Drink With Your Degree: A Master’s Guide to Imbibing

Pete Capella
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You’ve passed your GRE and you’re headed back to school. This time, it’s graduate school. But to master your Master’s will take a lot more hard work and dedication than it did skimming by your first four years. Let’s be honest, you were hungover in class more than you were sober, and you spent more time perfecting your beer pong game than your multivariable calculus equations. This year, why don’t you keep your nose in the books and leave your drinking to us? Here’s a quick breakdown of drinking by degree with both wine and cocktail suggestions. Put away the keg and serve these up at your next Master’s Program dinner party.

If You’re Getting Your Master’s In:

Molecular Biology

If this is your gig, then you are all about the intricacies of cell system interactions. You are fascinated by the obscurities behind how and why all of those chemical reactions work.  

Wine: At your next dinner party, serve Eiswein (or simply “ice wine”) as an after dinner treat. The sweet wine is made from Riesling grapes, frozen on the vine. The grapes are crushed while still icy, so the water crystals in the grape skins are easily separated from the juice of the grape, leaving behind a brilliant and concentrated grape syrup. This highly respected method and extraordinary chemical balance of acid and sugar makes this a complex and unique wine.

Cocktail: The next step in bartending is the trend of Molecular Mixology. This is the practice of experimenting with cocktail ingredients on a molecular level using techniques such as foams, liquid nitrogen, gels and mists. At your next soiree, serve up a batch up Carbonated Mojito Spheres. Chef Jose Andres of Minibar created an amazing version. Check out the recipe.



You’re studying human movement and the art of balance and coordination.  

Wine: Host a wine blending dinner party and school yourselves on the proper balance of acid and tannin. Use this DIY Wine Blending article as a guide.

Cocktail: You like your cocktails the way you like your bodies: balanced and strong. At your next gathering, break out the Negronis. A Negroni is a perfect balance of bitter, sweet and savory with enough kick to knock you onto your gluteus maximus. Plus, they are easy to make. A Negroni is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Try the following recipe:

1 oz Death’s Door Gin

1 oz Formula Antica Sweet Vermouth

1 oz Campari

Build in rocks glass. Add ice and stir gently with a barspoon. Garnish with an orange twist.


Environmental Engineering

If you’re studying to make an impact by improving the environment and are interested in recognizable change, then you are most likely interested in sustainable food and drink practices as well.

Wine: The grower brings the farming process more closely in tune with nature and the spiritual forces of the cosmos in biodynamics.  Biodynamic wines are always 100 percent organic, and growers may make their own compost and look to the stars and planets to time plant and grape maintenance.  Biodynamic wines are not particularly cheap, but you should be able to find bottles within the $20-$40 range.  Most biodynamic wines are bottled using little or no preservatives (sulfites), so look for younger biodynamic wines, as most of those will taste best fresh.

Cocktail: With a major push for organics and sustainability in the world of cocktails, one brand stands out: VeeV. An acai and wheat-distilled spirit, VeeV uses only sustainably grown, wild harvested, fair trade ingredients. Their bottles are made from partially recycled materials that are printed with organic soy ink, and their boxes are made from post-consumer waste. To top it off, they are the only distillery in the US to use wind-powered renewable energy. See how sustainable they are on their website. The spirit itself is delicious and is perfect on its own, with a mixer or in a cocktail. Try making a fresh juiced cocktail like this at your next dinner party:

1.5 oz VeeV

1.5 oz Fresh Juice (A combination of Beet, Carrot, Ginger, Apple and Lemon)

.5 oz Agave Nectar

3 Shakes of Cayenne Pepper

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with candied ginger.


Art History

You’ve chosen a career path exploring the history of an abstract idea. People think you spend most of your time in museums and at art installations. Unfortunately, you spend a majority of your time with your face buried in a book, looking at pictures of pictures.

Wine: Provide wines that are deeply rooted in history and particularly expressive of their terroir. Offer Chianti, a Sangiovese-dominated wine, recognizable by the black rooster on the neck of the bottle. The rooster dates back to when the territory of Chianti Classico was being fought over by the cities of Siena and Florence.  Try a Chianti Classico Reserva for complexity, softer tannins, and a full-bodied experience.

Cocktail: Give your guests a post-dinner drink meant to help with digestion, which will also aid in sparking conversation over whether pointillism is brilliant art or just the pre-cursor to those weird 3D Magic Eye Posters. Pour your fine art friends a Cynar on the rocks. Cynar is an Italian bitter made from 13 herbs and plants. With sales up 60 percent this year as bitters are on the rise, Cynar is just popular enough to be readily available and just underground enough to impress the impressionists. 


International Business

You’ve combined your passion for numbers with your love for travel and your unbridled adoration of money, and you’ve chosen a path in world business. And right now, all the business is in China. 

Wine: China has recently emerged on the global wine scene, and the market is slowly but surely accepting its reverence. Grab a bottle of Chinese Cabernet Sauvignon to bring to the dinner party.

Cocktail: With multiple major businesses focusing on China or Chinese money, you should definitely consider learning a bit about their culture. Maotai (or Moutai) is the national liquor of China. It is distilled from jowar and barley. It is fermented eight times and distilled nine times, a process that takes a year long. The alcohol is then set to age for another year. This technique is said to give the liquor properties that are beneficial to your health. It is rumored that even if you drink too much, it will not make you dizzy. So end the bedspins and dole out some Maotai at your next business dinner party.

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