Let’s start things off properly with a round of applause for our 2022 CSU Bakersfield graduates. (Pretend there’s an exclamation point at the end of the previous sentence.) The road was long and hard, rife with ups and downs and some other thinly veiled euphemisms. To celebrate, I’ve got five, non-alcoholic, mixed drinks for our esteemed and wonderful and probably very tired graduates. Hopefully they’ll have the energy needed to make these drinks.
For starters, we have a delectable spicy coffee. The “It’s Finals Week and I Haven’t Slept in Three Days” Morning Brew is sure to make any morning slump come alive as it gets you riled up for the big day and starts a fire in your belly. Figuratively speaking, of course.
Though, if you’re struggling to make it through the day, you might need something with a little more “oomph.” A layered blend of liquid energy, the “I’m Running Off Hopes, Dreams, and a Prayer” Booster Drink might just get you through the day. And probably the week.
Next, for those afternoon breaks where you just need to get way from it all, kick back and relax with a chilled glass of Afternoon Tea. No gimmicks here, just some good ol’ iced tea.
Then, we come to the end of the day, after celebrations and everything, where we just want to shut our ever-racing minds off, and that’s what this next drink excels at. *Brain.exe Has Stopped Working* will be sure to freeze those pesky thoughts right in their tracks.
Lastly, some of the most indulgent cocoa you will ever experience, the Cozy Cocoa Cocktail (Not an actual cocktail, I just like alliteration) is certain to melt away all the stresses of daily life and solidify any wonderful memories from graduation.
The “It’s Finals Week and I Haven’t Slept in Three Days” Morning Brew
Spicy Syrup, 1 tbsp. or to taste
Cold Brew, ¾ cup
Vanilla Whipped Cream
Chocolate Milk, ½ cup
Ground Chili, Cayenne, or Black Pepper
Cocktail Shaker or Sealable Jar
Decent Sized Glass or Mug
Fill the glass/mug with ice and set aside.
Pour all the liquid ingredients into the shaker/jar and vigorously shake for 30-60 seconds.
Pour over ice and top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon and spice.
Enjoy as your morning coffee now has a kick strong enough to wake a slumbering giant.
The “I’m Running Off Hopes, Dreams, and a Prayer” Booster Drink
White Grape Juice, 1 ½ oz.
Berry Flavored Energy Drink, 3 oz.
Lemon-Lime Drink, Soda or Sparkling, 1 oz.
Berry Puree, 1 oz.
Berry Flavored Water Enhancer, Caffeinated, to taste
A Tall Glass
Place the berry puree at the bottom of the glass then fill halfway with the crushed ice.
Pour the juice and berry flavored drink, then stir.
Top with the lemon-lime drink.
Drink and feel the energy course through you as you enter MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE.
Chai Tea, ¾ cup
Chocolate Milk, ½ cup
Spiced Syrup, 2 tbsps.
Brown Sugar, for topping
A Tall Chilled Glass
Pitcher or Jar
Combine the tea, chocolate milk, and spiced syrup in a pitcher or jar and chill for 1-2 hours.
Fill the chilled glass halfway with ice. Pour the mixture over it.
Top with whipped cream and brown sugar.
Kickback and relax as this lovely drink makes you feel like that one Kermit meme with the Lipton tea.
*Brain.exe Has Stopped Working*
Ginger, 3 tbsps.
Lime Juice, ½ cup
Grape Juice, preferably from concentrate, ½ cup
Sparkling Water, unflavored, 5 oz.
Crushed Ice, 3 cups
Sugar, ¼ cup
Lime wedge, for garnish
Blender or Cocktail Shaker/Sealable Jar
Blend the ginger, lime juice, and sugar in the blender for 45-60 seconds. Pour through the sieve into a glass and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
Return the liquid to the blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until you reach a smoothie consistency. Timing depends on your blender.
Pour into the glass, garnish, and enjoy via straw, lest you risk your brain freezing. Perhaps literally…
Cozy Cocoa Cocktail (Not an actual cocktail, I just like alliteration)
Dutch-process Cocoa Powder, ½ cup
Brown Sugar, ½ cup or more for taste
Ground Cinnamon, 1 tbsp.
Ground Cardamom, ½ tsp.
Salt, a pinch
Water, 1 cup
Whole Milk, 2 cups
Cream, ½ cup
Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp.
Fresh Espresso, 1 ½ cups
Saucepan or Pot
Place the pan/pot over medium heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, brown sugar, spices and salt, and water until smooth.
Simmer for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly and scraping the sides.
Whisk in the milk and cream. Simmer, careful to not boil the milk, for 10 minutes, whisking often.
Whisk in vanilla and the freshly made espresso. Taste and add more sugar or salt to your preference.
Pour into the mugs and serve hot. Enjoy with friends and a good book or movie as the worries of the day are melted away by this magically magnificent mixture.