The Drinking Guide to Yardfest

The day has finally arrived, it's yardfest and you're ready to get turnt with your friends before hitting the yard. If you're under 21 then of course we technically have to tell you to stay sober, enjoy an alcohol free activity - seriously yardfest can be a blast with, or without alcohol; for those of you that are legal drinking age, or who have deciding that drinking is something you will engage in for yardfest, listen up. 

There are a few things to consider when it comes to drinking for yardfest, first of all, what location will you be taking advantage of for your pre-drinks? Being in the square, and presumably living on (or at least near) campus means you have no shortage of establishments that serve, or have, alcohol. You can opt for the classic dorm room / apartment pre-drink, or similarly, attend one of the house parties or club parties that are bound to be occurring both prior to, and after yardfest. If you've decided that you've spent a little too much time recently cramming in your room and you need to escape the confines of the dorm then you can always hit up one of the many restaurants and/or bars in the Harvard Square area - just remember, this is a busy day and many people will have the same thought as you, so if you're planning to go out with a big group it might be a good idea to make reservations in advance. 

If you've decided to head outside of your dorm for drinks here are a few recommendations: 

  • Hong Kong - Famous for their scorpion bowls, which are great to share with a group, plus you can never go wrong with Chinese food 
  • Grendel's and Den - For some reason this place is often overlooked even though they have amazingly cheap drink options ($12 pitchers of sangria anyone?)
  • Charlies Kitchen - Especially wonderful for groups if the weather permits the beer garden to be open (fingers crossed)

After deciding where you're going to drink you need to decide what you're going to drink, and when you're going to drink. I think these two things go hand in hand because according to how early you decide to pre-game, your drink choices should vary - for instance if you're going for a full day of drinking you may want to start out light and work your way up to those tequila shots in order to ensure you actually make it to the yard for the true festivities; if however, you've left your pre-drinking to the last minute then starting out with something a little stronger might not be the worst decision (according to your own limits of course).

If you've opted to "stay in" and make your own drinks, here are a few unique (but relatively simple) cocktail mixers that might be fun to try out:

  • The Negroni - 1 shot of dry gin + 1 shot of campari + 1 shot of sweet vermouth shaken or stirred on ice
  • The Gold Rush - 2 shots of bourbon + half a shot of lemon juice + half a shot of honey syrup shaken on ice
  • Dark and Stormy - 2 shots of black rum + 4 shots of ginger beer (or more for taste) + fresh lime juice stirred on ice
  • Sangria - 1 bottle of white or red wine + a splash of vodka + combination fruit juice + fresh cut fruit and ice 

Most importantly though it's important to remember that while pre-drinking is fun and all, you also probably want to make it to the yard and remember some portion of the performance so drinking in moderation might be a good idea. Plus according to the weather you also need to consider that while vodka is liquid, it's not necessarily hydrating if the weather is hot and you've been sandwiched between 500+ people for a few hours, so bring some non-alcoholic beverages along as well, and of course eat some food instead of going for the complete liquid diet - your body will thank you in the morning when you're only semi hungover.