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Snack, Sip, Repeat: 16 Dishes and Drinks to Do Happy Hour Right

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We're the kind of people who have to eat every three hours, and Pure Leaf Iced Tea is here to help with that.

Today: Once you've had a homemade happy hour, you'll never go back. 

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I've never met a happy hour I didn’t enjoy—the drinks, the snacks, the afternoon glow. But not all happy hours are created equal: There's everything from the dive bar afternoon (where all you want is a can of alcoholic water) to those thrilling rooftop events where the drinks and snacks are like a small Thanksgiving dinner. And while each of these excuses to drink during daylight and eat with your fingers have a very dear place in my heart, there are some happy hours that just go above and beyond.

Bars, in all honesty, can only do so much when it comes to crafting an hour or two of booze-infused enjoyment, so skip them next time and pull together a cocktail hour of your own—one that will have your friends naming you “life of the party." All it takes is two snacks, two cocktails, and two hours to throw a party no one will forget, so here are four different happy hour menus for your next evening in:

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Al fresco is all good.

    

Gather up a group of friends and head for the rooftop, fire escape, stoop, or park for a happy hour served with a side of fresh air. We encourage bringing snacks and drinks that travel easily and taste good hot or cold. 

An afternoon pick-me-up. 

    

Work weeks can be long, and by the time Friday happy hour rolls around, your energy is a little zapped. But forget about nap time—an hour or two with friends is just as revitalizing. The trick is to prep everything beforehand. Get ahead the day before by roasting walnuts in green tea, crisping your chickpeas, and crafting a couple of tea-based mixers.

An (almost) all-nighter.

    

An amazing happy hour (bubbly! hors d'oeurves! more bubbly!) is the kind of event we never want to end. Ensure that your own will last by serving snacks that people will want to come back to. Start with a big bowl of meatballs with party toothpicks and balance them out with some sautéed dates. You can even replenish the dates mid-party; they only take a minute to make and the intoxicating aroma will have your friends lingering in the kitchen and scooping them up the minute they’re out of the pan. 

A little bit of island goes a long way. 

    

People like excuses to get into a cuisine, or culture, through food. You can offer a mini-version of this immersion, instead of a full-on themed party, with a themed happy hour. So, for example, let’s talk tiki. All you need for fun are clever drinks (like this Mai Thai and Singapore Sling) and tropical snacks. We're all about coconut popcorn and spicy chocolate dipped bananas—and that's only the beginning

What's your favorite kind of happy hour? Tell us in the comments below!

This post is brought to you by Pure Leaf Iced Tea.

Tags: happy hour, snacks, drinks, cocktails