November is known to most who have served as a month with a lot of veterans’ events and celebrations. There will be a lot of events to honor you for putting all of your time, energy, and the previous hours you could have been sleeping into serving our country. There will be a lot of drinks going around. That being said, beer and wine might get a little repetitive after a while. Why not spice things up and entertain yourself with a few interesting new takes on military-themed cocktails that capture the spirit of our services? Below are a few… unique ideas.
Important Military Dates
But first, here are also some service-specific dates to watch out for party invitations from your fellow vets/ service compadres.
November 11th is, of course, Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day which celebrated the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which marked the end of World War I. The day is celebrated with parades, ruck-marches, field days, balls, and charity events for great causes as well as awareness and remembrance.
Marine Corps Birthday
November 10th, 1775 is the day recognized as the birth of the United States Marine Corps. Every year on that date, our lovable knuckle-dragging crayon eaters like to celebrate the occasion by getting dressed to the nines in their fantastic dress blue uniforms and then summarily getting drunk as skunks and trying to fight everything from each other to strangers to raccoons.
October 13th marks the birthday of the proud United States Navy and our sea-going brothers and sisters like to do exactly the same thing whilst pretending that they are better than the Marines but, in reality, the result is pretty much the same but with a lot more ruined white clothing the next day.
So mid-October to mid-November is sort of a hazy month for veterans if you’re going to be celebrating all these occasions.
5 Military-Themed Cocktails
1. The Guard Duty
If you’ve ever served in the military, at some point you have had to stand guard duty or watch in the middle of the night. Whether as the firewatch during boot camp or Midwatch on the bridge of the ship, you’ve stood and stared into the darkness, imagining you see things moving in the shadows, cursing your luck, and questioning your life choices. Perhaps you were on security, manning a machine gun post and desperately slapping yourself silly trying to keep alert. This cocktail, which blends an Irish Coffee with a Car Bomb should take care of your drowsiness! Though you might still see some weird stuff afterward. Don’t worry, once your heart slows down next week, you’ll be fine…
The Guard Duty Recipe
- 1 1/3 oz (2 parts) Irish whiskey
- 1 oz (1½ parts) Fresh cream
- 1 tsp. Brown sugar
- 2 2/3 oz (4 parts) Hot coffee
- 1x 5 Hour Energy shot
- 1x Caffeine Pill
- Heat the coffee, whiskey and sugar; do not boil.
- Pour into a pint glass and top with cream.
- Crush the caffeine pill and “salt” the rim of the glass.
- Put 5 Hour Energy into a shot glass and drop the shot glass into your pint glass.
- Ride the lightning.
2. The Corpsman / Medic
In the Naval services, Sailors and Marines both love the Corpsman. “Doc” is a welcome sight who makes our booboos go away and is always ready with a Motrin and a smile. Among Marines, Doc is a literal lifesaver and Marines will go out of their way to take care of their swabby friend.
This rum-soaked and often overly tattooed giver of life and pain meds pops our blisters and fixes our coffee and tobacco-stained teeth. Though, often their answer to everything shy of a bullet wound is to “take a knee, change your socks, and drink water.”
Note: For the Army and Air Force, the drink is called “The Medic” and the spiced rum is substituted for cheap whiskey.
The Corpsman / Medic Recipe
- 1 1/3 oz (2 parts) Spiced Rum (pirate or sailor themed preferably)
- 2 2/3 oz (4 parts) Saline solution (or saltwater in a pinch)
- 1x Motrin, 1x Ice pack
- 1x pair of woolen boot socks
- Place the rolled-up socks in your pocket.
- Crush the Motrin into a fine powder and “salt” the rim of your tall glass.
- Pour spiced rum into the glass and mix with saline or saltwater.
- Chill the glass over the ice pack.
- Once you finish the drink, take a knee wherever you are and change your socks.
3. The Infantry
Everyone knows that the infantry is tough. That’s because the infantry has it tough. For grunts, field life is a constant parade of misery and exhaustion. It’s that way for a reason but it still doesn’t make it any more fun. Until you get to blow stuff up. Then it’s totally worth it for, like, five minutes.
There’s an old saying that the surest way to make it rains somewhere is to put a company of infantry in the field. Sure enough, it will hammer down rain until the second they leave. These poor, tired young men and women who are the embodiment of Murphy’s Law are held together with caffeine, nicotine, spite, and a lot of hot sauce just to feel something.
The Infantry Recipe
- 12 beers
- 1 bucket of cold rainwater
- 1 bottle of hot sauce of your choice
- Drink the beer until you are exhausted and ready to go to sleep.
- Then pour the rainwater over your head making sure to get your socks thoroughly wet.
- Go stand in your yard until the sun comes up.
- Then try to go for a run.
- Occasionally take little sips of hot sauce if you ever start to feel better about things.
4. The Gas Chamber
This one is for all our CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) folks out there! If you’ve never had to do an annual gas mask qualification by standing in a gas chamber with a big ol’ smokin’ pot of CS gas that’s brewing like a witch’s cauldron of pure evil, count yourself lucky. Your eyes sting and water like crazy and your nose runs like a faucet.
Everything burns. Everything.
It’s a burning that makes your worst day at a Thai restaurant feel like a bubble bath.
If you know, you know. Whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes.
The Gas Chamber Recipe
- 1.5 oz tequila
- 1/2 a chopped white onion
- 8 oz tap water
- A towel
- Chop the onion and make a nice, flat surface on one side.
- Pour your tequila into a standard shot glass.
- Have a friend smash the onion into your eyes.
- Take the shot of tequila and immediately have your friend throw the glass of water in your face.
5. The Pilot
Here’s an old one everyone has heard.
How can you tell if someone is a fighter pilot? They’ll tell you.
We love our pilots. Some more than others. The grunts on the ground who need air support, for sure. Probably not their mechanics. Maybe their crew chiefs… sometimes. DEFINITELY themselves.
Who wouldn’t want to be a dashing pilot doing aerobatics and shooting missiles willy nilly and then heading back to the hangar for debriefing and cocktails?! Here’s a sufficiently over-the-top recipe for our over-the-top friends.
The Pilot Recipe
- 1 ounce Jamaican rum
- 3/4 ounce Puerto Rican rum
- 3/4 ounce 151-proof demerara rum
- 6 dashes absinthe, or Pernod
- 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup
- 1/2 ounce falernum
- 1 dash aromatic bitters
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
- Cherry, for garnish
- In a blender, pour the rums, Pernod, grapefruit and lime juices, syrup, falernum, and bitters.
- Add the crushed ice.
- Blend on high for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Pour into a hurricane or margarita glass.
- Serve with a cherry.
- Then immediately tell everyone within a 15-yard radius that you are a pilot.
- Bonus points if you tell a story using your hands as little airplanes or slip your callsign into the conversation.
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Like your First Sergeant, Chief, or team leader used to tell you before every weekend, drink responsibly.
Here are a couple of good ground rules for when drinking these military-themed cocktails.
Don’t add to the population. Don’t subtract from the population.
If you’re going to drink, don’t drive.
If you’re going to drive, don’t drink.
Don’t do drugs.
Don’t get into any fights. If you do get in a fight, don’t get caught. If you get caught and go to jail, establish dominance quickly.
But none of this should matter, because you’re going to drink responsibly, right? RIGHT?!