A.J.'s Anytime Cocktails: Drinks for Five Different Hours of the Day

A.J. Rathbun
From left: Baltimore Bracer; Underberg; Harvey Wallbanger; Tuscan Mule

Now, I’m not saying one should be drinking all day. You have to know when to say when, as the saying goes, and I certainly don’t want to derail the trains of industry, artistry and family by having folks drink from morning until night. But, having a drink outside of the normal drinking hours (hours in which, I think, people tend to have too many drinks in a row) isn’t a bad idea. Heck, it’s a good idea, with the right cocktail, highball, or other imbibable, because certain drinks go perfectly with certain hours, as you'll see here. 

8:00 AM
The Baltimore Bracer
The very definition of a morning pick-you-up, the Baltimore Bracer is like breakfast in a glass—a bit of both savory and sweet, too. It contains egg, which is a classic and wonderful cocktail ingredient but one which must be well-shaken. This means the drink doubles as a morning workout. This recipe’s from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with cracked ice. Add 1-1/2 ounces brandy, 1-1/2 ounces anisette, and an egg white. Shake very well. Strain into a cocktail glass.

10:00 AM
The Harvey Wallbanger
Probably not one to have on a workday, this standard is instead a match for a day off, when you’re lounging around not doing much and decide to have a nice late-morning bath while reading (it’s the best drink to have in the bath). And the orange juice provides a healthy jolt of vitamin C. Don’t spill this version from Good Spirits in the bath: Fill a highball glass three quarters up with ice cubes. Add 2 ounces vodka and then 5 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice. Stir briefly. Float 1/2 ounce of Galliano on top.

1:00 PM
By this time, I’m guessing most have finished a hearty mid-day meal and are feeling a little sloggy. Buck up—Underberg, which comes bottled in tasty single servings, is a wonderful cure for that overfull feeling. Its herbal base and smidge of a kick will have you clicking your heels and ready to work (or dance). You can get it at better bars, but I suggest picking up a bunch of bottles from a liquor store and carrying them with you. Be prepared is never a bad motto.

3:00 PM
The Tuscan Mule
A refreshing tall simple mixture, this Italian-inspired highball might not have you painting pictures, but it will provide the needed umph to either get you through the last few hours before dinner or the needed cooling burst as you while away a few hours under the sun. This is another recipe from Ginger Bliss (this one can easily be called for at most bars, too):  Fill a highball glass three- quarters full with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces Tuaca. Fill the glass almost to the top with ginger ale and then squeeze a lime wedge over the glass, and then drop it in. Stir well.

10:00 PM
Bedroom Eyes
Ah, the later hours. By now you’re either ready to tuck yourself into bed or ready to put Al Green on the stereo so you can start waltzing with that special someone under the moonlight. This cocktail fits whatever scenario your later evening entails. If the recipe from Dark Spirits isn’t enough for you, then there’s also a Bedroom Eyes video explaining how to make it (warning: I sing in said video). To make, fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add 2 ounces dark rum, 1 ounce apricot liqueur, and 1/2 ounce cream de cacao. Shake well, and then strain into a cocktail glass.

If you're wondering what to drink before and after dinner, I blogged about delicious aperitifs and digetifs earlier.