A Guide to Summer Drinking in Brooklyn

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How to Drink in Public Without Being Arrested

Brooklyn has entered a golden age of intoxication, with scores of breweries, distilleries, wineries, and bars—so many bars!—helping folks shake the shackles of sobriety. Despite the very many venues, I often turn Brooklyn into a sprawling bar crawl, imbibing atop Coney Island’s sand and Prospect Park’s grass, as well as on dog walks with my mutt, Sammy Bernstein, sipping something strong, cold, and seriously mood-elevating.

In no small way, this rekindles the thrill of underage drinking, of being a 19-year-old shooting vodka and mainlining malt liquor. The buzz came from both the alcohol and breaking the rules. For me, there’s nothing better than gathering friends at the beach or park and sharing a growler, or maybe jugs of just-squeezed margaritas. Yes, it’s illegal, but boozing outside doesn’t mean being a drunken lout, sucking down airplane liquor bottles on the street corner. Here are my tips for respectfully drinking outside:

1
Ditch glass. Nothing screams, “I’m drinking” quite like bottles, which are banned from beaches. Opt for boxes of wine, growlers of beer, and cans. Pro tip: Modern designs for many craft beers are indistinguishable from energy drinks, meaning you don’t always need a sweaty brown bag,

2
If you’re drinking mixed drinks, cups with straws are your best friends. One of my smartest purchases was a cheap plastic straw cup. From gin and tonics to greyhounds, daiquiris, and Aperol spritzes, no one is ever the wiser.

3
Don’t urinate outdoors. That’s piss-poor behavior.

4
Clean up. No matter how drunk you get—and you really shouldn’t be getting too day-drunk—make sure you toss your trash.

5
If you get caught, face the music. Look, you’re breaking the law. You know it. The cops know it. Be polite when you receive the ticket. At just $25, the fine is far cheaper than a round of drinks.

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