Don’t drink and drive, rather drink the drive

Take these car-inspired cocktails out for a spin.

It’s common knowledge that some combinations do not work well: Two year olds and super glue, lactose intolerants and pints of Ben and Jerry’s, and Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries (too soon?).


Additionally, drinking and driving is a deadly recipe. I, for one, do not condone anyone getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking a few rounds. However, put the keys aside, stash a $20 for a taxi ride home and opt to put the motor vehicle concept to use when deciding what to order at the bar.


There are loads of classic and modern cocktails named for various means of transportation that can get your gears shifting for a great night.


Rolls Royce


A few months ago, my friend Noel walked into my bar and gushed about an incredible drink he recently tried. He raved about how the balance of flavors, simplicity and booziness of the cocktail. The Rolls Royce is a variation on a classic gin martini found in the Savoy Cocktail Book, and works very well with genever or vodka as a gin substitution.

  • 2oz gin (Beefeater or Bombay Dry work well)

  • 1oz sweet vermouth

  • 1oz dry vermouth

  • 1tsp Bénédictine

Combine ingredients over ice, stir and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist

Automobile Cocktail

You’re bound to be immobile if you drink one to many of these potent concoctions. Blending together gin and scotch, this drink first appeared in Patrick Duffy's The Official Mixer's Manual in 1934. There is some debate about the portion sizes of ingredients, but I say it is best to stick with equal parts when mixing up this one.

  • .75oz gin

  • .75oz scotch (try a blended scotch such as Chivas or Compassbox’s Great King Street)

  • .75oz sweet vermouth

  • 1-2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredients over ice, stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish.


Perhaps one of my fondest classic cocktails, the Sidecar is a delicious staple dating all the way back to World War I. Cognac or brandy can be used as the main ingredient and get creative by using products such as peach or apricot brandies to add an additional layer of flavor to this drink. The recipe below is my personal preference for making a Sidecar.

  • 1.5oz Brandy/Cognac (Dutch’s Spirits Peach Brandy is fantastic)

  • 1oz orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or triple sec work)

  • .5oz fresh lemon juice

Combine ingredients over ice, shake and strain into a sugar rimmed martini glass.

Irish Car Bomb

Everyone’s guilty or having at least one of these St. Patty’s day classics. Even if you lack Irish heritage, there is no reason to miss out on a round of chugging down this beverage with some friends. Just remember, once you drop the shot into the beer you must drink right away because the Baileys will curdle in the Guinness. Mmmmmmm.

  • .5oz Irish Whiskey (Jameson or Tullamore Dew will do the trick)

  • .5oz Baileys

  • ½ pint Guinness

In a shot glass, combine the whiskey and Baileys. Pour half a pint of Guinness in a pint glass. When ready, drop the shot glass into the beer and quickly drink the contents. When finished, slam your glass down on the table and victoriously throw your hands up in the air. Bragging rights granted to the first to finish.
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