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Tie One Off – The Queerty Cocktail Roundup: 2021 Edition

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Another year, another litany of traumas to discuss with our therapists. Insurrections, sudden deaths, viral variants, Supreme Court decisions and a Sex and the City spinoff have managed to keep us up at night...not to mention occasionally sipping a cocktail.

Hey, at least we can all get vaccinated.

Still, to momentarily escape the lingering traumas of 2021...and to avoid thinking about the impending problems of 2022...we offer up the Queerty Culture Club Cocktail roundup. Revisit our weekly selections of sippage that commemorates the year's big releases, and that pairs well with a little New Year's Eve farewell. Here's to a bright new year for us all.

Unless your name is Mitch McConnell.

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[tps_header] [caption id="attachment_605960" align="alignnone" width="670"] via Shutterstock[/caption]

Another year, another litany of traumas to discuss with our therapists. Insurrections, sudden deaths, viral variants, Supreme Court decisions and a Sex and the City spinoff have managed to keep us up at night…not to mention occasionally sipping a cocktail.

Hey, at least we can all get vaccinated.

Still, to momentarily escape the lingering traumas of 2021…and to avoid thinking about the impending problems of 2022…we offer up the Queerty Culture Club Cocktail roundup. Revisit our weekly selections of sippage that commemorates the year’s big releases, and that pairs well with a little New Year’s Eve farewell. Here’s to a bright new year for us all.

Unless your name is Mitch McConnell.


The Sip: The Godfather

Via Pixbay

In honor of Dwen Curry, of American Gangster, we present this week’s themed libation: The Godfather. Easy to make, and with a potent sweetness, it might just send you online shopping for a new handbag, whether you carry handbags or not.

  • 2 ounces scotch
  • 1/2 ounce amaretto

Pour ingredients over ice, stir and serve. 

The Sip: The Daquiri

In honor of Snowpiercer, we suggest something a bit frozen and slushy for this week’s sip. As one of our favorites, the sweet flavor pairs well with just about anything, whether a very hot romance, or a chilly sci-fi thriller.

  • 1 1/2 ounces rum
  • 3/4 ounce ​​lime juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 ounce ​simple syrup to taste

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled glass.

The Sip: The Pet Shop Boys

In honor of Years & Years covering one of our favorite New Wave pop groups, we offer up this week’s sippage: the Pet Shop Boys. Combining Red Bull with liquor is always a risky proposition, so use caution when imbibing this one. Sweet, sour and smoky, it’ll have you ready to commit a few sins of your own…in the best possible way.

  • 8 oz. Red Bull
  • 8 oz. lime juice
  • 4 oz. Hennessy

Mix ingredients over ice in a cocktail glass. Stir well. Optional: add a cherry as a garnish.

The Sip: The Britney Spears

What better way to honor the trials and Trials of Britney Spears than to imbibe her namesake cocktail? Potent, bubbly and sweet, just like the woman herself, no doubt its kick will offer some fine relief after reliving her legal woes. It’s also good enough it’ll have you telling the bartender “Hit me one more time.” See what we did there?

  • 1 part of white rum
  • 1 part of pineapple juice
  • 1 part of champagne

Mix rum & juice in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass and top with champagne. 

The Sip: The Disco Dancer

In honor of The Black Church and its fascinating dive into the hidden, spiritual origins of disco music, we offer up this fruity and fizzy variation on a Fuzzy Navel. Strong but not overpowering, sweet but not sickly so, it will pair well with any of this week’s entertainment, no matter how subdued, or outrageous.

  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce Galliano
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • Dash orange bitters
  • Club soda

Combine orange juice, Galliano, vodka, and bitters in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well and pour into a cocktail glass. Top with club soda to taste.

The Sip: Absinthe

In honor of Kylie Minogue’s awesome throwback video–and the awesome track that goes with it–we thought we’d celebrate by honoring her most iconic movie role as the Green Fairy in Moulin Rogue! Thus, we suggest sipping some absinthe this weekend. With the original wormwood (which gives the drink its hallucinogenic properties), or without, it’s a unique licorice-type flavor will have you ready to jam to some Kylie, or take flight yourself.

  • 1 1/2 ounces absinthe
  • 1 sugar cube
  • water

Pour absinthe into a glass without ice. Place one sugar cube on a slotted spoon and hold over the glass. Pour ice water over the sugar until it dissolves. Stir well and serve. 

The Sip: Moonstruck Mule

In honor of Olympia Dukakis, we offer up this week’s libation, a variation on the popular Moscow Mule: The Moonstruck Mule. This citrusy variation will, indeed, have many a sipper howling at the moon, or at the very least, sitting down for an evening with Ms. Dukakis’ films.

  • 1 1/2 oz. honey flavored vodka

  • 4 oz. ginger beer

  • 1/2 lime

Mix ingredients over ice, squeezing the lime when added. Stir and serve in a copper mug.

The Sip: The Brooke Lynn Hytes Ol’Fashion-D

via Flickr

For our sip this week, we suggest this sweet and potent cocktail named for Ms. Hytes herself and created at one of her favorite haunts, The Drink in Toronto. With hints of maple and spice, it has no shortage of Canadian charm or charge, just like the lady herself.

  • 2 parts vodka
  • 1 part maple syrup
  • dash of bitters

Mix and stir over ice. Serve immediately.

The Sip: Waverly’s Bubblegum Bitchslap

As the series Wynnona Earp bids farewell, we offer up this official cocktail salute so-named for her lesbian younger sister. Sweet, fizzy and packing enough punch to make your dead relatives sit up, it will have you ready to pull a six-shooter on demons in no time. We recommend just reaching for the remote and watching one of this week’s highlights instead.

  • 1 oz bubblegum vodka
  • 1 splash 7-Up
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Everclear
  • 1 oz light rum
  • 4oz lemonade

Mix liquors & lemonade over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour over ice and top with 7-Up.

The Sip: The Liquid 420

In honor of every stoner’s favorite date, we’ve selected this fruity and very green cocktail as this week’s libation. Recalling a melon-flavored pina colada, it’s also a fine way to welcome in the spring heat. And we mean heat in every sense of the word.

  • 1/2 ounce  spiced rum
  • 1/2 ounce Blue Curacao liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce coconut rum
  • 1/2 ounce melon liqueur
  • 12 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 splash sweet and sour mix

Mix ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and serve.

The Sip: Black Russian

In honor of the Russian-themed designs of Shadow & Bone, we suggest an old favorite as this week’s libation: the black Russian. A potent blend of vodka and coffee flavor, it will have you ready to tame a bear…or just sing along with Arlo the Alligator Boy.

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlúa

Mix over ice & serve.

The Sip: Billy Porter’s Craft Ice Texas Martini

via Shutterstock

As a final salute to Pose and the incomparable Mr. Porter, we suggest trying out the man’s own favorite cocktail this week. This spicy margarita of sorts doesn’t make Porter’s blood rise (so he says) but is a soothing way to unwind before bed.

  • 2 oz of tequila,
  • 1 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice,
  • ¾ oz of Cointreau
  • ½ to ¾ oz of jalapeño agave (to taste)
  • Tajin seasoning

Mix liquid ingredients in a shaker over ice. Add Tajin seasoning to the rim of a highball glass. Pour cocktail over ice and serve.

The Sip: Tequila Smash

Our friends over at Hornitos suggested this post-Cinco De Mayo libation as a sweet and potent way to bring in the weekend. With mint and lime flavoring, the Tequila Smash reminds us a bit of a mojito…right down to the way it gives us the giggles.

  • 2 parts Hornitos Plata Tequila
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 3 lime wedges
  • ¾ part simple syrup

Add tequila, simple syrup and the juice of half a lime to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain over ice into a highball glass. Garnish with mint leaves and three lime wedges. Salted rim optional. 

The Sip: The King Kong

via Flickr

How could we resist a chance to celebrate the release of the new King Kong Blu-Ray set with an eponymous libation? This iced, fruity, potent blend of spices, banana and pineapple channels both the hairy ape himself as well as tropical vacations. We’d also add to that many a gay pool party. Strong as a giant ape, it will have you climbing buildings and beating your chest in no time.

  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 oz of banana liqueur
  • 8 oz of ice
  • 3 oz of pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp of 151 proof rum
  • 1 oz of coconut rum
  • 1 splash of orange juice
  • 1 of maraschino cherry
  • 2 oz of light rum
  • 1/2 of banana
  • 1/2 can of cream of coconut

Mix ingredients in a blender and blend well. Serve immediately.

The Sip: Black Cherry Breeze

Our friends over at Effen Vodka personally sent along this week’s slippage, a fruity and vibrant vodka-based libation perfect for imbibing on a sunny afternoon. With pride rapidly approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic winding down, we can’t wait to enjoy one with friends.

  • 1 part Black Cherry Vodka
  • 1 part Pineapple Juice
  • 1 part Cranberry juice

Mix over ice in a highball glass & serve.

The Sip: Rainbow Paradise

Pride month has at last arrived, and this year, it looks like we’ll be able to actually celebrate together (once again…vaccinated). As such, we offer up this fruity, fragrant and fun beverage that channels a bit of rainbow magic. No doubt it will have you ready to show yours off, too.

  • 1 oz. grenadine
  • 1 c. crushed ice
  • 4 oz.  pineapple juice
  • 2 oz. coconut-flavored rum
  • 1 oz. water
  • ½ oz. blue curacao

Add grenadine to a hurricane glass. Mix pineapple juice, ice & rum separately, then layer over grenadine. Mix water & curacao, and later over the top. 

The Sip: The Moonwalk

In honor of Nichelle Nichols and her contribution to NASA, we suggest this week’s sip: The Moonwalk. A tart, exotic and bubbly concoction, you’ll have liftoff in no time.

  • 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. orange liqueur
  • Dash rose water
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

Mix juice, orange liqueur & rose water in a flute glass. Top with champagne.

The Sip: The Jackie Collins

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In honor of our newfound interest in the ever-scandalous Ms. Collins, we suggest this week’s libation so-named for the novelist, and developed by Wolfgang Puck no less. It’s a clean, sweet and fizzy concoction perfect for a summer afternoon…with or without one of her books on hand.

  • 6 raspberries
  • Splash of simple syrup
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces lemonade
  • ½ lime
  • 1½ ounces club soda

Crush berries in a glass with simple syrup. Mix vodka, lime juice & lemonade in a cocktail shaker. Shake, and pour contents into the glass with berries. Top with club soda. 

The Sip: Patriot Shooter

via YouTube

In commemoration of the American Revolution and the birth of the USA–warts and all–we offer up this week’s sippage, a quick shooter suitable for parties, social events, and game nights. Fruity and pretty to boot, we recommend pairing it with a game of Burn Book and watching the snarky answers pour in. As with all things: a bit of lubrication makes playtime much more fun.

  • 1ounce vodka
  • 1ounce blue curacao
  • 13ounce grenadine
Pour grenadine in a shot glass. Slowly add curacao, layering it over the top. Pour vodka on for the third layer. Serve.

The Sip: Japanese Orange Breeze

via Flickr

Courtesy of our enchantment with Stranger by the Shore, this week’s cocktail blends a bit of Japanese culture and artistry for a refreshing blend of citrus and sparkle.

  • 1½ parts Sake
  • 2 parts Orange juice
  • 2½ parts Sparkling water

Mix ingredients over ice and serve.

The Sip: Vampire Punch

via Shutterstock

In honor of the very satisfying conclusion to the Fear Street trilogy, we offer up this sweet and strong favorite normally reserved for the Halloween season. Blending fruity flavors with some fizzy and tropical goodness, it’ll have you ready to battle ancient curses, ex-boyfriends or even the dreaded family vacation.

Mix ingredients in large pitcher over ice. Stir well and serve.

The Sip: Army of the Dead

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In honor of Ms. Notaro’s winning year, and her acclaimed role in Army of the Dead, we offer up this week’s libation: the Army of the Dead. Sweet and savory, we recommend drinking it in moderation–this one is bound to have you feeling zombified.

  • 1 1/4 oz. whiskey
  • 5 oz. coconut soda
  • lemon wheel and mint sprig

Mix whiskey and soda in a highball glass over ice. Add lemon and mint as a garnish.

The Sip: Whirlybird

via Shutterstock

In honor of our finally getting a chance to share Whirlybird with our readers, we offer up this week’s title-sharing libation.  A sweet mix of smokey whiskey, citrus and effervescence, it’ll have you flying in no time…also possibly making some news.

  • 1 Oz. Whiskey
  • 1 1/2 Oz of Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3/4 Oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Orange Juice
  • 4 Oz. Sparkling Water

Mix together over ice and serve. Optionally, add a lemon twist as garnish.

The Sip: Crimson Stranger

via Shutterstock

In honor of the release of Nine Perfect Strangers, we’ve selected the Crimson Stranger as this week’s libation. While typically a Halloween cocktail, the mix of berries, mint and vodka also feel summery enough for us. Also, the characters in Nine Perfect Strangers give a lot of blood in the show, so it somehow feels fitting.

  • 12 fresh blackberries
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 3 ounces vodka 
  • 1 cup cranberry juice

Crush berries & mint in a glass. Add juice and vodka. Stir and serve. 

The Sip: Sissy Cola

via Shutterstock

In honor of the 20th birthday of Southern Baptist Sissies, we’ve opted to include a very simple “sissy drink” both easy to make and sweet. Chances are, many of you reading this now have mixed something similar under dire conditions…like growing up as a queer Southern Baptist. That’s enough to make anyone need a drink.

  • Rum
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Cola

Mix equal parts each ingredient over ice. Stir and serve.

The Sip: The Candyman

In honor of the return of one of our favorite–and most underrated–movie boogeymen, we offer up this homage concocted based on the events and flavors of the original film. Considering that the new movie does the very same thing, it seems like an appropriate hook. See what we did there?

  • 1 1/2 oz. honey whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. Bacardi 151
  • 1/2 oz. grenadine
  • ginger Ale

Mix liquor and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Add ginger ale.

The Sip: The Steve Martin

via Shutterstock

In honor of the release of Only Murders in the Building, we’ve opted to try out this drink so named for the series star. Smokey, sweet and classy–just like the man who inspired it–it should have you in hysterics in no time.

  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 ½ oz whiskey
  • 4 oz club soda

Mix lemon, syrup and whiskey in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with club soda.

The Sip: The Screwdriver

Yes, it’s basic, but it also happens to be Truman Capote’s favorite cocktail. As such, pour one and sip as you watch this week’s selections…or ponder their deeper truths.

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • Orange juice

Pour vodka in a highball glass over ice. Add orange juice to taste.

The Sip: Glitter Bomb

via Shutterstock

In honor of the drag glam of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and the ever-wide, mascaraed Eyes of Tammy Faye, we propose this week’s drink in honor of both films. Trust us, this one will have you wide-eyed and wild, not to mention seeing glitter.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Goldschläger
  • 1/2 Pint Energy Drink

Pour energy drink into a glass. Drop a shot of Goldschläger in and drink.

The Sip: Nuclear Daquiri

In recognition of the disturbing tale of Nuclear Family, we offer up this variation on a cocktail classic. Sweet, sour and strong, it will help steady any nerves left raw by the series, or any of our other selections this week.

  • 1 oz Overproof Rum
  • .75 oz Green Chartreuse
  • .25 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass and serve.

The Sip: Pomegranate Martini

via Shutterstock

With National Vodka Day coming up this October 4, and with Alaska Thunderf*ck still seeing red on her new album, we offer up this week’s libation, themed to both occasions. Sweet-tart and potent, it pairs well with any of the new music we’re featuring this week…or just a handsome date.

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass and serve. 

The Sip: The Mistress of the Dark

In honor of Elvira, we offer up this sexy, sweet libation as this week’s cocktail. A variation on a martini, it packs one heck of a wallop, so be careful! You may well end up seeing nothing but dark, as opposed to slinking like a mistress of it.

  • 1 ½ oz. vanilla vodka
  • 1 ½ oz. Patron XO
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Dry ice (optional, for effect)

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Add cherry and dry ice. Serve.

The Sip: The Velvet Underground

Honoring Todd Haynes’ new documentary–and, of course, the band that inspired it–we offer up this week’s cocktail: The Velvet Underground. Much like the original band, this mix of sweet and smoky flavors makes for an eclectic taste. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • 1 1/2 ounce Vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Pimms No. 1
  • 1/2 ounce Velvet Falernum
  • 1/4 ounce St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 Orange Wheel for muddling

Crush orange in the bottom of a shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass to serve. 

The Exclusive Sip: Manila’s Bae Breeze

In honor of Drag Race alum Manila Luzon releasing her own line of SERV pineapple vodka this week, we’ve obtained this exclusive cocktail recipe from the queen herself. Fruity and potent, it has the flavors of a tropical cosmopolitan, perfect for sipping alongside any of this week’s Culture Club selections.

  • pineapple vodka
  • cranberry juice
  • maraschino cherries

Pour vodka in a highball glass with ice. Add a splash of cranberry juice to taste. Garnish with a cherry.

The Sip: Apple Cider-car

Queer chef Jonathan Bardzik (host of the cooking show Jonathan’s Kitchen) designed this cocktail especially for Queerty, and of course, for our avid readers. It’s a variation on the popular sidecar cocktail.

As Jonathan explains: “A Sidecar — think a brandy margarita with lemon instead of lime — is one of my favorite classic cocktails, not too sweet with the right hit of alcohol. This fall version uses French apple brandy — Calvados — with apple cider, a splash or two of cardamom bitters and a rim dipped in lemon juice and cinnamon sugar. This is the perfect toast from Halloween parties to Thanksgiving celebrations.”

  • 1 1/2 oz Calvados
  • 1 1/2 oz farm-fresh apple cider
  • 1/2 oz orange liqueur like Cointreau
  • 2 dashes Cardamom or other bitters

Combine Calvados, apple cider, orange liqueur and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. 

For rim:

  • 1 lemon cut in small wedges
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon

Stir together sugar and cinnamon on a small plate. Uses a lemon wedge to wet the rim of a coupe or martini glass. Dip in cinnamon sugar and turn to coat rim. Strain cocktail into glass to serve.

Jonathan’s Kitchen streams on Revry.

The Sip: Lady Diana

In honor of the late Lady Diana Spencer–and, of course, the release of Spencer–we offer up this week’s libation: a martini that takes its namesake from the dear departed queer icon. Much like the woman herself, the Lady Diana has the appearance of elegance and class. And much like its namesake, the cocktail leaves one hell of an impact.

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • Dash simple syrup

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake. Strain into a martini glass. Serve with a lemon peel garnish.

The Sip: Pineapple Mule

In honor of the Spanish romance of Isaac, we offer up this variation on a Moscow Mule which has a popular following in Spain. Combining the spicy tastes of ginger and pineapple, this savory drink has no shortage of kick…hence the name.

  • 2 teaspoons ginger syrup

  • 4 ounces of pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice

  • 2 ounces Mezcal

  • splash of seltzer water

  • candied ginger and pineapple leaf as garnish

Combine pineapple and lime juice, ginger syrup and mezcal in a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a highball glass with ice. Add seltzer to taste.

The Sip: Champagne Cocktail

In honor of awards season unofficially beginning, we offer up one of our favorite cocktail recipes of all time: the champagne cocktail. Classy, sweet, and delightfully fizzy, it can also be augmented with a dash of brandy for anyone wanting something a bit stronger. For our money, it’s good for all occasions.

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 to 4 drops Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 to 1 ounce cognac or brandy (optional)
  • 3 ounces chilled champagne

Add a sugar cube to a champagne flute with a dash of bitters. Let it soak a moment, then add cognac if desired. Add champagne. Garnish with a cherry or lemon peel.

The Sip: Apple Cider Mimosa

via Shutterstock

Thanksgiving has arrived, and as such, we suggest an autumnal beverage that combines fall flavor with year-round boozy goodness. Enter the Apple Cider Mimosa, a sweet, tangy effervescent way to spice up your holiday, or any of this week’s Culture Club selections.

  • champagne
  • apple cider

Mix equal parts champagne and apple cider to taste. Optional: dip rims of flute glasses in water and brown sugar. Garnish with an apple slice.

The Sip: Hard Hot Cider

via Shutterstock.

As the autumn leaves give way to snow-capped trees, we suggest taking advantage of the timing for a special holiday season sip. Simply combine some hot unfiltered hot cider with some spiced rum for a savory seasonal treat.

  • Unfiltered apple cider
  • Spiced rum
  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon (stick or ground)

Heat cider in a mug with cinnamon and cloves. Let steep several minutes. Add rum to taste and serve.

The Sip: Red Rocket

In honor of the release of Red Rocket, we suggest this also-named fruity cocktail for sipping along with this week’s selections. Though it may involve a trip to the liquor store, we think it’ll have you ready for a laugh, a sigh, or a sing-along.

Mix ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and serve. 

Note: This article contains portions of previous posts on Queerty.

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