Let’s get real—we don’t always want to wait until 5pm for that first drink. Kat O’Dell understands. Contributing editor for Eater.com, she just penned the definitive guide to day drinking in her first book Day Drinking: 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz. We spoke with O’Dell to get her tips on how to day drink like a pro.
What to drink
O’Dell recommends shying away from potent drinks without a modifier, like martinis or Long Island Iced Teas. Day drinking is an hours-long ordeal, so low octane drinks help you last longer. Micheladas are a personal fave of O’Dell’s. She loves them very salty, sour, and spicy, adding a bit of Worchestire sauce and tons of fresh lime for an umami punch. Other good options include summery drinks like bellinis, sangria, classic champagne cocktails or wine spritzers. Come wintertime, O’Dell’s all about mulled wine and punches, and recommends Irish coffee for early risers. And of course, bloody marys over breakfast are great for a start to day drinking no matter the season—if executed properly. O’Dell recommends using one ounce of vodka instead of a traditional two ounces to make it lower proof.
Timing is key
Okay, anytime is technically an acceptable time to day drink (extra encouragement if it is during brunch). But according to O’Dell, day drinking’s best hours generally fall between 11AM and 4PM. That gives you enough time before evening to rest up or enjoy dinner. As for how quickly we should be downing our tipples, O’Dell suggests one cocktail an hour for a regular-proof drink, and two per hour for low ABV ones.
Snack Like a Boss
Rule number one: Eat beforehand! But don’t stop there. O’Dell says day drinks are naturally conducive to sipping while snacking. “Alcohol enhances food and vice versa,” she says. Lighter drinks, like Aperol spritzes or bubbles, pair well with salty foods (think the classic caviar and Champagne combo).
In the fall, O’Dell loves a spectacular charcuterie assortment for snacking, filled with local cheeses, in-season apples, and end of summer raw tomatoes drizzled with olive oil salt, alongside crusty bread and a spritz.
And in case you overdo it
Yes, there can be too much of a good thing. No worries though! First and foremost, hydrate. Coconut water, or a squirt of chlorophyll in water are great for a revitalizing boost, says O’Dell. Her prescription for avoiding (and curing) a day-drinking hangover includes popping two activated charcoal pills beforehand, and then then taking two more activated charcoal pills and a glutathione supplement towards the end of your big day.
And if you’re really in bad shape, get an IV. “It is life changing,” says O’Dell. She visits Reviv, which offers infusion therapies, either in their sleek Madison Square Park offices or during house-calls.