It's Summertime and that means BBQs, long gaming hours, bouncy castles (or whatever crazy thing you're into) and if you're a refined gentleman or a classy lady, you have some fine drinks.
For all our video game aficionados out there, USgamer has compiled a list of drinks that go perfect with the weather so you do not have to struggle on that fetch quest to create potions and elixirs. Cheers!
Sonic the Hedgehog "Gin & Sonic"
2 oz Hendrick's gin
1 tsp. blue Caracão
3 oz. Fever Tree or Q tonic
I was still saving up for a Super NES when my friend down the block let me borrow his Sega Genesis for a few days. He packed in two games: Strider and Sonic the Hedgehog. Strider didn't do much for me; I'd played so much of the arcade version that the changes and compromises present in the home port put me off. At the least the NES version had the good grace to be something completely different! But Sonic - well, that was a revelation. I never quite managed to finish the game in the short time I had with it, but it was my first true taste of proper next-gen power. Blindingly fast and wonderfully colorful, Sonic truly offered a major step up from my humble Super NES. It wasn't enough to sway me to the dark side of Sega (I needed my Mario and Castlevania games, dammit), but it definitely renewed my determination to go 16-bit as soon as possible.
The gin and tonic makes a great match for Sonic, and not just because of the convenient pun built into the name. The G-and-T is by far the simplest cocktail, but it's no less refreshing for its minimalism. Use high-quality tonic and Hendrick's wonderfully floral gin and you have something to sip that tastes as light and summery as the green grass and blue skies of the Green Hill Zone. Add just a dash of blue Caracão (to give it the look of Sonic himself and the slightest hint of citrus) and you have a perfect pairing. - Jeremy Parish
Street Fighter II "Shadaloo Negroni"
1 oz. Tanqueray Rangpur gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Carpano Antiqua vermouth
Lightly shake ingredients in a mixer and pour into an old fashioned glass over ice or neat into a martini glass, then add an orange twist.
In the early '90s when I was working on Mean Machines magazine back in the UK, we were lucky enough to have a Street Fighter II coin-op in the office. One of my enduring memories of the time is the staff constantly throwing down challenges to one another. Working in an ancient pre-Victorian office building, it had no air conditioning, so our gaming room used to get absolutely roasting - but we'd still play.
But I'd have loved to have this cocktail to help cool me down - plus it packs a real punch. The lime-infused Rangpur gin doesn't just tie the drink to Southeast Asia, where the series' villains call home, it also pairs wonderfully with the astringent grapefruit quality of the Campari to create a truly tasty concoction. - Jaz Rignall
Double Dragon "Billy & Jimmy's Bimmy's Cup"
2 oz. Pimm's No. 1
3 oz. Ginger ale or 2 oz. lemon juice and 1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 tsp. Des Ribauds Orange Dragon Liqueur
1 cucumber (slices or spears)
Fill a highball class with ice, cucumber slices to taste, and ginger ale or lemonade. Add the liqueur and Pimm's, then garnish with lemon.
I was a kid the summer I obsessed over the NES version of Double Dragon, so alcohol would have been totally inappropriate. But I worked hard to earn the money to buy a copy for myself, spending a week or two of hot afternoons helping to repaint my grandparents' house to ready it for sale. It was absolutely worth the labor. Double Dragon was marketed as a premium release, with a glossy red box and a price tag $10 higher than anything else available for the system, and I wrung every ounce of entertainment I could from the game. Even though it lacked a proper two-player mode, its bare-knuckle brawling and mild RPG elements made for a game I could enjoy again and again... especially back in the day when I had the time and patience to deal with the complete unfairness of the final stage, with its random traps and a boss who could take me out in a single hit from across the screen.
As an adult, this dragon-themed variant on the classic Pimm's Cup would have been a perfect accompaniment to my house painting endeavors. Light and refreshing, the Pimm's Cup is the official drink of Wimbledon for a good reason - it's delicious and decidedly low in alcohol content, so you won't feel completely trashed after downing a few of them. The proper recipe doesn't call for the orange liqueur, but the added hint of a citrus note nicely complements the fresh cucumber and the spices of the Pimm's. - Jeremy Parish
Bubble Bobble "Bub and Bob's Gin Fizz"
2 oz. gin
1 egg white
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp. superfine sugar
1/2 oz. half and half
1 oz. club soda
2 to 3 drops orange flower water
Pour ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously – more than you would for a usual cocktail. Strain into a highball glass over ice.
For a few years I worked in a town that had no arcade - which, as an avid coin-op player, used to drive me nuts. However, every summer I'd get a week's reprieve when a traveling fair would come to town, which included a couple of small arcades. When it arrived, it'd go over to the main square where the fair was set up, and check out which coin-ops were being unloaded from the trucks.
I remember seeing one that I'd never heard of, called Bubble Bobble and it had these really cute dinosaur characters on its side that I thought looked so cool. Needless to say, as soon as the place opened in the evening, I sought the game out, and after a couple of goes fell in love with it. This cocktail is the perfect match - light, fizzy, sweet, fun - and moreish. - Jaz Rignall
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