At this point in the semester, the familiar faces and routine of campus can get a little dry. Smokes, an easy and dependable spot for a casual night with all your friends, and a quintessentially college establishment, can feel like a microcosm of this. You’ve explored your academic curriculum of Penn. Let us guide you through the alcoholic curriculum of its local bar.
Below are our top picks for you to try on your next Smokes night.
The Thirsty Fourth Street ($15)
The alcohol in this drink is almost undetectable. It tastes like the kind of punch you’d find at a kid’s party. It contains three juices: Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple. On closer examination, it also contains Stolichnaya’s flavored vodka: a shot of Vanilla, a shot of Blueberry, a shot of Raspberry, and a shot of Orange. That’s four shots. Three juices, four flavored shots, Thirty Fourth Street. Oh, and there’s also a shot of plain Vodka and a Maraschino Cherry. You know you want to hop on the train out of Penn Station and ride into the darkness with us.
Green Tea Shot ($5)
There are all kinds of health benefits to drinking green tea. In fact, . But, so far, we haven’t been able to conclusively determine that this shot–which contains Jameson, Sour Mix, and Peach Schnapps–prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol or benefits cardiovascular health. It certainly doesn’t seem to enhance the cognitive functions of our brains. It is delicious though, and positively linked to having a good time with your friends at your local college bar.
Sex on the Street Shot ($6.50)
This drink resembles a Sex on the Beach in its deliciousness and high alcohol content, but it differs in presenting fewer logistical issues. There’s no sand to worry about on 34th Street, and cars are legally obligated to stop if a person (or two, or more) is on the cross-walk. Made with blueberry Stolichnaya Vodka and Butternut Schnapps, this shot tastes like blueberry pancakes drenched in maple syrup. It’s sweet, sticky and a little dangerous—but it feels great going down.
Log Juice ($4.50)
More commonly known as a Dirty Shirley, this bubbly red drink contains Grenadine, Vladimir Vodka, Sprite, and a few Maraschino Cherries. What’s with the two polarizing names? A Google search revealed nothing. We can only assume that some Penn gentlemen were conflicted about the beverage which, while delicious, threatens the drinkers’ (narrowly and archaically defined) sense of masculinity with its sparkle, pink color and cherry topping. The solution? Re–christen it something a little more butch. “Log Juice” sounds like something that came from a toilet bowl. In the boys’ restroom at Smokes. After Homecoming. While we applaud the innovation of these young men, we do wish they could be more gender–forward.
Pitcher of Bud Light ($10)
This classic needs no introduction. It’s cheap, okay–tasting and dependable, and, when your weekend nights span from Wednesday to Saturday, it’s just what you need. Many mysteriously find themselves more popular when they’ve just purchased one of these. Unpalatable whiffs are often attributed to the volume of people sipping this stuff. On particularly crazy nights, you can usually spot someone drinking directly from the plastic jug. When the Eagles won the Superbowl, the nonsensical slogan “Dilly dilly” you saw all over social media was coined by this beer. You may not like it, but it tastes like college.
Green Drink ($10)
We regret to inform you that the Blue Curacao—the ingredient that produces the color in the notorious Blue Drink—is no longer in stock at Smokes. Those of us who are old enough to remember the long ago nights when the Blue Drink reigned the Smokes drink menu (and our cognitive functioning) will lament. It was sort of gross, but blue became black with this drink fast. Its replacement contains mostly the same ingredients: gin, vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, sour mix, orange juice and either Green Apple Schnapps—which tastes nothing like the drink we mourn—or Watermelon Schnapps—which doesn’t either, but does resemble the Tokyo Tea ($9.00) at Ramen Bar. It’s no longer blue, but it remains possibly the most alcoholic drink that can be contained in a plastic cup.
The Sex–Positive Woman Shot ($6.50)
We had to rebrand the Red Headed Slut, which contains Jagermeister, cranberry juice, and Peach Schnapps because the name was gross but the taste is delicious. It’s like liquified cherry licorice with an undetectable alcoholic bite.
TL;DR: Street knows good stories and good shots.
Location: 210 South 40th Street
Monday–Sunday: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 a.m.