cubes, but some will argue that adding ice dilutes the wine and takes away from its flavor. The better solution? Use frozen fruit instead. Rather than water the down wine, frozen fruit is supposed to instantly make the wine cold and enhance its aromas and flavors. I found this fun infographic on pairing wine with fruit that complements its natural flavor (like sparkling wine and strawberries, Riesling and pear, sauvignon blanc and peach), so I decided to try it out.

Did it work? Like a charm.

The results: I'll be using this hack all summer long. Not only did the frozen fruit chill the wine in seconds, but it hardly changed the flavor of the wine at all. Plus, once I finished the wine I was left with some boozy-fruit, so the whole thing was sort of like a lazy girl's sangria. I'd give this trick two thumbs up.

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5. Sangria Ice Pops

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

The idea: I saw a bunch of adorable sangria ice pops all over Pinterest and just had to try them out for myself. Not only are they pretty and basically begging to be Instagrammed, but the reviews said they taste delicious. Plus, what's a better summer treat than boozy ice pops? I followed a simple recipe from Delish, which called for white wine, simple syrup, orange liqueur, and lots of chopped fruit.

Did it work? Yes!

The results: The sangria ice pops came out just as I expected. I let them sit in the freezer overnight, and the following day they'd frozen perfectly. They were refreshing and delicious, but they definitely tasted very alcoholic (probably because I didn't put any fruit juice in my recipe). But the best part about these ice pops is their versatility. You could pretty much use any type of wine you like and give the ice pops more flavor by adding different liquids — like peach schnapps, flavored vodka, or even grape juice, depending on how boozy you want your pops to taste. TBH, I'll be making these all summer long.

6. Watermelon Jell-O Shots

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

The idea: Jello shots are always a huge hit at any party, right? There's just something fun about slurping down an adult version of your favorite childhood lunchbox snack. This ~extra~ version caught my eye: They're jello watermelon shots that actually look like little watermelon slices. My first instinct was that they seemed far too cute and tricky to make in my own kitchen, but I wanted to give it a try anyway.

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Did it work? Kinda.

The results: My watermelon Jello shots turned out...OK. They actually tasted awesome — you could tell there was alcohol in them, and it wasn't overpowering. But they definitely weren't as beautiful as the ones you'll find on Pinterest. And truth be told, making them was a pain in the ass. You start by halving limes, juicing them, and peeling out all the membrane on the inside, which was pretty tedious. I discovered that the easiest way to do this was to turn the limes inside out and peel the insides from the middle down. I made pink Jello, added a cup of vodka, and then I poured the gelatin mixture inside of the lime bowls. I let them cool for a few hours, and when the Jello was set, I sliced the limes in half to make wedges. Slicing the limes into wedges was the trickiest part because they weren't super sturdy, and a lot of the Jello trickled down the sides. All in all? Cute, but probably not worth it.

7. DIY Rosé Gummy Bears

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

The idea: Last year, a trendy candy store called Sugarfina came out with rosé gummy bears that became ~all the rage~. (In fact, there was at one point a 14,000-person waitlist to get your hands on them.) So people started making their own rosé gummy bears at home, as manifested by the dozens of Pinterest DIY recipes I found. One recipe seemed pretty straightforward: All you need are gummy bear molds, rosé, sugar, gelatin, and red/pink food coloring. Time to see how these lil' bears would turn out.

Did it work? Yes!

The results: Despite feeling more basic than ever for spending about an hour in my kitchen making rosé gummy bears, I was impressed. The gummy bears were simple to make: All you do is combine rosé, sugar, gelatin, and food coloring on the stovetop. It was transferring the gelatin mix into the tiny bear molds that took more time. Once the gummies sat for a few hours in the fridge, taking them out of the molds also took some time. But despite the monotonous act of preparing my adorable pink bears, they were well worth the challenge. They tasted like rosé, only a bit sweeter, and the consistency was a little less firm than store-bought gummy bears. I'd definitely make these again for friends.

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8. Spiked Strawberry Kiwi Capri Sun

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

The idea: I often find myself in a pickle (and I know I'm not alone here) wanting to be drinking something boozy by the pool or the ocean, but bringing glassware on a swan float or in a picnic basket is never a good idea. Which is where these portable, spiked DIY Capri Suns come in. The gist is that you can make your favorite cocktail, pour it into plastic bags, and drink it anywhere. Simple, yes, but also incredibly useful.

Did it work? Yes!

The results: OK, these were bomb, and you can make them in five minutes. I used this recipe for three-ingredient kiwi-strawberry-vodka cocktails, which basically says to toss the fruit and vodka in a blender, then seal the mixture in plastic bags. I bought the plastic bags at my local Stop & Shop, but you can also order them on Amazon. The drink actually tasted amazing, and I was able to pack it up with some plastic straws and travel without the liquid spilling at all. You can really use any recipe depending on what you want — vodka lemonade, margaritas, or even wine spritzers.

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