For information on how to make your own Chalkboard Mason Jar Glasses, scroll to the bottom.
Despite my best intentions, the reputation I garnered while in college was not exactly something I was aiming for. While I sat on numerous student org executive boards, chaired countless committees, was the sole student on the Faculty IT council, and even started the first fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men in Texas, my 15 minutes stemmed from a measure of success only college kids would find important and impressive. I became known for my house parties.
It did not take long for me to learn that spending 15 hours a day on campus going to class, studying, organizing protests, pushing for student’s rights, working and trying to change something – anything – left me – and many other student leaders – with a strong desire to let off steam. We did this the only way college students knew how to, with copious amounts of alcohol. I happened to have a 2,000 sq ft. house just blocks away from campus and a penchant for making deliciously strong drinks so it didn’t take long for my house to become the preferred party spot.
I met and made best friends, fell in love once or twice, hooked up too many times to admit, fended off nosey cops, cared for sick friends, learned a few bar tricks, and made a lot of drinks at these house parties. I danced like a maniac. I blew out numerous sound systems. I got my shy friends to dance like maniacs. I shared new years kisses under the mist of exploding champagne bottles, and exchanged halloween costumes with girlfriends half way through the night. I may have set off fireworks inside for the Fourth of July. I rambled on about nothing and listened to friends do the same thing. I got in fights with best friends; I made up with best friends a few minutes later. I concocted the best damn punch that campus had seen in years and filled up numerous coolers with it every time I had a party.
Most of my inebriated evening was spent trying to meet these strangers hanging out in my house though. To the irritation of my close friends who just wanted to hang out in my room – a makeshift VIP room where the really good alcohol was kept and the really raunchy games were played -, I made my rounds, making sure every guest had a full glass and was having a blast. I hugged a lot of tipsy strangers, asked where they were from and what they were studying. I said, thanks for coming out, y’all,” a lot and, “I’m glad you’re having fun,” even more. And once I even got in a fist fight with two guys who were trying to steal our beer – you don’t steal a Texan’s beer.
There is a sense of joy and pride that comes from hosting a get together. My favorite part was always watching two strangers become friends.
Oh and the cocktails.
Because I honestly like juice as much as I do a nice stiff cocktail, I’ve decided to share two recipes. One is the kid friendly Cherry Citrus-Ade, the other is the adult-only Summer Cherry Sour. Oh and I got all crafty and made some chalk-board mason jar glasses. Guess what? I’m going to teach you how to make them too!
Summer Cherry Sours: While whiskey is distilled from grains and brandy is distilled from fruit, both have a flavor profile that I believe pair well together, especially in a drink like this containing sweet and tart/sour fruits.
Take care to note when mixing the Cherry Citrus-Ade to use as a cocktail mixer in the Summer Cherry Sours, you skip the step where you add water.
Summer Cherry Sours
Yield: 4, 4 fluid ounce cocktails
Time: 2 minutes
4 Mason Jar Glasses (instructions below)
12 ounces (1 1/2 cup) Cherry Citrus-Ade (recipe below)
2 fluid ounces good brandy
2 fluid ounces good whiskey
1. Pour the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for a few seconds.
2. Pour the cocktail over ice into 4, 8 ounce mason jar glasses (or into old fashioned glasses).
Cherry Citrus-Ade: I suggest buying sweet cherries for this recipe though you can use any variety of your choosing. Muddling the cherries helps get their juices into the drink. This will be a pulpy drink.
Yield: 1 quart Cherry-Citrus-Ade
Time: 10 minutes
4, 8 oz Mason Jar Glasses (instructions below)
1 quart pitcher
12 ounces cherries, pitted
2 fluid ounces simple syrup*
2 fluid ounces lemon juice
2 fluid ounces lime juice
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
12 ounces water (do not add this ingredient if making a cocktail mix)
1. Add the cherries and the simple syrup to the pitcher. Muddle the cherries until they are broken apart.
2. Add the lemon juice, lime juice and grape fruit juice. Mix well. If you are making Cherry Citrus-Ade as a cocktail mix then skip step three.
3. If you are making Cherry Citrus-Ade to drink on its own add the 12 ounces water and mix well.
4. Serve over ice or on its own.
Mason Jar Glasses: So long as you don’t have a penchant for amputating appendages when you use power tools, these glasses are incredibly easy to make. This can be done with any size mason jar. If you plan to paint a portion of the glass (in addition to the lid) make sure you choose mason jars with a smooth glass side.
Take care when attempting this project as the metal can become very sharp while drilling and filing the straw hole. Be sure to remove all filings or bits of metal that may still be attached to the lid before drinking from the jars.
Chalkboard Mason Jar Glasses
Yield: 12 Mason Jar Glasses
Project Time: 1 hour
Drying Time: 12-24 hours
5/16th inch metal drill bit
Needle nose pliers or metal shears
12 Mason Jars, any size
Black chalkboard spray paint
Striped paper straws
1. Separate the pieces of each mason jar. Lay the lids on a flat, thick piece of wood (one you don’t mind drilling into). Using care, hold the edges of the lid to keep the lid from spinning around (you may also use a clamp here), and drill into the center of each lid. Drill at a moderate speed as drilling too fast or too slow may cause the edges of the straw hole to be uneven.
2.If there are any pieces of metal hanging on to the lid, use needle nose pliers or metal shears to remove them.
3. Using a thin, small metal file, file the edges of the straw hole from the top to smooth out any rough or sharp edges.
4. If you plan to paint a portion of the jar, tape the entire jar (including the top to keep paint from getting to the inside) and use an x-acto knife to remove tape in the shape of the area to be painted.
5. In a well ventilated area, preferably outside on a dry day, lay all the pieces out on newspaper or a tarp. Spray a thin layer of paint completely covering the tops of both lid pieces, and the expose glass on the jars. If necessary repeat and apply a second coat.*
6. Leave the painted pieces out to dry overnight.*
7. Wash all the pieces by hand with mildly soapy water. Hand dry and assemble.
*Always follow the instructions on the paint can. When using spray paint, it is best to move the can and nozzle from side to side, painting in horizontal stripes. Take care not spray paint in one are too long as it may run.