After 17 seasons, there is still one show on television that is synonymous with true love: The Bachelor. This season, viewers follow Sean Lowe, a hunky blonde castoff from Season 8 of the Bachelorette featuring Emily Maynard, on his quest to find his soulmate. Inevitably, this quest involves backstabbing, crazy antics, tears, hospital visits and premature confessions of love. This concoction may sound wildly unpredictable, but in fact, what draws viewers to The Bachelor even after 17 seasons of (mostly) failed attempts at finding love, is that this drama is ever so accountable. And watching it, one will predictably need a strong drink to survive the hysterics.
As devoted fans of The Bachelor, my friends and I have often felt an urge to absolve the secondhand embarrassment brought on by 25 women competing over a single male specimen with a drink, but until recently, we were not of legal age to do so. In light of my recent assent into legality, and indeed, given the commitment that a few former Record editors and I have to producing a strong Features section every week, it seemed that there was no time like the present to join Sean in his search for true love. Unsurprisingly, we felt it necessary to indulge in a little something to take the edge off of the alarming measures the contestants take to earn Sean’s attention. I mean, seriously, the girl who wore a wedding dress to the first cocktail party is still on the show?!
Being that I am freshly 21, my role as bartender for this girls’ night with The Bachelor did not go quite as smoothly as planned. I had intended to make a mango cosmopolitan, a shaken mixture of mango rum, cranberry juice and a hint of lemon juice. However, I overestimated the stock at the liquor store on Cole Avenue and was forced to find a substitute for mango rum. After consulting with the staff, I picked out a lovely bottle of peach Absolut vodka. But the peach vodka wasn’t quiet the replacement I was looking for. With 30 minutes until my guests arrived, I was forced to scramble for other ingredients, eventually producing a two-liter of Sprite left over from the Super Bowl and a bottle of Andre left over from, well, other nights.
After experimenting, I settled on a beverage of three ounces of Absolut peach vodka and 4.5 ounces of cranberry juice shaken together and given a splash of blush Andre and a splash of Sprite. I nixed the lemon juice because quite frankly, I wasn’t really sure how to use it without the drink becoming to sour. I should be clear that this drink was amended by committee, as I passed my friends 10 different versions in a panic before the rest of the viewing crew arrived. Though you would be hard-pressed to find the recipe at any self-respecting bar, the drink surpassed the sophistication of most mixed drinks that college students scrape together. The result of my alchemy was citrusy and a bit bitter, but went down smoothly without the uncomfortable burn of less grown-up vodka drinks. Furthermore, the blush Andre and cranberry juice blended to a crimson red color that fit the romantic mood of The Bachelor perfectly.
At 7:55 on the dot, my friends and I sat down to go over the extremely strict rules for the evening’s episode. Many of the rules centered around our favorite villain, Tierra, who many contestants would claim is not on the show “for the right reasons” (take one drink) and who has a propensity for requiring medical attention – take another drink. Other rules concerned the infamous Sarah, who is the first one-armed contestant on The Bachelor, and who the producers have cursed with such tasks as roller-derbying and hauling bales of hay, requiring viewers to take yet another drink at the producers’ mean-spiritedness. Of course, every good Bachelor drinking game must pay homage to the endless shirtless cameos of Sean, which proved to be much harder on the liver than on the eyes. Then there are the faux pas that all of the contestants commit regularly that required us to imbibe, including worrying about “spending time” with Sean and casually tossing out the idea of marriage.
While certainly entertaining, it quickly became apparent that there was more idiocy on this season of The Bachelor than our original rules could comprehend. Accordingly, this fine publication’s former Editor-in-Chief proposed the “whoo” rule, requiring viewers to drink every time the ladies engaged in a collective “whoo” cheer, whether it be over the prospect of going on a quote “worldwide” adventure from California to Montana or simply over Sean’s mere presence in a room. Perhaps my favorite impromptu rule was to drink every time the secondhand embarrassment we suffered for these women became overpowering – and indeed, this rule proved the most destructive of all.
Regardless of whether you manage to create the next spin on the cosmopolitan or you’re still sipping on apple juice – as our poor, underage Editor-in-Chief was restricted to doing – The Bachelor can only be truly appreciated when watched with a group of committed fans. So however you enjoy Season 17, make sure you do so in good company. And drink responsibly.