There are some classic staples of summer- watermelon, swimming pools, lounging, tanning, and leaving four fans running all night come to mind- and while great, they sometimes could use a replacement or twist to keep the same standards fresh. With that in mind, here are five substitutes or variations of five classic summer treats to keep your summer unpredictable.

 

Frozen Grapes

Instead of Popsicles, try these guys: just stick a bag of red seedless grapes into a freezer. They’re easy to pop and eat and they’re just as good as a typical popsicle (well, not as good as those Spongebob-head ones, but nothing is) and they’re much healthier. It’s a fruit, it’s a popsicle, it’s cheap, easy, and most importantly, easy. Stock your freezer up and bring the bag out whenever you want.

Ginger Beer

Forget soda; ginger beer is where it’s at. It’s got more zest and bite than soda and drinking it poolside in sharp sips is much more of an experience than any cola is. Plus, Ginger Beer mixes incredibly with whiskey, especially honey whiskey, and if you want a summer treat, a honey-whiskey in ginger-beer with ice is tough to beat. Have one (or three). Hey, it’s the summer.

Grilled Watermelon

Similarly, regular watermelon is great and a great component of any grilling experience. But by actually grilling it (as well as with pineapple) you take a classic and put a new spin on it. The grill takes the natural sweetness of the fruit and condenses it into a purer, more solid, interesting take. Throw some watermelon or pineapple on the grill and keep some plain and you have double the types of tasty fruit without buying anything else. Success! And you’re already grilling, so it’s easy to show off. Double success!

Fried Ice-Cream

Instead of (or rather, in addition to) regular ice-cream, try it fried. It’s something crispy, different, and while more difficult than any of the above to put together, it’s more rewarding, especially because the context will make regular ice-cream even *more* refreshing next time. Besides, when was the last time you got to have a desert fried? If it’s often, it’s a good (albeit) short life.

Anything Hot

Instead of having anything (and everything) cold this summer, consider having hot stuff too. Hot sauces, spicy food, and all the rest are avoided traditionally in the summer for good reason. But at the same time hot food cleanses the pores and the palate. Have jalapeños before you hop in the pool. Add hot-sauce to your barbecue and make sure to embrace the heat of the season. Running away into air conditioning is “cool” after all, but eating and experiencing hot things in hot times means conquering the season at its best. And isn’t that what life’s all about?

Maybe.

At the very least, freeze those grapes. They’re kind of delicious.