The Impromptu Bar
An Impromptu Bar Guide by The (Drunken) Ugly Drunk
Written under the Three Thirty Moonlight on a Wednesday Morning
You've somehow convinced someone to tolerate your affinity for shoveling taquitos down your throat at 7-11 with hope that the processed mystery meat will sober you up for the walk home. On your tilting, toppling waltz, you'll blabber inanely about being able to create orgasm-inducing cocktails and the impressive collection of comic book-themed DVDs you own. Before things get really hot and heavy, but after you put on the Batman Animated series from the 1990s, you'll need to prove your bar-tending prowess and warm up the young lady or fella with a few cocktails.
I have taken it upon myself to list here the tools you'll need for taking your romantic evening to the next level. If you don't have these specific tools, I'll guide you with other options using the MacGyver School of Home-Bartending, which is what we bartenders do when we're at a hotel in Wendover. Witnessing someone's inebriated grandma, who is two steps away from throwing her hip out, dance to a country band cover of "Sweet Home Alabama” is infinitely more tolerable with a decent Old Fashioned in hand. Trust me.
First things first -- Jiggers, Shakers, Strainers, and Spoons
Jiggers, to me, are the most crucial element of a skillfully balanced cocktail. They help to construct layers of texture and depth in a beverage by allowing precise measuring to build a sophisticated, balanced drink.
Fuck that concept.
If you're drunk in Wendover, at home, or still outside that same 7-11, you don't need a jigger. Eye-ball that shit and pour like you're Will Smith on December 31st 1999.
Next, you're going to need a container of sorts. This will enable you the superpower of eyeballing stupid amounts of alcohol. That's where your Boston Shaker comes in -- this is typically a solid tin and a pint glass. Wait, you don't have a Boston Shaker in the apartment you share with some goth kid with who keeps photos on a cork board depicting the strangely attractive people he's slept with?
You most definitely have a collection of red Solo cups gathering dust on your fridge that you re-use for your beer pong games. And I know you have some old pint glasses collecting dust while you've been chugging cheap beer from the can. These will do nicely as a substitute for those fancy tins. First, rinse out the solo cup. Then proceed to dangerously splash booze into pint glasses. Slap that solo cup on top of the pint glasses and duct tape the seal where the plastic meets glass. Use ALL of the duct tape you have at your disposal -- I mean it, use it all. Now shake the ever-loving shit out of it. As we should all know by now -- the more you shake, the more you dilute and chill the cocktail. So unless you dilute the hell out of that Ancient Age, Angostura & Rose's Lime Juice, it's most likely going to taste like shit.
I know you don't have a Hawthorne strainer or a fine mesh strainer to keep the ice out -- I'm sure you know what's coming next.
That's right: fuck it.
After spending what feels like an eternity separating glass, plastic, and impossible amounts of duct tape, strap a few paper towels to the top of the glass with a rubber band or hair band -- proceed to pour gently, duh.
Let's say you have some classy broad or gentleman requesting a Manhattan or a Martini, because, y'know, it's your fourth date now and they expect you to bring out the big guns so you two can attempt the awkward, “Is it in yet?” sex. Here's how you get to that prestigious point: you'll need a stirring spoon -- a proper one that's equally weighted at the top. A spoon with a beautiful stem that will dilute and chill a cocktail at the same time. A spoon that's probably a euphemism for something else. I personally use a gold 'teardrop' spoon because big pimpin' ain't easy, folks.
Fuck spending money on gold spoons.
Use a chopstick that you somehow knew would come in handy at some point when you asked for three orders of orange chicken from your local MSG-ridden Chinese dining establishment. You don't remember it too well, but this is when you were far too hungover to try and impress him/her after your third date. It's a chop stick, you really can't fuck this one up too much. Just remember, stirring is like foreplay -- be gentle and loving with your wrist and you'll do just fine.
Now, The Garnishes.
Against all odds, you somehow made a cocktail decent enough for your date to get tipsy on. Decent enough that they'll have enough liquid courage to bear with you when you bring out the Playboy-themed condoms your friend brought over for your "hey, you're single" birthday gift. Prior to the whole sexcapades/workout you're thinking is bound to ensue, you'll need to garnish that cocktail. Make it look pretty.
Don't have a peeler, a knife, or any sort of fruit to peel?
Fuck that shit!
Find whatever left-over food you have in your fridge, spear it on a toothpick you saved from your baby-back rib dinner at Applebee's with your mother on Monday night, and boom. It looks like you've got yourself a garnish. You can even get a little loco on that leftover shrimp and light it on fire for a brief moment to hopefully destroy the bacteria it was collecting in your disgusting fridge. As an added bonus, I don't know anyone whose panties/ninja turtle underwear doesn't drop over a little fire-flare.
Lastly, The Glassware
Where are your traditional rocks glasses? You can't find your champagne flutes, you say? Your creepy gothic roommate has collected all of your Collins glasses for whatever reason, and you're not willing to go in his sex dungeon to experience a life-altering, therapist-requiring, traumatic moment.
You guessed it: fuck glass.
Drink your savory cocktail out of the pint glass and solo cup. Don't forget to be a good host -- let them have the classy burnt shrimp adorned glass -- and you can deal with the duct-tape laden solo cup. After all, chivalry ain't dead yet!
These methods are all Ugly Drunk tested and approved. If you'd rather go the more sophisticated route and own proper tools, check out cocktailkingdom.com-- and no, this is not a paid ad for them (even though it should be). Try watching some Youtube videos with the cocktail dorks from PDT as well -- they offer a great selection of cocktail videos. If that sounds like too much work, keep doing what you're doing. Hopefully you've left 7-11 by now, taquitos in hand, stumbling home fully confident that you will conquer the hilarious, depressing world of the MacGyver cocktail. And remember: always keep it Ugly!
All Photography shot and produced by Joey Jonaitis (@joeyjonaitis)
with Studio Elevn - studioelevn.com
The Ugly Drunk bar tends at Bar X (155 E. 200 S. SLC, UT)
Edited by :: Kari Marie Keone and Robert Grange