The Wino Review tackles some sophisticated alternatives

Sean Grady

Choosing wine as the adult beverage for consumption at your next soiree is an excellent idea. Wine allows the opportunity for the mixing and sampling of exotic foods like foie gras or a variety of cheeses. Unfortunately, most college students who have managed to acquire a bottle of any reasonable quality (if indeed they were able to) have no aptitude for preparing the sort of quality food necessary to properly appreciate the spirit–and our food service program seems to lack the “magic” that would be needed to pair a bottle with. Wine can also be expensive. To avoid this twofold dilemma of wine, many imbibers have opted for more potent spirits or larger quantities of mediocre booze.The vulgar cattle of this region seem to have found their trough in a container known as a keg. A keg is 15.5 gallons (1984 fluid ounces) of animalistic annihilation. Purchasing a keg is indeed a bargain for the bulk purchased, but more often than not one gets what one pays for. Another gem to keep in mind is the variety of beast a keg will summon. If one plays host to such an event that would warrant the presence of a keg, the atmosphere in question is usually appropriate. The obnoxious effluvium of lewd bellowing from wasted revelers immediately before the police arrive is the grand finale of most keg parties.

The best alternative to paying too much or ruining what is left of our tattered culture is the mixed drink. A party featuring mixed drinks also has the opportunity to regress into a simian hoedown, but this has more to do with the company. One advantage of cocktails is that a skilled bartender can develop something quite tasty even with inferior (and cheaper) ingredients, whereas premium ingredients will brighten any morose evening. Generic ingredients could also be substituted for the premium as intoxication dims the taste buds. For instance, Triple Sec or Grand Marnier could be substituted for Cointreau, but any vodka of lower quality than Smirnoff should be avoided. Here are some basic recipes to begin the evening:

Cosmopolitan Martini
1 oz. Cointreau
3 or 4 oz. citrus vodka
splash of cranberry juice
splash of lime

Shake with ice in a martini shaker, strain into chilled martini glass. There are other recipes for the cosmopolitan that vary slightly, calling for more or less vodka, but the key is to mix it to taste.

Shots of alcohol seem a bit crass, but the excitement of lighting something on fire makes this a party favorite:

Unknown Warrior
1 piece Sugar
1 part Cointreau
1 part vodka

Blend vodka and Cointreau in a shot glass. Set the drink on fire with a match. Put the piece of sugar on a fork and hold it over the flame from the drink and let it melt down into the glass. When the sugar has melted, find a creative way to put out the flame. Be careful when handling fire as burns hurt if you are not sufficiently intoxicated.

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