Pictured: Liquid Cocaine Cocktail recipe from CHOW
We tend to think of happy hour as a scene reserved for our favorite post-work bar, but who says that bar can’t be in your own home? This gathering of cocktails covers a wide range of “classics”–a term we’re using verrry loosely here to include both turn-of-the-century high-brow drinks with one ingredient in common (excellent Scotch) and a slew of fruity, fratty concoctions with a distinct, early Tom Cruise appeal. Cheers!
1. Rob Roy Cocktail
A classic Rob Roy is the Scottish cousin of the Manhattan–a blend of Scotch and vermouth with a shot of bitters. Random fact: the drink gets its name from Robert Roy MacGregor, an 18th century Scottish outlaw, and was created in 1894 by a Waldorf Hotel bartender to mark the premiere of an operetta based on MacGregor’s life. Get our Rob Roy recipe.
2. Blood and Sand Cocktail
This unusual smoky-sweet cocktail blends Scotch with Cherry Heering (a ruby-red, aged dark cherry liqueur), vermouth and OJ. The drink is named for a 1922 silent film, starring Rudolph Valentino, about a matador and a scandalous love affair that backfires. Spoiler alert: the bull wins. Get our Blood and Sand Cocktail recipe.
3. Bobby Burns Cocktail
Named for the Scottish romantic poet Robert Burns, who wrote “Auld Lang Syne” (“old long since”), this stirred cocktail blends Scotch, vermouth, and the herbal liqueur Bénédictine. Get our Bobby Burns Cocktail recipe.
4. Affinity Cocktail
“My affinity” was a term of endearment (think: my love) in the early 1900s, the era this cocktail was created following the Wall Street Panic of 1907. The cocktail, a blend of Scotch, sweet and dry vermouth, and bitters, was a delicious tonic for the titans suffering financial ruin. Get our Affinity Cocktail recipe.
5. Stone Fence
As simple as it gets–Scotch, dash of bitters, splash of soda–the earliest version of this hearty, antiquated cocktail is even simpler: a shot of Scotch (or whatever amber liquor you have on hand), mixed with hard cider, served neat. Get our Stone Fence Cocktail recipe.
6. Tequila Sunrise
Hold the bottom shelf tequila and bottled OJ. Premium ingredients–blanco agave tequila, fresh-squeezed OJ–are essential elements for keeping this cocktail classy. Note that this is the modern recipe. The “original” Tequila Sunrise cocktail called for Crème de Cassis, fresh lime juice and a splash of club soda. Get our Tequila Sunrise recipe.
7. Fuzzy Navel
Nothing says “80s cocktail hour” like this straightforward combination of peach schnapps and orange juice. This is the cocktail you’d imagine the muumuu-wearing Mrs. Roper sipping while giving Jack Tripper the sexy side eye. Get our Fuzzy Navel recipe.
8. Sex on the Beach
Pop your collar, put on those shades, and conjure your best Tom Cruise, flare-throwing bartender impression whilst shaking up this throwback crowd-pleaser. Get our Sex on the Beach recipe.
9. Liquid Cocaine Cocktail
Any proper happy hour drinks roundup needs an easy target–a lowbrow abomination to give everyone something to complain about. Here it is. An extreme bro shooter that combines fraternity basement bar staples with one essential instruction: chill all of the booze to the point that you won’t be able to actually taste it. You’re welcome. Get our Liquid Cocaine Cocktail recipe.
Colleen Rush is a food and travel writer who eats, drinks, cooks, and writes mostly in New Orleans, but also … everywhere else. She is the author of “The Mere Mortal’s Guide to Fine Dining” (Broadway Books, 2006), and coauthor of “Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons” (Running Press, 2009) and the upcoming “Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke Roasting, and Basic Curing” (Running Press, 2015). Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.