The Personalized Cocktail

I don't know much about cocktails. I don't know a tincture from an infusion and I can barely tell the difference between rye and bourbon. I know I like drinking them and I know they make me drunk if I have too many. Aside from that, I'm fairly clueless. That won't stop me, however, from trying to convince you that I've got a perfect idea to spice souse up your love life. I mentioned it in passing a few weeks ago in my column on food and music, but I think it's time to explore the concept in greater detail. Readers of Heart Attack, I present to you: The Personalized Cocktail.

The Personalized Cocktail is exactly what it sounds like – you create a specialized drink for a specific occasion. It doesn't matter if you're married or just dating; a custom cocktail can be the perfect way to commemorate, well, anything. Birthdays, anniversaries, Arbor Day – pretty much any celebration is ripe for a Personalized Cocktail. Honestly, it doesn't even have to be a special occasion. Cat threw up on your suit? Make a cocktail. First time you're trying foie gras? Make a cocktail. Just made your tenth Personalized Cocktail? Make a meta-cocktail. If all goes according to plan, that little drink will make whatever occasion you happen to be celebrating even better. I'd warn against making a personalized cocktail for a first date, though. You don't want your date to think you're just trying to get her drunk.

So how do you make a Personalized Cocktail? It's easy. Think about whatever you're celebrating as a theme. You want your drink to match up with that theme. The first order of business is picking a spirit. Happy occasions start with vodka. Tropical occasions go well with rum. Whiskey and gin are great if you're celebrating something serious and/or terrible. Occasions you'd rather forget the next day always begin with grain alcohol.

Once you've got the spirit selected, go ahead and find your ingredients. If you're commemorating the first time you're getting Thai food with your lady, go out and find some Thai basil and lemongrass. Muddle them together and move on to mixers. I'd go with some coconut milk, but the choice is yours. Gently shake or stir or whatever you choose to do to get all your ingredients to sing in perfect harmony and you're good to go! The key is picking out ingredients and mixers that fit your theme. As long as everything's part of the same universe, you should be in good shape.

The Personalized Cocktail is one of those things that can seem simple, yet it makes a big impression on someone who's not expecting it. Going the extra mile and creating something completely unique will make a special occasion that much more special. Even if the drink is terrible, this is one situation where it's definitely the thought that counts. Let me know how your Personalized Cocktail experience works out in the comments below. Bottoms up!