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Orioles Opening Day cocktails

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This post for the Opening Day marathon reminds you that it's never too early to start drinking (responsibly) on Opening Day.

Mm, a delicious Mango Machado
Mm, a delicious Mango Machado
Alexis Smith

Opening Day is finally here and while a nice cold beer might be the traditional beverage of choice for watching a game, I thought I'd give you all some other options to celebrate the return of real baseball. So here are a few classic and not so classic baseball themed cocktails (and an alcohol optional milkshake).

Enjoy, but don't forget to listen when Gary Thorne tells you to "Please drink... responsibly."

Diamond Fizz

From About.com

There's nothing more festive than champagne, and even if this cocktail's name isn't referencing a baseball diamond, I'm going to run with it. Especially since I like champagne and Opening Day is worth celebrating.

2 oz gin
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 tsp sugar
Chilled sparkling wine

Shake the gin, lime and sugar in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a highball or collins glass filled with ice and top off with champagne.

Orange Bird is the Word

From The Spir.it

Crab, Natty Boh and Old Bay. It's hard to get much more Baltimore than that. Orange Bird is the Word is a variation on a michelada and was definitely created with the O's in mind. If I actually liked tomato juice based drinks, I'd consider using some Flying Dog Dead Rise instead of Boh.

1 can Natty Boh
½ cup tomato juice
1 oz Worcestershire sauce
½ oz soy sauce
½ oz hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Old Bay Seasoning
Lump crab meat
Lemon juice

Coat the rim of a high ball glass with lemon juice and then dip the rim into the Old Bay. Fill the glass with ice, beer, tomato juice, Worcestershire, soy and hot sauce. Stir well and season to taste with salt, pepper and more lemon juice. Garnish with a chunk of crab meat on a toothpick.

Cooperstown Cocktail

From Liquor.com

This is a variation of a Perfect Martini that uses orange bitters and has a nice, orange tint from the sweet vermouth. And as we all know, orange is one of the best colors in baseball.

1.5 oz gin
0.75 oz sweet vermouth
0.75 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Sprig of mint for garnish

Stir your ingredients with ice and strain in to a coupe glass. Garnish with mint.

Salted Peanut Old Fashioned

Adapted from Serious Eats.

Please don't be put off by the idea of infusing your own liquor. It's really easy and really only requires a bit of patience. And come on, peanuts and cracker jacks! I don't care if I never get back!

2 oz Peanut infused rye
1 tsp sugar
Splash of water
2 dashes Angostura bitters
pinch of salt

Mix the sugar, water, bitters and salt in a glass until sugar is dissolved. Add the infused rye, fill the glass with ice and stir.

For the peanut infused rye:
½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1 cup rye whiskey

Combine peanuts and rye in an airtight container and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain the peanuts out using a cheesecloth or paper towel lined strainer. You'll wind up with less than a cup of whiskey because the peanuts will absorb some of the alcohol.

To roast your own peanuts, just roast them in a single layer in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned. Let cool completely before combining with the rye.

Baltimore Grand Slam

Adapted from Bar None Drinks

There are lots of Grand Slam cocktails out there. It's my misfortune that the one I like best was created by a Canadian company for their whiskey. Who wants to see a Canadian grand slam? So I remedied this by using rye whiskey, preferably Pikesville, and garnishing it with a bit of orange peel. And renaming it the Baltimore Grand Slam.

1 oz Pikesville Rye
3 oz ginger ale
Couple dashes of angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice.

Cracker Jack Milkshake

Adapted from Sugar and Charm.

Now for the Cracker Jacks. No booze here, but adding a shot of bourbon wouldn't go amiss. Or just pair it with a salted peanut old fashioned.

1 cup vanilla ice cream
½ cup milk
Caramel sauce
½ box cracker jacks
Blend ice cream and milk together. Swirl caramel sauce inside the glass and then pour the milkshake in and top with remaining cracker jacks.

Mango Machado, Gold Glove

Inspired by Common Man Cocktails

The original Golden Glove is a frozen daiquiri with added cointreau and almost definitely inspired by boxing. But this is about baseball themed drinks, so I added some mango and named it after a certain award winning third baseman.

2 oz light rum
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
1/3 cup mango chunks
1 tsp cointreau
ice

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth, depending on the sweetness of your mango, you may want to add a tsp or so of sugar.

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