Wrecks on the Beach
Perfect for balmy 115º evenings watching the sunset from the upper deck of your Outer Banks beachfront home—the one you worked nearly four decades of 60-hour weeks to afford, with dreams of spending your retirement catching up on all the reading, golf and pickleball you didn’t have time for in your earning years. Too bad the ocean now reaches your living room windows. Mix a refreshing cocktail and toast the imminent demise of our habitable planet. We had a good run.
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 1/2 ounces peach schnapps
2 ounces orange juice
2 ounces cranberry juice
Orange wedge, for garnish
Fill a thermal tumbler with ice and add vodka, peach schnapps, and orange juice. Pour cranberry juice on top. No time for the orange wedge—the ice is melting quickly. Best to chug.
Let the brunch crowd have their Bloody Marys. We’re now officially a nation of Dirty Harrys, and that calls for a red-blooded cocktail with a high-caliber kick. Pour it into a bulletproof flask and bring it along to a concert in the park, your nephew’s first Holy Communion, or a quick trip to Trader Joe’s. It’s ideal for sharing with strangers as you crouch together in hiding, or for dousing your torso and playing dead until you get the all-clear. Cheers to feeling safe!
4 cups spicy tomato-vegetable juice cocktail (such as V8®)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons horseradish
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
6 ounces vodka
Stir vegetable juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, celery salt and vodka in a large pitcher with ice. Finish with 1–2 spritzes pepper spray (avoid eye contact). Celery garnish not recommended; greens are for wusses. Serves four.
As a society, we’ve been riding the slippery slope of acceptable behavior from apathy to rudeness to full-on aggression like drunken frat boys on a Slip ‘n Slide. We no-show our friends, ghost our lovers, and avoid all family gatherings that require hard pants. And that’s just how we treat the people we care about. Let us raise a glass to the end of civility—a laughably quaint notion that harkens to the days of doors held, coughs covered, and respectful discourse sans death threats.
2 ounces whiskey
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 ounce simple syrup, to cover the acrid taste of hostility
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, mix well, and strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with a cherry. Take one sip, then hurl the remainder into your companion’s face.
No Gin Fizz
Scour your pantry, liquor cabinet, basement, and garage. Dig through the carry-on you used for the flight home from Miami in 2019 after raiding the mini bar of your hotel. Sigh as you pop the top on a can of tangerine La Croix your sister-in-law left in the back of your refrigerator last summer. Drink a toast to the end of plentiful store shelves, infinite selections, and a reliable supply chain we all took for granted.
Long-COVID Iced Tea
What better way to celebrate the end of the pandemic—at least the part where we acknowledged we’re in one—than paying homage to the clusterf*ck of mixed beverages, the Long Island Iced Tea. As with its namesake, this amalgamation of ingredients tastes like something your older brother used to dare you to drink when your parents went out for the evening and left you with a sitter. Thankfully, your tastebuds were rendered nonfunctional seven months ago.
1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce rum
1/2 ounce gin
1/2 ounce tequila
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 ounce sweet and sour mix
1 ounce cola
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sour mix. Cover and shake. Pour into a tall glass. Top with splash of cola and a squirt of hand sanitizer. Stir with a rapid test until a pink line appears.
A fascist new twist on a classic drink. Actually, it’s an old twist brought back for a new generation—this time twisted so tightly it feels like your uterus is being wrung like a wet washcloth. Traditionally made with bourbon or rye whiskey, this version’s gone virgin—soon to be the only option left for avoiding a forced pregnancy. Let’s toast the end of nearly 50 years of bodily autonomy and gird our loins for the fight ahead.
2 ounces non-alcoholic spirits
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes aromatic bitters (may substitute tears of bitter rage)
Orange peel or Luxardo cherry, for garnish (optional)
Add simple syrup and bitters to a rocks glass. Fill glass with ice and stir to combine. Add non-alcoholic whiskey and stir to chill. Garnish with orange peel or cherry, if desired. Taste, gag on the hypocrisy, and search instead for the flask of Bloody Harry you filled this morning to take to your kid’s soccer practice.
Nothing pairs better with a government teetering on the edge of anarchy than absinthe, a spirit that was outlawed in the U.S. for nearly 100 years. Once reputed to be hallucinogenic, the “green fairy” is the ideal drink for this historic moment when trust in our institutions has never felt more farfetched. Serve this signature cocktail at your midterm Election Day watch party, and keep some extra on hand to get you through the weeks and months of challenges and recounts to come. You’ll probably also want to stash a few cases of absinthe in your attic in preparation for Prohibition’s inevitable return.
1 ounce absinthe
1 teaspoon simple syrup
4 ounces sparkling wine
1 gallon each optimism and despair
Pour absinthe and simple syrup into a cocktail glass and top with sparkling wine. Stir in the blood, sweat, and tears of the heroes who sacrificed, fought, and died for the freedoms now being demolished faster than our shorelines. Garnish with an American flag toothpick.