Tomorrow, the Sip Advisor will be attending a wedding ceremony aboard a cruise ship, which features a one-hour open bar reception. I know what you’re thinking… who in their right mind would invite this guy to an open bar function!? Talk about a doomed muster drill! Anyway, with only a small chunk of time to get your swerve on, here’s how to best spend your drinking:
Order high-end liquors only
Start by putting your blinders on so you can only see the top shelf liquors. Run of the mill spirits need not apply. Every cocktail you have made should include one of the following: Grey Goose or Ketel One (vodka), Don Julio or Patron (tequila), Hendrick’s or Bombay Sapphire (gin), Cruzan or Mount Gay (rum), Crown Royal (whiskey), Maker’s Mark or Wild Turkey (bourbon). You get the point. Don’t dabble in the Smirnoff’s and Bacardi’s of the world, despite their solid reputation.
Everything comes in doubles
You should never order a drink in this situation and not ask for a double shot of the alcohol. While you will be given strong drinks, that shouldn’t matter too much given the quality of the booze you’re asking for. Everything should go down easy and you won’t even notice how much you’re enjoying yourself.
Double fist your drinks
Line-ups to get your drinks may be long, so it’s best to act like you’re ordering for yourself and your lovely partner (as invisible as they may be) in order to save trips to the bar and wasted time without a drink in your hand. It should also be noted that you should time your lining up accordingly. If lines are stretching and you have half a drink left, it’s probably time to drag your butt back into the line.
Get a round of shots (or two or three)
Want to be the life of the party – and perhaps piss off the bar staff – order a round of shots for your group, no matter how big it may be. Fill that bar counter with baby glasses and then pass out the shooters to anyone within reaching distance. Then, make a little speech that no one will remember (preferably to a group of folks who don’t even know you) and slam that sweet sucker.
Drink straight hard stuff
If it’s available, order neat or on the rocks selections of high quality sipping alcohols. Scotch, Courvoisier, Remy Martin, Hennessey, etc. I like to make these drinks my last of a session, perhaps the one you grab right at the tail end of the hour so you have something you can go through at your own pace when the reception is over and the dreaded muster drill is fast approaching.
Get shit-faced and ride it through the night
A hardened veteran such as myself will need a little nip here and there to keep the buzz going, but if you’re not that experienced with liquor, you can probably have a small batch of drinks and be floating in the breeze most of the night. Just be careful of the inevitable crash. Check your levels frequently and top up if necessary.
Try a bunch of different stuff
If you’re into experiment (and who isn’t) go into the reception with a loose game plan of cocktails you’d like to try. Don’t waste other people’s time in the line-ups perusing the menu, but have an idea of two or three recipes you want to give a go. If you don’t like something, go and order another libation. Don’t drink a bad drink for the sake of finishing it. Note: If the open bar is being provided by a company or organization, this is an acceptable thing to do. If the bar is being provided by friends or family, you’re just running up their tab and that is not cool at all.
Get a bartender to fill up your flask
While this may be hard to achieve, my heart (and idea) is in the right place. If you strike up a good report with one of the booze jockeys, give this little tactic a shot. Most people probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable in doing so, so you can always resort to a strong last call drink to last you a little after the reception.
Drink #130: Cherry Crepe
- 1.5 oz Cherry Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
- 1 oz Amaretto
- Top with Cranberry Juice
- Garnish with a Chocolate-Covered Cherry
So, if you follow my notes, you will likely be walking around the reception double fisting two doubled-up, top shelf alcohol drinks, with a chaser of shots on the way. What do you do about appetizers, you ask? Sorry, my little sippers, not my field of expertise!
And don’t ask me what you may be doing after the reception, because unless you don’t get hangovers like me, it may not be a pretty picture! For hangover advice, check out my recent post.
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I really like the Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka, one of my top shelf spirits. I thought the recipe worked really well together, of course highlighted by the Vodka, which has an almost sour note. Garnish that baby with a yummy Chocolate-Covered Cherry and all’s well that ends well!