By Brian Thalhammer | Photos by Visit Lake Geneva (left), Holly Leitner (right)
Sometimes, the journey is the best part — especially when it’s a boat ride to dinner. Packing for an evening cruise to any of Geneva Lake’s lakeside dining options offers opportunities for happy-hour creativity. Local grocery stores stock premade charcuterie packages of meats, cheeses and crackers that are easy to pack, snack and wrap up when finished, or create your own selection from artisan prosciutto, soppressata, Genoa salami and cured sausages. Pair them with specialty olives or pickles for a perfect appetizer “board.”
For help pairing the boat snacks with a perfect drink, The Bottle Shop in Lake Geneva has a great assortment of summertime beverages to pair with any menu. Try the Ranga Ranga Sauvignon Blanc or the Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc, a beautiful rosé from France: both are so popular during the boating season that there’s a separate wine fridge in the store dedicated to these fan favorites. Or, if you’re looking for something on the spirits end of the spectrum, the shop’s experts created their own cocktail named “Summer Juice,” which incorporates Blackbird blackberry whiskey and ginger ale, topped with a few delectable blackberries.
Of course, no boat excursion is complete without beverages. For proper summer vibes and charcuterie pairings, pick up some prosecco, organic sparkling lemonade or a tropical juice blend made with pineapple, mango juice and turmeric — vibrant drinks that can help balance the saltiness of the meats.
For boaters wanting a little extra kick, try a Rosemary Mezcal Fizz:
- 4 1⁄2 oz. mezcal
- 2 3⁄4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 1⁄2 oz. light agave nectar
- 6 oz. chilled club soda
- Rosemary sprig
- A pinch of kosher salt
- A dash of lemon zest to garnish
Combine first four ingredients in a shatterproof glass and stir to combine. Garnish with rosemary, salt and lemon zest.