We've long claimed beers to be part of a balanced diet — like slices of whole wheat crammed into cans. In late July however, Russia sobered us up with a devastating reclassification of our beloved brew: Beer, by the new standard, is amazingly no longer considered “food,” but “alcohol.” With “food” so cruelly robbed of one of its most shining stars, and “alcohol” swollen with pride over its family's frothy new addition, we, being a fan of both parties, would like to restore a little dignity to poor “food,” offering up some so-called “drinks” for reassignment. That's right, Russia. Two can play at this game.
5. Bloody Mary: Considering how many celery stalks, house-pickled carrots, asparagus, green beans, pearl onions, and even shrimp end up in these hot sauce-spiked tomato-and-vodka concoctions, we'll lose those leaves on plates and drink our salad instead.
4. White Russian: If you try to get drunk off these creamy bombs and happen to be the sort of person for whom doing so requires an investment in time and many, many drinks, you will enter a world of pain. This is dessert — soft, gentle, soothing, rich — and if you treat it like fuel, you'll not smoothly recover from the subsequent digestive maelstrom. Why else would Lebowski, SoCal's sweetest leading dude, want one for a nightcap?
3. Jello Shot: Does the gelatin become less of a foodstuff once it's bolstered with vodka? Food — fruit juices and zest, sugars, syrups, herbs — plays a role in cocktail-crafting (and in liquor production). In some cocktails, these elements are bit players, but in a Jello Shot, we're basically just talking about a kid's snack that was in the right place at the right time. You can't blame it for being opportunistic.
2. Frozen Margarita: If given the choice, after a grueling basketball game or a day at the beach, we will pick a margarita over a Gatorade any day of the week. It's sorbet for the sun-crisped soul. Potent? Yes. Alcohol? No.
1. Bloody Bull: If you're on a liquid diet — jaws wired shut, oral surgery, or what have you — pair this lesser-known alcohol imposter with a thoroughly blended Bloody Mary for a filling, nutritious meal that won't scratch your chompers. Chock full of tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and beef bouillon, the Bloody Bull is practically a steak in a glass.