Archaeologists like to drink. Reflecting on our first date, Andy once told me, “Oh, I was really awed when I saw you chugging that handle of Captain [Morgan Original Spiced Rum]. I definitely wasn’t expecting it out of you. It was impressive, most impressive.”
Scott R. Hutson questions the relationship between archaeologists and their alcohol and begins to examine the “alcoholic grit” that forms a key component of the archaeologist’s identity.
I, however, am not here to question our way of life. After all, most archaeologists, at one point or another, have used their credit card receipts to retrace their whereabouts for an evening with colleagues!
My goal today is to suggest four multi-purpose drinks that will satisfy your craving for alcohol at the end of a hard fieldwork day but also help to keep you hydrated and healthy!
1. Malibu Coconut Rum and Pineapple Juice.
This is hands-down my number one choice in and out of the field. Delightfully simple and delicious, the Malibu Pineapple is an archaeological fieldwork wonder drug. Highly-hydrating pineapple juice contains potassium, one of the electrolytes lost while sweating during fieldwork; Vitamin C, which helps to prevent scurvy from poor fieldwork diets; and bromelain, which reduces inflammation and helps bruises heal faster—two common fieldwork ailments.
2. Gin and Tonic.
My PhD advisor swears by Gin and Tonics; we made them almost daily during fieldwork in Illinois. You need gin, tonic water, and lime juice, plus a lime wedge if you are fancy and tonic water ice cubes if you are going all-out. Tonic water contains quinine, which fights malaria but has side effects that can lead to internal and external bleeding, as well as permanent kidney damage, if consumed in significant quantities.
3. Vodka and Cranberry Juice.
I usually keep it simple and pour equal parts vodka and cranberry juice, but most recipes call for slightly more juice than alcohol. A good Vodka Cranberry will be finished with a splash of lime juice and a splash of orange juice. If you want to get a little wild, add a splash of grapefruit juice! You have to use real cranberry juice to get the benefits: prevention of urinary tract infections and kidney stones and reduction of dental plaque.
4. Mint Julep.
The Mint Julep is the most complicated of these cocktails to prepare; it requires four basic ingredients: Bourbon, mint leaves, water, and sugar. The Food Network has an awesome recipe for “The Perfect Mint Julep”. The mint julep traditionally uses spearmint leaves, which can help to relieve fatigue because they contain chemical compounds like menthol, carvone, and limonene. Spearmint can also help replace the minerals lost while sweating during the workday, such as calcium, manganese, and magnesium. It is a particularly good source of Vitamin A, potassium, copper, and iron.
Please drink responsibly.