Inside Out Drink: Joy and Sadness

joy sadness inside out

Tomorrow marks the wide release of the already critically-acclaimed new Pixar smash, Inside Out. In honor of the two leads, Joy and Sadness, we post a double header. Check out drinks for both Bubbly and Buzzkill after the jump.


Joy Daisy


  • 1 oz lemon (Eureka, not Meyer) juice
  • 1 gill (4 oz, or 120mL) total Champagne wine (Korbel used here) + dry gin (Hendricks used here) + Maraschino Liqueur (Maraska brand used here), recommended ratio 3 oz (2tbsp) Champagne + 3/4 oz (1tbsp + 1.5tsp) gin+ 1/4 oz (1.5tsp) Maraschino, or to taste
  • 1 egg white, or 0.25oz egg white from carton (optional)
  • 1 marasca cherry to garnish


  1. Chill a 6oz sour goblet
  2. Skewer the cherry and set aside
  3. Add the lemon juice, gin, and maraschino liqueur to a metal mixing tin
  4. Fill at least 2/3 with ice, seal, and shake hard until tin frosts, ~12s
  5. Pull out sour goblet and add Champagne wine
  6. Double strain with both Hawthorne strainer and fine mesh tea strainer, drink should mix itself
  7. Garnish with cherry and serve


Old-Fashioned Sadness


  • 1 scsp (1.25mL, or off of this bottle one fairly aggressive dash)
  • ~1 tsp old-fashioned lump sugar (actual size to taste)
  • 1/4 oz (7.5mL, or 1 1/2 tsp) water
  • 1 Jigger (2 oz, or 60mL) Oddka
  • 1 strip lemon zest for garniture


  1. Set out a 5.5 oz old-fashioned tumbler
  2. Place the sugar lump into the tumbler and dash the bitters onto the cube
  3. Add water and partially dissolve sugar with a barspoon or muddler
  4. Add first cube of 1-oz service ice
  5. Add jigger of Oddka
  6. Add second cube of service ice
  7. Garnish with lemon zest, serve with small demitasse spoon

While we don’t have a full plot summary for Inside Out (considering that wide release is tomorrow), we know enough about the premise. There is a move to San Francisco. It’s a change, an upheaval, a new chance. And in the meantime, there are all sorts of emotions flowing through the protagonist Riley’s mind as she struggles to deal, to cope, to adapt. How can one make sense of drastic disruption? Much less when you have two diametrically opposed emotions, Joy and Sadness, literally running amok in deeper levels of thought than the rest of your conscious feelings. deeper
This week’s drinks proved very interesting indeed. How can you distill Joy and Sadness into liquid form? It must be possible. If Pete Docter can take these feelings and turn them into animated characters, a little beverage should be no problem. And for one of them, it was. Deciding to focus on what we can only presume are the deuteragonists of the movie, Joy came like a flash.

Joy, as the name suggests, is a hyper, thin kind of tall drink of water (figuratively speaking) that’s bubbly, effervescent, and always celebratory. What’s exemplifies that ethos better than champagne? Adding a little sour to brighten this into a punch as a pick-me-up makes the drink more fun, less concentrated-booze, and much less pretension. For once, no fancy bitters, exotic fruits, or amaro no one has heard of. We just riff on the French 75, modified with just a touch of maraschino cherry liqueur. The drink is fun and forward, and all of that jazz.

You know, you can almost see the drink resemblance right there

You know, you can almost see the drink resemblance right there

Sadness was a harder nut to crack, until I realized that I had a bottle made for this: Oddka-Electricity. I took a chance on Oddka in the store, despite having never before bought flavored vodka, because the packaging was nice, and, frankly the price was right. (I’m a champion of lost causes and longshots. I throw mixed-drink Hail Marys, what can I say?) This particular bottle is “electricity flavored”. How cool is that? So even if it turned out less than amazing, with a sub-$10/bottle price tag, who was I to refuse? Then I tried it, and it…wasn’t electricity flavored, to say the least. My skepticism was warranted: as far as I can tell it’s blue berry. Not blueberry, not blue raspberry, but a truly generic berry-that-was-blue. I was at least expecting a little more tartness, the way the citric/malic acid combo makes warheads and sour patch kids go electric. Sad and disappointed, I shelved it as a waste. Until now. Sadness, unlike joy, is small, blue, bitter, and without something or someone else to temper it, a real buzzkill in anything but small doses. Oddka represents most of these things without assistance, except bitter, as the artificial berry flavor smells so sweet. We then look to a cocktail template, where the bitters help to mask the burn, and in larger doses, moderate sweetness. To add some actual sweetness, some lump sugar and rocks make this an actual old-fashioned, and to add some of the citrus I was missing without sour which could throw off the drink, we switched to grapefruit bitters instead as the aromatic part. Due to the rough spots in Oddka’s flavor profile, this drink is a bit fussy. Not enough bitters and it tastes like a sweet shot. An overzealous dash makes the thing insufferably bitter. Just right, however, and the drink can make even the tragedy-of-this-purchase a decent thing, after all.

I mean looking at it again in retrospect, I shouldn't have been so surprised.

I mean looking at it again in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been so surprised.

Knowing Pixar and the general tone of this movie, you can expect that Inside Out will do everything in its power to make you feel all the feel(ing)s, on so many levels. Where a lesser studio would bring the movie to a generically happy ending, we have full confidence Inside Out will, like these drinks, take a more nuanced approach and show you can find something positive even in uncertainty and sorrow.

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