The B-word

Or you can call it The Witch, if you’re trying to foster a professional work environment. This drink is capital D Dangerous, but in a good way. 

You can barely taste the alcohol in it, so it goes down nice and smooth. That does not mean, however, that you can have ten and get away with it. But once it gets warm (that’ll happen, right?), this is what we’d call a “porch sipper”. Grab some sun, grab a drink and try not to think about how it will inevitably be winter again eventually.

Here’s what you do:

1 oz. vanilla vodka
2 oz. Sprite
3 oz. cranberry juice 

  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Serve over ice, and enjoy!

This drink had some mixed reviews, but the general consensus is this: if you like your alcohol to be unnoticeable and you enjoy cranberry as a mixer, you’ll love it. If not, maybe pass. 

“Every year on the holidays, soda manufacturers release holiday versions of their soft drinks. Usually they’re cranberry-flavored. They’re not offensive, but not worth repeated visits. This is the cocktail version of that.”

“I really like this. Tastes like something you drink in the summer.”

“This drink is great. Good for spring time weather.”  

Apple Pie on the Rocks

Fireball is not scary, people. It seems like we need to preface with that. Just because there’s cinnamon whisky on the counter does NOT mean your drunk friend from college is going to shove a shot in your face and berate you until you take it. At least, that seems to be the general fear. We know the struggle is real, but this drink is very civilized.

If you want to take shots afterward though, no judgment. Unless you’re in an office…then it’s frowned upon, apparently.

Anyway. So, Apple Pie on the Rocks. The name sums it up perfectly; the sweetness of the vanilla and apple juice balance nicely with the warmth of the cinnamon. It would be a great fall or Thanksgiving dessert drink, but we’re a little unorthodox.

 Here’s the plan:

1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. Fireball Whiskey
4 oz. Apple Juice
Pinch of Ground Cinnamon
Brown Sugar for the rim
Optional: Cinnamon Stick for Garnish

  1. Wet the rim of your rocks glass just a little, and gently sugar the rim with the brown sugar.
  2. In a martini shaker, pour the vodka, Fireball, apple juice and ground cinnamon together with a handful of ice cubes.
  3. Shake 10 times and pour the contents into the glass without wiping off the sugar rim.
  4. Serve chilled and with a cinnamon stick, for garnish.

We’re sorry to say that we didn’t get too many reviews this week; the office is pretty empty with people traveling. However, this one went over well, despite the initial fear of Fireball.

“Not a big cinnamon fan but I’m sure it’s tasty for those who are.”

“Sweet, a little spicy and perfect for fall.”

“Tasty. Finished mine, but I would stop at one.”

“Apple pie, just like mama makes it.” 

The Velvet Hammer…wait what?

We know, we know. You don’t have to say it; we’ve been neglectful. We certainly haven’t been neglecting alcohol, rest assured, but we’ve been neglecting our adoring fans.

But we’re back, and we’ve got a drink that literally no one in this office thought would taste good. Don’t think we just use the word “literally” as a sentence enhancer. This drink’s description garnered a 100 percent rate of nose wrinkling. So we obviously drank it anyway.

And it was tasty. If you like White Russians, you’ll like this. If you don’t like White Russians, you’ll like it. The liquor combination is different, and there’s always a fear of curdling when you deal with dairy-based drinks (just me?), but give it a shot and let us know what you think!

The Velvet Hammer

2 oz. Kahlua
2 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Half-and-half

  1. Fill your glass with ice
  2. Add your ingredients and give it a quick stir. Enjoy! 

This one was a Matt pick, and even though we were all a bit skeptical this drink ended up being pretty popular in the NewCity camp. Here’s what our guinea pigs had to say:

“Like iced Dunkin’ Donuts coffee…that gets you high.” –John

“I have a sinus infection that has me taking antibiotics, cough syrup, ibuprofen, and an expectorant, all of which say ‘Do not take with alcohol.’ So it sucks.” – (bitter) Glen

“Melted ice cream with booze.” –Sara

“Really good sweet/bite balance. Smooth. Would make an excellent frappucino.” –Anthony

“The booze is good, just needs a little vodka.” –Matt Simmons

“Velvet hammer + vodka = Comrade Hammer.” –Lee

“Needs whipped cream.”

“Wouldn’t want it any sweeter, but I like it.”

“Velvet Hammer? Sounds fuzzy but painful.”

“I like it- an adult frappucino!” –Marilyn

In Soviet Russia, mule Moscow you!


Well the Winter Olympics are off and running, and we thought we’d celebrate. Now for this Drink of the Week, feel free to forgo the mixer and go straight vodka if you’re feeling Russian enough. However for those of us without as much hair on our chests, we decided to test-drive the Moscow Mule in honor of the Olympic games. Does USA have a drinking team? We’d like to try out.

 Here’s what you do:

Moscow Mule

2 oz. vodka
1 oz. lime juice
Ginger beer (ginger ale would work fine too, but the beer really makes it)
Lime wedge for garnish

  1. Pour the vodka and lime juice into a glass filled with ice cubes
  2. Top off with ginger beer
  3. Garnish with lime and enjoy!

You know, those Russians may not be excelling at hosting the games (seriously, have you seen this stuff? Yikes), but they do know how to make a cocktail. NewCitizens were pretty divided on it, but they don’t write the blog and I say it’s pretty good. Although giving the glass a good swirl before the first sip is definitely recommended. Here’s what they said:

“You know, that’s actually pretty good.” –Matt

“Cough syrup never tasted so good.” –Lee

“Didn’t like it. Channeling Grumpy Cat today.” –Nancy

“The taste is kind of overwhelming. Maybe would be better with less ginger taste and something subtler.”

“Bright. My tongue feels like bright. It’s good. Not subtle. Love the ginger. Keeper. 9/10.” –Anthony 

“I like it. Not too sweet, not too tart. Just right.” –Marilyn

“That has a definite kick to it. A punch to the taste buds up front with a tart secondary note leading to a dry finish. Nicely balanced, pleasantly strong, dangerously tasty.” –Glen

“This tastes like post-football season sadness but I like it.” –Steph (we’ve got a long way to go until football, Steph)

This is certainly a fall-flavored drink thanks to the ginger beer, but vodka is year-round. What drinks are you sipping for your Olympics drinking games?

Next up, Valentine’s Day!

Super Bowl Showdown

“Are you ready for some football?!”- The wise and eloquent Hank Williams, Jr.


We here at NewCity love football. Granted, Blacksburg is already known as a football town, but nothing quite draws the enemy lines like the Super Bowl. To celebrate the day before the Biggest Hangover of the Year Day (probably), we decided to whip up some Seattle- and Denver-themed drinks. Were they better than the actual game? Meh.

Here’s what you do:

 Orange Crush

2 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 tablespoon triple sec
Splash of lemon-lime sparkling water or soda (we chose Sprite)
Orange slice for garnish

  1. Combine the orange juice, vodka, and triple sec in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Cover and shake vigorously.
  3. Pour contents of shaker into a highball glass.
  4. Pour a splash of lemon-lime sparkling water on top and stir to combine.
  5. Garnish with orange slice.

12th Man Martini

Stoli Strawberry (we ended up using Smirnoff Orange…we like to experiment)
Kiwi puree
Lemon juice
Splash of Sprite

  1. Peel and slice your kiwis (easier said than done) and puree in a blender until smooth.
  2. Combine the vodka and lemon juice in a pitcher, stir in your kiwi
  3. Before you serve, splash in some Sprite. Generally served up.

Okay, long story short, neither of these was overwhelmingly popular but the favorite was clear. The Orange Crush steamrolled over the 12th Man Martini (ironic, right?). Seriously, we couldn’t even get anyone to review the drinks. We’re pretty sure they were afraid of being offensive, but the sole review we did receive pretty much sums it up:

 “Someone forgot to put a drink in this drink. On the other hand, worse things have been done to kiwis. Like, say, the Flagstaff War.”

Well there you have it. Next time: the Olympics! 

Return of Drink of the Week- A double dose

We’re baaaaack, and this week’s post is a two-parter. Mostly because we were too lazy to get the posts up in time. 

Let’s start with the Apple Fritter Martini


Right? The name sounds delicious and it includes liquor most of us have never had; we were sold. Past tense is very important here.  Here’s what you do:

3 oz. apple juice
1 ½ oz Glazed Donut Vodka
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 apple slice

  1. In a shaker, combine apple juice, glazed donut vodka, maple syrup, and ice. Shake well.
  2. Strain into a martini glass
  3. Garnish with apple, and enjoy!

So opinions were…varied.

The good

“That’s a lot lighter and crisper than I expected it to be. I worried it would be heavy with the syrup, but it’s actually very refreshing. Not the first drink I would choose- it could probably use an aromatic for some complexity. But still a satisfying drink.” –Glen

 “Very delicious, a perfect fall beverage. Slightly sweet, would be overkill with sweet apple juice, but unsweetened is perfect.”



The bad

“With the aroma of a Nutrigrain bar, this drink is the perfect start for any morning.” (likely sarcasm)

 “A bit too sweet for my taste. After-taste is also bad.”- Anthony

 “Too much maple syrup for my taste, but the glazed donut vodka and apple juice mix well. Overall too sweet, but not bad.”

 “It tastes like apple juice and shoe polish.”

 “It tastes like cold medicine to me.” –Marilyn

 “I would not choose to drink this, but it is drinkable.” -Sara



The ugly

 “When I combine three things I love, I expect to really love it. Interestingly enough…I love maple syrup, glazed donuts and apple juice. So, if my assumption is right, I’ll love it. I was wrong.”

 “Aroma: Nutrigrain bar. Man. Oh, wow. This tastes awful. Everything is there. You have the sugary sweetness combined with apple’s sultry naturalness. But the aftertaste is reminiscent of the syrup forced down your throat after you had strep throat. If I meet five people in heaven, none of them should be drinking this. But I’m a whisky guy, so there.” –Matt Sutherland

 “Way too sweet for me. Much too much apple juice. I think it might just be simple syrup…did we forget the other ingredients?” -Rachel

Let’s move on to the next one: Pudding shots.

This week’s drink probably can’t be classified as a “drink”, really. More like an alcohol-infused treat for the mid-week weariness. We decided to tackle two variations of pudding shots, and we called them “Cosbys”…


Oh come on, you chuckled a little bit.

The Cosbys were, we’re proud to say, wildly popular this week. They’re a cinch to whip up, and they’re filled with boozy deliciousness. Here’s what you do:

1 small box instant chocolate pudding
¾ cup milk
¼ cup vodka
½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
8 oz Extra Creamy Cool Whip

Makes 24 2oz. servings.

  1. Mix the pudding mix with the milk using an electric mixer. (Just used “mix” three times in one sentence).
  2. Add in your booze and mix. Then add in the whipped cream and mix some more.
  3. Dollop into small cups and freeze. We suggest using cups with lids to increase stacking capability. Serve with spoons, and enjoy!


So. Good. Both of the variations are delicious, and freezing them gives them the consistency of mousse. The best part of this recipe is that it’s completely customizable. We also did another variation with white chocolate pudding and Kahlua instead of Bailey’s. The rest of the recipe was the exact same. Let us know if you try it!

NewCitizen reviews:

“A frosty with Kahlua is more awesome than a robot dinosaur that can chop water like a karate ninja.” –Lee

White chocolate: Oh, no. No. That’s unfortunate. No. Chocolate: The alcohol burn complements the chocolate nicely. It has a smooth velvety flavor up front with a kick coming after. This would make a great party dessert.” –Glen

“Tastes like a frosty with booze. All I need is French fries to dip in it now.” -Kari

 “Hey that’s really not bad…kinda like a mudslide.”

 “The chocolate tasted like ice cream. The white chocolate was too sweet, it tasted like whipped cream.”

“Once you go black- or white- you’ll never go back. Or you might. Either way, these will get you buzzed. And isn’t that what we’re all looking for in that special sundae?” –Matt

 “They are both good, but I vote chocolate.”

“The chocolate was the better of the two, just like I expected. Both were delish though! I would eat these all day. Excellent idea. Didn’t think you could make ice cream better but you can…add booze.” –Jessica

 “Good choice! My favorite was the white chocolate with vanilla. The chocolate reminded me of a spiked Frosty.” –Marilyn

White chocolate: great taste, better for hot days! Chocolate: Just a little better. Would eat/drink again!” –Anthony

What exactly is infinite awesomeness?

So this drink. It is the type of drink that can spark a conversation at any table, winter, summer, spring or fall. Depending on the proportions, it can be super sour or just a light and refreshing taste, something suitable to any pallet. So what did everyone think of this round? Also: please note that the feelings were so strong all for this drink that the pictures from the event were lost in translation. Please enjoy the lolcatz instead. 

The Recipe:

  • 1/2 oz. Midori
  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 4 dashes orange bitters

funny pictures - I can haz  passed sobrity test...


Mix all of the ingredients in a martini shaker with ice. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry. 

The Reviews:

 ”I like this drink, goddammit. It tastes like a “real” drink. Great pre dinner drink, got the juices going.”
Like some projects I’ve seen, the concept—a sweet and sour cocktail—was good, but the execution, not so much.” Rebekah 

"The cherry at the bottom was the best part."

"Melancholy & infinite Awesomeness. Drink was very tart - but I liked it. Disspointed the drink was not a bright Midori green color as in the photo with the recipe. Since that would have been "Infinitely awesome" for a St. Patricks Day Drink!" - Marilyn

"It’s nice to have a complex drink to review. Warring tones of bitter and sour - the initial taste was kind of a shock, but the flavor grew on me. The aftertaste, however, was a killer. Thankfully, there’s the Magic Hat Brewing Company to ease the pain." - Glen

"First sip was a whammy. Super bitter and stung my lips. After about three sips my jaw locked up and I decided to set it down and step away. The underlying flavors seem pretty decent, so maybe this drink could be good with a super light hand when it comes to the bitters. Prepare at your own risk!" - Stephanie

"Not a fan. Bitters do not belong in drinks. MEH." - Nancy

"I expected infinite to be bigger thank this." - Thudfactor

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Funny Pictures - WTF Did I Drink Cat
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

A Litta Bita Pepa

Wanna look classy drinking tequila? This drink is for you!  Le Rouge et le Noir, or The Red and the Black. Not sure if the the drink does come from the psychological novel but wow does this drink have twists and turns. This will be a conversation starter at any party as the guests have the first sip, and are surprised, and by the last sip, tipsy and ready to mingle. 


The Ingredients, recipe from Food and Wine:

Makes 10 drinks

  •  2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup coarsely cracked black pepper, plus 1 tablespoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 1/2 cups blanco tequila (20 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • Ice 
  1.   In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of the sugar with the warm water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the 1/2 cup of coarsely cracked black pepper and let cool. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 3 hours. Pour the black pepper syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup.
     Modification: we used about 1/2 the amount of black pepper.
  2. In a large pitcher, muddle the halved strawberries. Add 2 1/4 cups of the black pepper syrup, the tequila and fresh lime juice (reserve the remaining black pepper syrup for another cocktail). Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
    Dont have a muddler? Put your strawberries in a pitcher and smoosh them with the bottom of a wine glass. It works, we swear.  
  3. On a small plate, mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the finely ground black pepper and the salt. Moisten half of the outer rims of 10 rocks glasses with the lemon wedge and coat lightly with the pepper-and-salt mixture. Fill the rocks glasses with ice. Stir the drink well, then pour or strain into the prepared rocks glasses and serve at once. 
    Modification: Finely ground pepper should be used, it coats the rim and melds with the sugar better. 

The Reviews:

"The mix of tart, sweet and spicy was great! Lovely drink." - Sara 

" I am not particularly a fan of tequila, but I thought this drink of the week was pretty good. The pepper on the rim was distracting after the first couple of sips; I think it would’ve been better with just sugar. Tequila infused strawberries at the bottom of the cup==prize in the cereal box." -Stephanie

"Not much to look at… but very tasty! The pepper aftertaste is really nice - a good contrast with the sweet and strawberries." - Melissa

"The first day, the drink was decent, not great but still, you cant go wrong with tequila. On the following Monday, this drink was phenomenal. It is key to marinate the flavors more than a couple hours to get a subtle spicy aftertaste with the sweet strawberry tones." - Nicole   


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That Time of Year

Inspired by the fact that our entire office got suckered into buying multiple boxes of girl scout cookies from a determined little 7 year old, this drink is for all of you girl scouts. Of course, not till you of age though. Oh, and PS… What is with the name change of the cookies girls? It’s called a Tagalong. Get it right.

The Recipe:

-3 parts Chocolate Ice Cream

-1 part Milk

-3 spoonfuls peanut butter

-half shot - shot of Whiskey per drink you plan on making

-6 Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies

The Reviews:

"Friggin’ tasty. I couldn’t taste the alcohol very well, but that’s fine. Would make this myself!" - Steph

"Awesome!! Adult chocolate peanut butter milkshake with girl scout cookies - doesn’t get any better than that!" -Marilyn

"Nom. Favorite by far. I’ll probably have more than one." - Stephanie

"Pro: I could not taste the booze. Con: I could not taste the booze " - Anonymous 

"That was deadly good. love the alcoholic milkshake, but it packed a punch!" - Anonymous

"Yum! Peanut butter, chocolate and Alcohol?!? Awesome!” - Melissa

I have to admit, if I were going to go for a Girl Scout Cookie drink, this wouldn’t have immediately sprung to mind. Thin Mints seem like the immediate choice, and possibly Samoas. But man, did this drink work. Very rich chocolate and peanut butter flavor with a refreshing milky texture and just the barest hit of an alcohol flavor. Of course, now I wish I had cookies….” - Glen

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Spring is in the air!

As fruit is starting to ripen, we decided to have an alcoholic fruity drink tasting. With cheese too of course! Having a tasting is always a great way to liven up a party or fun way to end the work day. Don’t forget the cheese or something else to nibble on or the natives will get restless.  


The Choices:

Crispin’s Natural Hard Cider - Artisan Reserve: Landsdowne 

"Extra Stout Bodied. A full bodied, confident & imposing cider. Fermented from a premium blend of fresh pressed apple juice, not from concentrate, using Irish stout ale yeast. It produces a slight hint of butterscotch, balanced by a subtle fruitiness and slightly dry crisp finish and a uniquely full & buttery mouth-feel."

Abida - Purple Haze

"Purple Haze is a crisp, American style wheat beer with raspberry puree added after filtration. Therefore, you may see raspberry pulp in the beer. The raspberries provide the lager with a subtle purple coloration and haze, a fruity aroma, and a tartly sweet taste."

Horton Vineyards Chateau le Cabin Series: Cranberry

"Cranberry with a small blend of Cabernet Franc."

Horton Vineyards Chateau le Cabin Series: Peach

"Peach with a small blend of Viognier."

Cheeses: Gouda, Australian Cheddar, and Krogers blended goat cheese with pesto.



"Best Cider and cheese ever! The Crispin was delicious- a stout-y sider? I didn’t think it was possible- but it was great. And the goat cheese with pesto… nom! - Melissa

"So many tasty things! If you like fruity wines, Horton has so many great ones! the peach was delicious! And the cider was, well, not like any cider I had ever had before. Took awhile to get used to the taste but not bad." Nicole

"I’m not a fan of sweet wine. The Purple haze is usually good, but this was very flat :-( The goat cheese was fucking amazing." - Sara

"The cranberry wine was too sweet. I was surprised I liked the Crispin cider so much. Oh and the CHEESE!" - Steph

"Wow, Crispin Natural hard cider, you are my new best friend. This cider has heart and no sappiness." - Anoymous

Purple Haze: There’s a blast from the past. Very light, but honestly not very memorable. I’d mark it as the “Pabst Blue Ribbon” of the table, not good enough to stand out, but not bad enough to be offensive.
Crispin’s Apple Cider: It took me a moment to place the flavor, and then I realized it’s apple brown betty. The molasses adds a sweet smokiness that makes the cider something I enjoy, but only in small doses.
Peach Wine: I should be drinking this through a tiny plastic straw pushed into a silver pouch.
Cranberry Wine: Dry, yet annoyingly sweet at the same time. Never again.” - Glen

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