Maybe you’ve elevated your outdoor-living game with a snazzy fire pit and a cushy, deep-seating sectional. You set the mood with some string lights. Even added a pop of color with all-weather throw pillows and a cozy, indoor-outdoor rug.
But if you’re still serving drinks out of a plastic picnic cooler, you’re ruining this alfresco vibe. TBH, it’s tacky.
Thankfully, there are way-cooler options to help you chill-out, whether you’re serving beverages for two or 200.
Of course, an outdoor refrigerator is a great option if you’re planning an outdoor kitchen and have access to electricity. It’s super convenient; just keep the fridge stocked, and cans or bottles will always be cold and at-hand, and no worrying about icing them down or disposing of the melted remains.
Outdoor-rated, under-counter refrigerators and refrigerator drawers come in a host of sizes for building into an outdoor kitchen (check out our blog post on outdoor-kitchen refrigeration here). If you want to gild the lily, you can even include a built-in outdoor ice maker to ensure a steady supply of clean ice for your ice bucket.
But if actual beverage-chilling appliances are not in your reality, there are lots of low-tech approaches that can accomplish the same thing, and still add some style to your outdoor living space. If you’re hosting only a handful of guests, consider stashing bottles and cans in clean (repeat, clean), ice-filled flower pots, window-planter boxes, oversized punch bowls, sand pails, bird baths, garden fountains, or galvanized metal buckets or tubs. For a bigger party, clean wheel barrows, plastic kiddie pools, metal wagons, small metal garbage cans, and even canoes or rowboats make fun and festive vessels for chilling and serving drinks to a crowd.
However, while these creative, D-I-Y ideas look cool and spark conversation, they do have some downsides. For one, since the vessels are not insulated, they won’t keep drinks cold for long, and they waste a lot of ice. Also, they are not exactly sanitary, and would not be safe to hold ice for drinking.
A Cooler Cooler Alternative
Rustic Coolers from Haggards Home & Outdoor Living combine the best of both worlds. They earn style points for their farmhouse-chic good looks, while providing the practical and sanitary benefits of an insulated cooler.
Perfect for entertaining as well as everyday use, these beverage stations are handmade in Texas from reclaimed, aged and weathered cedar and other natural woods, so no two are exactly alike. They are lined with full-size, thermal-insulated coolers to keep drinks cold all weekend long.
Since the coolers are freestanding and don’t need electricity like an outdoor refrigerator,
they can be moved easily around the patio to follow the action. Locate the cooler tableside at dinner time, fireside for a nightcap, or poolside for grab-and-go refreshments (hooray to no wet footprints in the house!).
Haggards Rustic Coolers are available in a wide range of models. Each standard Single Cooler is lined with a 48-quart Coleman ice chest that holds up to 63 cans. Double Coolers feature two separate, side-by-side, 48-quart Coleman coolers with individual lids. The Single Cooler with Table features a Coleman cooler with a three-shelf table extension to the side.
If you really want to dress your patio to impress, consider the Haggards Super Duper Cooler. At 58-in. long, this big-kahuna-of-coolers is more like an outdoor bar, complete with a built-in 48-quart Coleman cooler, plus a second smaller, removeable cooler for serving ice, that’s recessed beneath a hinged, cutting-board lid. The Super Duper Cooler also comes with a built-in condiment-tray, knife-storage slot, bottle opener, towel holder, wine-bottle rack, fold-down side shelf, and a large storage drawer for holding bartending tools, cocktail napkins and more.
Every Haggards Rustic Cooler is designed with a hinged lid(s), mounted, heavy-duty bottle opener, and a handy, quick-disconnect drain system concealed by a panel on the side of the cooler. Bottom shelves and fold-down side shelves, handy for holding cups, ice buckets, straws (paper, please) and those cute little drink umbrellas, are available as optional accessories (bottom shelves come standard on the Frio and Yeti models).
All coolers can be custom-engraved with a family name or favorite saying, or personalized with a metal adornment in choice of a star, sea anchor, or tres-hombres-on-horseback design to coordinate with outdoor décor.
The rustic reclaimed wood will not crack or split, and the finish will remain perfectly imperfect with an occasional maintenance coat of oil-based sealant. Heavy-duty covers are optional, but recommended if your cooler will be unprotected from the elements by a solid roof or other structure.
More good news: only minimal assembly is required. Just attach the legs with a screwdriver, following the clear and simple provided instructions.