Party Drinks: Alternatives to Beer and Wine

Are we sick of wine and beer yet?! Naaaa . . . Never. But, every now and again we need a break from the movie flavor of the month. Sideways had more people running around screaming, “No Merlot” and they had only seen the commercial for the movie.

Well, I enjoy an occasional glass of Gewurztraminer or a dark larger. But, if I’m hanging with my girls and we’re having a fantasy brunch (telling deep dark desires with names like Tyson Beckford, Boris Kodjoe and Idris Elba) I want something fruity and . . . different. I want something unique and memorable. So, I will normally create or expound upon a drink to go with the cuisine and the conversation.

My favorite gathering drink is a rum punch. My sister Sean, who got the recipe from our sister Gail, has a version she and her friends call an Epidural. I have never had a baby and have no idea what an epidural feels like. But, all of these women mentioned it makes everything from your waist down go numb. When my sister told me this I really didn’t want to drink this punch. It just didn’t sound safe to me. but, due to the fact that my middle name is “Adventure” (it’s actually Monette, but . . . oh well . . . moving on) I decided to try it.

Here’s is the basic ingredients for an Epidural:

1 cup of light rum
1 can of concentrated orange juice
1 8 oz can of chunk pineapples
1 24 oz can of pineapple juice
1 liter of Sprite
1 jar of maraschino cherries

Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl and freeze. Sit out �½ an hour prior to party. As punch starts to melt your guest get to scrap it into cups like a slushy. Delicious!

Now, here’s my take on it. Let’s call it . . . Epidural with a Valium drip!

1 cup of light rum
1 cup of Redrum (Yes, like in the Shining movie. The bottle is beautiful)
1 can of concentrated orange juice
1 8 oz can of chunk pineapples
1 24 oz can of pineapple juice
1 liter of Sprite
1 jar of maraschino cherries

Mix and serve the same way. You may want to have this one at a big girl sleep over party. NO ONE will or should drive up to five hours after drinking one cup of this!!!

So, you say you’re too high falootin to drink punch. How about a martini.

I tried these martinis for the first time in Los Angeles with my girl Minerva. We happened upon a cute little bar in downtown LA . . . could have been Santa Monica. We had been shopping and walking all day. Who knows. Our mission was to unwind with a cocktail.

We entered this bar with the intention of having a glass of wine before heading back to her loft. Well, I’m a sucker for cute bottles and spied a bottle of something I had seen in a liquor store. The content was a deep, rich coral color and the bottle had a large “X” on it. I asked the bartender “What the heck is that stuff?” She could tell from my question that I was well versed in the lingo of liquorese.

She explained that it was liquor named “X Rated”. Now, people . . . you know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to know more about this outrageously named libation. I didn’t know if I should be offended or titillated. She offered a free sample so I decided to let my taste buds make the call.

Nectar of the gods!!!! This stuff is so good Minerva sat there licking her lips like a Calico after warm bowl of whole milk. It is delicious!!! This French import is made with premium French Vodka, blood oranges, mangos and other passion fruits. Yummy is just not a big enough word to describe it. But, it will have to do.

Our bartender lady suggested an X rated martini. I thought, “Why not”. Vodka mixed with Vodka . . . yep, excellent idea.

Just as we had ordered our drinks, a young man named Justin sat next to us and offered to buy that round. I would like to take this time to send a big shout out to Justin for his generosity because I had no idea I was drinking a $10 martini! I know, I know . . . some are as high as $100 a pop. Maybe I’ll meet Justin again on the day I order that one too.

Now, according to the X rated people, here is how you make their martinis:

1 shot of Vodka (Level is a good one)
2 shots of X Rated Liqueur
put ingredients in shaker with ice
Shake
Pour in glass
Drink
Lick Glass (okay, that’s my thing)

Another really good mixed drink for a party is another one of my own concoctions. It’s called a Psychotic Hpnotiq Episode.

This blue concoction combines the tasty blend of the Hpnotiq Liqueur (Vodka, Tropical fruit juices and a touch of cognac) with a Midori Sour. That reads like this:

1 shot of Hpnotiq
1 shot of Midori
2 shots of Sweet and Sour mix
Put in shaker with ice
Shake
Pour in glass
Enjoy

So there you have it. Three new drinks to introduce to friend during the holidays, birthdays, groundhogs day, Thursday . . . FIND AND OCCASION. Just remember to drink responsibly and always go for top shelf when enjoying liquor and spirits. A discerning pallet will thank you on the morrow.

Cheers!

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