Mixology 101


When we saw the name of the class—“Mixology for the Alcohol Enthusiast”—we knew Jeebus herself wanted us to sign up. But admittedly, when we left the unseasonably sunny February afternoon behind and wandered into club Mist, a little worse for wear from Friday happy 12-hours, we were shocked to find other students that were not just us crowded around the bar. Then we realized where we’d mis-assumed—of course!—these drunks had named their blogs the Alcohol Enthusiast, too. Duh. Duh. We’re so dumb.

Once the initial surprise wore off, and we sent enough knowing and not-at-all-creepy winks around the bar at our classmates, it was time to start mixologying, 101-style.

I know I thought I was a pretty somewhat-okay but extremely good-looking and hilarious home boozetender prior to the class, but little did I realize how much I had to learn. Here are a few of my favorite lessons:

1. A tasty cocktail is a balanced cocktail. With martinis and the like as notable exceptions, this usually means half booze and half mixer. But also equal parts sweet and sour (just like yours truly—so humble!).

2. Ice is more than just another name for America’s favorite upper. The frozen water variety is key for making good drinks. According to our teacher Mike Vegas, the reason the seemingly-unfuckupable cocktail you made at your house last night totally sucked compared to the one you paid $8 for at the bar is because you’ll never amount to anything. Or, it’s because you don’t understand how important ice is: Most drinks should be about 25% water (that’s “H2O” in scientific terms). The way the water gets there is from the ice you shake or stir into your drink traveling from solid to liquid (more science). Which brings me to…

3. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. For about 12 seconds. But the first step is making sure the metal half of your shaker is flush against the glass half on one side. Once you’re certain some combination of ice, mixer, and precious booze isn’t going to prematurely escape, place two fingers firmly against the glass half (which should be upstage, for balance [more science]) and two stroking the metal half of the shaker, with your thumb on the flush side. Now you’re ready to shake, using your arm and not your lame-ass wrist. Make sure ice hits each end with each shake, and not just because it’s the drunk’s siren song (added bonus).

4. We drink a lot. Guess who has two thumbs and finished their sample Sex on the Beach so quickly the teacher gave us seconds? That’s right: Makin’ mom prouder and prouder, every day.