The Spinoff Hot Take Advent Calendar: December 13

Every day in the lead-up to Christmas, open the door to reveal a Spinoff writer’s short, sizzling commentary on a weighty subject. Our arbitrary and strictly enforced word limit: 365. Today: Sam Brooks on why cocktail snobbery is for losers.

Look, I love a good cocktail. My best friend is a cocktalier/mixologist/bartender/good guy who knows his way around a shaker and some spirits. I have a great amount of respect for his craft and the time he’s spent learning it – and it’s often super interesting to hear about.

But I stop when it comes to other people turning their nose up at my concoctions. If it tastes good, don’t the ends justify the means? (This take is limited to alcoholic mixtures, not mass murder/animal cruelty.)

Sometimes you’re left with a bunch of dregs, and you can’t make a martini from dregs. So you’ve got to do good with what you’ve got. Gin and sparkling water? Go for it! Gin and coke? Why not? Whiskey and orange juice? I’ve had it, and you can do much worse.

A glass of Samgria in the wild.

I give you, for example, my recipe for Samgria.

The ingredients required are:

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  1. Red wine. My guide for buying wine is you should buy a bottle that costs no less than half your age, and if your wine isn’t old enough to be doing NCEA Level One, it’s not old enough to be drunk.
  2. Orange juice. My choice is the half-sugar Just Juice.
  3. Sprite Zero or soda water. Depends on how you like your drinks.
  4. Vodka. I don’t know how to tell quality vodkas, but if you’re spending more than $80 you’re an idiot and if less than $40, you’re not old enough to drink vodka.

The recipe follows:

  1. Put in however much you want of each or however much you feel the party should be drinking.
  2. Drink!

You might think it sounds foul, but I’ve never had anybody turn it down after being offered a glass of it. Mostly because when I hand it to somebody it’s like me handing them my first-born child, and why would you reject somebody’s first-born child?

Drink some Samgria this Christmas, you’ll enjoy it.

Read the Spinoff Hot Take Advent Calendar in full here


The Spinoff’s beverage content is brought to you by Fine Wine Delivery Co, which is completely and utterly devoted to good taste, whether it’s wine, food, craft beer, whisky, rum… Check out their website or pop into one of the two Auckland superstores.

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