Party favors: Alcohol Guide 21+
Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale is becoming incredibly popular as a drinkable “session” beer. Balance is the key to this beer — there’s a lot more flavor than what’s in a Bud Light, but you won’t be blown away by the harsh hoppiness in other pale ales. This beer is often available on tap at local bars and is definitely worth a try. If you like it, try the Torpedo IPA by the same maker to test out the hoppiness of the India Pale Ale style (and then maybe some Hoptimum, but that might be going too far).
Like Guinness? It’s a classic Irish stout, but by no means shows what the style can be. Stouts are perfect as we round the bend toward winter. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout will bring to mind some of the sweetness and creaminess of Guinness Draught but emphasizes the chocolate flavor along with coffee and roasted maltiness. On the other end of the spectrum there is the great Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. “Imperial” in a beer name indicates a strong beer. Old Rasputin has a huge flavor profile while also packing nine percent alcohol by volume.
There are only a few beers that qualify as Trappist beers, and that’s because they must be brewed by monks, usually in Belgian monastaries, with strict tolerances. It’s impossible to drink any without seeming pretentious or feeling smug, and as an import, expect a price premium. But each of these beers is definitely worth a taste. Pick up a single bottle of Rochefort 10 for probably around $7 (don’t worry—at 11 percent ABV it’s like three beers) and it might just make your night. There are too many flavors in that one bottle to list or even pick out individually, but that doesn’t mean it’s unbalanced — this is an incredibly refined beer that deserves its worldwide acclaim. The uniqueness of the Rochefort 10 and each of the other Trappist beers are something every avid beer enthusiast needs to experience.
Lemon Drop, a classic favorite—mix your favorite plain (or flavored) vodka with lemon juice and a little sugar, add a lemon garnish if you’re feeling fancy and knock it back. Try to make sure that each part (vodka, lemon, sugar) is equal so one doesn’t overpower the other. But if you find the perfect mix, you’ll want to drink a lemon drop all night.
Cherry Cheesecake, while cranberry juice is a fairly common chaser, you can make an equally delicious shot by mixing part cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail with vanilla vodka. For a richer taste, try experimenting and mix it with vanilla schnapps. This recipe can be altered as well to work with other types of juices, even grape.
Fire Bomb, one of my absolute favorite drinks of all time is Fireball whiskey, but you can also purchase cinnamon-flavored liquors and mix Red Bull with them to create an explosive and wild flavor. Reminiscent of “old-school” Four Loko, this shot will certainly add a little pep to your step.
Fun and Fruity
Arbor Mist sells a nice red sangria. It’s not too strong and is really cheap. As for white sangria, You could also try the Skinnygirl White Sangria, and even though it’s not quite as flavorful, a dash of Welch’s White Grape Peach Mango juice will make it really fantastic.
Margaritas make a great addition to any apartment’s taco night, and if made right, can be amazing. Once you’ve got a good tequila base (you can never go wrong with Jose Cuervo), there’s just the mix left. Jose Cuervo makes a good mix, but Margaritaville also has a good one. If you want to go super cheap, frozen lime juice adds almost the same taste for a much cheaper price. Just don’t forget the salt!
Yes, Mike’s Hard Lemonade is considered an incredibly girly drink, but don’t underestimate the flavors. If you don’t mind a blast of sugary goodness with a hint of alcohol, these are perfect. While you can never go wrong with the original lemonade, cranberry lemonade and pink lemonade are phenomenal as well. If you’re not a huge fan of beer, these are a great replacement.
The Captain and Coke is cheaper than the Long Island usually at the bar, even though all drinks are of course are overpriced. The best way to create a Captain and Coke yourself though is to add a can of Coke and about two to three ounces of Captain Morgan. Don’t forget the lime and don’t overdue on the ice and you will be good to go.
For the Long Island there are many different ways to make it and it is easy to make too strong. One way to create this concoction is to add about one ounce of vodka, gin, rum and tequila then add the coke and sour mix. These drinks are the perfect choice if you are having a hard time choosing what to get and need to something to fall back on.