10 TV Shows and the Cocktails You Should Pair With Them


Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a trend: TV watching has become a more social activity — and we don’t just mean Twitter freaks out every time something major happens on Breaking Bad. For instance, ever since Sunday became the night AMC and HBO battle to the death for Quality Television supremacy, we’ve hosted small weekly viewing parties. Recently, we’ve also taken to mixing drinks inspired by the shows we’re watching. (Go ahead, call us geeks. It wouldn’t be the first time.) Because True Blood is a whole lot more fun when you’re trashed, and you need an excuse to make the most elaborate Jell-O shots of all time, we’ve paired some of our favorite shows with complementary cocktails, after the jump. No, we didn’t include Mad Men, because that would have been too easy and utterly redundant.

True Blood

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

3 strawberries (de-stemmed) 5 basil leaves 1.5 oz. vodka 1 oz. pureed strawberries Fill (approximately 4 oz.) with lemonade

We discovered this one entirely by mistake — after whipping up a batch of these (adapted from this theKitchn recipe) in anticipation of True Blood night, we realized that the pureed strawberries turned the drink red enough to resemble the show’s titular bloody beverage. The basil doesn’t exactly add to the verisimilitude, but it’s too refreshing to leave out.

Breaking Bad

Blue Ice

1 shot vodka 1/2 shot blue Curacao 1 dash lime juice

Listen, we’re not the biggest fans of Curacao, but it’s still the best way to make your drink blue — unless you’d prefer to cheat with food coloring or use some kind of gross blue vodka that tastes like Windex — and if you’re mixing cocktails to complement Breaking Bad, that’s the only color you’ll want them to be. The advantage of the simple Blue Ice (mixing instructions here) is that the lime juice cuts the sweetness of the Curacao, making it far less cloying than the more famous Blue Lagoon or Blue Hawaii. If you really want to get in the blue-meth spirit, try garnishing your drinks with blue rock candy.

Parks and Recreation

Classic Waffle Jelly Shots

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, strained to remove solids 2 tsp. lemon juice 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup 2 envelopes plain Knox gelatin 1 cup cake-flavored vodka (or vanilla vodka with 2 tsp amaretto)

If we had to guess, we’d say Leslie Knope’s three favorite things in the world are government, Ben Wyatt, and waffles. And while these crazy jelly shots, which we found via Laughing Squid, sound dauntingly elaborate, they’re also precisely the kind of over-the-top project City Councilwoman Knope might take on to please a loyal friend. Click here for details on how to make this, er, drink(?).


Red Wine Sangria

2 large juice oranges, washed; one orange sliced; remaining orange juiced 1 large lemon, washed and sliced 1/4 cup superfine white sugar 1/4 cup Triple Sec 1 (750 ml.) bottle inexpensive, fruity, medium-bodied red wine, chilled

In Amy Sherman-Palladino’s hugely enjoyable new show, former Vegas showgirl Michelle and her bitter mother-in-law, Fanny, are often at odds. The one thing that can bring them together is polishing off a bottle of wine — which means that there’s no shortage of fermented-grape action in any given hour of Bunheads. Since this is a summer show, we recommend pairing it with what Recipe Girl calls “The Best Red Wine Sangria.” Get the details on how to make it here.

Boardwalk Empire

The Bee’s Knees

2 oz. gin (Tanqueray or Plymouth) 3/4 oz. honey syrup 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

Everyone knows that bathtub gin was the drink of choice during Prohibition, but if you want to get really authentic with your Boardwalk Empire cocktail, you might find the Bee’s Knees lives up to its title. The recipe, which we found at Retrospective, used sweet honey and sour lemon juice to mask the harsh aroma of homemade hooch.

Downton Abbey

Sherry Cocktail

1 oz. palo cortado or amontillado sherry 1 oz. brandy (preferably Spanish) 1/2 oz. grenadine 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice 1/4 oz. Cherry Heering

As Metro reported last year, Downton Abbey has done for sherry as Mad Men did for rye — the long-unfashionable beverage’s prevalence on the show has caused a significant spike in its sales across the pond. But if drinking it straight still makes you feel like grandma raiding the cooking wine, consider incorporating it into this delicious-sounding cocktail, which you can learn how to make at SLOSHED!.

Absolutely Fabulous

Ginger Gin and Tonic

2 oz. premium gin 1 oz. ginger simple syrup 4 oz. tonic water splash of lime juice lime wedge for garnish

“Gin and tonic, Eddy!” is the rallying cry of AbFab superfans, although to be fair, Patsy and Edina seem to love all hard liquor equally — not to mention Champagne. The thing is, while it’s a perfectly respectable dive-bar standby, the basic gin and tonic isn’t going to wow anyone. Thankfully, the blog Yum. offers a smart upgrade featuring homemade ginger syrup. Learn how to make your own batch of the mixer here.

Game of Thrones

Ramos Gin Fizz

2 oz. gin (Old Tom if you can find it) 1 oz. heavy cream 1 egg white 1/2 oz. lemon juice 1/2 oz. lime juice 2 tsp. sugar 3 drops orange flower water Club soda, to top

There is a whole lot of wine-drinking on Game of Thrones, but we’d like to get a bit more creative with our pairing. So why not simulate Milk of the Poppy, the medicinal beverage that’s sure to kill your pain — because it’s basically morphine. Since we’re not in the business of suggesting you rustle up some opiates, the next best thing is to mix a cocktail that bears some resemblance to the milky white panacea. The Ramos Gin Fizz is a delicious classic (we found our recipe here) and nothing will impress your TV-watching buddies like a classy egg-white drink.

Top Chef

Champagne with Cointreau Caviar

– Champagne – Caviar Ingredients: 140 g. (5 oz.) Cointreau 60 g. (2 oz.) water (filtered water or with low calcium content) 1.6 g sodium alginate (0.8%) – Calcium Bath: 500 g (18 oz) water 2.5 g calcium chloride

Every season of Top Chef has its quirky, snobby molecular gastronomy guy who thinks he’s better than all the regular chefs. But he’ll have no power over you once you realize that, with a few special ingredients and bit of practice, you can do just about anything he can do. Transforming liquids into tiny, caviar-like pearls is one of the molecular style’s easiest tricks to pick up — and what’s cooler than Champagne with two kinds of bubbles in it? Visit Molecular Recipes to get the step-by-step rundown.

The Walking Dead

Frozen Zombie

1/2 oz. Bacardi 151 rum 1 oz. pineapple juice 1 oz. orange juice 1/2 oz. apricot brandy 1 tsp. sugar 2 oz. light rum 1 oz. dark rum 1 oz. lime juice

The frozen zombie (recipe details here) makes an obvious yet undeniably delightful complement to everyone’s favorite zombie TV show. Plus, the inclusion of over-proof rum means it can be lit on fire for added horror-fan appeal. Be careful with how many of these you drink, though — the super-strong Tiki cocktail isn’t named for its fleshy color but for its capacity to fuck you up.