College Cocktails: Drink with pride this Freshers’ Week

 As another 0th week approaches and the annual wave of Freshers looms ever closer to the gilded shores of Oxford, one thing is inevitable: there will be drinking. The question is: will you be caught up in the proletarian masses stampeding towards the likes of Park End and Bridge for a night of cheap turpentine-like spirits and lad-approved Jägerbombs, or will you show a little more individuality and flair by opting for the more reserved, refined cocktail evening with a few new acquaintances? The latter? But of course – right this way, monsieur, for a perusal of our menu of uniquely Oxonian libations…

St. John’s: Brandy Alexander

Brandy, crème de cacao and cream

An excessively rich and overindulgent cocktail, one or two Brandy Alexanders will suffice to make you nauseous. Also serves to perpetuate old-fashioned Brideshead Revisited stereotypes of Oxford poncery.

PHOTO/Jason Lam

Wadham: Appletini

Apple schnapps, vodka, lime juice, apple juice and Midori

The Appletini unabashedly embraces its inherent flamboyance, taking pride of place as quite possibly the gayest drink known to man (despite J.D. from Scrubs’ claims otherwise). An occasional guilty pleasure for even the most macho of men.

PHOTO/Jessica Merz

Lincoln: Long Island Iced Tea

Vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, gin, lemon juice, sour mix and Coke

An initially unassuming drink, the Long Island Iced Tea packs a surprising punch, outdoing the more pretentious colleges’ drinks which sadly prove to be all mouth and no trousers. If you manage to brave the disdainful glares of Lincoln’s beloved bartender, you might just be able to order this instead of a beer.


Lady Margaret Hall: Cosmopolitan

Vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice

The beverage of choice for the sassy Sex and the City girls, the delightfully pink Cosmo represents a band of women trying their best to make their mark on the big city but not getting too far. Sound familiar?


Somerville: White Russian

Vodka, Kahlúa and milk

The White Russian embodies all that is laid back and content to stay out of heated rivalries and debates. Somerville seems to have adopted the Dude’s ethos of live and let live, comfortably abiding their place near the bottom of this year’s Norrington Table.


Hertford: Sex on the Beach

Vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and cranberry juice

or should that be Sex in the Bridge? The perfect cocktail for a college of exhibitionists all too often caught with their pants down in the Bridge of Sighs (and moans and screams) after a night on the town.

PHOTO/Stuart Webster

Merton: Shirley Temple

Ginger ale and grenadine

About as close as the Merton lot will ever get to actually having fun, the Shirley Temple is the only mocktail around these parts. Maybe someday they’ll add a splash of alcohol, but until then, the smell of old books will have to be the only thing to intoxicate them.

PHOTO/Ryan Forsythe

Christ Church: Old-Fashioned

Whisky, sugar, Angostura bitters and water

Old-Fashioned by name, Old-Fashioned by nature. A classic image of grandeur and class as endorsed by Don Draper. But when it comes down to it, appearances deceive, leaving the Old-Fashioned and its associated college somewhat unpalatable for the giddy masses of children.


All Souls: Kir Imperial

Chambord and Champagne

The Kir Imperial – a mix of exquisite Chambord and the bourgeois staple of Champagne – is a cocktail reserved for the privileged few. Maybe someone will buy you one if you pass the world’s hardest exam…