The Signature Drink

16 Aug

Glamour magazine recently compiled a book entitled 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By the Time She’s 30.  Although I haven’t read the book—the cumbersome title alone is a deterrent—I already disagree with it on principle. For a supposedly pro-woman magazine, it’s pretty backward. I mean, what exactly is the consequence if you don’t have/know numbers 7, 18, and 24? Nothing—except perhaps an even greater sense of insecurity. Take this gagger:

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra. No doubt we’re supposed to use the former while wearing the later.

And then there’s this little gem:

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond. Well, friends. Hope you got your mini-skirts in moth balls and your mini-van in the driveway, ‘cause it’s all over for you.

But now I’m off on a tangent. Why do you let me do that? I‘m here to talk about the one thing that I do whole-heartedly agree that all 30-year-olds should have, men as well as women—a signature drink.

The signature drink is your go-to cocktail when you’re out with friends, on a date, at a wedding, or at your wit’s end. That’s not to say you can’t order the berry blast mojito swirl fishbowl when the mood hits. But the signature drink is your old reliable, something to have when all the specials sound gross and you’re not feeling creative.

Here are nine guidelines for honing in on your own SD.

  • You should be able to make it yourself. Unless you’re a professional bartender, that means you stick to a minimum of ingredients that can be assembled with minimal gadgetry. Mai Tais? Yum…if you know how to make orgeat syrup.
  • It should use a basic, common liquor. Read: vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, etc. That way if there’s a limited bar, you’re always set. The one exception is champagne—although unless you move among circles a lot higher than mine, it’s not always attainable. And no one over 24 should drink Goldschlager unless there’s a dare involved.
  • Along those lines, stick to no more than 1 or 2 liquors in the drink. I like Long Island iced tea too, but if you ask me to make you one at my next dinner party, one of us is going to be uncomfortable.
  • Or not! If you don’t drink, there ain’t nothing wrong with that (and if you ever find yourself in the family way—or at a teetotaling wedding—it’s always good to have a back-up that’s more fun than water, trust me). Non-alcoholic concoctions are totally eligible for the SD. Just follow guideline #1.
  • You should probably know the name of the liquor and brand you prefer. It’s kind of lame when the bartender asks your preference and you say, uhh….whichever. Make sure you know how to pronounce it too. I’m still kind of struggling with this one myself (hey! I’m not 30 quite yet!).
  • It should taste good. You may think this goes without saying, but there are plenty of people out there who drink stuff they don’t really like because they think they should like it. I’m thinking especially of my fellas who like it sweet. My man’s SD is rum & coke with a splash of grenadine. Perfection!
  • No beer. No wine either. Not hating—I love wine and beer. But it’s a different category. Also, you’ll end up carting your own drinks to parties most of the time for fear they don’t have your fave. (Although, it’s not a bad idea to have a signature beer and/or wine varietal by 30 as well). Wine spritzers might get a pass….if you’re not a big drinker. (If you don’t drink hard liquor, see #4).
  • You should be able to drink more than one glass. I’m not condoning binge drinking here. But if you can only handle two screwdrivers before you get too full (or if you’re at all worried about liquid calories), you’ll be scrambling for a substitute by 11PM. And the whole point of the SD is to avoid the what-to-order scramble. My advice is to pass on anything involving juice or heavy mixers, but if you can drink six White Russians, by all means go for it.
  • And finally…make it a sipper, not a shooter. You want a drink that will last through a conversation. If your signature drink is a Jaegerbomb, you’ll be falling into walls when everyone else is halfway through their second cocktail.

These guidelines are just suggestions. Feel free to break these rules or make up new ones! The important thing is that it’s your own, and it’s something you love. Chances are you’ve already done a decent amount of experimenting and have found some top contenders by now, if not the SD itself. (My advice: start with a liquor you know you like and google cocktails that use it. For a little more fun, check out Classic Mixology to browse old school drinks by mood and occasion). And the awesome thing is that even if your 30th is tomorrow (or was yesterday!), it’s not too late to decide. And unlike #14…

A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few facets of life that don’t get better after 30. (is it just me, or do they keep putting three rules into one?)

…it’s something fun, not depressing, to obtain!

Looks like somebody’s turning 30

My drink of choice is vodka tonic with a lime twist. What’s yours?

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