I remember the night like it was yesterday. I'm in Vegas with some friends, and we're kind of forcing a good time. You know those tourist families looking at the sidewalk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The ones who are all disappointed, but nobody wants to make things worse by acknowledging it? We were that family. Four guys bound together solely by being together. I've found that, in this situation, it's a good idea to find the closest possible place that serves liquor.
"I'll get the first round, what do you guys want?" my friend Bryan says, after we walk into a "night club" in the depths of Circus Circus.
Even though we sputter out the usual Bud Lights and vodka sodas, Bryan returns with a tray of drinks that looks festive enough to be carried by Gene Wilder. There are curvy glasses, purple syrups, cherries, even umbrellas. "Sloe Gin Fizz, Apricot Brandy with a twist, a Mint Julep on the rocks, and a Mai Tai," he says, handing out the order.
We immediately get the joke, and the night is transformed into a frolicking mess. We've since repeated this gag and have found there are two types of bartenders: those who are in on the joke, and those who hate you. It's more fun when they hate you.
There are too many to name, but here are some examples of hilarious drinks you can order and transform your routine bar experience, as your old friends Vodka, Rum, and Whiskey dress in drag and get sloppy, inviting some random weirdos along for the ride.
This drink is properly prepared with equal parts vodka, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, amaretto (which I believe is melted Snickers bars) and some orange juice. Order this and you'll feel like a guy who finished second in the Kentucky Derby back in '87. This drink allows you to be blacked out, yet keep your cool.
Flaming Dr. Pepper
So here's what the bartender has to do: Get a shot glass, pour it half full of amaretto and fill the other half with Bacardi 151 (which is what Avatars use to sterilize their hands). Then get a half-full glass of beer, light the 151 on fire, and drop it in the beer. You chug it. It really does taste like a Dr. Pepper -- if you drank a Dr. Pepper on acid. This drink will take you back to your college days, when you were way too oblivious to hit on chicks way out of your league.
Sloe Gin Fizz
Sloe gin is a disgusting distilled liqueur that basically tastes like a bottle of potpourri. It gives you more of a huffing type of high than a liquor buzz. Although there are a lot of ways to make this, it's usually just sloe gin and soda, although sometimes it's mixed with a raw egg. They also serve it in an ornate glass -- with haste. This classy drink will make you sound like Morgan Freeman or Margaret Thatcher, or a combination of both.
Feel free to correct your bartender on this -- the proper way to make this drink is: equal parts vodka, rum, gin, and tequila, with a splash of Blue Curacao liqueur on top. Uh, yeah guy. If you did this at home you'd be a nut-job lunatic, but it's all good when you're in public. This drink may turn you into a werewolf.
I've often wondered who Tom Collins is, but I'd like to think he's a guy who lives in the inland Jersey suburbs yet somehow owns a motorboat. It's just lemon juice, carbonated water, and gin. But just by ordering it you'll settle down on your barstool and grow a mustache.
A Manhattan is made from whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters (which I believe must be purchased from a shaman). The cool thing about this drink is that it comes with a maraschino cherry, which is a delicious bonus. It's also served in a martini glass, which is awesome. For those unaware, a martini glass is the size of a punch bowl, and it will get you wasted. I don't know who drinks this, but it helps if you have a blue shirt with a white collar and cuffs. Prepare to wear a permanent fake smile plastered on your face for the rest of the night.
So enjoy, and remember: They can't kick you out of the bar if you're paying for your drinks. Push the limits. Ask your grandmother for pointers, or just invent things. Order a Staten Island Loading Dock, or a Tijuana Cab Driver and see what you get. It's more fun than the Bud Lights. There are no losers in this game.