Thirsty Thursday: Birthday beverages 

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In January, I featured my oldest sister’s favorite boozy drinks for her birthday. As my birthday approaches on Sunday, I want to reflect on the drinks that I’ve come to favor in the year since I’ve come of age. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to enjoy all these beverages this weekend, but maybe you can help me out by making or drinking some of them. 

To make measurements easier, remember that one shot is equal to one and half ounces. 


Pictured is a martini placed on a wooden surface. Martinis normally have a sharp taste to it, considering the vodka and hard liqueur, but the bitter espresso added to it perfectly balances it out. Photo credit to Ekrulila

Espresso martini (adapted from Preppy Kitchen

I vowed my first legal drink would be an espresso martini, and I followed through on that promise, as well as enjoyed a few more throughout the year. I love coffee, and the strength and bitterness of  espresso perfectly balances the sharpness of vodka. Make this classy drink with the following recipe. 

Makes one drink 

Ingredients: 

  • Two ounces of vodka 
  • Half ounce of coffee liqueur, like Kahlúa 
  • One ounce of freshly brewed espresso (or cold brew concentrate) 
  • One ounce of simple syrup 

Instructions: 

  1. Add ice, cooled coffee (if freshly brewed), simple syrup, coffee liqueur and vodka to a cocktail shaker. 
  1. Vigorously shake the mixture so foam is formed. Strain it quickly into a martini glass. 
  1. Garnish with coffee beans, and enjoy! 

Margaritas 

I’ve talked about margaritas many times in this column, so it should be no surprise that it makes my list of favorite drinks. It’s a simple and refreshing but also punchy cocktail that’s easy to customize with a variety of fruit flavors … what’s not to love? Check out some recipe variations in a previous Thirsty Thursday entry.  

Pictured is a Moscow Mule mug on a dark bartop. Moscow Mules are more fruity with lime and ginger to add some taste, and they’re a combination of mules and margaritas. Photo credit to Denys Gromov

Moscow mule (adapted from Liquor.com

I’ve come to learn that I enjoy refreshing drinks as much as I love fruity ones, and ginger and lime play a large role in those flavor profiles. Margaritas cover the latter base, while Moscow mules certainly fall within the former category. Try this easy Moscow mule recipe, and don’t be afraid to order variations when you see them on drink menus! Mexican mules, which add some classic margarita ingredients like tequila and triple sec, are one of my favorites because they combine margaritas and mules. 

Makes one drink 

Ingredients: 

  • Two ounces of vodka 
  • One-half ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice 
  • Three ounces of chilled ginger beer 
  • Lime wedge for garnish 

Instructions 

  1. Fill a Moscow mule copper mug (if you want the iconic look) or drink glass with ice, then add the vodka and lime juice. 
  1. Top with ginger beer. 
  1. Serve with a lime wedge, and enjoy! 

Malibu bay breeze (adapted from Malibu Rum

This drink uses one of my favorite liquors: Malibu. I enjoy other kinds of rum like Bacardi, but Malibu has a special place in my heart, as do Malibu bay breezes. I first tried the cocktail at a wedding with an open bar at my sister’s behest and was immediately smitten … and eventually drunk. I love making this drink for large gatherings because it’s supremely easy to make and a fan favorite among those who like strong drinks and those who don’t like tasting alcohol alike. 

Ingredients: 

  • One part Malibu original (coconut rum) 
  • One part cranberry juice 
  • One part pineapple juice 

Instructions: 

  1. Add some ice to your glass or container and pour all the ingredients in. 
  1. Serve with your favorite fruit, and enjoy! 
Pictured is a Tequila Sunrise held against the blue sky. Tequila Sunrises are known for their sweetness and heartiness because of the orange juice. Photo credits to Timur Weber

Tequila sunrise (adapted from Baking Beauty

Along with the previous drink, tequila sunrises became a quick favorite of mine after I turned 21. Perfect for brunch, dinner or after dinner, the sweetness and heartiness of the orange juice plays well with the bite of the tequila. And turns out, they’re easy to make! 

Makes one drink 

Ingredients: 

  • Four ounces of orange juice 
  • Two ounces of tequila 
  • One ounce of grenadine 
  • Orange slices and maraschino cherries for garnish 

Instructions: 

  1. Add ice cubes to a glass. Pour in orange juice and tequila. 
  1. Add grenadine, either by pouring down the sides of the glass or over the back of a spoon. This is to ensure that the syrup gathers at the bottom rather than splashes in. 
  1. Serve with an orange slice and maraschino cherry, and enjoy! 

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