Here in Blacksburg, going downtown is the Hokies’ favorite weekend pastime. Once the Big 21 comes, it’s goodbye sticky frat basements, hello, bars and restaurants. The most popular places downtown all have their signature drinks. Thanks to painstaking research asking friends, bartenders and bouncers, mixed with a few fun experiments, here are the drinks you can’t leave Virginia Tech without trying.
El Rods Jumbo Texas Marg – $7.49:
Always a crowd pleaser, who doesn’t love El Rods? With their awesome drink specials and complementary chips and salsa, there’s no wonder the line for a table goes out the front door on any given night. The El Rods flaming birthday shot and marg is how every new 21 year old in Blacksburg starts their first wild night downtown.
Hokie House Orange Effect, Trashcan – $10, $9:
The traditional Hokie House drinks, Orange Effect and Maroon Effect, are delicious. But after asking a few bartenders and bouncers, the Trashcan won for most recommended drink in the bar. The Orange Effect is a fruity, citrusy drink, and the Trashcan tastes like straight Red Bull. Both are good sizes for their cost, but the Trashcan takes the cake for more liquor since the Orange Effect has more ice inside. If you want to feel like more of a Hokie than you ever have before, the Orange Effect will have you screaming “Let’s go!” to an annoyed bar.
TOTS Rail – $9:
You can’t go downtown without getting a TOTS Rail, it’s what they’re known for. Hell, it’s what downtown Blacksburg is known for. This drink, consisting of vodka, rum, gin, triple sec, bourbon, whiskey, cranberry juice and Sprite is a little pricey, but trust us, one is all you need.
Sharkey’s Shark Juice and Long Island Ice Tea – $6.50:
While the Shark Juice is Sharkey’s signature named drink, it’s nothing compared to their Strong Island Ice Tea. A Shark Juice tastes like coconut rum and is perfectly tropical. The Strong Island, well, tastes like heaven in a glass. If you’re looking to have some fun and aren’t concerned with calories, order the Strong Island, a bad decision in a glass.
River Mill Irish Car Bomb – $6.50:
The most fun drink on this list, this magical mixture of Guinness, Baileys and Jameson is a blast in a glass. Just drop the shot into the cup and boom, you’ve got a delicious chocolate dessert. The splash is exhilarating, and well worth the mess. If you want to literally feel Irish blood running through your veins, be sure to stop at the River Mill.
Boudreaux’s Blackberry Mojito – $5.50:
Lesser known, but extremely amazing, the Blackberry Mojito at Boudreaux is best described by their bartender Charlie as, “like Savanah in August.” If you’re looking for a cool-down between crowded bars, this is definitely the atmosphere. The Blackberry Mojito is their best drink by far, and plenty of bang for your buck.
Big Al’s Adam’s Apple – $5:
If you thought Big Al’s was only good for beer and cheap rum and cokes, you haven’t been talking to the right people. Adam, one of their bartenders, will make you his specialty drink, the Adam’s Apple, if you’re super lucky, and it will blow minds. This blend of apple and tropical flavors is refreshing and flavorful. Ask for Adam at Big Al’s and you won’t be disappointed!
Downtown Blacksburg can be a beautiful, magical place where friends go to enjoy a drink and have fun. Or, it can turn into a nightmare of puke and going broke. While this might not be the most cost effective list, you can’t put a price on being able to tell your friends you fulfilled the Blacksburg Chug It List.