*** SHOW NOTES ***
It can be tough to find a decent drink on the road. Most of the hotels I stay at don’t offer minibars, and airplane drinks carts are limited. Honestly, most folks’ wallets won’t allow them to close out the hotel bar every evening.
Years ago my wife gifted me a handy travel drink pouch, a couple of collapsible cups, a bartender’s corkscrew, a stir stick and slots to hold three nip bottles. When traveling by car it can 10x most evenings.
Before your next trip, head to the liquor store and stock up on some nip bottles. Don’t forget to try something different:
- Kahula or Baileys is a great addition to coffee.
- Vodkas now come infused with an endless variety of flavors.
- Try a different brand of bourbon.
- Fireball, as hack, as it sounds makes a great additive.
- Good gin is great over ice but can be easily enhanced.
You can easily hack your drink menu to something better, and many of the resources you’ll find at your hotel or the local grocery store.
At most hotels you have at your disposal:
- Salt packets – Is a Margarita complete without salt?
- Hot Sauce packets – A perfect way to kickup a hotel Bloody Mary
- Coffee Stirrer – Most hotel rooms contain a “Coffee Packet” and most have a stir stick. Yes, perfect for stirring a drink when you don’t have a cocktail shaker. ** Side Note – if you travel with a protein shake blender bottle, this will work as well. Just make sure to wash it out, no one wants protein powder in their cocktail. That stir stick also works well for skewering your garnish…. this is about kicking it up after all.
- Coffee creamer – If you want to create some sort of a Khuala “Russian” creation these are indispensable.
- Plastic knife – Perfect for cutting fruit or micro-planning the skin for a garnish.
- Sugar Packets – Create “Hotel Room Simple Sugar” with a spare coffee cup and your hotel room microwave.
- Most hotel loyalty programs will reward you with a free can of soda when you check-in. Get something bedsides a Diet Coke. Ask for a ginger ale and you’ve got the base for your bourbon and ginger ale. A can of lemonade, Fresca or Sprite just begs for a vodka additive.
- Coffee Cups, hey it’s a drinking vessel.
- Real glasses – rewash before use.
Grocery stores have plenty of supplies as well.
- Purchase a tray of Sushi and while your at it grab an extra package of soy sauce, perfect for an Asian inspired Bloody Mary.
- Wash those chopsticks and you have yet another stir stick.
- Save that pickled ginger as well.
- Buy a small can, or two, of V8 tomato juice as a base for a Bloody Mary
- Grab a fresh lime or lemon. You’ve got juice and a garnish, this is about kicking it up.
- A bundle of fresh mint offers versatility
Bring a few things from home –
- I use pill bags for housing my vitamins when traveling, but those bags are great for holding legit Margarite salt of my new favorite seasoning, Tajin. Tajin is great for rimming that coffee cup before you add you drink. Sprinkle some in that manager’s reception bottle of Miller Lite.
- 2oz squeeze bottles – You can get these through TSA, and I fill them with Angostura Aromatic Bitters or Simple Syrup. Fill them with your favorite hot sauce or some Worchester sauce, which can also be used to turn a bland dinner into something memorable, maybe.
- If you’re a purist grab an empty pill bottle and mark the side every ounce. Now you can go all mad scientist when you start tending bar.
If you’re a true traveling machine:
Stanley Adventure Happy Hour Cocktail Shaker Set – Double wall steel rocks glasses, a citrus reamer, and jigger cap
Drink Pouches – Make your own in a freezable, resealable pouch. Think of it as an adult Capri-Sun.
MINT JULEP RECIPE
For the Infused Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole, fresh mint leaves (plus more for garnish)
For the Cocktail:
4 ounces good-quality bourbon
To create this classic gin gimlet, add a few ice cubes to a short glass , 1.5 oz of gin, 1 oz sweetened lime juice and top with soda water. If you’re not a fan of gin try making with vodka or tequila.
MOSCOW MULE COCKTAIL
Try it with Absolut Elyx
Juice of half a lime
Garnish: Lime wheel
1 1⁄2 parts Gin – Try it with Bombay Sapphire
Juice of half a lemon or lime
Ginger ale, to top
Garnish: Lemon or lime wedge
GOLD RUSH (SAM ROSS)
This is a simple whiskey sour given a luscious, slightly decadent feel by the use of rich honey syrup instead of sugar.
2 ounces bourbon
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce honey syrup (3 parts honey to 1 part water)
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over one large piece of ice.
Either bourbon or rye will work in this classic cocktail, which dates from the 1880s, but rye contributes a welcome level of spice and a studier backbone.
2 ounces rye whiskey
1-ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Li’l Dinghy this spring in conjunction with Faber Spirits, which supplied the vodka. Weighing in at a muscular 9 percent, the Li’l Dinghy brings big flavor and a little more booze to the 12-ounce can
This canned cocktail seamlessly combines a citrusy bite and “just right” pear sweetness. Consider one of these carbonated bad boys your reward after ten miles of up-and-down terrain on your hike. Refreshing is the order of the day when it comes to Rita’s, and the Pear-Orange Sangria Spritz is not only a mouthful to say but also a mouthful of refreshment.
There you have it, safe travels and thanks for listening.
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