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By Lauren Miele

So you want to get drunk for under $20? The secret to your success is simple — vodka.

Andreas, a manager and bartender at Casey’s, credits vodka’s superiority as an alcoholic beverage for the fact that it’s so versatile.

“There’s so much you can do with vodka because you can mask the taste if you don’t like the taste of alcohol,” he said.

“A big bottle of vodka can last you a couple good nights of drinking.”

Andreas, 20, is also a third-year international relations student at the University of Toronto, so he knows what it’s like to go out drinking on a budget.

That’s why he recommends making your own drinks.

One of his favourite mixed drinks is the Purple Haze because he says it tastes like purple Kool-Aid.

To make it, simply mix a half-ounce of melon liqueur and one ounce of vodka in a glass and then fill it to the top with cranberry juice.

If you’re not a fan of cranberry juice, he recommends replacing it with orange juice.

And that’s just the beginning.

Using vodka, you can also make Melonballs (vodka and pineapple juice), Screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice), and Caesars (Mott’s Clamato, vodka, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce).

If you are looking to be cool like James Bond, try to make your own stunning vodka martini at home.

Bonds’ favourite drink from Casino Royale is the aptly named “Smirnoff Royale.”

This recipe from is not only easy to make, but all the ingredients needed can be found in your refrigerator.

Start off with one and a half ounces of your favourite vodka (it doesn’t have to be Smirnoff — they paid to be in the movie) and add two teaspoons of honey.

A quarter of an ounce of lime juice goes in next, along with two ounces of white cranberry juice. Shake all the ingredients together and serve chilled with a lime wedge garnish.

If you want someone else to do all of the hard work for you, Hey Lucy at 295 King St. W. is a great place to go. Their menu features a long list of martinis that cost only $3.50 on Wednesdays (regular price is just under $10).

It has a rooftop patio and is close to the club district, just in case alcohol brings out your inner Tiny Dancer.

The Ram in the Rye, is Ryerson’s campus watering hole, and a great place to go for cheap drinks.

The best time to go is during Rammer Time (Mon-Fri, 2:00-5:00), when you can get domestic beer and some mixed drinks for $3.50 each.

An added bonus is that the pub is so close that after a hard day of classes, you can go to the Ram and drink your stresses away.

If all else fails, you can always try chatting up that hottie at the bar. You never know – you might end up with a free drink and a date.

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