A suitable drink at a suitable time is a pleasure worthy of itself. But it is especially pleasurable this weekend of the Game, when we have hard-earned reputations to uphold and Northern friends to impress. Allow us to make a few recommendations for your weekend’s many toasting occasions. We will keep to dark liquors to arm ourselves against the cold, and if you fear the next morning’s brown bottle flu, worry not; we will steer you around that as well.
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After an ordinary Friday it is time to prepare for the Game. It would be tasteful to show our guests from Harvard some hospitality by entertaining friends and visitors for tea. This sort of hospitality, little practiced in Cambridge, will certainly bring the company to a festive mood. As will adding a little hoot to your refreshments. Any whiskey in black tea will do, although I personally recommend Jack Daniel’s Honey Liquor.
The merriments may commence. Most cold evenings are the occasion to warm up with some hot cocoa. Allude to this tradition with a few Brandy Alexanders, a creamy cocktail named after the gourmet Russian Emperor. Shake equal parts brandy (preferably Cognac), crème de cacao and half-and-half in a mixer filled with ice and strain the beverage into a Martini glass. A sprinkle of grounded nutmeg will make a fine seasonal garnish.
As the night grows late and your patience for shaking grows thin, you may choose to move on to simpler things. A stiff tipple such as a Horse’s Neck should give you satisfaction. The British navy resorted to this tonic in the 1960s to raise their spirits amid the collapse of their maritime empire. Perfect for Harvard students facing a return to the Yard … and school on Monday. Pour one part brandy and three parts ginger ale into an Old Fashioned glass and add a dash of Angostura bitters to taste. Use a spiral of lemon zest for garnish if you can still be bothered.
Some of your classmates may have resigned themselves to a sandwich at Gourmet Heaven by now, but not you. You carry on through the night, eliciting the amazement of our Cantabrigian visitors and the nostalgia of our illustrious alumni.
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Wake up and make your way to the tailgate. If you followed our instructions closely you may need the hair of the dog. The classic Mimosa, half champagne and half orange juice, will remind everyone why Yale never fails to win the tailgate. If you find the sparkling wine too weak, make a simplified Bloody Mary with three parts vodka, six parts tomato juice and one part lemon juice. The salt, pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce may be forsaken. Do not take the lauded virtues of the Prairie Oyster for a myth. The most successful recipe I have tasted consists in cracking a raw egg into an Old Fashioned glass without breaking the yolk, and adding a table spoon of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of Angostura bitters and as much brandy as desired.
Win or lose, keep the drinks flowing. Enjoy! And please drink responsibly.