For Day 3 of my 30 Days of Blogging project for April, I offer a question posed by a friend who asked to remain anonymous:
What's your favorite drink?
I was going to just say "chocolate milk" and be done with this, but usually when I am asked this question the person asking means an alcoholic drink, so I'll give that answer and then briefly explain why, since I've seen people express surprise more than once when I order one.
My favorite drink is the Screwdriver.
For non-drinkers, this consists of one third vodka and two thirds orange juice. I like mine with ice, but you can also drink them without if everything is chilled.
It tastes good.
I hate beer. I have never had a beer of any variety (cheap, expensive, homebrewed, microbrew, imported, etc.) that doesn't taste like yeasty shoes smell, mixed with a vague undertaste of metallic pipe water. I'm guessing beer is an acquired taste, but I've never managed to acquire it, and have tried a number of times. At this point in my life, I feel comfortable saying that I don't like beer and avoiding it, because other options are open to me.
It's very forgiving of its ingredients.
If your orange juice is (God forbid) full of disgusting pulp, the vodka will thin the juice and distract you from the pulp that remains. If for some unimaginable reason you only have cheap vodka that's vaguely reminiscent of paint thinner, the bright flavor of the orange juice will mask it.
Every bartender knows how to make a screwdriver, and they won't get irritated and have to spend too long on you while they make one. The girl at the other end of the bar ordering Flaming Moes and cinnamon-rimmed Appletinis? The bartender hates her, but he loves you because your screwdriver takes thirty seconds and earns him a quick tip.
Also, the simplicity means that it's a really easy drink to correct on the fly. Too much vodka? Take a big sip, then thin it with more OJ. Too little vodka? Take a big sip, and then thin it out with more vodka. Problem solved.
It's a little old, but has never quite gone out of style, so you can order one and be an individual without being a douchebag.
If you order a Sidecar or a Brandy Alexander or a Manhattan, you're not telling the bartender that you're cool. You're telling him that you watch "Mad Men". You're probably wearing horn-rimmed glasses, a bow tie, and/or some sort of ironic high-maintenance facial hair. If you order a Sex on the Beach or a Slippery Nipple, you might as well just add that you're already drunk or that you are part of a bachelorette party. If you order anything with Red Bull in it, you're telling the world, "Hey, I'm still in college. Or I wish I was."
If you order a Screwdriver, on the other hand, you're saying, "I appreciate the classics. I am a straightforward, honest person with simple tastes. I am unpretentious, and confident enough to say so." Really, any drink on the rocks or with only two ingredients says this, but the Screwdriver is the most delicious of all of them.
And for God's sake, don't order it with flavored vodka.
Unless that's your favorite drink.