It’s Not About the Destination…


It’s about the Quest.

alternate title #1: To Shake or Stir, That is the Question

alternate title #2: A Song of Fire-water and Dice

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Brainstorming for this week’s cocktail was, as I’m sure you can imagine with ‘q’ for the letter-spiration, quite interesting. Sure, I could have gone the easy route and done a jacked-up martini version of a gin and tonic but, like I said, that would have been the easy route.

Instead, we’re going to do things a little differently, this week. Quirky. Quizzical. Quixotic. I’m not going to make the cocktail: you are.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and I really hope you do), is to follow the directions below which will guide you down the path for, perhaps, the most questionable cocktail of all time.

No, wait, there are still things called Cement Mixers being served at some college bar, somewhere.

The second-most questionable cocktail of all time.


The Quest Cocktail

Step 1: Assemble your materials.

You will need

  • a 6-sided die (or several if you’ve got ’em) so go ahead and raid the family Monopoly or Yahtzee boxes
  • Several types of alcohol: 1 vodka, 1 gin, and 6 flavored spirits (vermouth, liqueurs, cordials… you get the idea).
  • 3 non-alcoholic mixers.

My set-up would be Gin, Vodka, Italian vermouth, French vermouth, Goldschlager, Amaretto, peach schnapps, Kahlua, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and tomato juice. Just grabbed at random from my shelves. You could be a bit more calculating and go with safer ingredients but where’s the fun in that? What I would suggest is choosing the highest-quality items from your bar: the better ingredients, the better the cocktail (in general).

Step 2: Roll the dice.

If you have several dice this will go quicker, otherwise roll the same die each time and either make your selection after each roll or jot down your results before you start to pour. Either way works.

  • 1st Roll: Odd #s=Gin, Even #s=Vodka
  • 2nd Roll: Line up your flavored spirits and count from left to right, 1-6. Whatever number comes up, that’s ingredient number 2!
  • 3rd Roll: Line up your mixers and could from left to right, 1-3. The first mixer is used on a roll of 1 or 4, the second on a roll of 2 or 5, and the third on a roll of 3 or 6.

Using my line-up from above, my rolls come out to Vodka + Kahlua + Pineapple Juice. I’ve heard of stranger concoctions, frankly.

Step 3: Mix your drink.

Since we’re included non-alcoholic ingredients, the standard procedure is to shake your cocktail. If, however, you really prefer to stir it (or don’t have a shaker hand–really?), you can stir it up, just stir fast so some of the ice melts and mixes in, too, okay?

But, wait, what’s the ratio? That I’m going to be nice and leave up to your discretion (kinda like the challenges on Chopped: you don’t have to use a lot of each ingredient, but you do have to use some of each ingredient). You could, if you wanted to, go with a simple 3:2:1 ratio, assigning each portion to whichever ingredient you feel most comfortable with.

Also, I’m totally open to base-spirit substitutions. If you roll vodka, it has to stay vodka, but if you have a flavored vodka you want to substitute based on the other ingredients you’re stuck challenged with, I will allow it.

Step 4: Keep an open mind.

Not every drink is going to be a winner, naturally. As I said, above, starting with quality ingredients will up the odds a bit, but you might get a dud. Also, remember the 2-sip rule: you only get the true taste of a wine, spirit or cocktail on the second sip, don’t judge a drink by it’s first sip.

Now, why did I choose this method? Am I being passive-aggressive and making some sort of statement about how much skill goes into creating a cocktail (a la my Character Cocktail service)? Nope. (Though it’s true, creating a new cocktail each week isn’t always easy, but it’s fun, that’s why I do it.)

It actually has more to do with the gamers I’ve been hanging out with and rolling the dice to create our characters and determine the outcome of our games. That, and I’ve been working on a similar procedure for dinner problem-solving for What to Feed Your Raiding Party–let’s just say my head’s definitely in the game this week.

Seriously, if anyone is brave (or foolish, take your pick) enough to try this, please post your results in the comments. I’m dying to see what sorts of drinks you come up with.


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