Oh, stop scoffing. We can see that face you're making: Ain't no shame in admiring a pretty drink every once in a while.
While you'll usually find the cutesy cocktails with the cutesy garnish at things like bridal showers, outdoor wedding receptions, beach-side resorts and brunches, it's sometimes fun to serve up these drinks at home while enjoying a quiet(ish) night in with friends.
Don't worry--your bottle of Maker's will still be there when you get back.
1) Anything With Violet Liqueur
Though the Violet Beauregarde really is our fave liqueur de violette drink by far, just about any cocktail with the sweet, delicate liqueur is, well, pretty damn cute. And tasty to boot.
Also known as crème de violette, the liqueur first originated in Austria. Handpicked flowers are mashed into Weinbrand (a type of brandy) and sugar is then added. The taste is interesting--first alcohol, then a wave of light floral flavor... without tasting soapy. And, of course, it leaves a gorgeous lavender hue in every drink.
Also try: the Violette Royale, a simple concoction of Brut champagne and violet liqueur.
2) The Gel Glow Shot
That's right. It's a "gel" shot. So yeah, it's a little (or a lot) like college, but it's also glowing-in-the-fucking-dark! This (totally vegan, by the way) drink was featured previously by our Clubs Editor Grace Le:
2/3 cup gin mixed with 1/3 cup limeade
1 cup straight tonic water
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 heaping Tbsp. agar
3 Tbsp. sugar
Food coloring of your choice
First, combine the agar, sugar, and lime juice with 1 cup of straight tonic water in a medium saucepan and bring the contents to a boil while stirring rapidly.
After the mix has reached boiling point, take the pan off of the stove and let sit until almost room temperature.
When the mixture has cooled, add the gin and limeade mix into the concoction and stir well. You can pour the liquid into a shallow glass dish or little plastic/paper cups depending on how you want to present your shots. Refrigerate overnight and Voilà! You have yourself some blacklight sensitive, blackout-inducing party favors ripped and ready to go.
Oh, and how does it glow? Grace explains:
"The Tonic water contains quinine, a compound very sensitive to fluorescent lights. This makes the Gel-Glow Shot light up a brilliant blue when exposed to a black light, regardless of the food coloring used to dye the agar. In addition to this cool fact, the replacement of Jell-O, which contains animal by-products, with agar, which derives from seaweed, makes the drink a-okay for herbivorous consumption.
3) The Rainbow at Aloha Grill
It looks like layered Slurpee madness, it tastes like layered Slurpee madness... but thanks to the seven different types of rum it contains, the Rainbow packs a surprising buzz that you won't feel 'til afterward. So really, if you like sweets (like, really sweet sweets) and if you like alcohol, drop by an Aloha Grill location to test this sucker out. Best yet, as the drink melts, it all kind of starts oozing together, resulting in a blurred, cartoon-y sunset.
Aloha Grill, 221 Main St., Ste. F, Huntington Beach, (714) 374-4427; www.alohagrill.com. Also, 1749 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 722-7882.
4) The Aviation
More gin, more gin! Jessica Ford, our lovely Editorial Assistant and "Drink of the Week" auteur, has actually featured this cocktail once in her regular blog feature:
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The concoction includes Aviation gin (duh), Luxardo maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and crème de violette. It tastes mostly of straight gin, but does have a cherry aftertaste, thanks to the Luxardo and cherry garnish. The crème de violette mostly helps with visuals (it's blue!) but does impart a certain subtle something in the drinking. So, it's gin, rendered somewhat less ginny.
Drinking the Aviation, with its light flavor and sky-blue coloring, was reminiscent of summer.
5) The Pink Gin
We've decided to limit ourselves to just one completely pink-tinged alcoholic beverage for the list--and hey, aren't you glad we didn't pick the Cosmopolitan? The Pink Gin is a twist on an old gentleman's favorite. The drink was popular in the UK during the mid-1800s and contains Plymouth gin, Angostura bitters (which originates from, yes, Angostura, Venezuela, but is now made in the Caribbean). Lemon rind is then added as a garnish. Who says you have to always compromise a good drink for aesthetic appeal?