Anyone who has had a colonoscopy can tell you that the worst part of the experience isn't having a 4-foot-long camera tube snaked into your rectum—a sort of GoPro for the anal adventurer—it’s having to choke down a full gallon of foul-tasting colonoscopy prep before the procedure. Humor writer Dave Barry once described this stuff as tasting like “a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.” The man was not wrong.
The prep often comes with a packet of Crystal Light-style powder you can mix into the liquid to make it taste like goat-spit lemonade, but it’s not much of an improvement. Your reward for downing eight ounces of this concoction every 15 minutes for two hours straight, two days in a row, is relentless bowel movements explosive enough to make you levitate off the toilet seat for minutes at a time.
While most adults have accepted all this as the price one must pay for a clean bill of colon health, I am not so mature as those people. I can’t help wondering what I could do to cheat the system. Like, what if instead of mixing the prep solution with fake lemonade power, you blended it with tequila and freshly squeezed lime juice to make a delicious colonoscopy prep cocktail?
I know, I know, you’re not supposed to drink alcohol before a colonoscopy because of the risk of dehydration, blah, blah, blah. But really, how bad could it be? I asked my friend Christy, a nurse for more than 25 years, to tell me the honest truth. You know, the stuff your overly cautious gastroenterologist doesn’t want you to know.
Me: Is it OK to drink alcohol before a colonoscopy?
Christy: No, that’s not a good idea.
Me: But what if I mix the alcohol with the prep solution? That would be OK, right?
Christy: Um, no.
Me: Fine, if you want to be all medical about it.
Let’s pretend, for the sake of my own amusement, that mixing booze with prep solution before your colonoscopy is perfectly fine. What kind of cocktails could you create? And what would you call them? I have already given this topic way more thought than a person should, and I am therefore able to offer the following tips (theoretically, of course).
Mix in Batches
Once the prep solution begins working its magic, you’ll need to spend the next two hours within spurting distance of the nearest bathroom. That leaves little time for mixing individual drinks. Instead, make a batch of your chosen cocktail in a large jar fitted with a spigot and set it on the bathroom sink for easy access.
Don’t Skimp on the Prep
Since you’ll need to chug eight ounces of prep every 15 minutes, each drink should include at least 4 ounces of solution. Plan your prep-to-booze-to-mixers ratio accordingly and have a highball glass and straw at the ready.
Build on a Cocktail Classic
When crafting a colonoscopy prep cocktail, look to the classics and add your own personal twist. Here are few of my favorite spins to get you started.
Diarrhita – This explosively refreshing blend of tequila, lime juice and prep will really get things moving South of the Border.
Gin & Colonic – Elegant in its simplicity, consisting of just dry gin, tonic and prep solution, this drink will have you rushing for another glass—and the nearest loo.
Bum Runner – The name says it all, doesn’t it? You’ll have to skip the orange juice in this tropical classic because red, orange and purple liquids can mess with colonoscopy test results, but you can easily substitute apple juice for a similar effect.
Harvey Stallbanger – The original version of this drink also includes OJ, which is on the colonoscopy naughty list, plus vodka and Galliano, so there’s not a lot to work with here. Even so, the name is funny and the results are runny, so let’s just go with it—and I do mean go.
Piña Colanna – This mixture of tropical fruit juices and rum is like an “Escape” to paradise—or the commode, whichever is closest. Sing it with me, Rupert Holmes: “If you like piña colannas, and need your colon to drain…”
If those drinks don’t get your netherjuices flowing, here are few more from the cutting room (or bathroom) floor:
Brown Flushin’ (not sure the Dude would abide)
Dirty Fartini (too obvious?)
Muddy Mary (tomato juice is red, so it’s another no-no)
Manshattin (not bad, really)
Kommode-i-kaze (kamikaze means “divine wind” in Japanese, which is actually pretty fitting)
With a jug of colonoscopy prep cocktails at your side, you will never again have to fear facing down that gallon of nasty prep solution before your next appointment. Hell, you might even find yourself looking forward to it. Bottoms up!