Magnificent Bastard

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Ask the MB: Last Call Cocktail

Ask the MB: Last Call Cocktail
Q: First, thanks for clarifying the difference between a decent cocktail and a great one. It's changed the way I drink.

But I wanted to know what should be ordered when drinking isn't an option. I don't mean the basics. I'm assuming the coffee is always black, the water is never branded, and the drink, given the choice, is never bottled. What I mean is that time where you want to stay a few extra minutes at the bar, but another would put you over the limit. What do you ask for?
--John (from the UK)

A: Generally, what we'd ask for is the check, but it sounds like you're looking for advice on how to keep sipping on something when you might have a good reason to hang around for a few more minutes at the bar.

Did she have a nice pair of cans?

The simple choice is tonic water with a twist. Usually, though, this might mean sucking down something that just recently saw the inside of a hose. We're not cattle! Being from the UK, you should be able to find the best choice in tonic: Fever-Tree. For those in the states, Q Tonic is becoming more widely available. And yes, we strongly suggest demanding one of these premium tonics the next time your bartender mixes up a gin and tonic.

But why go cold turkey? The goal is to keep your blood-alcohol level down, not put your kidneys into shock. Try something tasteful with far less alcohol than the your usual, three-shot Rob Roy. That's where one of our favorites, the Americano, comes in. Order this heavy on the soda and you'll have an enjoyable, not overly boozy option when slowly winding down your evening.

Classic Americano
3 parts Campari
3 parts sweet vermouth (Noilly Pratt)
splash of soda water
dash of orange bitters

Give a quick shake, pour over ice in a Collins glass, garnish with an orange peel.

MB "Last Call" Americano
1 part Campari
1 part sweet vermouth (Noilly Pratt)
3 parts soda water
dash of orange bitters

Pour all ingredients over ice, stir briskly, garnish with an orange peel.




  • 3 shots rye whiskey (or to taste)
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Peychaud's Bitters
  • quarter shot of Absinthe
  • lemon twist

Soak the sugar cube with the bitters and place in the bottom of a highball glass. Mash with the back of a spoon (or muddler, which we hope has not been used to make a Mojito), add the rye whiskey and fill the glass with ice. Stir for about 30 seconds and then strain into another lowball glass that has been rinsed with Absinthe and filled about halfway with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

In-Depth Sazerac Coverage:

Ask the MB: Spring Cocktail Guide


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