During the day, you’re a minivan-driving, soccer game-refereeing, steak pre-cutting, hair-detangling, Wiggles-listening, Wubzy-watching, spit-up-wearing, school lunch-preparing, diaper genie-cursing, mac-and-cheese-making shell of your former self. After the kids go to bed, though, when it’s time to relax on the couch with a box of Mallomars, and watch some 30 Rock on DVR…who are you, exactly? Sometimes it’s hard to remember. Herewith, a brief attempt to parse it out, based on your chosen mode of self-medication.
Can of inexpensive, retro-y beer (such as PBR, Schaefer, Bud, etc.)
How to make it: Hit up any 7-11 outside of the wealthy enclaves of the Northeast, and hand over four bucks for six col’beers. Or go to any bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where facial hair and APC jeans are in abundance.
What it says about you (unironic version): I can pound this s@!t fer days, son!
What it says about you (ironic version): Yes, actually, I am the bassist in LCD Soundsystem.
Crunk Factor: Low and slow.
Gin and Tonic
How to make it: 1 part gin, 2 parts tonic water (if you feel like splurging, this stuff — which you can find at Whole Foods — is real good). Garnish with a wedge of lime (no lemon!). Serve in tall glass, over plenty of ice.
What it says about you: I am civilized. Also somewhat risk averse, politically moderate, and did I tell you I went to college in New Haven?
Crunk factor: Moderate to high.
The Vodka Soda
How to make it: 2 oz vodka, topped with soda water. Garnish with wedge of lime. Serve in tall glass over ice.
What it says about you: Whoa, check this out: I think I’ve found a way to get drunk without really having to taste the alcohol.
Crunk factor: Sneaky high.
Sloe Gin Fizz
How to make it: We don’t own a cocktail shaker, but if you have one, you can put it to use here. Mix 2 oz sloe gin, juice of half a lemon, and a teaspoon of fine sugar, until sugar is dissolved. If shaken with ice, serve up. If stirred, serve over ice. Top with soda water.
What it says about you (female version): I am woman, hear me roar!
What it says about you (male version): I am woman, hear me roar!
Crunk factor: Wait, is there alcohol in this?
How to make it: Try the DALS recipe.
What it says about you: No, I drink this in the summer, too. I hate “summer drinks.” I hate summer. And humidity. Also unicorns and rainbows. And puppies.
Crunk factor: What did I say last night? Was it bad?
How to make it: In tall glass, stir juice from one lime, and 2 tsp of fine sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Add plenty of crushed ice. Mash up, in your hands — or with a muddler or mortar and pestle — about 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, and add to glass. Add 2 oz white rum, and top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprigs.
What it says about you: I still call my computer a Macintosh, I gargle with balsamic vinegar, and, god, how great is Paul Reiser in Mad About You? Best show EVER.
Crunk factor: Medium high.
How to make it: Juice from one ruby red grapefruit, 2 oz gin. Garnish with thin wheel of lime or sprig of mint. Serve in short glass, over ice.
What it says about you: I dare to be different, but not so different that my friends at bridge club won’t know what I’m asking for. Also, my name is Angela Lansbury.
Crunk factor: Nothing to sneeze at, but unlikely to get you kicked out of the retirement home.
Rum and Coke
How to make it: 1 part dark rum, 2 parts Coke, 1 wedge lime. Serve over ice, in tall glass.
What it says about you, part 1: I am known, around the house, as “Mr. Dessert.”
What it says about you, part 2: Hey, bro, you were totally, totally right: this Senor Frog’s place is frickin’ awesome. And dude, stop WORRYING about it so much, okay? You’re bummin’ me out. I told my mom I was sleeping over at your house tonight. Pass the ecstasy!
Crunk factor: Dangerous, given that it tastes like candy.
Dark n’ Stormy
How to make it: Try the DALS recipe.
What it says about you: I take my drinking very seriously, will travel thirty miles out of my way just to find Barritt’s Ginger Beer, and know my port from my starboard. Also, this tastes so, so good. Seriously, I don’t ever want this to end.
Crunk factor: Moderate.
How to make it: 2 parts Proseco or Champagne, 1 part Aperol, splash of soda water. Serve over ice in a low glass. Garnish with an orange slice.
What it says about you: I am somewhat obscure, possibly dark, and dream of writing vast, impenetrable novels that appeal to no one outside of Brooklyn, New York.
Crunk factor: Low.
How to make it: In a blender, mix 1 cup ice, 4 oz white rum, 4 tsp sugar, one cup fresh strawberries, juice from half of a lime. Garnish with mint.
What it says about you: OMG, I am soooooo wasted. I can’t feel my lips!
Crunk factor: High enough.
How to make it: 1 part Pimm’s, 2 parts lemonade. Stir. Serve in tall glass, over ice, and top with soda water. Garnish with a cucumber slice or lemon wedge.
What it says about you: No, I’m not technically British. My parents are from the nice part of Cincinnati. But my grandfather is half Scottish. Whatever. Have you ever READ Graham Greene?
Crunk factor: Low.
How to make it: 1 oz gin, 1 oz sweet vermouth (this stuff is tasty), 1 oz Campari. Garnish with orange slice.
What it says about you: Yes, my pants are red. You are not imagining that. I bought them last summer, when I was on my yearly trip to Rome with the family my wife doesn’t know about. Salute!
Crunk factor: How do you say in Italian? Grandissimo?
Negroni photo from Serious Eats.