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The Essentials: "Something to Drink, Anyone?"

As we hit the halfway point of the summer, I have quickly come to the realization that for most people in the South there are only a few things that this sticky, humid climate are good for: a reason for women to traipse around in next to nothing, a ruse to legitimize the idea of throwing those infamous 'Hurricane" parties, and the license to drink after 2 P.M.

But before you venture to your nearest grocery store to grab the usual case of Bud Light and ever-so-nifty Styrofoam coolers, sit down and reconsider your options with these no-frills essentials. Bottoms up!

1. Long Drink Tumblers by Riedel (S
et of 2), $67, tableandhome.com

These glasses are not only stylish and a great companion to your ever-growing glass collection (you do have one, right?), but they are also serve as a multi-purpose tumbler in the sense that you can make drinks that usually require a highball or you can opt for just a short cocktail kind of elixir with the same glass. Essentially, you need these. Well, at least until you can bump up to a more extensive, glassware roster.

Warning: If you have roommates who are prone to using your newfound glasses for everyday wear-and-tear, please invest in some new roommates, for your own sake.

2. Hendrick's Gin, $30 (750 ml), hendricksgin.com

I must admit, I was never really a huge gin fan until I took a trip to New York a few months back and had a Hendrick’s variation of the gimlet at the Roosevelt Hotel. After that, the rest was practically history. Speaking of which, Hendrick’s gin has a very rich past that started all the way across the pond in Scotland during the 19th century. Hendrick’s has strong hints of both juniper and cucumber (yes, cucumber) which makes this spirit worthy of more than just a half-and-half of store-brand orange juice.

3. Martini and Rossi Asti Spumante, $11, martini.com

Keep a bottle or two of this on chill at all times, you know, for those small victories in life. This sweet spumante is perfect for those who aren’t privy to the dozens and dozens of high-end champagnes that are on the market. Don’t worry, I don’t judge…

4. Chivas Regal 12-Year Old Scotch, $35 (750 ml), chivas.com

Do not be intimidated at the idea of indulging in a spirit that is probably older than many of the things that you own, that just means that this scotch is delightfully aged and mature (read: delicious). Scotch of this caliber should be consumed both neat and slow because it’s not everyday you’ll have the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy something this uncommon.

5. Mr. Boston's Bartender's and Party Guide, $10, amazon.com

Take an afternoon and flip through the pages of the book that has been the Bible for bartenders from some of the most well-known establishments in the country since 1935. Maybe after a little practice you, too, can shake and stir ‘em like some of the best...maybe...


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