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Veterans Day 2020: Cocktails You Can Drink

by Yajush Sharnma


At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the Allies signed the Armistice Pact with Germany, whose belligerence had started the First World War.

The event had much significance. It marked the end of the most horrific war that mankind had ever waged, second only to the Second World War. The event also marked the dominance of the United States’ armed forces.

In 1926, President Coolidge signed an act declaring November 11 as Veterans Day.

It is a federal holiday in the United States. Also often called the ‘Armistice Day’, Americans celebrate the heroics of their Armed Forces worldwide, both serving and retired.

Its Armed Forces will be regaled and serenaded once again on this historic day, and we bring you some cocktails you can make to celebrate the occasion.

Veterans Day 2020 Cocktails

All of these cocktails are somehow related to the Armed Forces, and each has a history. We have mixed and matched them; some can be made at home pronto, while some require professional aid.

1. The Army Navy

It really isn’t too difficult to imagine where this cocktail takes its name from. The classic gin drink is old with several variations; we will follow the ‘revised’ method and ingredients first published in 1948’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, by David Embury.

This drink is also celebrated in the annual Army-Navy football game hosted by West Point.


  • 2 parts of gin
  • A half-part of fresh lemon juice to add a tingle
  • Orgeat almond syrup- as required by the drinker; preferably 1/4th part


Take a mid-sized mixer filled with ice. Pour in all these ingredients and shake thoroughly. Keep chilled cocktail glasses handy; you will need to strain the drink into them. Top up with adequate ice and add some lemon juice if required. Garnishing optional.

2. Cuba Libre

The root of this rum-based cocktail is over 100 years old. The story goes that a US Army Captain of the Signal Corps, who had too much to drink after their victory in the 1900’s Spanish-American War, shouted out in a dingy and makeshift bar the words ¡Por Cuba libre!’The phrase literally means “For a Free Cuba.” True or not, a rum classic was born that year!


White rum- 2 oz
One whole lime
Chilled Coca Cola

These were the only accouterments that could be arranged at short notice at the end of a major war. One can imagine why the drink is so simple!


Take a Collins glass, chill it, and add a few small ice cubes. Pour in the rum and add lime wedges. Finally, fill up what’s left with Coca Cola. It’s pretty heady stuff, but then the US Armed Forces would settle for nothing less.

3. The Sidecar

This cocktail demonstrates why necessity actually is the mother of invention. The story is pretty sketchy on this one, but it was invented during WW1. An unnamed American Army captain, who could not drive a motorcycle but loved riding a sidecar, found it pretty difficult to mix a drink while seated in this stated mode of transport.

The Captain found a way around it: he shook everything he found and simply added ice. The drink remains a staple at WW2 veterans gatherings.


1/3 or ¼ oz Cognac (according to connoisseurs, the Captain used 1/3 oz)
¾ oz Cointreau
1 full oz fresh lemon juice
One orange twist as garnish


Mix the ingredients in a standard-sized pre-chilled mixer and shake with ice cubes. Since this cocktail was born in a war-torn background, it never saw privilege and does not need any specific glass. A simple cocktail glass will do. Simply pour the drink and add the orange twist for aesthetics.

4. The Army Ranger

This cocktail was created by an anonymous Officer from the 2nd Ranger Battalion during a particularly cold spell where morning exercises were held outside. The Army Ranger too is over 100 years old and has 3 ingredients, each of which has a purpose.

A perfect drink for the month of November.


Half an ounce of Bacardi 151
A Red Bull can, preferably the 8 oz version
1 oz Jägermeister


Take a tall, chilled glass and pour in all the ingredients - with the Jägermeister parachuting in last. Add a few slices of lime for garnishing and a new flavor to what is a wholesome drink already.
Pour in some Coke if you like, but not too much.

Bonus: The Uncle Sam

This cocktail has been favored by all the Armed Forces branches for its exotic ingredients. The quick-fix it provides for endless nights- just like the night of November 11.

It’s also blue, white and red. Uncle Sam, right?


1 Oz Cinnamon Schnapps
1 Oz Avalanche Peppermint
1 Oz Rumplemintz, although some military veterans prefer half an ounce


This is the simplest cocktail on this list. Pour in each drink in the order you see, and you will notice the colors of the American flag flesh out. This is one drink you must never stir.

Best enjoyed with military veterans who have hundreds of tales to tell!

This Veterans Day, celebrate those who landed on the beaches of Normandy; those who fought for ‘The Bridge too Far’ in Arnhem; those who took on endless risks so that we could have a free, powerful, and independent country.

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