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Edited by on December 30 2010 at 11:21 AM

I have never been one to have discerning taste when booze is involved. Lacking real liquor, I’ve been known to contemplate drinking mouthwash and/or rubbing alcohol just to get ma fix. But this year, I’m feeling all sophisticated-like and so I’ve compiled a list of libations that will at least make you feel classy, even as you’re dry heaving over a toilet at 12:01 come January 1st as your BFF holds back your hair…but not their judgement.

10 Stylish Cocktails for New Years Eve

Leave the beer at home, kids. This is grown-folk drinking:

1. The Sidecar – Ditch your preferred mode of conveyance and hop in a Sidecar then floor it to DrunkTown, USA;  population: everyone cool.

1 lemon
superfine sugar
3 oz. cognac
1 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
2 lemon slices

2. Tom Collins - I hear Tom Collins is related to Joan Collins, who, if she were a drink, would probably bitch slap you into a pool by the end of the night.

2 oz. gin
1 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp superfine sugar
3 oz. club soda
1 Maraschino cherry
1 slice orange

3. Old FashionedAs an old-fashioned kind of girl, I like an old-fashioned kind of drink. And when I’m drinking my old-fashioned drink, I like to wax nostalgic of my days as a jazz baby and Ziegfield girl. Come on everybody, let’s Charleston like it’s 1929!

2 orange slices
2 maraschino cherries (stems removed)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 tsp. superfine sugar
2 1/2 oz. bourbon

4. Martini – The ultimate in sophistication, martinis evoke the spirit of Manhattan society when ladies wore mink stoles and men wore tails…and also when blacks and Jews weren’t allowed in nightclubs. Hey, I’m not saying it was all shits and giggles.

4 oz. dry gin
Dry vermouth
Large pitted green olives

5. Henry C. Ramos’s Gin Fizz - I don’t know or care who this Henry C. Ramos is, but apparently the “longer you shake [his] cocktail, the frothier it gets.”

That’s what she said.

2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. superfine sugar
1 1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. orange flower water
1 egg white
1 oz. cold seltzer

6. Whiskey Sour - Now this is a gentleman’s drink. The kind of gentleman who may sleep with whores, but treats them like ladies.

2 oz. whiskey
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2–3 tsp. sugar
3–4 ice cubes
Orange slice
Maraschino cherry

7. Fur Collar – I think all drinks should be named after fabulous fashion pieces. Maybe next year I’ll work on creating my own sartorial potables: the Sequined Pantsuit; the Tranny Heel; the The Drop-Crotch…which can have several connotations.

1 oz. vodka
1 oz. apricot brandy or liqueur, preferably
Rothman & Winter Orchard apricot liqueur
1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice

8. Manhattan Noonday - Who doesn’t love a nooner?

1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. sweet (Italian) vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash simple syrup
1 maraschino cherry

9. Kentucky Club Margarita – This ain’t your $3 frozen margarita from Benny’s Burritos. Which saddens me a little since I love getting those free bowls of chips and salsa.

1 lime wedge
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1?2 oz. silver tequila
3?4 oz. freshly squeezed
lime juice
1?2 oz. Cointreau

10. Dirty Shirley - The Shirley Temple is a classic virgin cocktail, but all virgins need to bust that maraschino cherry eventually. Add a bit of vodka and Shirley Temple suddenly turns into Shirley MacLaine, circa her Rat Pack heyday when she was knockin’ ‘em back with Frank, Dino and Sammy.

1 oz vodka
5 – 6 oz Sprite soda
1 dash grenadine syrup
Remember, kid. Drink irresponsibly. No one likes a lightweight
Bette Davis in all About Eve: Fanpop


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Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester at