Monday, December 8, 2014

Friends don't let friends shoot well cocktails

Your alarm goes off at 7:30am.  And shit, it’s Monday. E-mails are filling up your inbox from the weekend, your boss has been menstruating since 1982 (men have their cycles, too), and that asshole that you married is still asleep because he has the day off--but will he clean? No, because he’s an “artist.”

Thankfully there’s a Starbucks on your way to work.  That warm morning beverage will get you through until at least lunch, and then by then your day is already half over.  You get in line, and then finally order your drink.  You’ll have a latte, but not mixed together.  No, you want the two shots of espresso on the side with a back of 10oz of steamed milk.  Is it practical, and does it make sense to drink it that way? No.

But in bars ordering a well shot of something with a back is becoming more and more popular, even though it’s often the same price (or only 50 cents cheaper).  Does it taste nearly as good as the actual cocktail? No! So why are the kids doing it?

Well first off, WHY would ANYONE ever order a WELL shot?

It’s one to order a house-level cocktail, like your basic gin and tonic or vodka soda… but why would you order shot of rum with a coke back?  Well-level cocktails are priced as the cheapest hard A beverages to order for a reason.  They’re made for mixers.  So unless you’re at a classier joint where “well” or “house” is at least Stoli or Bombay, you’re probably not going to enjoy the taste.

The two most logical explanations for the straight well shot option are price and the want to get buzzed or drunk.  If that is the case, then newer should start researching the many great shooters that, for usually the same low price, won’t leave an awful taste in your mouth.

Some great options include:

Sex on the Beach – this classic shooter or cocktail promises both great taste and results.  While there are multiple variations, the basic Sex on the Beach is: Vodka, peach schnapps, OJ and cranberry.  Some bars will charge an extra $1 for the peach schnapps, but it’s worth it to not be cringing after consumption.  For the same price as a shot of vodka, order it as a “madras” (w/o peach schnapps)

Kamikaze – I personally like my kazi’s with flavored vodkas, like blueberry or cucumber—and don’t underestimate how amazing it is with a potato vodka! Again, it’s another simple alternative to the straight shot:  vodka, muddled limes, and triple sec.

Jolly Rancher – Of the well-level shots, this is a fan favorite.  At basics it is: vodka, pineapple, and a flavored liquor (go with the watermelon!)

The Tequila rule:  tequila is a little different, because tequila is usually meant to be shot.  Even so, you’re cutting it with a salted rim and a lime or orange.  If you hate straight tequila, try it with a splash of a mixer to cut the taste.  You’ll be amazed what the little extras can do!

And bros, don’t be afraid to try any of these.  It won’t make you any less “cool”

If you don’t want mixed shots, another way to improve the quality of the taste is to order your shots “chilled.”  By doing this, the bartender will then shake it with ice.  It’ll water down your shot a little bit, but not by much, and drastically improve the flavor.  You can also have for muddled lemons or limes to cut the flavor, but if there’s a line behind you, bartenders generally don’t like you to do this.

Another way to get around the bad taste is to not order well-level shots.  Odds are, if it’s not happy hour, the price for higher level liquor is only a couple dollars more.  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend $2 on premium liquor that’ll taste good and reduce my chances for a hangover over the hand sanitizer and sludge that they bottle and mass produce for $7 a bottle.

The point is, whether you’re at a lounge, a club, or just getting a drink with a friend, you should never be paying for something that’s gonna make you cringe.  You wouldn’t spend money on a dinner that you know you’re gonna hate, and drinks should be no different.

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