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Let me tell you all about the rendezvous I got into last night with my roommate…

So here we are on a Wednesday night with nothing to do. We look at each other and say simultaneously, “Happy Hour?… Happy Hour!”

I have been craving this drink called the Anastasia from  Caffe Boa for the longest time. It is a heavenly mix of muddled strawberries, basil, and vodka. Or, at least that’s all I thought there was to it until I saw how it was made.

Because our bartender Steve understood that we all can’t spend $10 per drink ($8 during happy hour), when we need 4+ to feel a buzz; he was nice enough to show us exactly how to make the Anastasia.  (Plus, he was cute!)

So after a couple Anastasia’s, we felt confident enough to try them on our own at home. Here’s the directions we got from watching Steve:



  1. To prep: Make sweet & sour mix first, rinse and quarter strawberries, rinse and stem basil leaves.
  2. In a pint glass, fill about 1/4 of the glass with strawberries.
  3. Add basil leaves (loosely) to about the same ratio of your strawberries. You should now have about half of the glass filled.
  4. Add 4 teaspoons of sugar.
  5. Muddle until you have a smooth consistency.
  6. With a speed pourer, pour vodka for about 10 seconds.
  7. Pour sweet & sour mix for about 4 seconds (also with speed pourer).
  8. Shake with ice.
  9. Strain into glass.
  10. Garnish with basil and enjoy.

We had a great time making these drinks and were quite impressed with ourselves. But, we ran into several problems along the way. First, we are not professionals. Second, we didn’t have a strainer, so we were getting basil in our teeth mid-swig. And third, we were a little tipsy from our drinks before, so we thought we could handle a little more vodka than we really can.

Although we made them a little too strong, and we aren’t quite as talented (and good-looking) as Steve, we think we have some serious potential to impress our friends at a cocktail party with this drink!

So, here is a pro/con list of reasons to make your own artisan drinks at home:


  • Save money! (And lots of it! The Anastasia is $10. The entire bottle of Pinnacle Vodka was $8.99 at BevMo!)
  • Have a good time (attempting) to make drinks with your friends!
  • You can impress your friends and family by having a cocktail party, and actually knowing how to make a cocktail.


  • You won’t have a cute bartender named Steve.
  • Your drink may not taste as good.
  • You won’t have a cute bartender named Steve.

Cheers! And as my aunt always says, “Live a champagne life on a beer budget.”

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