Like a sports car full of adrenochrome mistakenly called Cuddle Blossom by its non-Anglophone manufacturers, the playful and innocuous name "cocktail" belies the awful power and excitement that stem from a simple combination of alcohol and mixers
Cocktails are booze mixed with things that are either more booze or are not booze at all. Behind this deceptively simple definition lies a world of fun and danger. Funger.
Expert cocktail drinkers can get very specific and OCD about their cocktails. Kind of like people who get really into Hi-Fi or French cooking or competitive clothes-folding, things have to be just right. And kind of like the people who are really into Hi-Fi or French cooking or competitive clothes-folding, they're best avoided when exploring the heady fun of mixed drinks for the first time. Try them all and choose your favourites only after lengthy experimentation. I mean look at the fellow over there, yeah, the sweaty one shouting about spiders. Does HE seem like he's obsessing over the diameter of his crack pipe or the type of fuel in his disposable lighter? No, he's just enjoying the fun times, the simple pleasures of recreational drug use.
No, no don't go over there. He is blocking traffic a bit I agree, but I'm sure someone will call an ambulance.
Cocktails should be treated with equal parts admiration and respect. Like a beautiful, elegant woman who is also a professional wrestler.
In this post-Tropic Thunder, Katie Holmes alien birthpool world we live in, it's often hard to remember that Tom Cruise was once a rat-faced little twat that anyone with any sense wanted to punch.
In between making the gloss wank Reaganite propaganda of Top Gun and the gloss wank Reaganite propaganda of Days of Thunder, Tom made a movie about cocktails. It was called Cocktail and is fondly remembered by all who saw it as being that film with the 80s Australian man who wasn't Paul Hogan in it. Bryan Brown was his name and he went on to appear in Spring Break Shark Attack. But where's his topic page huh?
A cocktail's name is of vital importance as it immediately conveys the drinker's education, social standing, sexual orientation and willingness to do it doggy style.
Cocktails with classy, faintly European-sounding names like a Martini, a Rob Roy or a Princess Di's Boob Sweat tend to be simple affairs with three or four ingredients and only one or two or them boozy. These cocktails are best ordered when still largely sober and consumed at diplomatic receptions, with your girlfriend's parents and in sophisticated clubs. If the sole of your shoe sticks to the floor when you approach an establishment's bar, do not attempt to order a French 75 with an slice of orange there.
Cocktails with sexy names make up a significant portion of the barman's repetoire and for customers for whom witty conversation is something that happens to other people, simply asking for a Slippery Nipple or a Rocky Mountain Bear Fucker will provide an evening's entertainment on its own. Cream liqueurs, rum, vodka, fruit and excessive cherries immediately signal that these are drinks popular with young ladies and the gay community. Straight men should avoid ordering a Sex on the Beach, a Chocolate Banana or a Big Fat Cock Up The Arse. Although some of us will admit to having tried that once. We were young though and very, very drunk.
The third kind of cocktail is the kind that makes an unexpected appearance sometime around 11.30pm. Its arrival is what makes a distinction between the early evening drinks and a meal with close friends part of a night out and the part where you find yourself sprinting across government property, holding an oil painting of Dwight D Eisenhower that you have no use for and being pursued by men with dogs. Other potential endgame scenarios on one of these nights include a full 78% of all regrettable sexual liaisons and 92% of all unregrettable ones. Cocktails that do not fit into the above categories such as the Long Island Ice Tea, the Mai-Tai and the venerable Margarita tend to serve these purposes very, very well.
Still undecided on a cocktail that sums up the ineffable complexity that is you? Read Cracked's guide to what your favourite drink says about you for more guidance.
Learn about the cocktails of yore and just what the elderly are capable of in 10 reasons your Grandpa could drink you under the table. And finally, join the growing movement calling for Bryan Brown to receive the internet recognition he deserves back at the Topics page.