Leading Libations

 Leading Libations

By Sean McVeigh

That beach beer on the Fourth of July was pretty darn good. So good, in fact, that it got me thinking — as an iced cold beer will often do — about “the best drinks.” Let’s discuss.

The first thing that came to mind was the first drink on vacation. You have just traveled by plane, train or automobile and have finally reached your long-awaited destination. The anticipation of vacation has been mounting for weeks and you’re finally on island (or mountain or lake or whatever) time. You order that first cocktail — maybe at the tiki bar on the beach or maybe it was given to you while you were checking in — and vacation mode is entered. That is one satisfying drink.

Take a step back from that and you get the infamous “airport beer.” Whether it’s 1 p.m. or 1 a.m. — it doesn’t matter! Airport beers are not only acceptable at all hours, they are encouraged. A little twist on this was a tradition my uncles had, where they would stop at the airport bar upon landing in their destination and have a beer. That’s a little combination of the two. The best of both worlds. Well played.

Wedding cocktail hour drinks are pretty special. It sets the tone for the night and a drink while dressed to the nines might be a whole separate category if we are being honest with ourselves.

I would say 90% of the reason people go to sports in New York is for the tailgate. How about that tailgate beer? Thirty degrees outside, you’re drastically underdressed, about to watch the Jets lose, but that beer goes down like water in the Sahara. Go to a baseball game and pair it with a hot dog and who cares that it’s 100 degrees and you’re baking in the Bronx?

Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day always gives us hope that winter won’t be here forever. And that first Guinness at 9 a.m. after the parade is on another level. The one after that is pretty good, too.

That first cold beer after a local 5K run might be unbeatable. I didn’t even run in the Buckley’s to Kennedy’s run this year but those ballfield beers in that atmosphere of accomplishment just hit a little different, as the kids might say.

Drinks with old friends you haven’t seen in a while are delightful and a round of drinks with some new friends that you just met at the bar go down quite easily, as well.

The morning after all those drinks might be a little rough. But rallying with the hair of the dog and sucking down a decked out Bloody Mary is a quick cure. So much so that it easily claims a spot on this list.

As I am writing this, I am having a cocktail while waiting for my wife before we go out to dinner. Here’s the catch: we’re not late. I am just — humble brag — early. Here I am, sitting with the dog, listening to some good music and drinking a martini because … why not?! All those other drinks are pretty good, and I am sure recency bias is playing a part in this, but this a damn good drink.

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