Beyond the Toga: Vodkas and Latkes

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Hanukkah is almost here, and for Jewish college students, ya’ll get eight full days to party. This year, ditch the old Chinese food and movies routine and throw a Vodkas and Latkes soirée for your friends of all faiths and sizes.


The party consists of everything we love about Hanukkah – carbs and booze. Gather some friends to cook in your kitchen or have everyone bring their own family latkes and favorite vodka.

Here’s the recipe from Miami food blog Short Order:

  • 3-4 large potatoes, grated raw
  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flour or matzo meal
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

Note: you can also add zucchini or use sweet potatoes instead for a unique taste.

Directions: Mix components and scoop heaping tablespoonfuls into hot shortening. Fry until crisp.


Unfortunately, there aren’t all that many mixed drinks for Hanukkah out there. Fortunately, this means you can drink whatever your Jewish heart desires! You provide the vodka, and ask your friends to bring the mixers. Using your various ingredients, you can set up a ‘vodka buffet’ where each guest mixes his own drink, or use your creative juices to stir something up for everyone. Make a large punch bowl of cranbery juice cocktail, vodka, frozen lemonade and 7Up over ice.


Use traditional Hanukkah colors, blue, silver and white, so that everyone remembers the true reason for celebrating. Chocolate gelt (you know, those gold-wrapped coins) could also be used to throw all over the table for decorations then eaten for dessert. If you’re a poker lover, gamble with these delicious treats in a game of Texas hold’em.

Hanukkah Activities

Gather around the dreidel for this classic game. You may have played it as a child, but it will be even more fun with a little mixed drink in you.

Rules: Before every spin, each player puts a chocolate coin (or actual cash, clothing, etc.) in a pot. When a player spins, the symbol that is face-up when the dreidel lands indicates how many coins he or she must put in or take from the bowl. Whenever a player loses all their coins, they are out of the game. Whoever ends up with the most in their cup wins.

In the words of the great Adam Sandler: “So put on your yamakuh, and have a happy happy happy happy Hanukkah!”


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