Happy, Happy Hour on the Beach

Happy Hour originated in the US Navy in the 1920’s. “Happy” was given the meaning of “slightly drunk.” Today, many bars and restaurants give drink discounts and run appetizer specials for Happy Hour between the hours of 4pm and 7pm during the work week. Workers use it as an excuse to have a drink and ‘unwind ‘after work.

Apparently Massachussetts doesn’t recognize my favorite time of day. In conversations with residents on our vacation, they confirmed that the bars in MA do not celebrate Happy Hour. Could this be true?? Yes, it is. Wikipedia confirms that Massachussetts was one of the first US States to ban Happy Hour in 1984. Hmmmm. Strange. So we were forced to create our own Happy Hour on the Beach with a few fun appetizers (and drinks, of course).

Electric Lemonade 2

Our Happy Hour beverage of choice: Electric Lemonade. Have one too many of these (there’s vodka involved) and you’ll be sleeping on the beach the following day. It’s good stuff… but it’ll knock you on your butt if you’re not careful.


This was the hit of Happy Hour: Layered Greek Dip. Sooooooooo simple to put together, this prize-winning recipe from Better Homes and Gardens has layers of cream cheese, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, Kalamata olives, etc. We dunked baked pita chips into this fab dip.

This Party Bean Dip was also really good. It’s a Cooking Light recipe so it was nice to have a lower fat option. The original recipe calls for making your own baked tortilla chips (which we didn’t do). We just used regular old tortilla chips for dipping.

Grilled Quahogs (KO-hogs) were also on the menu. Quahogs are simply ‘hard- clams.’ To grill them, you toss them on a preheated grill, close the lid and wait until they pop open. We ate ours with a bit of hot sauce, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of cilantro. Yum!!

We had a few little friends trying to join in on the fun.

The evening concluded with a little bit of bocce ball on the beach at low tide.

Anyone else have HH banned in their part of the world? I find that so odd. But then again… I can see how some people might get a little too ‘happy’ and cause quite the ruckus. We simply enjoyed our drinks and appetizers and were happy to be with friends and relatives at the beach. Not terribly rowdy. Though there were a few cousins who turned up the Irish music and performed some Irish dance for us in the sand. That’s about as crazy as we got at our little Happy Hour.

All of the recipes above can be found by clicking on recipe titles.

33 Responses to “Happy, Happy Hour on the Beach”

  1. postedAug 4, 2008 9:36 AM

    I love happy hour! Happy Hours in the UK have gradually been extended and I think there is now talk over here of banning them too – no please don’t do it!!! The greek layered dip looks fantastic.

  2. postedAug 4, 2008 11:49 AM

    I guess some of those Happy Hours in MA got a little too Happy, huh? That greek dip looks like it’s going into the TRY NOW pile. Yum. Nice shot of the seagull, it looks like a post card.

  3. postedAug 4, 2008 1:43 PM

    Woah! I can’t imagine living without happy hour Thursdays! But then again, if I went to your make-shift happy hours, I’d ban it too. Love it!

  4. postedAug 4, 2008 3:51 PM
    noble pig

    Banned HH? How strange is that? I had honestly never heard of it. But it looks like you all had no problem making up for it!

  5. postedAug 4, 2008 4:29 PM
    JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    You know, I used to live in MA (for 12 long years) and I never noticed that there were never any Happy Hours – I must really be out of it! LOL!:)

    Everything looks fantastic!

    Now you have me really looking forward to our New England trip in the fall!

  6. postedAug 4, 2008 5:09 PM

    Nope, no bans on Happy Hour here, and no drunk-driving laws either… But maybe we should :/

    If it’s all harmless fun, why not? I’ll have an electric lemonade, please. Just one! Hee hee. Oh, and all your yummy seafood I can eat. Mmmm.

  7. postedAug 4, 2008 5:37 PM
    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor"

    Hi Lori

    Yes, blueberries are in season and are yours for the picking. I too LOVE blueberries and use them year round compliments of my large deep freezer. C’mon back. There are plenty of berries left to pick……LOL


  8. postedAug 4, 2008 5:44 PM
    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor"

    As regards Happy Hour, our overly zealous administration in 1984 banned all Happy Hour “alcoholic” promotions for good. It was the beginning of very strict “drunk driving” rules, regulations, etc. Bars, clubs, etc are allowed to have “Happy Hours” minus the promotion of alcohol. I am so used to the aforementioned regimen, that when I travel outside of MA, “Happy Hour” seems like a novelty…….LOL

  9. postedAug 4, 2008 7:00 PM

    Those dips look delicious!! And the grilled clams… maybe my favorite food on the planet. Yum!!!

  10. postedAug 4, 2008 8:01 PM
    Snooky doodle

    wow that s really a nice holiday. wish i was on the beach relaxing. ha ha and i live on an island surrounded by beaches and never go to the beach. We don t have happy hour here either but everyone can have a shot or two when he likes it πŸ™‚ thanks for visiting my blog

  11. postedAug 4, 2008 9:20 PM

    That looks wonderful…so relaxing and carefree. How fun!

  12. postedAug 4, 2008 10:07 PM

    Great happy hour recipes and drink! I have a few friends in MA and found out that Ma also does not allow open bar parties including weddings (cash bar only).

  13. postedAug 4, 2008 10:10 PM

    Come visit NJ, we still have Happy Hour here! πŸ™‚ That lemonade sounds lethal, but I’d be drinking it anywa! πŸ˜‰ sounds like a perfect time out on the beach

  14. postedAug 5, 2008 2:19 AM

    oooh what a nice happy hour πŸ™‚ those quahogs look tasty πŸ™‚

  15. postedAug 5, 2008 4:08 AM

    beautiful!!! I wish I was there too!

  16. postedAug 5, 2008 5:19 AM
    Erinn @ Sunday Dish

    Good for you for keeping Happy Hour alive in all states! We have a saying we enjoy “it’s always happy hour somewhere, so why not drink now!” πŸ™‚
    That layered Greek dip, mmm mmmm mmm, to die for. I will most certainly be whipping that up asap.

  17. postedAug 5, 2008 1:44 PM
    Proud Italian Cook

    I’ve yet to throw some clams on my grill, but its a goal for me to try this summer. All your good food, sharing it with your friends and family, with that beautiful view in the background, made for a fantastic vacation. I’d take your “happy hour” any day!!

  18. postedAug 5, 2008 2:19 PM

    those quahogs look awesome!

  19. postedAug 5, 2008 3:37 PM
    Cookie baker Lynn

    I like your version of Happy Hour. I’m pretty sure that Utah has no such thing, either, since it’s a dry state.

  20. postedAug 5, 2008 5:56 PM

    WELL. I’m never visiting Massachussetts. How could they take away our precious happy hour?! Such a shame.

    I would looove one of those electric lemonades. I can see myself dancing a jig after consuming one.

    I’ve never had clams before! They look very yummy.

  21. postedAug 5, 2008 6:22 PM

    Great photos! I’m lovin the looks of the Greek Dip as it has all my favorite ingredients. Happy hours get me through each week πŸ™‚

  22. postedAug 5, 2008 7:14 PM
    white on rice couple

    The electric lemonade has me giggly! What a fun time. It’s the best happy hour I’ve ever seen! Love the dips too!

  23. postedAug 6, 2008 1:54 AM

    I lived in Boston for 2 years and somehow never noticed there was no happy hour! Of course I mostly hung out in Irish bars, where it was always happy….

    Your spread looks amazing. Sounds like so much fun.

  24. postedAug 6, 2008 4:51 AM

    Your happy hour looks completely amazing! I should have you visit NE again and you can make all of that for me, hehe.

  25. postedAug 6, 2008 9:41 AM

    WHAT?! No happy hour in MA? That ban should be banned. I’m glad you took matters into your own hands! lol Now pass me a ko-hog and a lemonade, please! πŸ˜€

  26. postedAug 6, 2008 11:35 AM

    I'm loving your happy hour with great food & drink – count me in *wink* *wink* Lovely post πŸ™‚

    Rosie x

  27. postedAug 6, 2008 2:43 PM

    Boohoo, no beach vacation for me this summer but I WILL be making that layered Greek dip this weekend when we have friends out to the lake — it looks right up my alley!

    Milwaukee is a beer town so Happy Hour would NEVER be banned here…that would be bad for the economy!!

  28. postedAug 6, 2008 3:45 PM

    What a fun time with delicious food! I love grilled clams and the lemonade sounds divine! Great photos too.

  29. postedAug 6, 2008 4:09 PM

    Oh sounds so fun! I remember doing happy hour all the time in Santa Barbara…. when in college and just after. Sooooo fun.
    After that I never got out of work in time and now… there’s kids! Haven’t had happy hour in YEARS!!!! Except at home. Yours looks great.

  30. postedAug 6, 2008 5:01 PM
    Lori Lynn

    Boo Hoo! Banning Happy Hour? I don’t want to get started on government intrusion, so please just pass me some of those Quahogs and lotsa hot sauce! I’ll have a beer with mine…

  31. postedAug 6, 2008 9:40 PM

    my mouth is watering! I wanna go to happy hour too!

  32. postedAug 6, 2008 10:30 PM

    Great sounding quahogs. I had never heard of them called that before.

  33. postedAug 7, 2008 2:41 PM

    This is my kind of get together! Love the dips and the coctail!

    No happy hour in MA??? Oh my!

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