Block-themed cocktails: a guide to Drink Marathon

    Dance Marathon 2015 is coming up, and while thousands of students are getting set to stand around and complain in a tent for 30 hours, plenty of others are left wondering what they should be doing when campus gets quiet for the pre-Reading Week weekend.

    Well the answer, as usual, is to drink. But not just your regular, run-of-the-mill drinking. No, this special time of the year calls for a very precise combination of libations.

    For those of you not doing 30 hours of dancing, here's our 2015 Drink Marathon guide.

    1: Wish upon a starlight

    The Ticking Clock

    • 2 oz. Cognac 
    • 1 oz. Pinnacle chocolate whipped cream flavored vodka
    • 1 oz. creme de menthe
    • coffee
    • fresh mint

    A nod to both NUDM 2015’s beneficiary (Starlight) and Disney as a whole, Block 1 is when dancers start to feel the effects of everything they shouldn’t have put in their bodies over the past few days, so why not go the opposite way and load up on caffeine, sugar and alcohol?

    This drink, a nod to Beauty and the Beast is absolutely delicious and will leave you in the kind of haze it might take 30 hours to recover from.

    2: Lettuce Turnip the Beat

    Bloody Mary

    • 2 parts Absolut Vodka
    • 3 parts tomato juice
    • ¼ part Worcestershire Sauce
    • ¼ part lemon juice
    • 2 dashes hot sauce
    • 1 teaspoon horseradish
    • 1 pinch ground black pepper
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 stick celery

    An obvious choice, even if it doesn’t include lettuce or turnups. The Bloody Mary is the best-known (and maybe the only) blend of alcohol and vegetables, so it’s a no-brainer for Block 2.

    Plus you can convince yourself that it’s healthy, just like you can convince yourself that staying awake for 30 hours immediately before Reading Week is a good idea.

    3: One(sie) Direction

    Cheap vodka, ideally out of a water bottle

    One Direction is still relevant, but we all know that the peak of their popularity came when most current Wildcats were in high school.

    So with that, let’s throw back Block 3 to everyone’s favorite high school practice: covertly drinking terrible vodka out of Poland Spring bottles or really anything to fool your unsuspecting parents.

    For best results, try to make sure the vodka is Skol, Smirnoff or Skyy.

    4: Hippies to hipsters

    Brooklyn Lager

    Admittedly focusing more on the hipsters than the hippies here, Brooklyn Lager is a solid, easily attainable beer to get you through the doldrums of Block 4.

    It comes in a variety of seasonals and perrenials too so there’s plenty of options to keep even the loftiest hipster interested.

    5: Winter's a beach

    Frozen Margarita 

    • 1 cup of ice
    • 1 1/2 oz. tequila
    • 1/2 oz. triple sec
    • 1/2 oz. lime juice
    • 3 oz. sour mix
    • lime wedge for garnish
    • salt for rimming glass (optional)

    Embrace the bitter irony of Block 5’s theme and the seemingly unending Chicago winter with a frozen margarita, the rare drink that’s appropriate both at the beach and in these frosty temperatures.

    This one requires a little effort, as you’ll have to break out a blender, but hopefully you shouldn’t be too trashed to do that by the end of Block 4.

    6: Where the Wildcats Are

    Purple Rain 

    • 1 1/2 oz. gin cranberry juice
    • 1 splash Blue Curacao liqueur
    • 1 splash sweet and sour mix
    • 1 splash soda water

    There aren’t a whole lot of purple drink options out there, but luckily the Purple Rain is both a fantastic way to keep your buzz going into Block 6 and one of the few Wildcat-colored cocktails out there.

    Finding a bottle of Curacao isn’t exactly easy, but neither is making it through 15 hours of sleep deprivation and awkward dance moves.

    7: Hero block

    The Superman

    • Ice Blue Curacao liqueur
    • pineapple juice
    • rum (I highly recommend Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum and Blue Chair Bay White Rum!)
    • cream of coconut (I use Coco Real)
    • white sugar 
    • frozen strawberries
    • lime juice
    • lemon juice
    • 7-Up

    This is one of the most involved drinks on the docket, but if you pull it off, easily the most rewarding. The goal is to have each layer of the drink be a different color to give it the full Superman effect.

    This is around the time when your friends doing DM are really struggling to stay engaged, and locked-in, so dig deep and spend 15 minutes putting together this impressive cocktail. Think of it as your “Sandstorm.”

    8: Block Party

    Old Style 

    • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
    • 1 tsp sugar 
    • 1 orange wheel
    • 1 maraschino cherry
    • 1 splash club soda
    • 2 oz. Bourbon

    This one can be replaced for any especially significant hometown concoction, but since we’re all from Chicago to some degree lets go with the Old Style, a local classic that first originated at Wrigley.

    It’s the perfect way to show off your Illinois pride while also getting you right on the precipice of blackout.

    9: Everything is Awesome


    It may not be caffeinated anymore, but a can of 4Loko still has enough sugar to make your teeth hurt and enough alcohol to knock you out of commission.

    By Block 9 everyone needs a boost, and disregarding obvious health concerns there are few better options than a 4Loko. Plus the drink itself almost looks like something out of The Lego Movie.

    10: Shine bright, starlight


    You’ve made it. Whether you’ve been dancing for 27 hours or, perhaps even more amazingly, drinking for 27 hours, you deserve to celebrate.

    With that in mind, use what little of your parents money you haven’t already spent on alcohol and go buy the finest bottle D&Ds has to offer.


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