Previous editions of “Bottoms Up” have attempted to contribute refined evaluation of alcohol to the ever-increasing body of serious alcohol scholarship, focusing particular attention on such subtleties of character as taste, ingredients, mixing compatibilities and overall quality. Last weekend’s 100 Days dance gave us a unique opportunity, however, as both graduating seniors and elite members of the alcohol literati, to focus on drinking as a general and social experience rather than the grueling conditions of our dark and uninviting liquor dungeon, guarded by fiery dragons and hot babes in bikinis. So we went to the dance and drank. The dragons stayed home.
We couldn’t possibly start our snobby griping before acknowledging that a school-sponsored open bar – take note freshmen, those are words towards which you too will one day skip gaily – is nothing short of an oasis in a desert otherwise filled with old Popov and kegs kicked by 9 p.m. Though the selection was limited in quantity and variety, in terms of quality the bar could have done much worse than Svedka and Bacardi, and the keg of Long Trail Ale was a refreshing departure from generic light beer.
Such was our optimism, enhanced for certain by the presence of friends, bumpin’ beats and overall festivity, upon first entering the orgiastic celebration of the fact that we soon won’t be here anymore. Yet after taking a closer look at the available ingredients and serving equipment and the disappointment of running out of creative drink ideas after a mere few, 100 Days’ open bar sadly began to resemble that common room party that we had hoped so hard to leave in our undergraduate past. In the absence of an appendix, we present now in full the bar’s inventory. Mixers included cola, Sprite, tonic water, orange and cranberry juices. Beer, as aforementioned, included a single keg of Long Trail Ale, and available spirits were vodka, gin and rum. All of which were served in a 10 oz. plastic cups, with or without ice cubes.
Numerous though the combinations may seem, all possible drinks to be made were either (a) things you’ve probably already tried or (b) things one shouldn’t drink in any situation. I mean, vodka and Coke? Really? Sounds like the Coca-Cola corporation’s new ad campaign to finally put its name on the map. Vodka is an interesting creature, whose “distinct” taste can only be favorably masked by just the right mixer. Tonic works, cranberry works, O.J. works, and that’s only what they gave us; feel free to branch out with Red Bull, soda water or just plain old H2O. Drink it on the rocks if you’re such a connoisseur, or man up and take a shot. Just not with Coke.
Rum, on the other hand, was born for mixing with Coke – especially spiced rum, and especially topped with a lime. We’re willing to let them slide on the absence of spiced rum, but the lack of limes was inexcusable. Not to mention the weird looks we got while ordering rum and tonics. Yeah, we know they’re not so common, but we’re young and crazy adventurers. Try it, it works.
And while we’re on the topic of limes, what is a gin and tonic without one? Bad, that’s what it is. There are certain ways to serve gin: on the rocks, mixed with tonic or soda water, in a Tom Collins, gin fizz, gin rickey, gingerbread, Gin-goes-the-weasel-’cause-the-weasel-goes-gin; the list goes on and on. And they all come with limes, juicy in the sky with diamonds.
To conclude, remember the following: no coke and vodka – use a Red Bull! Always spring for the spiced rum. Lime. Secondly, always keep a close watch on your drinks, as the most fearsome predators often lurk well below eye level. Joshua Solis ’10 provided this additional insight: “What do I really think about 100 Days? I try really, really hard not to.” We hope you enjoyed this oft-experimental foray into the time-honored alcohol narrative.