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Entertaining
What to Drink While You’re Getting Ready to Go Out

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Sometimes the best part about going out is getting ready, when the pregame playlist is blasting and everyone is feeling loose and getting excited about what the night will bring. Since you have to focus on getting that winged eyeliner perfect and wrangling your hair into something that passes for a style, the refreshments need to be quick and easy (and not too boozy—you still want to make it out of the house, after all). Get the party going while you’re getting ready for a night on the town with these great pregame drinks.

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This light, low-ABV sipper is a great option for starting the night off slowly but deliciously. A not-too-sweet, summery take on an Aperol Spritz, this cocktail uses apricot liqueur, lemon juice, cracked salt and Champagne—because nothing gets a party going quite like hearing that cork pop.

The Essentials

Aperol
Apricot Liqueur
Champagne
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The best part of Jello Shots is that they can be made ahead of time, leaving you free to enjoy your evening pregame without the stress of preparing drinks. Mix up a batch of classic Jello Shots with your favorite spirit and flavoring, or go the extra mile with cocktail-inspired Jello Shots, like these jiggly Tequila Sunrises, or Jello Shots made from Sparkling Rosé.

The Essentials

Jell-O
water
Any Clear Spirit
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Too many people have been burned by inferior Whiskey Sours, made haphazardly with artificial sour mix and low-grade hooch. Ensure that you get at least one well-made cocktail over the course of the night by making your own Whiskey Sour at home with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. It takes next to no time to prepare, but tastes world’s better than anything you’re going to get at the club.

The Essentials

Whiskey
Simple Syrup
Lemon Juice
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Upgrade your go-to college pregame drink, the Screwdriver, by swapping out vodka for rum and adding Galliano to the mix. The herbal vanilla liqueur gives the drink an unexpected funky flavor, and a dash of allspice dram gives it some tiki flair.

The Essentials

gold rum
vanilla liqueur
orange juice
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Another classy makeover of a basic Highball, this Champagne-topped Rum & Coke uses a homemade cola syrup, white rum and bitter Fernet Branca. It’s sweet, edgy and sparkling, and a great way to feel fancy without giving up your ride or die cocktail.

The Essentials

Bacardi Facundo
Cola Syrup
Champagne
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Break out those treat yo’ self copper mugs and impress your friends with your taste in glassware and cocktails. Even if you don’t own any official Moscow Mule mugs, they’ll still appreciate the spicy and spritzy vodka cocktail, especially if you opt for good ginger beer over the ubiquitous ale.

The Essentials

Vodka
Lime Juice
Ginger Beer
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Make sure you stay awake all night with this cold brew coffee cocktail. Taking a page from Spain’s book, the concentrated coffee is mixed with dry tonic, along with floral St-Germain and Mexican Fernet-Vallet. It’s sure to fill your tank with plenty of juice for the dance floor later.

The Essentials

cold brew
Fernet
Tonic
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Sometimes you don’t have time to slowly sip a cocktail before going out. That’s when you turn to this quick shot of liquid fire on the way out. Grab your favorite hot sauce from the fridge, gather your friends and down this spicy shot together. It’s now officially party o’clock.

The Essentials

Moonshine
Hot Sauce

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