Skip to main content

Lance Bass Says Bye, Bye, Bye to Boring Cocktails

Former member of pop legends *NSYNC (and general man about town thanks to his appearances on television and in film) Lance Bass knows how to have some no strings attached fun with cocktails.

“For the last year I’ve really been on a cocktail adventure,” he said. Part of that adventure — outside of drinking a wide variety of cocktails — was starting a cocktail mixers line with partner Jax Taylor (of Vanderpump Rules) called Just Add X (Jax, for short).

Lance Bass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“We created a mixers line for really bad bartenders. We have a lot of great mixologist friends that we’ve worked with for a while to come up with the final flavors, which will launch at the end of this summer,” he said.

It makes sense, then, that when Bass was approached by Stoli to guest judge the Key West Cocktail Classic, the largest LGBTQ bartending competition in the country, he didn’t drive himself crazy thinking of an answer.

“Stoli came to me to be their special guest judge at the Key West Cocktail Classic Finale and I was all about it,” he said. “I’ve been a fan of Stoli my whole life because I love my vodka and they’ve also been amazing with, and very supportive of, my community, the LGBT community.”

Taking place in mid-June as part of Pride month, Bass said he was looking for something new in a cocktail.

Lance Bass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“I want to be surprised,” he said at the time. “Like I said I’ve been tasting fun ingredients all year long. I’ve been surprised by what works and what doesn’t and I hope someone surprises me with something I haven’t tried before.”

The competition winner, Sam Benedict, must’ve done just that with his drink, as he won $10,000 for Gays Against Guns and $5,000 for Habitat for Humanity Key West while second place winners Joshua Simmons and Bobby Vargas won $5,000 for Dallas’s Resource Center and San Diego’s Human Dignity Foundation, respectively. They also won $5,000 for MCC Key West and Sister Season Fund.

This one guest judge appearance and the mixers line, though, aren’t the only ways Bass has been or will continue to be involved in the drinks community, as he just opened Rocco’s WeHo (in West Hollywood), which sits practically at the entrance to the city’s Pride festivities.

Lance Bass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

And as for what Bass will be drinking during Pride, he’s all about summer flavors and Moscow mules.

“I like things that taste good, I’m always looking for fun flavor combinations. One of my favorites, especially for the summer, is strawberry and basil.”

It’s a good thing, then, that one of the Just Add X mixers, Berry Smashed, is flavored exactly like that. (The others are Stubborn Mule (ginger-lime), South of the Border (jalapeño-cucumber), and Blue TeaZ (blueberry-tea).

The last thing we (read: The Manual’s food and drink editor Sam Slaughter) had to know — What are his thoughts on the ‘90s coming back?

“The ’90s was such a fun decade. It’s crazy because when we lived in the ’90s, I remember thinking there is no way that this decade will ever be cool again,” he said. “It was the most eclectic weird decade, starting with grunge in Seattle and ending with pop like Britney Spears and *NYSNC.”

Lance Bass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

And as bad as the style was, he said, it’s fun to look back on it.

“I didn’t realize how much fun it was and how innocent it was at the time. I think everyone is so into the 90s nostalgia right now because they want to go back to an innocent time of their life where it was a little easier. There were no cell phones. I think that’s what everyone is craving right now.”

That love has extended to new fans of pop, too, as Bass and his group mates have helped to inspire others in the same vein.

“I think it’s great that people [such as Ariana Grande] are finding inspiration in ’90s things and it’s great to see her fans finding that ’90s culture, too.”

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
7 of the best spirits for spiked apple cider
Add a twist to your apple cider with one of these spirits
Glass mug with spiked apple cider

There's nothing better than a wintery and blustery day. Just kidding; there is, actually. It's called spiked apple cider and booze. You know the kind where you take spices and apple cider, then heat it, and after it gets to a nice hot temperature mix in your favorite spirits? Sit in your favorite chair and just sip the cold away.

Speaking of cold, you can definitely make your own concoction to ease the symptoms of the common cold -- it's called a hot toddy. Sick or not, it's delicious and may keep that cold at bay. In the meantime, we put together a list of some of the best spirits for those cold winter nights. But these aren't just for winter, you can enjoy these drinks year-round, as they can either be made into spiked hot apple cider or cold spiked apple cider cocktails. Consider them the adult's apple juice, and no matter if you decide on a hot or cold cocktail, you're going to enjoy it.

Read more
The best breweries in America: The ultimate bucket list if you love craft beer
Want to combine craft beer and travel? These breweries have great ales and more — worth booking a vacation for
Prairie Artisan Ales Brewery

If you didn’t know it, there are currently more than 9,000 (yes, you read that right) breweries operating in the U.S. That’s a lot of IPAs, pilsners, and barrel-aged stouts. Honestly, it’s way more beer than you or I could ever hope to drink. This also means there are a ton of breweries that, to put it a bit bluntly, aren’t worth your time. There are also a lot of great outfits, brewing award-winning beers. There are also a few that stand above the rest both in terms of quality and atmosphere. These are the bucket list breweries that every beer fan should visit at least once.

The best part? These gems can be found all over the country. There are Chicago breweries, Asheville breweries, and outstanding, can’t-miss breweries from Petaluma to St. Pete. We’re talking names like Tree House Brewery, Russian River Brewing, Brewery Ommegang, and Portland, Maine’s stalwart Allagash Brewing to name a few.

Read more
Apple cider donuts are a fall tradition – this is the only recipe you need
You'll love this tasty, simple apple cider donut recipe
Apple cider donuts with sugar

This time of year, the sweet treats are out to play, and we couldn't be more thrilled. Pair all the deliciously spicy fall flavors with chilly days that make you want to snuggle up with something cozy and sugary, and we're happy campers. Perhaps slightly chubbier ones, but that's what the cable-knit sweaters are for. If you've never made (or even tried!) piping hot, cinnamon-sugary, crisp and spicy, fresh apple cider donuts, what are you even doing with your life? This chilly weather treat is a must for autumn days, and it's about time you learn to make these spicy little love cakes.

Why are apple cider donuts so good?
We all love our local corner donut shops for a quick sugar fix and a cheap cup of coffee. Nothing says "it's going to be a good Saturday morning" more than one of those cheerful pink boxes. Now imagine that instead of your usual maple bar or classic glazed, the donut in your hand is fresh and warm, infused with crisp, autumnal apple cider and fall spices, warm cinnamon and sugar crystals dusting your fingertips. And instead of a fluorescently lit shop in a strip mall with chipped laminate flooring, you're enjoying that donut at a stunningly fragrant, gorgeously picturesque apple orchard, owned and run by kind and jovial local farmers.

Read more