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5 Things to Love

Great Vacation Drinks

By Stett Holbrook

LAST WEEK I took a staycation. You know, that's when you can't quite afford a trip to Bali so instead you stay home and try to relax and be a tourist in your own town. I confess it was a little hard to get into holiday mode staring at piles of dirty laundry, but a vacation is really just a state of mind and sometimes a well-made cocktail can help get you there. Here are five of my favorite holiday-mode drinks. For some reason all but one start with M.

Caipirinha In a mixing glass, muddle half a lime cut into quarters with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Add 2 ounces of cachaca and ice, mix and pour contents into rocks glasses.

Mai Tai  Often abused in the hands of lesser bartenders, this can be a great cocktail. Combine 1 1/2 ounces of aged rum, 1/2 ounce orange Curacao, 1/2 ounce orgeat and 1/2 ounce lime juice in a mixing glass with ice and mix well. Strain into an old-fashioned glass and float with a little high-proof rum like Lemon Hart. (Recipe from The Essential Cocktail by Dale Degroff)

Margarita A classic. Just blanco tequila, lime juice and Cointreau on the rocks, at a ratio of 2-1-1. Don't forget to salt the rim.

Michelada  Pour beer into a glass and add a good squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of tomato juice, a few drops of Tapatio hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of salt and pepper. This is a good daytime drink because there's nothing that says "I'm on vacation" like drinking in the middle of the day.

Mint Julep It's not just for the Kentucky Derby anymore. Muddle a few sprigs of mint with 3/4 ounce of simple syrup, add 2 ounces or so of bourbon and strain into highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint. (Adapted from The Essential Cocktail.)

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