Monday, January 31, 2022

New Normal: Cocktails To Go

I write this is real time, on January 31st, 2022. 

I'm still here. Thanks to all my readers who are still checking this blog. It's been almost a year since I have written, mostly due to being incredibly busy with work and parenting a toddler. It's hard to make time to prioritize this blog but I don't want to let it disappear completely. 

I had no idea back in March of 2020 that we would still be in this pandemic 2 years later. This past summer we had a brief reprieve, when, for one short month, all pandemic restrictions were lifted: we didn't have to wear masks, maintain a 6 ft distance, or deal with capacity limitations. It felt hopeful - like the end was in sight. 

That lasted for about 4 weeks, then the Delta variant hit, then Omicron, and we are once again wearing masks and trying to keep our distances. 

The bars and restaurants are still open, in fact, at the time of writing this I've already visited several new bars and had drinks inside(!) but it doesn't feel the same. 

From this vantage point, I don't feel like placing any bets as to what the future will hold. In the meantime, I want to memorialize a pandemic-practice that may stick or disappear: To-go cocktails. Readers in other countries or cities may find this odd. In many parts of the world you can freely drink alcohol on the street, order drinks at a bar, and take them to go, but not so in Oregon. We have some of the strictest alcohol laws in the country, and only during the pandemic did it become legal for restaurants and bars to offer cocktails for takeaway. 

Well of course, by the time I started ordering cocktails to go, I had gone over a year without an alcoholic drink that someone experienced prepared. Tired of my at-home bar, I decided to sample what other restaurants were doing with their to go orders. 

I will capture them here with this blog as a way of preserving perseverance and innovation. Every restaurant had a unique container for their alcohol, some came with the drinks pre-mixed, others separate, others with instructions. 


Two slushie drinks with umbrellas and cinnamon sticks. Served in plastic bottles with decor on the side:

The Expatriate

A tequila and rum based cocktail served in a glass bottle with hand-written instructions attached:


One negroni and one frozen daiquiri served in plastic bottles with plastic color-changing cups on the side. I gave the cups to my kid and opted to put the cocktails in glass. 

Touchdown Tokyo

Every time I fly to Japan, I have this routine of changing clothes in one of the large, accessible stalls in the arrivals lobby. I would do ...