Classy cocktails for the college budget | “You need three ingredients for a cocktail. Vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency,” says Peggy Olson, Don Draper’s secretary on Mad Men. Words of wisdom if you work at a high-priced advertising agency and can afford good liquor. For the poor college student, sipping a fancy cocktail in a Manhattan executive suite is a few years away.
“You need three ingredients for a cocktail. Vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency,” says
Peggy Olson, Don Draper’s secretary on Mad Men. Words of wisdom if you work at a high-priced advertising agency and can afford good liquor. For the poor college student, sipping a fancy cocktail in a Manhattan executive suite is a few years away.
But that’s no reason to let your loan-saddled budget dictate your swank. Here are a few cocktails that can be made cheaply in the comfort of your own home, where the dress code is up to you.
This drink became popular in 1930s Hollywood. Use cheap vodka, but splurge on extra-spicy ginger ale like Reed’s, Blenheim or Hansen’s to give your mule a kick. The best part about this drink is that it is traditionally drunk out of a battered tin cup, making your favorite coffee mug a perfectly acceptable substitution.
2 oz vodka
2 oz fresh lime juice
8 oz ginger ale
Serve over ice
The king of the three-ingredient cocktail, the Cuba Libre is a basic rum and coke with a splash of lime. For the best flavor, make sure to really muddle the pulp out of the lime. Mix the juice with the vodka first, then add ice, followed by Coca-Cola to taste.
2 oz white rum
Serve over ice
Lemon Drop Martini
The preferred cocktail of James Bond; it doesn’t get any classier than this. Depending on the brand of vodka you buy, the lemon drop can be a deliciously inexpensive drink. And if you don’t have a fancy martini shaker or wide-rimmed glasses, feel no shame in buying a children’s insulated sippy cup. Chill it in the fridge before mixing, instead of using ice, and it functions as the shaker and the glass in one.
1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup or dissolved granulated sugar
(When in season, crush three blackberries and add them to the mix for a tasty twist.)
A drink with many faces, the Cape Cod starts simply with vodka and cranberry juice. Add pineapple juice and it’s a Bay Breeze. Add orange juice and you’ve got a Madras. Add orange juice and schnapps and it becomes Sex on the Beach. The possibilities are endless.
1 1/2 oz vodka
4 oz cranberry juice
1 lime wedge
Serve over ice
When your immune system finally succumbs to Portland’s endless winter—but not so much that you’re willing to succumb to NyQuil—try a hot toddy. Often used as a cold remedy, this honeyed concoction will soothe a sore throat, ease a stuffy head and lull
you into a cinnamon-spiced
2 cups water (near boiling)
2 tbsp honey
2 oz brandy
2 tsp lemon juice (save the rind)
2 cinnamon sticks (a dash of powdered cinnamon works too)
Toss in the used lemon rind once the ingredients are mixed.