Step #1: Drink (and eat) at home. The price of a fancy cocktail at boutique bars is, well, exhorbitant during these trying days. You may find that staying at home to drink will save you big time. Don’t stop going to your favorite watering hole altogether (you’ve built cherished relations with the men and women behind the bar and they will surely miss your meticulously researched inquiries into their craft). Drinking at home all the time will definitely raise eyebrows, though. You will want to keep your communication skills active, so head to the bar on payday. And regarding dinner, we put eat in parentheses above since many times you would forgo dinner if too much effort was involved in eating at home; after all, if you’re used to making three separate Manhattans using the new fancy whiskeys you picked up during your trip to Louisville, you won’t be doing much of that anymore, so dinner at home is not only viable, but practical. (And put down that phone—we are not talking about delivery.)
Step #2: Split your drink. And if you don’t have anyone to split your drink with (since you’re drinking more at home now), make half-cocktails. This will help improve your math skills when you are trying to figure out how much half a dash is. If you’ve lost your job, add math skills to your resume. We know you want to drink more to cushion the blows that your 401(k) keeps inflicting on your future, but you must replace foolish notions with mature practice. Drinking less will lower your tolerance; therefore, less is needed to get you to the point of feeling that click of peacefulness, as Brick so eloquently puts it in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Step #3: Use Paper Towels. Use a paper towel to soak up any spills, then squeeze the spirits back into the bottle or glass that has lost its precious cargo. (Make sure you buy them in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club for more savings.) For extra credit, rinse your paper towel and hang it over a makeshift clothesline in your bathroom that you’ve McGyvered using a piece of string and two screw hooks. If guests ask, “What gives?” tell them you are creating a backdrop for your next cocktail photo shoot. Their initial horror will turn to admiration.
Step #4: Make Highballs. Highballs are a perfect way to stretch that bottle of booze. Just add an ounce ora n ounce and a half of your favorite (or available) spirit, fill that glass with some seltzer (very cheap if you buy the no-brand brand), and forget the garnish. If you need extra flavor, try some of those old spices that have been hanging out in your cupboard. You know, the ones that you’ve been using a little more of now that you are cooking at home. This is also a good opportunity to use some of those dusty-bottled liqueurs that have lain hiding in the back of the sideboard. Mix two together, add soda, and voilà, you have yourself a new cocktail. Give it a fun name and serve it to guests who are awed by your knowledge of spirituous arcana.
We hope that our tips have been helpful. And if you’r eever in Brooklyn, and want to get together for a drink please bring over a bottle. We’ll be happy to add some soda and forgo the twist.
photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz