We’re coming to the end of January, which, for some, may have been quite dry. Abstaining from alcohol has many benefits, and one major drawback: If and when you decided to start drinking again, you’ll find your tolerance is much lower than it was before you took your break.
This is (obviously) not all bad news—you get more bang for your buck—though it can affect your social life in awkward ways. I used to be able to put back four cocktails on a school night without being too hungover the next morning, but now all it takes is a couple of martinis to get me sloshed. Rather than cut out martinis entirely, I give myself a little wiggle room with upside-down cocktails.
We’ve talked about the upside-down Manhattan before. It’s a simple drink to make; all you have to do is invert the ratios of whiskey and vermouth:
Instead of drinking two ounces of gin or whiskey and one ounce of vermouth, you are now drinking twice as much vermouth and half of the spirit. But—and this is important—it still feels, looks, and sips like a whole-ass cocktail.
Beyond Manhattans, you can do the same with any classic cocktail that’s primarily comprised of a spirit and vermouth. This maneuver extends your drinking time by a little, allowing you to spend more time with your drinking buddies without punking out by round two. Could you “switch to soda water” or “have a beer”? I guess, but drinking cocktails is fun, and I hate missing out on fun (also, beer makes me sneeze).
If a completely upside-down cocktail is a little too vermouth-heavy for your taste, you can always try a 50/50. I’m a big fan of the 50/50 martini, particularly in the summer months, which cannot come soon enough.