MIXOLOGY 101: Student drinks on a student budget


It’s 7 p.m. on a Friday night.


You’re broke but you just finished a hellish week of papers and mid-terms. You want to get lit, but you’re super broke and don’t want to drink the same cheap beer that you did last weekend. What exactly are you supposed to drink?

As a student, I get it. You don’t always want to go out and spend your final dollars on an overpriced cocktail — that may or may not be any good — or a case of cheap beer where you will only be able to drink six because your even more broke friend bummed the other six, just like last time.

The following drinks were chosen for both their popularity and ease of preparation, and have been given one rating for overall quality and another for cost.

All recipes are for one glass.

Sex on the Beach


2 parts vodka

1 part peach schnapps

2 parts orange juice

2 parts cranberry juice



Pour everything in a glass over ice and stir.


Rating: 3/5

Cost: $$$

It’s a fruity and girly drink that’s probably a little too sweet for my liking. It could have been a more appetizing colour — it looked a little like a peach that was a little past its prime. The vodka taste was also a little stronger than expected, but once you got used to it the drink wasn’t that bad. Not that great, either.


Long Island Ice Tea


1 part vodka

1 part white tequila

1 part white rum

1 part gin

1 part triple sec

1 ½ parts lime juice

Cola to top



Pour all the booze and lime juice in a glass over ice, pour enough cola over top to fill the glass, and stir.


Rating: 2/5

Cost: $$$$

I love Long Island Iced Tea. There is something magical about a whole bunch of things getting chucked together in a glass and coming out tasting like regular iced tea. That being said, this homemade version came out like a total disaster. Somehow there was too much gin and that was all I could taste — this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it wasn’t a Long Island Iced Tea. Also, unless you have a properly stocked liquor cabinet, the cost is prohibitive. Just go to the bar for this one.




½ oz. lime juice from a quarter of 1 lime

1 tsp. sugar

3 mint leaves

2 oz. white rum

Club soda



In a glass, muddle — or in simpler words, squish up with a spoon — the lime juice, lime rind, sugar, and mint leaves. Press all the ingredients against the side of the glass to get the flavours out. Fill the glass about half full of ice (if desired), pour in the rum, top with club soda, and stir.  


Rating: 4/5

Cost: $

This insanely refreshing drink is something that I would sip on a hot summer’s day. The flavours balanced perfectly, and while you could taste the rum, it was never off-putting. I desperately want to give this drink a perfect score, but the effort that goes into making it brings it down a notch. I’m pretty sure that I got more lime juice and sugar sprayed across my kitchen than I did in the drink itself.


Poor Man’s Sangria


1 fruit cup

Orange juice

Red wine



Pour the syrup from the fruit cup into your glass. Pour in about the same amount amount of orange juice. Add as much fruit from your fruit cup as you want. Fill up the glass the rest of the way with wine, and stir.


Rating: 5/5

Cost: $$, but $ if you use the cheap orange juice. We won’t judge.

This is a shockingly good drink. It is fruity without being obnoxious, and the orange juice helps mask the taste of cheap wine — I’m looking at you, Barefoot Merlot. It would also be super easy to make as a large batch, because let’s face it: the bigger the batch, the better. Plus, when your mom asks if you’ve been eating any fruits, you can tell her the truth. . . she just doesn’t need to know that they were soaked in sugar water and wine first.


Gingered White Wine Spritzer


White wine

Ginger ale or ginger beer

Lime juice from ¼ of a lime



Fill a glass about three quarters full of wine, then fill the rest of the way with the ginger ale or ginger beer. Squeeze in lime juice, and stir.


Rating: 3/5

Cost: $
This was one of the most average drinks I’ve ever put in my body. It did have a nice ginger finish from the ginger beer, but that was the only flavour it had. It would be refreshing on a summer day, but so would plain old white wine. Unless you are looking to feel fancy and show off the fact that you are drinking a wine spritzer, maybe try a different concoction.