Koozie holders will help you survive the summer

A few summers ago, I had too many friends crammed around the dining room table for Sichuan food, frantically finishing it off in the two woks in the galley kitchen. One of the guests ordered a beer. I handed them a cold Modelo and pointed to a set of drawers where I put koozies to protect my fingers from the cold cans. “Wait,” they said. “You have a draw.just That's because there are actually two drawers dedicated to the koozie holder.

For those unfamiliar, a koozie is a canned insulation material most commonly made of neoprene and foam. Others go by similarly awkward names: koozie holders, huggies, can insulators, coolers, coolies, cozys, and beer jackets. Apparently in Australia it's called a “stubby holder”, but I don't like that. Anyway, once you start looking for koozies, you'll probably recognize them because they're everywhere. The most common and inexpensive version can be folded flat for easy storage, but sturdier, non-collapsible koozies are made with thicker, pool noodle-like foam that makes it easy to hold your beer up close. Ideal for floating in water while shaking. You can also buy fancy metal ones like the cooler status brand Yeti.

Margaret Eby

“Wait,” they said. “Do you have a drawer for weirdos?'' And I said no. Actually, there are two drawers dedicated to Koozies.

— Margaret Eby

In Alabama, where I grew up, koozies are everywhere. Most kitchens have a koozie drawer, a koozie basket on top of the fridge, or a random pile on the counter. They are given out as wedding favors, handed out in banks, and printed with all kinds of designs and advertisements. A koozie from my high school, a koozie from a Dolly Parton concert, and a koozie from my old dentist. I have one for him from Waffle House and a few more that I salvaged from one that a few people threw at the crowds lining St. Charles at the Mardi Gras parade.I have one from someone he has magic mike-Themed bachelorette parties, one at Piggly Wiggly near where I grew up and another at a Coney Island store that still sells merchandise from the 1979 movie. warrior, at least six from restaurants I've never been to or festivals I've never attended. That's the rule when collecting anything. When people understand that they have a certain amount of something, that in itself gains weight. My koozie drawer always seems to be pulling more koozies into its orbit.

Margaret Eby

Sometimes that koozie wasn't really meant to be yours. I was just passing by.

— Margaret Eby

I've been collecting koozies since my early twenties, and I can tell which koozies have been used more than others by how frayed the top is or how the foam is frayed in places. I always have a few items in regular rotation, so in addition to having a full drawer, they're also scattered around in my handbag, backpack, and beach bag. I think I probably lost as much as I do now. Kooji means abundance and generosity. They exist to be shared and passed on. A koozie isn't exactly disposable, but it's something you have to accept that you'll never actually own. These are free, or close to free. They slip through your hands and end up being left behind at a friend's lake house, a picnic table outside a bar, or somewhere at camp. Sometimes we discover one of our friends in a strange place, and it's nice to see them again. Sometimes that koozie wasn't really meant to be yours. I was just passing by.

A koozie is a very useful thing to have. Here in Brooklyn, bars and restaurants are open with patios and curbside table service. Despite the heat and humidity, hunkering down outside in the grass is also a charming respite from the apartment. In situations like this, Koozy really has a chance to shine. This is a simple device that prevents condensation from building up on cans and bottles, keeping your drinks colder for longer. It's also great for keeping things from flying around inside your bag. By carrying a bag full of ripe peaches, you can rest assured that you won't end up with just a sweet mush at the end of your journey. It's extremely portable, inexpensive, and pocket-sized. It does the same thing that an insulator does. Make things a little easier, a little calmer, a little less difficult to deal with.

Even after everything we've been through, our koozie spirits can dip every time we pull our koozies out of our bags to drink rooftop beers while reading a book or eat cold lemonade and cake with friends at the park. It reminds me of that. Abundance helps. Koozies are souvenirs in the literal sense of the word. It brings back memories. For me, they are some of my most cherished memories, reminding me of messy, haphazard dinner parties, spontaneous lake house visits, raucous weddings, and road trips that for a while seemed like they would never happen again. I'm a keeper. At least the drinks stayed cold during that time.

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