Guest Blog: Better Than Beer

What do I know about surfing? Admittedly, nothing. The extent of my surfing experience is a short lesson what was probably a two-foot wave in Hawaii, and a VERY cold spring day off the coast of Oregon. Of the two days, I gleaned that Northwest surfing is not for the body heat challenged (even with a wetsuit), and I don’t do well being sloshed about repeatedly in salt water, no matter how warm it is.

Luckily, I have not been asked to discuss my lack of prowess on the water, but rather what one does after a long day on a board. I was informed that the go-to tipple for many surfers is beer. Makes sense really, it’s portable, not breakable (in a can), doesn’t need mixing, and can be purchased on the fly: no planning required. For those who crave a real cocktail after a surf session though, a little more planning is needed.

It’s easier than you might think. Most drinks can be pre-batched and kept in a thermos or something similar, and then poured over ice. long as you can keep it cold, (or hot, as the case may be) it should last until you are ready to drink. You can batch a lot of recipes, by no means are these your only options... just some of the tastiest in my opinion.

What you’ll need:

- A large thermos or something seal-able that you can shake up.

- Something to hold ice, like a cooler. (if it’s a cold drink)

- Cups, or whatever you want to drink out of.

My memory of that cold April morning in Cannon Beach makes me think hot drinks, so let’s start with those, shall we? Make sure you thermos is badass, or your hot drink might be lukewarm by the time you get to it.

Hot Toddy –This recipe makes 4 servings, but you can double it or triple it, whatever.

2 oz honey
8 oz whiskey (make it a good one)
2 oz lemon juice
16 oz hot water

Stir together in a thermos. If you really wanna get fancy, get one of those tea pouches that you can make your own tea with, put a few whole cloves in it, and drop it in the mixture while you are on the waves. Don’t go overboard or you won’t be able to drink it!

When you are ready to drink it, shake or stir it again, and it’s ready.

Irish Coffee – 3 servings

6 oz whiskey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
18 oz hot coffee

Same directions as the toddy. If you can’t live without the whipped cream (we can’t) grab a redi-whip or something similar, and keep it cold until serving. Garnish with abandon.

Supposedly it's going to warm up sometime, and in the summer we turn to rum. No one did Tiki and warm weather drinks like Trader Vic, so here are a couple of his recipes for those upcoming warmer days. For the juices, if you don't want to juice a bunch of lemons or limes, you can buy Santa Cruz Organic lemon or lime juice, or something similar. It's not really cheating.

Mai Tai – 4 servings

8 oz dark rum
2 oz orgeat (almond) syrup
2 oz orange curacao
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz fresh lime juice

Shake up thermos when you are ready to drink, pour over ice.

Planter’s Punch – 4 servings

12 oz Jamaican rum
2 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz grenadine
2 oz simple syrup

Shake up thermos when you are ready to drink, pour over ice.

Don’t see anything you like here? Find your own recipe! Here’s some things to keep in mind:

- Stay away from anything with cream, or drinks that have the annoying habit of curdling if you don’t drink them right away. Baileys or other cream liqueurs won’t be all that appetizing after sitting for 5 hours, except perhaps in coffee.

- Drinks that require being shaken over ice might require a little more equipment. I’m not saying you can’t do dirty martini’s, but you are going to need a shaker unless you want it on the rocks.

- Be careful when you shake up your cocktail in the thermos, especially if it’s a hot one. These things have a tendency to explode.

About the Author:

Jackie Moffett is the editor of DrinkGal. In a former life she was a graphic designer from Colorado, but she spent ten years behind the bar in the Seattle area (and really does remember most of it). While she loves pouring a good drink, she now does it for friends and family at home, and supports herself writing and taking pictures. If she could tell the world just one thing, it would be: drink well, tip well, and say please.

Be sure to check out DrinkGal, "your online source for all things boozy."