Yale University is steeped in tradition, from the darkly mysterious Skull and Bones society to the melodious Whiffenpoofs. Even when kicking back with a drink from the pressures of Ivy League life, Yalies don’t take a break from their decades-old customs. Since 1849, students have visited Mory’s almost compulsively. There they carve their initials into the tables, slurp down bowl upon bowl of Baker Soup, and engage in the rite of passage known simply as Cups.
Originally an exclusive club for males affiliated with Yale, Mory’s is still members only, but it is now open to male and female students, alumni, faculty and the immediate New Haven community—all for varying annual fees. Old school or new, every good Mory’s member has engaged in a good game of Cups, a booze-fueled, musical ritual that leads to several tipsy customers and one very wet head.
The Cups are giant, silver, handled chalices, filled to the brim with brightly colored, fizzy alcoholic drinks. To get the game started, a group of friends orders one of the six different Cups by color: red (rum and grenadine), gold (orange juice, Champagne and triple sec), purple (Champagne and Chambord), blue (Champagne and blue curaçao), green (a mystery drink) or velvet (Champagne and Guinness). Each person takes a turn, drinking as much as they can from the Cup, before passing it around the table. This continues like a game of Hot Potato, until one person is left with just enough in their goblet to warrant finishing it—then the real fun begins.