First off, none of these drinks are for children. These are for parents who may have had a little too much of the back-to-school bustle or for those who might be a bit sad about the kids leaving the nest. They also fit the bill for those who miss the experience of going back to school and who want to have a little nostalgic moment for those scholastic days in the past. The first three are to make at home, the last two to have out and about.
This drink tends to get a bad rap as a collegiate hangover inducer. Enjoyed in moderation, however, it’s actually quite delish. This recipe is from Good Spirits: Fill an Old Fashioned or similarly-sized glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Add 2-1/2 ounces vodka (I think Glass vodka or Sound Spirits’ Ebb + Flow would work nicely), 3/4 ounce Cointreau, and 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice. Stir well. Squeeze a lime wedge over the top of the glass and then drop it in.
Oh, those little lambs, heading off to the big world. Instead of worrying too much about your flock, have one of these refreshers, using this recipe from Wine Cocktails: Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass halfway full with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, and 1/2 ounce triple sec. Stir well. Strain into a flute glass. Fill the glass almost to the rim with chilled Lambrusco and garnish with an orange slice.
It’s never too early to start thinking about higher education. And while I, of course, would suggest universities in-state, well, I don’t know any cocktails named “UW” yet. Until then, sub in this collegiate recipe from Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add 2 ounces gin (Voyager gin would be fantastic), 1 ounce maraschino liqueur, and 1 egg white (preferably from an organic egg). Shake really well and strain into a cocktail glass.
Because going back to school is about as popular as taking medicine among most kids, it seems a good balance that parents should have a tastier medicine to consume—well, I see it as good balance at least. To indulge you’ll have to head to newly-opened (and written about here) Essex, where this lovely drink is made with rye, house-made Fernet, Rachel’s ginger beer, and rhubarb syrup.
This is especially for those parents who have kids going to school at a spot that’s mailing distance away. Every time you have to send a care package, I suggest treating yourself to one of these at Saint John’s Bar and Eatery. They make this sparkler by combining rum, fresh lime juice, honey, and sparkling wine.
Photo by Melissa Punch. Originally published in Good Spirits. Copyright 2007.