Baby, It’s Hot Outside: The Best Ways to Beat the Heat

We're having a heat wave! From boozy ice pops to battery-powered surfboards, the cool ways to chill out.

We're having a heat wave! From fruity drinks and boozy ice pops to hopping on a battery-powered surfboard, here are the coolest ways to find some relief from the sun.

Larry Crowe / AP Photo

Drinks: Infused Cocktails

Nothing wrong with a simple gin and tonic, but for summer, herb-infused cocktails can turn a run-of-the-mill barbecue into the type of event Martha Stewart would plop down on a lawn chair for. They’re easier to make than you think. Pick a drink—vodka is usually easiest—add a fresh fruit or herb, seal both in a glass jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, and shake once or twice a day. Fruits can take up to a week to infuse properly, so keep tasting and when you get the desired flavor, break it open, ice it, and serve.

Sport: Battery-Powered Surfboard

Fledgling surfers often find that the hardest part is just paddling out there. These battery-powered WaveJet boards help beginners stand up on their first set. A wrist-strap remote allows you to control the speed of the jets, which power the boards up to 12 miles per hour. What’s more, the quiet motors don’t compete with the sound of breaking surf, and the jets automatically shut off when you wipe out. You’ll be hanging ten in no time.

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Food: Raw Zucchini “Fettuccine”

When it’s too hot to stand over the stove, the Food Network’s raw zucchini “fettuccine” with tomato sauce can substitute for your standard spaghetti and meatball fare. Zucchini is easy to shred with a vegetable peeler and far less caloric than a carb-loaded bowl of noodles. Add pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil for extra flavor.

Movie: <i>Crazy Stupid Love</i>

There’s nothing colder than a movie theater in July, where the thermostat always seems to be cranked down to a level that requires you to dig out your winter sweaters from the back of your closet. This summer’s best rom-com option is Crazy Stupid Love, in which Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) re-evaluates his life after his wife (Julianne Moore) cheats on him, turning to a smooth-talking ladies man, Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) and becoming his protégé. The movie is directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, the team that directed Bad Santa, and The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “shrewdly written comedy” that pulls off some “genuine surprises.”

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Indulge: Homemade Ice Pops

Take two parts childhood nostalgia, add one part adult privileges, and voila! Boozy Popsicles. Paper cups, tongue depressors, and a freezer will get you started. Try a grapefruit Campari, a fennel Pernod, or a mojito. Break them out for post-burgers dessert.

Beach Read: The Last Werewolf

Vampires are so 2009—this summer’s monster is big, hirsute, and howling at the moon. A great beach read is The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, which follows a werewolf named Jake, who, after the death of one of his comrades, becomes the last member of his species. He is being hunted by two dangerous groups, both of which want him kept alive for their own purposes. One reviewer praised Duncan’s writing as “quirky and brilliant—and definitely not for kids.”

Kids: Pump-Free Super Soaker Thunderstorm

Today’s water guns are essentially “shock and awe” machines, and the new Super Soaker Thunderstorm takes good-natured drenching to an almost-disturbing level. Kids fill up the water clip and the motorized and automated pump delivers a high-volume stream of water 25 feet. Particularly good for kids who are into Call of Duty.


Television: <i>True Blood</i>

Fans of Eric and Sookie have plenty more sexy, bloody, action-packed episodes to look forward to in Season Four of True Blood, which premiered on June 26. Eric’s case of amnesia has turned him from a blood-sucking monster to a docile lamb, which could make for a strange twist in his brewing romance with Sookie. Romances are sure to reach sizzling heat levels to rival the temperatures outside.

Pekka Sakki / AP Photo

Vacation: Helsinki

If you’ve got the funds and vacation days to burn, the Finnish capital was recently voted the World’s Most Livable city, and its fantastic architecture and rich cultural offerings are best experienced during high summer. The sun shines well into the night, but without the intense heat that’s driving the U.S. indoors this weekend. Meanwhile, only about 600,000 people reside in Helsinki, so there’s plenty of elbow room.

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Music: Bon Iver

Justin Vernon, a.k.a. Bon Iver, has come out with a second, eponymous album that’s as intimate and gratifying as his folky debut, For Emma, Forever Ago. But Vernon has stepped up his game even more, imbuing his mystical falsetto harmonies with an edge of experimental pop. Some of the songs have a touch of Beach Boys flavor, but despite his upper register, Vernon’s voice is too wounded and ethereal to be dubbed boyish. Hovering about a haze of acoustic guitars and airy synths, his dreamy melodies make for perfect summer escapes.

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

Fitness: Early Morning Boot Camps

“Boot Camp” sounds more like torture than a workout routine, but not to the dedicated followers of Robin Hart-Cohen, a former dancer whose Los Angeles-based Hart’s Fitness Camp promises all gain, no pain. And you don’t have to live in Southern California—follow her schedule for a week during the cool(er) wee hours of the morning to keep your physique in place through August. Lest you think it’s time to throw in the towel, there are plenty of beach days ahead to keep you inspired.

DVD: Harry Potter 1-6 Box Set

In a funk as Harry, Hermione, and Ron bid adieu to the big screen forever? Don’t fret: you can relive the magic with the Harry Potter Years 1-6 box set. If you haven’t seen the grand finale yet, sharpen your Harry Potter trivia and treat yourself to a marathon of memorable moments at Hogwarts, from the monster-ridden Chamber of Secrets to the excitement of the Triwizard Tournament.