36 Chambers Cocktails

There are only about five different kinds of drinks:

Liquor in puny 2oz “shots,” or diluted with soda
The cocktail or mixed drink
Jello shooters

The problem with the first two is that they don’t catch fire when exposed to an open flame. The problem with item three is one of quantity, not quality. Item four varies widely, but even in the cases of Hairy Buffalo and the noble Long Island Iced Tea there’s too much sweetness-just-masking-the-alcohol, too much of a sensation of drinking a mere cold and calculated alcohol delivery system. Similarly, item five is just cheating. That and, whether right or wrong, it’s read as an open statement of lushocity. Ladies, if you’re at a party doing multiple jello shooters and the guys are flocking around you, it’s not because of your personality or even your looks, it’s because they’re trying to plant a pill in your next shot.

Then there’s category six, the 36 Chambers Cocktail.

Christmas Cheer

Ingredients and preparation
Combine one shot of Triple Sec, four shots of either standard or spiced rum, and one tablespoon of gin in a coffee mug. Add three ice cubes and garnish with a sprig of pine.

What it tastes like
It tastes exactly like Christmas.

What it feels like / how it works
This one works by degrees. At first, you admire how “festive” it tastes. Then, you try to figure out whether it tastes “kind of good” or “terrible.” But the joke’s on you because by now the interplay of rum, Triple Sec and gin has ruined all sensation in the back two-thirds of your mouth. I forget what happens after that.

The Rumqui

Ingredients and preparation
Yes, it’s pronounced phonetically like the waste disposal company. Yes, its two ingredients are given away in its name. Just get a short tumbler, a bottle of tequila in one hand and a bottle of rum in the other, and start pouring, it’s not an exact science. You can also make a Rumqui Special Reserve with Patron Silver and Bacardi 151. My good friend Andy came up with the Rumqui.

What it tastes like
Rum and tequila.

What it feels like / how it works
What I neglected to mention above is how much better rum and tequila taste than what you’d expect. It’s like rum and tequila flavor are on far enough apart wavelengths that there’s no interference. This is the brilliance of this drink: You taste notes of tequila and something inside your brain registers that you’re drinking a diluted, standard cocktail drink, and of course you are not.

Crazy Uncle Dan’s Long Island Iced Tea

Ingredients and preparation
A tall tumbler half full of ice. Bacardi 151. Four or five Pixie Stix of various color. Garnish with a lemon for that extra pretension of bearing any semblance whatsoever to an iced tea.

What it tastes like

What it feels like / how it works
This is just the Long Island taken to its logical conclusion. It feels like getting shot in the head in ultra slow-motion.

The College Dropout

Ingredients and Preparation
You will need one fully stocked college chemistry lab, complete with professor and other students. Unlock your drawer. Remove your 250ml beaker. In the rear of the lab there should be a vat somewhere labled “Ethanol.” Fill beaker to the 200ml mark, remembering to measure from the bottom of the meniscus. Eye about the room nervously to make sure nobody is watching you. Drink the ethanol.

What it tastes like

What it feels like / how it works
This is one of those things that I’m surprised I’ve never heard of anyone doing before. It is to cocktails what Pulse Demon is to pop music and Chris Crocker is to pop culture: it’s only there to mark a nadir. The worst thing about this drink is of course not the drink itself, not even the fear of being caught, but the uncertainties playing around in your head. “Ethanol is the friendly alcohol, right?” “Ethyl and Ethanol are the exact same thing, and there’s only one of them… I think.” “Which type of non-drinking alcohol kills you and which one only makes you go blind.” The absolute worst thought, though, is that you just know that vat labled “Ethanol” was filled by a TA, and as anyone who’s ever had a paper graded by a TA will tell you, there’s evidence to suggest that most of them don’t know how to follow a simple, well-outlined procedure.

Bottoms up!

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