Leap Day Drinks: A toast to Feb. 29

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A photo of The Leap Frog cocktail. Mix some special drinks this year to celebrate the leap year.  Photo by    Hessam Hojati    on    Unsplash

A photo of The Leap Frog cocktail. Mix some special drinks this year to celebrate the leap year. Photo by Hessam Hojati on Unsplash

Every four years, we have a leap year. This is the day we tack on to our calendar to make up for those pesky extra six hours per year the Earth spends in orbit. The extra day is added to February to make the shortest month just a smidge longer. For those of you that might be unfamiliar with this holiday, there are a number of odd traditions celebrated on Feb. 29.  

According to Irish legend, women can only propose to men on a leap day (there’s a whole movie about this one). In Denmark, if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on a leap day, he must buy her 12 pairs of gloves to hide the shame and embarrassment of a naked ring finger. In Germany, it’s tradition for a girl to leave a decorated birch tree on their crush’s doorstep on Feb. 29.  

While some of these traditions might seem antiquated and rooted in sexism, we cannot forget perhaps the most important facet of Leap Day: The celebration of Leap Year babies. There is even an official honor society for people born on leap days. They only get to celebrate their birthdays once every four years, so here are some cocktails to mark the occasion (or just to benefit Danish bachelorettes).  

Leap Year Cocktail 

Ingredients: 

4 oz. gin 

1 oz. Grand Marnier 

1 oz. sweet vermouth 

1 oz. fresh lemon juice 

Lemon twist for garnish  

This cocktail makes the list because it was invented during a leap year (1928). Aptly named, this cocktail is a little bitter sweet, much like the thought of adding an extra day to the calendar. To make this drink, simply fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the liquids. Shake vigorously for 10 to 20 seconds until incorporated. Serve chilled with a lemon twist. 

The Leap Frog  

Ingredients: 

1 oz. Galliano (an Italian liqueur flavored with herbs) 

2 oz. vodka 

1 oz. orange liqueur 

2 oz. fresh lime juice 

A dash of bitters 

1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice 

1 maraschino cherry  

A deep dive into the internet will reveal a whole category of “frog” related cocktails, which is simultaneously alarming and charming. This cocktail might seem complex but is actually fairly easy to throw together in a pinch, and the deep flavors will leave you wanting more. Simply add all the liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a cherry.   

The Amy Adams 

Ingredients: 

2 oz. vodka 

½ oz. dry vermouth 

½ oz. Irish whiskey 

Lemon twist for garnish  

This martini honors actress Amy Adams in her role as Anna in the iconic 2010 Irish-American rom-com “Leap Year.” Anna travels overseas to propose to the man she loves and finds a new romance along the way. During a classic wedding-crashing scene, Anna and her travelling companion Declan find themselves downing a few too many martinis. This simple drink is an Irish twist on a classic cocktail. The splash of Irish whiskey gives this martini a bold flavor, cut nicely by the acidic lemon taste. Just take care not to indulge as much as they do in the film. Remember spend your Leap Day wisely.  


Thirsty Thursday is created by of-age students in the Daily Campus Life section. Recommendations can be sent to life@dailycampus.com. We will respond if sober.

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