5 Cocktails to Drink While Playing Video Games

A drink to match every type of video game--from zombies to sports to first-person shooter

By Seattle Mag October 23, 2014


Since it’s raining now at a regular rate, sadly the time has come to shift away from sipping a tall tasty drink on the back porch with friends while the sun slides down over horizon, and to move towards indoor activities–like playing video games! That’s right, fall and winter are the ideal times to get your game on solo or with friends. However, this doesn’t mean that you should also shift away from those tasty drinks. Oh no, picking the right cocktail to have (provided you’re over 21) while you blast, match and strategize your way through your favorite games is key. Don’t believe me? Try one of the below (all from my book Dark Spirits) the next time the video gaming urge hits you.

Mike Collins
This is one for those games like Rock Band where you might be up off the couch and shaking it more than normal, which leads to the need for a refreshing quaff. Since this drink also has a rock-and-roll heart, it’s a perfect match.

Ice cubes

2 ounces Irish whiskey

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 ounce Simple Syrup

Chilled club soda

Lemon slice for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the whiskey, juice, and simple syrup.

2. Fill a Collins glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the mix over the ice. Fill almost to the top with chilly club soda. Garnish with the lemon slice (stirring briefly if you want).

Hot Shot
If you’re getting your video game on with a first-person shooter (though it’s older, GoldenEye is my fav), you want two things. First, to be known as a hot shot (or at least a good shot), and second, to keep your hand warm so that you can be said hot shot. This covers both of those, in a manner of speaking.

1 ounce brandy

1/2 ounce Apfelkorn apple liqueur

6 ounces apple cider

1/2 ounce Heering cherry liqueur

2 sour cherries for garnish

1. Add the brandy, Apfelkorn, and apple cider to a large, hearty mug. Stir briefly. Heat until almost boiling (30 to 40 seconds in the microwave).

2. Add the Heering and the sour cherries to a preheated (by running it under warm water and then drying it rapidly) white wine glass or large cordial glass.

3. Pour the hot brandy-Apfelkorn-cider mix slowly and carefully into the warmed glass over the Heering and the cherries.

The Natural
Here we’re moving, naturally, to sporting games, where if you pick one up and are instantly a step above the trailing pack, they call you a Natural. Don’t they? Either way, this one goes great with all sports video games.

Ice cubes

2 ounces dark rum

1 ounce brandy

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 ounce orgeat

1/2 ounce grenadine

Maraschino cherry for garnish (optional – good if you need a snack)

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the remaining ingredients, quickly but carefully. Shake well.

2. Strain equally into two cocktail glasses. If it feels naked without a garnish, add a maraschino cherry to each glass.

A Note: Orgeat is an almond-flavored syrup, available in many gourmet and grocery stores.

Whizz Bang

There are a fair amount of military and military-esque video games (a ton, I’d say), some that are realistic and some futuristic and many in-between. This older drink, invented in 1920s London and named after the phrase American and British military gave to the sound of a German artillery piece, has the requisite umph to kick your strategy into gear.

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces bourbon

3/4 ounce dry vermouth

1/4 ounce Pernod

1/4 ounce grenadine

2 dashes orange bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the bourbon, vermouth, Pernod, grenadine, and orange bitters. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass and give a glance skyward.

Day-Off Punch

I love days off (I’m guessing you do, too). And while I don’t want to put your job in jeopardy, I’m here to tell you that calling in sick with a couple of friends for a marathon video-gaming session (of anything from Bejeweled to Zelda) accompanied by this punch, well, is a really good idea.

Serves 8

Ice cubes

16 ounces rye

8 ounces sweet vermouth

8 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 lemon, cut into slices

One 2-liter bottle ginger ale

1. Fill a punch bowl halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rye, vermouth, lemon juice, and lemons. Stir once, without a care.

2. Add the ginger ale to the bowl, but don’t rush it (there’s no call for spilling). Stir a bit, then a bit more. Serve in punch glasses.

While zombie video games are all the rage (ferocity of rage depends on type of zombies of course – I favor the speed of the ones in Plants vs. Zombies), the only true way to win while playing these is to drink a Zombie while finishing off the game versions. Hopefully you–and your brain–realize this! Much like there are many types of zombies, there are a few variations on this classic drink. But this one should get you there.

Ice cubes

1 ounce dark rum

1 ounce white rum

1 ounce gold or amber rum

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

3/4 ounce fresh pineapple juice

1/2 ounce apricot liqueur

1/2 ounce papaya juice (if you can’t get it, sub in passion fruit juice)

1/2 ounce Simple Syrup

1/2 ounce 151-proof rum (optional)

Lime wheel for garnish

Lemon wheel for garnish

Cherry for garnish

2 sprigs fresh mint for garnish

Confectioners’ sugar for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Shuffle in the dark, white, and gold rums, the apricot liqueur, the juices, and the simple syrup. Shake unlike a zombie (meaning, shake well).

2. Pour everything into a Zombie glass, large Collins glass, or other 14-ounce glass.

3. If using, float the 151-proof rum on top of the drink. Garnish with the lime wheel, lemon wheel, cherry, and mint sprigs.

4. Lightly sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the whole mess. Serve with a straw and a little groan.


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