Eccentric Life Advice #18 – How to Design a Cocktail

Each week Astrid Crossland provides instructions on how to improve your life in some small but important ways.

At the mid-point of every party, when the ice has started to melt and the floor has taken on a distinctive tackiness, somebody will suggest a drinking game and somebody will suggest cocktails. These need not be mutually exclusive, as the age old King cup will testify, but in the case you are trying to scrounge up something palatable from the dregs of the evening, follow these guidelines.

First, you need liquor. Any spirit will form a good backbone for a drink. If it has been, or will be, a particularly long party, a wine cocktail is a good way to pace yourself to last the entire time. If you are drinking beer I have no words or advice for you. Beer is already a cocktail of hops and regret and does not mix well with any of the things known to be enjoyable about drinking.

Second, you will need a mixer. This will both dilute the alcohol and add flavour. Options range as widely as your imagination and can be further diversified by adjusting the temperature and carbonation of the beverage. Boil a kettle and make myriad variations on a hot toddy or Sodastream that $6 bottle of white and make a mimosa. 

Third, add a garnish. Get creative and recruit your craftiest friends to make tiny, hand cut, paper umbrellas. Never trust an olive you don’t know the origin of. Sangria is an exercise in delayed-gratification, while you may resent chopping all that citrus before you start drinking, having a fruitful snack at the end of each glass is a blessing. Just ensure it is clear which parts of the drink are intended for consumption.

Lastly, give it a name. It may be tempting to name it after yourself but you ought to ensure the recipe has been approved by at least one other human being before you release it to the public and discover it is the worst alchemical combination possible. If the moon if new, pour one out for good tidings by the full turn.