If there's one thing we all know about Joel McHale, it's that the actor and television host is a humble man of simple pleasures. Whether it's breaking out the red carpet before heading into the grocery store to pick up his steaks or having his loyal manservant Mateo sketch him while indulging in a cocktail atop the mountains of Morocco, McHale is a connoisseur who epitomizes ease and fun. So naturally, it makes sense he knows how to have a good time when it comes to elevating happy hour for all of us!
After the year the world has had with the pandemic and normalcy creeping its way back into our lives, the Crime Scene Kitchen host is helping us indulge in a little bit of that brightness just in time for Memorial Day and the official start of summer with some casual day drinking talk while revealing his latest role as Chief Happy Hour Officer for Q Mixers, America's leading premium carbonated mixers brand — an undertaking he is excited to be part of.
"I love the idea of how it came together because it just seems so obvious that you would want a quality mixer in a quality spirit," McHale told PopCulture exclusively, further revealing Q Mixers is a brand he had in his fridge prior to joining the company, which boasts 11 different flavors. "Why would you ruin a perfectly good shot of high-quality gin with some lame mixer that's going to go flat in seconds and then you're drinking sugar water alongside a really nice gin, which ruins it."
McHale admits the founder and CEO of Q Mixers, Jordan Silbert was the "jumping-off point" in why he wanted to be a part of the brand's newest and first-ever, CHO. "We live in the golden age of bars and bar scene and mixed drinks and beer and wine and so it follows that the mixers would be good," he said. "I use it in mine, and it doesn't go flat and the quinine tastes great when you're having a gin and tonic. But I think their ginger beer is great, their club soda, their Kola. I know that I sound a lot like a spokesperson, but I'd be saying this if I wasn't a part of it."
Adding how it's a "need that has been filled," McHale reveals the best way to elevate happy hour is "not that big of a secret" but advises how not to "screw up the portions" when creating a good drink. "If you have a high-quality gin or a high-quality bourbon and you got a Q Mixer tonic water and some lime, it's going to be good unless you're like, 'And then I put it into the stovetop and heated it up for 20 minutes,'" he said. "Don't do that. Put it in a glass with ice." McHale advises it's "those little things" one can do for their drink to go from super lame to wanting one every day.
When it comes to the CHO's favorite drink, it's the Five O'Clock Fizz made with the Q Mixers Ginger Beer, gin, Campari, lime juice and a little orange twist. "It's perfect for dealing with family members," McHale teases. "Wait. No. The immediate family, great. [But] sometimes it expands to the family then you're like, I think I need to have another Five O'Clock Fizz. So that's what I like. I like a gin and tonic. I like a Moscow Mule."
Admitting he likes to pair his cocktails with some of his meals, the Card Sharks host shares how a steak can go well with a gin martini, later adding "something that enhances the flavor" palette. "I think also lighter stuff like the Five O'Clock Fizz, that can go with anything barbecued. But I also associate it with the weather, so for whatever reason, I like a Manhattan when it's a little cooler out, even though it's a drink with ice in it; and a Moscow Mule I associate with summertime," he said, later advising against pairing bourbon drinks with fish unless deep-fried. "That bourbon can be pretty flavorful, but like a vodka or gin drink, great [with fish] because gin is just beautifully juniper."
Proudly served by thousands of America's best bars and restaurants, head to Q Mixers' official website to get your summer drinks, or visit Amazon. For more on Joel and his latest projects, stay tuned to the latest from PopCulture!