The Best Mixed Drinks For Back To School

By this point, everyone has headed back to school. Kids are figuring out their new schedules, teachers, classmates, subjects, and books, while simultaneously trying to decide what to hate the most. Us moms are either trying to get back into the habit of sending kids out the door of the house or car properly dressed with their 2,494,291 must have belongings, or reminding ourselves that homeschooling is indeed the right choice for our family even if waking up with the sun and grading math homework is a trial greater than Job’s. There are even a few of us who get to enjoy the “perks” that come from sending some of our kids to school, and educating some at home. Surely it is only a coincidence that my desire to learn how to mix cocktails coincided with deciding to send the boys to school.

All of us have our bad days…or weeks. In those times of trial we should always remember to rely on our Lord and pray for His guidance and peace beyond all understanding. And then, when we’ve turned our worries over to Him, with complete confidence in His ability to save us and our children from our inadequacies (and those of the schools), we can turn to alcohol to help manage our human frailties just a bit better.

If you are already struggling with school and have recently been found by a concerned spouse huddled in a closet Googling ‘European Boarding Schools, not Hogwarts’- perhaps try taking the edge off this September with these carefully selected beverages (and special drinkware suggestions so I can earn that sweet affiliate cha-ching).

Special thanks to ‘Drinking With the Saints’ for helping me learn about some of these beverages (page numbers are marked). Many of the remaining drinks I found in a cocktail book my grandfather purchased in 1957. It’s now proudly displayed on our basement bar. The front and back covers are made from thin sheets of wood with literal shots embedded in them. As in, my grandfather was cleaning out a shotgun when it accidentally discharged into the floor of his living room. The pellets travelled through the floor and lodged into the book which was laying on his basement bar. Thankfully, I can still read all the recipes on the inside.

First, a note to the public, private, Catholic school, and religious education teachers: Thank you for your service! St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers, and a great educator himself would want you to enjoy Christian Brothers brandy on the days when our little angels are driving you to the point of madness. …just not in the classroom, but definitely in this mug.

You’ll want to pin this one and reference it often.

For the mom who is tired of negotiating with her children regarding school work. “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

The Godfather

  1. Take equal parts Scotch whiskey and Amaretto.
  2. Pour directly into a old fashioned glass (or this mug) with ice.

For the mom with lots of little kids who is trying to get to daily Mass because that’s what her older mom friend with 16 kids does everyday so how hard can it possibly be?!?!??!!?!?!?

Ants in the Pants (pg 189 DWTS)

  1. Take 1 oz gin, 1/2 oz Grand Marnier, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, and a dash lemon juice.
  2. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass.

For the parents waiting in the school drop off/ pick up line. “Is she honking at me?!” “NO! Don’t get out of your van and help her unload her science project!!!”

The Merry Go Round (pg 379 DWTS)

  1. Take 1 1/2 oz gin, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, and 1/2 oz dry vermouth.
  2. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain in a cocktail glass (or this insulated tumbler).
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist and olive.

For parents whose kids have forgotten everything they learned yesterday…or five seconds ago. “Timmy, you just read this word two sentences back, do you really need to sound it out again?? Can’t you see it’s cat? IT’S CAT!!! Just skip it and keep going.”

Time Warp (pg 258 DWTS)

  1. Take 2/3 oz melon liqueur, 1/4 oz blue curaçao liqueur, 1/4 oz raspberry liqueur, 1/2 oz coconut rum, and 1/2 oz pineapple juice.
  2. Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a cherry.

For moms who hate read alouds. “I’m going to huff, and puff, and quickly step outside to scream if I need to read ‘The Pigeon Needs a Bath’ one. more. time.”

Big Bad Wolf (pg 142 DWTS)

  1. Take 1 oz brandy, 1/2 oz orange juice, 1 egg yolk, and 1/4 oz grenadine.
  2. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass (or this insulated “sippy cup”).

For parents who don’t understand this ‘new math’, or understand half of what passes for ‘literature’ these days. “Multiply 354 by 923 in a octagon shaped grid, using arrows to direct the viewers eye around your work. Explain your answer in pantomime using characters from ‘Captain Underpants’.”

Old Fashioned

  1. Take 1 1/2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 sugar cube, and a few dashes plain water.
  2. Place sugar cube at the bottom of an old fashioned glass (like this) and splash with the bitters and the water.
  3. Muddle until dissolved.
  4. Fill glass with ice cubes and add whiskey.
  5. Garnish with cherry and orange slice.

For when it all feels like a gamble and you realize that your kids could be screwed up and living in your basement no matter how you chose to educate them.

Wheel of Fortune (pg 293 DWTS) This is one of DWTS original concoctions!

  1. Take 1 1/4 oz vodka, 3/4 oz orange curaçao liqueur, and 6 oz lemonade.
  2. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

For when school has made you dead inside. (Homeschoolers, remember this in February.)

Life Blood Warmer (pg 252 DWTS)

  1. Take 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc wine, 1/2 oz orange juice, 1 1/4 oz gin, and 1/2 oz Cointreau.
  2. Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass.

For special needs parents preparing for their annual IEP meeting. Take a deep breath and practice saying, “You are legally required to provide….”

Brace Up

  1. Take 1 Tbsp powdered sugar, 3 dashes Angostura bitters, 3 dashes lemon juice, 1 dash lime juice, 2 dashes Anisette, 1 egg, and 3/4 wine glass of brandy.
  2. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into a large glass.
  4. Fill with carbonated water.

For the homeschooling mother of boys, especially when everyone is stuck inside all day or someone snuck a Red Bull in the house. “Knock it off! I don’t have time to take anyone else to the ER today!!!”

Solar Plexus Punch

  1. Take 1 Tbsp simple syrup, 1 Tbsp pineapple juice, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1 tsp rum, 1 tsp Abricotine, 1/2 wine glass sherry, 1/2 wine glass rye whiskey, and 1 egg white.
  2. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Strain into punch glass. (Or take the lead as the alpha [fe]male with this drinking horn.)
  4. Fill up with carbonated water.
  5. Garnish with fruit and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

For the mother of girls. “Did you all just sign up for theater club?? What is with ALL THE DRAMA?!?!”

Scarlett O’Hara

  1. Take 1 oz bourbon, 1/2 oz lime juice, and 1/4 of a canned peach
  2. Pour ingredients into an electric blender with ice and blend thoroughly.
  3. Serve in a champagne glass.

For when there’s a super cool natural event that you feel obligated to watch/ stay up late for because you’re a homeschooler and these are the real life learning moments you should be embracing!! You’d better nature journal the hell out of it too.


  1. Take 1/4 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz dry gin, and 1 oz sloe gin.
  2. Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake.
  3. Put an olive in a large cocktail glass and pour in enough Grenadine to cover.
  4. Carefully strain the contents of the shaker into the glass, being careful not to mix them with the Grenadine.

For when you need to drop an f-bomb but can’t. “Are you kidding me?!?!…”


  1. Take one bottle of beer, 1 1/2 oz brandy, 1 egg, a pinch each of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, plus simple syrup to taste.
  2. Combine well and pour into a large stein or this beer glass.

What would you add? Or is your back to school going so smoothly you can get by on herbal tea? You can go away now please.

 If you need some more serious advice and ideas, I can’t recommend The Ultimate Homeschooling Bundle enough! It contains more than 50 products created to make educating your children easier than ever. The entire bundle is worth more than $1,300, but right now it’s less than $30 to pick up your own copy. But you have to act fast —this sale only lasts until Friday, July 31th. As a bonus, when you buy a bundle through my link, you can get a pdf copy of ‘The Catholic Homeschool Audit Workbook’ free! Just email me with your sales number and I’ll email it right out! If you want help learning the ropes of homeschooling, or just getting motivated for another year of home education, The Ultimate Homeschooling Bundle can help. CLICK HERE to learn more and get your bundle today!

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    1. Have you tried extreme sports, or possibly gambling, to relieve stress? I feel like learning MMA might also come in handy at IEP meeting time.

  1. My older body has rebelled against any alcohol. LOL However, after finalizing lesson plans yesterday, I could have used a mini cocktail party myself! Brilliant post.

  2. Have you actually had a “huckle-my-butt”? It sounds like something Rocky Balboa might drink on his day off. ?

  3. Haha, clearly The Godfather is what I’ve been needing… I can definitely appreciate the need to be done negotiating about doing schoolwork!

  4. We need some coffee based options for the days you don’t have to carpool.

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