About a dozen years ago, I threw a blowout so bombastic it required its own signature cocktail. The resulting Pink Floyd Electric Lemonade was a smash hit that my friends took to calling “Comfortably Numb,” and they continued asking about it for many parties to come. I’ve never quite been able to re-create that particular bevvie-making milestone, so in honor of the Drinking Issue I’ve put together some more ideas for music-inspired libations that can be made at home. Have some fun with it and come up with a few of your own. Just pair your favorite alcohol with your favorite artist, shake or stir, and bring on the buzz...
Rufus Wain-White Russian
Artist/song inspiration: Rufus Wainwright, “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk”
1 ½ shots vodka
1 ½ shots Kahlúa
¼ cup heavy cream (half & half OK)
Hershey’s chocolate syrup
1-2 maraschino cherries
Hershey’s chocolate bar shavings
Pour the vodka and Kahlúa into a lowball glass filled with ice. Stir. Add the cream and chocolate syrup, then a dollop of whipped cream. Use a fine grater to shave chocolate onto the fluff, and drop a maraschino cherry or a few on top. Pair with a handful of Chocolate Pudding and Cappuccino Jelly Bellys, and one American Spirit cigarette (optional).
Ol’ Dirty Martini aka ODB‘tini
Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”
2 ½ shots gin
½ shot dry vermouth
½ shot olive brine (juice)
3 blue cheese-stuffed olives
1 40 (32)-oz bottle of malt liquor
Combine gin, olive brine and vermouth in a shaker filled with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled martini glass. Spear blue cheese-stuffed olives with a toothpick, place directly into glass to garnish, then add an extra splash of olive brine. Take your 40 (32), pour one out for ODB, then sip and enjoy.
Gaga Sangria aka Gaga-Gria
Lady Gaga, “So Happy I Could Die,” “Applause”
1 750 ml bottle of quality red wine (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Rioja)
1 orange cut into wedges
1 red apple, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup strawberries
½ cup blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 shots brandy
1 cup ginger ale
1 cup club soda
¾ cup orange juice
5-7 red gummy bears
Mix the bottle of wine, brandy and sugar in a large pitcher, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Add fruit, then club soda and ginger ale. Stir again. Refrigerate for an hour or more, so the fruit gets alcohol-saturated while sweetening the Gaga-Gria. Don a platinum blonde wig, serve in long tall glasses filled with ice, take a bow, then wait for the applause. If you don’t get it, demand it.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead, “Pyramid Song”
1 ½ shot of gin
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
¾ cup club soda
1 slice orange
In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a Collins glass almost filled with ice. Add club soda. Cry in a few tears of despair to counteract summery lightness of flavor. Stir and garnish with a slice of orange. Serve chilled, wearing blasé expression.
Purple Kiss Cosmo
Prince, “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Kiss”
½ shot of raspberry vodka
½ shot of Blue Curacao
½ shot of Chambord
Splash of sour mix
Splash of cranberry juice
Combine all of the liquid ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and strain into a martini glass, dropping in the fresh berries last so they sink to the bottom. Serve with a kiss (tongue optional).
They Might Be Mai Tais
They Might Be Giants, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” "I Palindrome I"
2 shots Jamaican (Appleton Estate) extra dark rum
2 tablespoons Bacardi 151 or Lemon Hart 151 rum
Juice of one medium lime (save the rind for garnish)
Splash of Curaçao liqueur (roughly half a shot)
Splash of orgeat syrup
1 teaspoon rock-candy syrup
Mint and pineapple for garnish
Mix all of the ingredients together in a shaker with ice. Pour over crushed ice. Serve with a sprig of mint and a triangle of pineapple. After drinking three, try to think up as many palindromes as you can. Extra points for full sentences or phrases (A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama...).
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
1 shot cognac
2 tablespoons Cointreau triple sec
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of grenadine
Shake, shake, shake the three ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a dash of grenadine and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Once in a Lifetime Tea, aka Talking Tea
Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”
½ shot of vodka
½ shot of gin
½ shot of light rum
½ shot of tequila
½ shot of Cointreau triple sec
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ shot of simple syrup (Or 1 teaspoon superfine sugar)
½ cup of cola
Mix all the ingredients together amid jerking and spazzing through spontaneous interpretive dance moves. Serve while making a chopping gesture along outstretched forearm.