“This guy is an idiot,” my evil friend texted me, forwarding a picture from an online dating site. The poor fellow in question wore a shirt covered with cats and laser beams, and he held an enormous, bright blue cocktail. I didn’t respond. I totally got this guy.
Should you post photos of yourself drinking on dating sites? Nope. Should I discuss my love for cocktails online? Meh, probably not. But it’s true. I dig cocktails almost as much as I dig animals, and that’s saying something. Whether they’re enormous, blue drinks or little, precious drinks that bartenders weep while making — I like them all. Don’t even get me started on tiki bars. There are few things that make me as giddy as an outing whose premise is that I will be served a drink that is either umbrella’d or on fire.
Writing about cats for a living and not creating a feline-inspired drink collection seemed like a missed opportunity (after all, senior editor Keith Bowers invented a cocktail called Lil Bub’s Lil Glub), so I rounded up a group of my favorite bartenders in San Francisco and asked them each to create a signature cat-themed cocktail — nay, catktail. (Sorry.)
1. The Turkish Angora
This one is from Sarah Wellman, formerly of Noir Lounge.
“In this variation of the classic White Lady cocktail, ingredients are modified to become more playful and rich — like their namesake feline,” the Turkish Angora, Wellman explains.
- Combine: 1.5 oz. gin, 1 oz. green chartreuse, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1/2 oz. simple syrup.
- Shake over ice, add to glass.
- Separately shake 1 egg white, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and add as a float on top.
Pro Tip: “Spend way too long Googling, tracing off your phone, and cutting out the lemon garnish,” suggests Wellman. Think about how much more you’ll appreciate that drink once you’ve grown a long Gandalf beard in the process of making it.
2. The Bengal Cat
This comes from Rob Easter, owner of Workhorse Rye.
“This cocktail resembles the Bengal cat in that it is sharp yet silky, and exotic. It’s a bit like a Dry Manhattan but with more length on the palate and a spectrum of radiant herbal aromas as it warms to room temperature,” says Easter.
- Combine: 1.5 oz. rye whiskey, 1.5 oz. dry white wine, 2 dashes India Pear Bitters or citrus bitters, 2 teaspoons raw honey.
- Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass “of any purrsuasion.” (Author’s note: Not only does Rob make a mean whiskey, he’s a whiz when it comes to cat puns. In other words: He’s the perfect man.)
Pro Tip: Lick the honey spoon. You want to.
3. The Russian Blue
This one is by Archie Mega of Brass Tacks.
Like the Russian Blue breed, this drink is tranquil, clean, and elegant — and it comes in a delicate, muted blue hue.
- Combine: 2 oz. St. George California Citrus Vodka, 3/4 oz. lemon, 3/4 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, 1/8 oz. Creme de Violette.
- Shake with ice and add a cherry garnish.
Pro Tip: Play with the amount of vodka and lemon. The flavors are all simple enough that a hair or two more of your favorite ingredient won’t overpower the drink. When you’ve come up with your perfect version announce, “Egg-cellennnt!” in your most offensive Russian accent.
4. The Maine Coon
This bad boy is called the Maine Coon because of its impressive size and silly nature. It’s created by yours truly, as I was once a bartender, many moons ago, at a few fine establishments that would probably prefer not to be mentioned in the same breath as the Maine Coon.
- Pour an alcohol of your liking into something that’s probably clean for a second (or five) longer than you know you should. Toss in a ton of ice before loading the whole awful mess into your favorite Halloween-discount-bin coozy.
- Take a little lemon wedge and shove it on the lip of the cup with your man fists at a cute, jaunty angle. Look. Look at how dignified that is. It’s almost enough to make you forget that you are drinking a glass of alcohol, you animal.
Pro Tip: Don’t make this “your drink.” Unlike the cocktail’s namesake, it is pretty depressing. Drink up, think of heartbreak, do not repeat.
5. The Catster
This is another from Archie Mega of Brass Tacks.
This is inspired by the way I think of you, reader: Wearing a silk robe, sitting in an airy cabana, stroking some luxurious feline, and using words such as “thrice” and “ne’er” in everyday jargon. It’s incredibly cool, sweet, and smart.
- Combine: 1.5 oz. London Dry Gin, 1/2 oz. lemon juice, 1/2 oz. Maraschino, 1/8 oz. Cherry Heering, 3 muddled cherries.
- Shake over ice and top with 1.5 to 2 oz. prosecco.
Pro Tip: Toss on a silk robe, sit in a cabana, grab your luxurious feline, and repeat thrice a week.
Here’s that Turkish Angora again, just ’cause.
Read more by Laura Jaye Cramer
- Real Talk: Have You Enlisted Your Cat as Your Wingman?
- The Pros and Cons of Including Your Cat In Your Holiday Card
- 6 Products for Cats That Do Not Exist … Yet
- My Cat Judges Me for These 4 Daily Needs
- “Cats” Made Me Despise Musical Theater — And Love It
About the author: Laura Jaye Cramer is a freelance writer and ballet dancer based out of San Francisco. When she isn’t busy tending to her sweet little cat baby, she can be found drooling over artifacts in a museum, building a shrine to Dolly Parton, or eating a trough of guacamole. Stalk her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.