Last Call? Never Heard of It
Okay, so there are bad days, and there are baaaaaaaaaaad days. Don't panic. Yes, really bad days happen, but there are certain liquid remedies designed to protect you from the proverbial darkest timeline. Just remember, a feel-good drink after a hard day doesn't have to be alcoholic, but sometimes it helps.
This one's for the nostalgic in you. Remember as a kid when your parents ordered you your first Shirley Temple? Initially, it may have looked like a normal pink soda, but then the barkeep garnished it with cherries and you said, "Hey, now I'm getting popped just like Mom and Dad!" So after a rough day, why not hop in your big girl chair and enjoy one with vodka? But remember, drink responsibly; nobody wants to Shirley Temple Blackout.
- 6 oz. carbonated lemon-lime soda (Sprite®, 7UP®, etc.)
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 splash grenadine syrup
Pour over ice into a tall drinking glass, stir and garnish with maraschino cherries.
It's a known fact that many drinks are improved by adding Japanese sake. However, if you really want to make this drink unique, why not try your cucumber sake-tini dirty? Instead of an olive brine, like in a classic martini, shake in a few ounces of cucumber brine alongside the sake and gin for that enticing "dirty" texture. Now maybe you're thinking, "Wait, aren't brined cucumbers basically pickles?" Well, yes -- sort of -- but a Pickle-tini just sounds ridiculous.
- 3 oz. sake
- 2 oz. gin
Add sake and gin to a Boston shaker with ice. Shake until ice is broken up. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with sliced cucumbers.
Eggnog Mexican Hot Chocolate (Non-Alcoholic)
Let's make a deal; every third recipe will be a non-alcoholic option. Why? Because sometimes after a particularly trying day, booze ends up exacerbating your problems. Yes, it sounds weird, because why would your good friend alcohol do that to you? Don't worry, it's nothing personal and alcohol will always be there, but sometimes a hot chocolate is far more effective in curing the bad day blues.
- 2 cups eggnog
- 1 packet plain hot chocolate mix
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- a pinch of nutmeg or allspice
Preheat eggnog in the microwave, or with espresso machine steamer, until steaming hot. Empty into a large mug and stir in hot chocolate mix and other spices until dissolved. Reheat entire mixture to desired hotness. Top with marshmallows, whipped cream or Cool Whip®.
Slow Comfortable Screw Against the Wall (in Mexico)
Remember when Homer Simpson mixed all the available alcohol and made his patented Flaming Homer? Well, this drink's sort of like that, except it doesn't include children's cough syrup -- and you should never set it on fire. Plus, all the ingredients make up the name. Slow = Sloe gin; Comfortable = Southern Comfort; Screw = Vodka and O.J.; Against the Wall = Galliano, as in Harvey Wallbanger; and (In Mexico) = Tequila (very optional... because come on, isn't there enough alcohol already?).
- 1 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. sloe gin
- 1 oz. Southern Comfort
- 3.5 oz. orange juice
- 1. oz. tequila (optional)
- 1 splash Galliano
Stir or shake all ingredients (sans Galliano) with ice and strain into glass. Sprinkle in Galliano, and garnish with orange slices.
Believe it or not this is a legit green cocktail that isn't made with Midori melon liqueur or apple schnapps. And there's just something about a green drink that cures a bad day. (Seriously, try it and see.) And now that you know you can mix blue curacao with yellow to make green, it is much easier to make your day a little less blue -- even if you don't care for melon or apple.
- ½ oz. Amaretto
- 1 oz. dark rum
- 1 oz. blue curacao
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 3 oz. apple juice
Shake all ingredients with ice in Boston shaker until ice breaks up. Strain into a highball glass full of ice.
This one takes a bit of prep, so it's best to anticipate a bad day when using this beverage as remedy. Depending on your job -- or other supplier of stress -- anticipating a bad day might not be as difficult as you think.
- About a handful of freshly picked, thoroughly washed lavender sprigs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 ¾ cups lemon juice
- >2 cups of cold water (sparkling if you prefer it British style)
Remove stems from lavender and place in mixing bowl. Pour in the sugar and thoroughly mix. Pour in the boiling water and stir until sugar is melted. Let sit for 30+ minutes. Strain resulting lavender-induced syrup into pitcher. Stir in lemon juice and add enough cold water to fill the pitcher. Adjust for tartness. Add more lemon juice if too sweet, sugar if too tart. Garnish with lavender sprigs.
Pineapple Upside-Down Drink
Sometimes when life gets you down, cake is your only solace. Only problem: if bad days keep piling up, eating a whole cake every day packs on endless calories leading you straight to Diabetestown. Well, what if you could get the fulfillment of a pineapple upside-down cake in a convenient little glass? Sure, vodka every day destroys your liver the same as cake destroys your waistline. Fortunately, liver trauma is only visible on the inside! Just kidding! Remember, moderation is key. Don't overdo it!
- 3 oz. pineapple juice
- 1 ½ oz. cake-flavored vodka
- 1 splash grenadine syrup
Splash grenadine over glass filled with ice. Pour in cake-flavored vodka and pineapple juice together and stir. Garnish with maraschino cherry and pineapple slices.
The Ginger Blossom is a special drink because it's perfectly paired with sushi. And while it never hurts to learn how to roll your own sushi, after a bad day there's nothing sweeter than takeout sushi and a few adult beverages. And maybe a few spring rolls?
- 2 oz. vodka
- 2 oz. orange juice
- 1 oz. sparkling water
- 1 tsp. of fresh ginger - add more if your taste buds so desire
Mix vodka, orange juice, ginger and ice in Boston shaker and pour into chilled glass. Top it off with sparkling water. Garnish with dried ginger pieces.
Agua de Jamaica, Hibiscus Tea (Non-Alcoholic)
With hipster culture running rampant these days, you've probably come across your share of hibiscus tea. But maybe you never knew that the hibiscus flower was also championed in Jamaica. Or maybe you didn't know hibiscus was also used in papermaking and medicinally in Chinese herbology. Or maybe you just had a really piss poor day and want some comforting tea to calm your nerves. This one also takes some prep time, so maybe just always have some Agua de Jamaica in the fridge ready to drink.
- 3 quarts water
- 1 ½ inch finely grated ginger
- 1 ½ cups dried Jamaican flowers (more commonly known as hibiscus)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice or 1 large lime
Boil water and ginger in a large pot. Remove from heat and stir in Jamaican flowers and sugar until sugar dissolves. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain into large heat-resistant pot. Stir in lime juice. Refrigerate until desired level of cold. Serve with ice.
Grasshopper walks into a bar.
Bartender: You know we have a drink named after you.
Grasshopper: You have a drink named Jeremy Milo Anderson?
Bartender: Um… no.
Grasshopper: Do you have a drink that tastes like one of those Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies?
Bartender: Um… yes, it's called a grasshopper.
Grasshopper: Okay, if you're going to be a wiseass, I'm outta here.
- 1 oz. green crème de menthe
- 1 oz. white crème de cacao
- 1 oz. French cream
Add all ingredients to a Boston mixer with ice and shake until chilled. Strain mixture into cocktail glass. Garnish with sprig of mint or a Thin Mint® cookie.
Sometimes dad jokes help after bad days. Or maybe not... it's often better to mix up some of these drinks instead.