Out to have a good time? Here’s the guide to ten essential cocktails for women about town!
If you have watched Anthony Bourdain, then you will understand why I find it difficult to say no to alcohol. In his book No Reservations, Bourdain concludes by saying that food is not simply about taste, but it’s also about heritage, hospitality, and honour. Even after reaching a state of drunken revelry, if the host offers another toast, to refuse it is to disrespect his family and foul mouth his fraternity.
So, because of Bourdain (and my fetish for rose colored glasses), the principle that alcohol is a sin goes right out of the window.
Now that we have stopped walking on egg shells, let’s talk about what happens when the host offers you a glass of sangria to toast her daughter’s betrothal. Can I tell her that I would prefer orange juice because am not really sure what this red liquid is really made of? Not only have I just insulted her culinary skills, but I’ve also crossed swords with her for life. Ignorance is a suffering, and a terrible price to pay in social gatherings.
“I drink to make other people more interesting” – Ernest Hemingway.
Some of the common yet legendary cocktails are listed below, sprinkled with a little bit of wisdom and vanity!
The quintessential Sex and the City cocktail. Carrie Bradshaw and her girls patented these during their late night city jaunts. A Cosmo is a combination of a spirit (Vodka), some form of sweetener (Triple Sec) and the addition of sour (Cranberry juice). This is a favourite because it takes an entire dinner to finish this drink off. Since hard liqueur rarely entices me with its burn on the back of my throat, the limey Cosmo feels good even after a second glass. Besides, I’m still in control – and that’s the only way drinks should be had.
Hemingway was a heavy drinker, but the drink that robbed his daylights was the mojito. Mojitos are best when made with Cuban rum (Bacardi), lime juice, and a sprig of mint. Mojitos is not the usual mix, shake and serve cocktail. It’s an intricate cocktail – so if the bartender is busy, try something else. A bar is a place that is often filled with covert flirtations and clandestine courtships. This not the place to get tipsy or sloshed. Sip, don’t slurp it down.
I could swear that if my mother was to order a cocktail it would be a Pina Colada, hands down. Pineapple and coconut would wash her down, so the only thing standing between her and a glass of Colada is the rum. The official drink of Puerto Rico, Pina Colada reached a new high with Escape (the Pina Colada song) by Rupert Holmes.As in this song, relationships can seem different when a glass of alcohol has been downed.
“Shaken, not stirred”. The martini achieved a cult status with Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Although the Bond martini is a vodka martini, his first and only ever was a gin and vodka one called the Vesper Martini. And the movie where the Vesper martini shows up – Casino Royale. Remember, like James Bond, always err on the side of mystery. There’s no need to reveal that intimate story or a juicy tidbit just because you are drinking.
Derived from a Japanese word, Kamikaze means “The divine wind”. It is what they call the weather pattern that surrounds their island making it impossible for enemy forces to attack. This name was also used for the Japanese pilots during WWII who drove their planes on a suicide mission to Pearl Harbor. This is how you will feel if you take the Kamikaze shots, but the cocktail version is milder and kinder.
Match your drink with your outfit. Never order a beer when you’re wearing a dress. The sangria fits right in. This is a routinely homemade red wine punch. Sangria is typically made with red wine, fruit juices, soda, freshly cut fruit, and sometimes brandy. The alcohol content can vary from 4% to 11%. With origins in Spain and Portugal, Sangria is now popular all over the world.
It’s the world’s complex cocktail – containing vodka, tomato juice, and other spices like Tabasco sauce, piri piri, or Worcestershire sauce. Never order a Bloody Mary after sun down or at the beginning of a party. This is the drink that is said to cure hangovers so you don’t want to start with it.
Jack Kerouac, the relentless traveller, fancied the Margarita, the only cocktail that has a day reserved for it! I’m not kidding; National Margarita day is on February 22nd. Averse to doing tequila shots? then try the cocktail that has tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime juice. Now that you have warmed up to the tequila, bring on the shots. But never do shots to fit in with the crowd. Men always want women to do shots because it is the shortest route to female inebriation.
You would think I would list this on the top coming from a family of South Indian filter coffee aficionados. I rarely like to adulterate my coffee with whiskey, and have resorted to it only under dire circumstances – Boring lectures, trans-Atlantic flights, and gagging parenting orations from well-meaning yet strange people.
Don’t get duped by the deceiving name. This classic cocktail packs a punch, with vodka, gin, tequila, and rum. Make sure to take an entire evening to down the glass.
Cocktail parties can be agonizing. An entire evening filled with awkward silences and strange whispers. But if you do a little homework, be nice and listen (don’t simply talk), it can be an exciting and relaxing escapade. If things get worse, you now have a glass of your favourite drink – so sip and smile.
Pic credit: feastguru_kirti (used under a CC license)