The Wizard of Oz

[A candid peek behind the curtain Q & A with the Administrator of ReVo]

Hello Everyone, and welcome to the Emerald City! This will be a candid, behind the scenes, one of a kind look to how things are ran here on ReVo and just what goes into the day to day and everything that we do, and we’re going to kick this segment off this month. Each month (or more then once a month depending on how we adjust things later) I will be fielding questions sent in by you guys either to myself (on the forums) or the ReVo account (also on the forums) or directly to Smurfy or Rivers to pass on, and attempt to offer as much insight into things that I can, as candidly as I can. 

While it is that I may not be able to answer every single question that is floated in my direction, I will attempt to address each and every one that comes across in some fashion. We do afterall, have to keep some tricks of the trade behind closed doors. 

So without further adieu, lets go ahead and jump into fielding some of the initial questions that were sent forth. 

Q:  How do you all keep up with messages that come into various places, day in and day out, and does it ever get tiring?

A:   This is a great first question, because coming off of vacation and turnaround, the end of the year, a shift in staff, etc, I constantly feel more behind above and beyond the day to day as it compiles. But I’m not alone. While the short answer is twofold. A) very carefully, and B) I don’t., that’s part of the team that we’ve built here at ReVo and part of our daily duties. 

I’ll explain the “I don’t”, first. We receive tons of messages everyday from posts on the forums, support, to personal PM’s, to the ReVo account, emails, and discord. These are checked on a regular basis and passed on to where they need to go and answered as they can be, and sometimes when it comes down to Discord (especially), things may get lost in everyday conversations, sometimes I/We get busy doing other things, don’t see the messages when they pop up, or don’t get a chance to respond (though we always try) right away if someone else has already answered it. I admit I’m personally a little notorious for that.

When I say “we”, its absolutely a collective effort. As far as it getting tiring? Sometimes. But that’s what we signed up for, and for the most part its rare that it becomes overwhelming, and is simply part of our day to day around the other things that we do in our lives. Sure it can be a little tiring sometimes after a long day at work or checking things before going to work, or when something breaks or a situation arises right when you try and settle into some roleplay, but its what we do and that communication is never lost. Our team will always see it.

Q:   How are decisions made on how the events will go. How are the ideas born and put into effect.

A:    Another great question, and one that’s been quite fluid over time as we’ve worked to develop our strategy for coming up with and delivering events and ideas that everyone will love. Normally I’d want to pass this onto Rivers, our current event coordinator, but working with her and that team (and everyone else on staff, including our chatters!) I’ll offer as much insight as I can. Please note, however, Im speaking strictly from an ‘event’ standpoint in the rooms and not say the monthly flavors, as those ladies and that team have some wizardry going on that plans these things out months in advance (though these ‘themes’ will often correspond to what type of event we’re throwing that month, but not always).

The first thing that we do while mapping out events is looking at each month, what we’ve done in the past, what was successful, what wasn’t, and begin building from there. We then begin taking into account holidays, events that our chatters might be putting on, various genre events that the chatters might like (like the gorean fairs), suggestions from our chatters and our teams (we keep notes and lists), and then build a rough list of ideas and begin brainstorming. Brainstorming is an integral part of the process (and probably the most fun!). Tossing out a ton of ideas and seeing what ‘sticks’. Sometimes we’ll source others with random ideas and see what they think of them, if it excites them. If its something they think people might be interested in. Sometimes we just go random and take the constant feedback we get and build the next one from there with a little trial and error.

Most of the events that we try and plan are built to encourage ‘roleplay’ and to get everyone that we can involved, regardless of what genre they might roleplay in or how familiar they are with a particular setting. Once we have an idea in mind, that’s where the magic happens. We decide this is what we’re going to do, then begin mapping it out. What’s the theme. How do we wanna do it. Is this going to be a dice game, roleplay, how long is it going to be? What are the prizes going to be? Do we need Dj’s for it, how do we promote it, etc. Then its advertised and parceled out to the teams and people that are going to support it and we knock it out of the park.

Most events are planned and ready to go weeks before they’re actually announced. 

Q:   How are things are decided, such as new ideas, chatter suggestions, etc.?

A:    This might be my favorite question for this month, because I’ve actually gotten asked this alot over time and know Q did beforehand. The short answer is, if I don’t like it, it doesn’t get done! 

………..

Bueler….

Bueler…..

KIDDING!

Its actually a little more in depth then most people would think. We get alot of ideas floated around to us through all mediums, from our chatters, to our staff, and keep a running list of most all of them. As staff we brainstorm alot amongst ourselves with things that we see moving forward (being chatters ourselves) and toss out there ideas we hear ‘on the grapevine’ since we work to keep a pulse on the happenings around the site. There’s alot of them (and this is a good thing).

We take all of the suggestions put forth by pretty much anyone from anywhere and they all get discussed. Some of the bigger discussions (such as site policy or site changes and suggestions for implementation or improvement to process, etc) will get discussed at our Admin and Cabinet level first, and then passed down to the rest of the staff on what they’ve been seeing, with a collective brainstorming process on how we can implement things, if its good for the site, the best way to go about it, etc. From there if agreed its good, it goes back up top and if its something that we feel that we can and should do, then we draft a timeline to implement these things and communicate it out as soon as we can.

Sometimes it works much quicker then that. Sometimes chatters will have great suggestions be it on something we’ve recently done on how to iterate on it and improve it (we’re always looking for suggestions!) or come up with something completely brand new. Sometimes these are something we’re able to implement and do/will while going through a quick vetting process, and other times we may feel its not something that we can do, or roll it over into another suggestion and combine the two. Sometimes we may feel its better to roll out down the line. 

Its actually quite rare, that decisions are made and new ideas are put forward at an Administrative level without conferring with others. This is usually reserved for quick changes or clarifications to other things. Even while I think it is that I have bright ideas, sometimes, not so much. Every idea and suggestion goes through a discussion and vetting process. 

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So that’s a little insight and a sneak peak behind the curtain for our first installment of the Wizard of Oz and hopefully (surely), there’s plenty more questions that people might come up with, or thoughts and things that they’d like me to expound upon in upcoming segments. I’m also open to taking suggestions and feedback for this format and willing to branch things off and include thoughts on things you guys would like to hear about. 

Until Then. 

Gossip Gurl

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Hey Revoites! This is your gossip gurl coming at you! Have you been roaming the ReVo forum lately. Lots of events going on there. Sir Russ is doing a gratitude auction that sets this year off to a great start focusing on an optimistic beginning. That vote for ReVo thread is growing and several people have generously donated items, with a chance to win for those that are voting to show their support. If you’ve happened to traverse the who chat from time to time you might see all the amazing radio shows going on regularly from the scrumptious DJ Illmatic and DJ Scorch, the scintillating DJ Curbie and ReVo’s very own quirky DJ Wildthing, along with many others. I heard a rumor that there are a few new deejays on board as well, and the rumor has it that some well known past deejays are returning to the deejay scene, so keep your eyes open and your ears tuned in! Well that’s it for the bit, until next time. Remember, if it’s hip, and it’s happening, your gossip gurl will be there to get the juicy scoop!

Storytime with the Smurf – by Smurfy

In this new segment you the reader will get a chance to mail in questions to Smurfy. She will take those questions, and respond with the most ridiculous answers imaginable. “It is my belief that laughter is everything – so, why not share a little silliness with others along the way?” – Smurf

Please send all questions to Smurfy’s pm.

(Please note: Revo does not necessarily agree with the words and opinions of Smurfy. In fact, we reserve the right to deny association with her at all.)

Question Submitted by TaB 

My 19-year-old stepdaughter can’t tie her shoes, is something wrong with her?

Response by Smurf

Just as a mother bird knocks a baby bird from its nest, let nature take its course, and simply hit your stepdaughter in the head with shoes until she learns to tie them. There is nothing wrong with her per se. It is more the question of what isn’t wrong with her. Shoe laces can be used for a great many things – getting out of a situation where one is zip tied for instance, as well as they make excellent restraints themselves. Perhaps let her know what she is missing out on. It may coax her to enjoy tying shoes a little more. 

That’s Just British…
Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond [by Russ]

That’s British: Pancake day with Russ

Pancake day, aka Shrove Tuesday. I’m not religious, but it’s one of my favourite days of the year. Unlike the States, pancakes are not a regular food here, we don’t have them often. Instead, we have a day devoted to the tasty eggy and fatty goodness. Taking place before lent’s commencement on Ash Wednesday, Anglo-Saxon’s would go to confession and were shriven. Absolved of their sins. How did you know it was time, why you ring the pancake bell of course! Imagine that, oh no I’ve been an arse, guess the bell need to be wrong I’ll confess and eat pancakes. That’ll learn me

The date varies as it’s always 47 days before Easter Sunday this year it’s the 16th February. The earliest recipe book with pancake in dates back to 1439! 

The idea was to use up all your eggs and fat before fasting for lent. Now in the uk our pancakes are a thin flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan. You drown it in syrup, lemon juice and caster sugar, and if you’re me, banana (ice cream sometimes) and hope you don’t fall into a sugar coma. 

Everyone knows to be a good pancake maker you have to be a good tosser. You have to toss the pancake to flip it over, no spoon or spatula.  This resulted in much comedy in life, from seeing them stick to the ceiling (dad), land in the sink (mum) or the dog bowl (me) 

So who wants a pancake, Brit style will here is what you do. 

Mix all together and whisk well. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and let it cook until the base of the pancake has browned. Then shake the pan to loosen the pancake and flip the pancake over to brown the other side.

But Russ, I don’t wanna eat my pancake. Ok take it racing. What’s a pancake race? Glad you asked.

Ok so it’s a race, with a pan and pancake, running and tossing your pancake, first to cross the line wins. Wanna make it harder, then it’s fancy dress. 

The most famous pancake race takes place at Olney in Buckinghamshire. According to tradition, in 1445 a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell while she was making pancakes and ran to the church in her apron, still clutching her frying pan. The Olney pancake race is now world-famous. Competitors have to be local housewives, and they must wear an apron and a hat or scarf. Each contestant has a frying pan containing a hot pancake. She must toss it three times during the race. The first woman to complete the course and arrive at the church, serve her pancake to the bell ringer and be kissed by him, is the winner.

So there you go, another weird tradition here. 

Next time I wanna go reader’s choice, so give me some questions on the UK! 

Till then, I’ll leave you with Russ’ Brit word of the blog:

‘quockerwodger’ (19th century): a puppet-like individual whose strings of action are pulled by someone else.

The Best of The Edge

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This new segment of the blog is to highlight the best of the Edge, Roleplay Evolution’s own legendary radio. Highlighting all the things that make the station and its deejays the best around, you’ll find everything from amazing music sets to what-the-f moments from live shows. We love our deejays and our station and we’re gonna give you every reason to hop in the room next time you see a show happening!

First – lets count the reasons of awesome so you know what to expect. Then – keep an eye out for future posts giving the scoop on the best moments we caught. You never know – you might find yourself included in what makes The Edge the best!

Music

You already know The Edge hosts some of the best deejays this side of the inter webs. Each with their own style, they rock the airwaves all week long. Want to know more about the deejays? Look here https://roleplayevolution.com/radio/website/wordpress/#deejays

DJ Schedule

Mondays: DJ Scorch or DJ Illmatic 9pm est

Tuesdays: DJ Neo 9pm est

Wednesdays: currently open

Thursdays: currently open

Friday: DJ Harley 9pm est

Saturday: DJ Wildthing 6pm est DJ Addiction 9pm est

Sunday: DJ Curbside Prophet 12pm est

Shenanigans

Music isn’t the only draw to these stellar deejay shows. There might be no other place on ReVo you can learn the many monikers of Omega [have you heard the baron of bush?!] or find social distancing measured in coney dogs [the ones from Sonic that you immediately regret]. Something outlandish happens almost every time the music gets going and the drinks start flowing! 

Themes

Our deejays don’t stop with great style, they have amazing personality and creativity to boot and often put together themed shows that not only entertain but definitely double the shenanigans. DJ Curbside Prophet never fails with themed music on Sundays and DJ Addiction has a long history of heavily themed shows and alter egos [drag queens ftw!]. 

Events

On top of everything else that makes them the best – deejays often partner with events on the site to provide music and commentary, giving events that finishing touch that makes them oh-so perfect. There’s nothing like having two deejays heckle you while jaws is trying to eat your face! At least the music was good!

Gossip Gurl

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Hey Revoites! This is your gossip gurl coming at you! Did you know that The Art Garden had a paint event on Saturday? -giggle- As soon as I heard, why I skeedaddled my lil butt right there to see the haps! It was a good event without anyone acting yanno ‘extra’. -smirks- The challenges seemed kind of cool and there was a deejay on air as well. I did get to witness some good artistry. Man there was some brilliant work going on there! Well that’s it for the bit, until next time. Remember, if it’s hip and it’s happening, your gossip gurl will be there to get the juicy scoop!

Thats Just British…

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond with Russ

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That’s just not cricket

“Cricket a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves some conception of eternity.”   – Bernard Shaw

One of the things I’m most passionate about in life is Sport. I honestly love most of the sports in England, Football; Soccer to you is a great game, the simple made into the spectacular. Rugby is my favourite sport and it’s practically a religion where I’m from in England. I can wax lyrical on the sport and one day I will. Today though I want to talk about the most English of sports of cricket. 

On paper it’s a simple game. You have two teams of 11. One team bats, 2 in at a time and scores runs by hitting the ball and running between the wickets. If the other team get 10 of the batsman out, they bat and try to score more.

Sounds simple right? It really isn’t you can be out by bowling the batsman out (hitting his stumps and knocking the wicket off), by someone catching the ball before it hits the ground after the batsman hits it and most confusingly of all leg before wicket. This involves if your leg is in the way of the ball and stops it hitting the stumps. And it’s complicated… like there are multiple replays, a system to see if a sound is picked up to prove the ball hit the bat, was the ball pitching inside or outside off stump. 

And the games can go on for 5 days, which given my countries ability to rain, is mad. You can’t play cricket in the rain… so we have a system, called the Duckworth-lewis method that calculates what the rains effect on the score was and reappraises what the team needs to win.

And yet I love test match cricket, I can watch it all day, its captivating, the tactics, like do you have a man stand at silly-mid off, do you have a spin bowler, a fast bowler, do you bowl full toss, a Yorker? Confused yet? 

Only the british could make a sport so simple, so complex and so captivating. It’s one where It can be as dull as ditch water (imagine playing for 5 days to get a draw!) or absolutely spell binding. And one where the biggest rivalry England v Australia is played to see who wins an urn of the ashes of a stump, bail or ball (depending on what legend you believe) that is barely bigger than a tea cup.

I grew up desperate to be good at cricket and I wasn’t, thankfully I was half about at Rugby (a story for another day) and so I could be sporting but Cricket, cricket is as English as you can get.

I expect you are no clearer on this sport, think it’s overly complex, boring and no idea what is going on. To that I say…. Welcome to my world when I watch Baseball.

Expression of the day:

The phrase “it’s just not cricket” is used in English to say that something is unfair or dishonest.

Examples:

I can’t believe you got a ticket for the party and I didn’t. It’s just not cricket.

You can’t copy your essay from the internet! It’s just not cricket.

Diana admitted that she cheated in her A Level exams to get a place in a top university. It’s just not cricket.

That’s Just British…
Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond
By Russ

So this week we have an idea from our very own Bloginista. Next out its British insults. But please don’t hesitate to drop me a message if you have anything else you’d like to read about, about the little island across the pond for most of you.

An idiom, firstly what is it. Well apparently it means:

a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g. over the moon, see the light ).

I’m someone who loves using metaphors, analogies and the like to express myself, usually as an insult or piss take, because well that’s me. Now I have no idea if some of these are British or more widely used, but I’ve curated these as best I can, because it was a fun topic and stood out when Rivers suggested it. I’ll post my favourites at the end, the ones I often use at work, for the sake of my sanity. So I’ve expanded this a little from just idioms to British slang etc

Ok so let’s start with a very British one:

A penny for your thoughts: Basically you are asking someone for their opinion. “I will give you a penny if you tell me your thoughts.” By the way a penny is the equivalent of a cent, so you are getting ripped off here!

Beat around the bush: This means your avoiding a subject, and not speaking about the issue. “stop beating round the bush Russ and tell us why a baked potato is called a jacket potato”

Look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. Another classic idiom, my nan said this a lot. Basically looking after small amounts of money leads to have large sums of money.

A few sandwiches short of a picnic. Someone who lacks common sense. I mean who doesn’t take enough sarnies to a picnic.

Bagsy: Basically shotgun “bagsy not making tea tonight”

Blinder: To pull a blinder is to do something very skilful or difficult.

Bob’s your uncle or Fanny is your aunt: our way of saying hey presto.

Bonnet/Boot: Hood/trunk of a car

Brolly: An umbrella, you’ll need one in England

Chinwag: This is to gossip or catch up

Chuffed: I use this a lot. To be chuffed is to be full of pride. E.g. I was chuffed with that av I made.

Clanger: To pull a clanger, is to make a massive mistake. See also cock-up.

Codswallop: The greatest word ever. Basically this is to lie or make stuff up. “what a load of Codswallop”

Dog’s Dinner. A mess. “you made a right dog’s dinner of your report Russ”

Faff: “stop faffing” wasting time doing very little

Fit: describes someone physically attractive. E.g. Are bloginista is a fitty.

Flog: to sell

Gutted: To be devastated or upset. “I’m gutted we lost”

Hank Marvin: cockney rhyming slang for starving      

Innit: An abbreviation of isn’t it. “It’s a bit shit innit”

Leg it: to run away

Lurgy: to be ill or have a cold

Miffed: annoyed

Minging: Unpleasant or unattractive. E.g Russ you smell minging

On the pull: To go out looking to get lucky.

Pants: Rubbish

Pissed: To be drunk

Round: This means you are buying the drinks e.g. “Russ is getting the round in”

Sod’s law: Basically means if anything can go wrong it will go wrong.

Spend a penny: to pee

Take the biscuit: If someone has done something highly surprising or irritating.

Take the mickey: to take liberties at the expense of others

Everything is tickety-boo: It’s all fine

Waffle: I do this a lot! To go on or skirt around a subject.

Zonked: tired

Ok so my favourite Idioms:

Thicker than a submarine door

And

A camel is a horse created by a committee

As to what they mean? Well you tell me and I’ll chuck in a prize for the closest guesses.

So there is a few for you. Know anymore or heard any that you don’t know what it means? Get in touch and we’ll hit those up next time!

That’s Just British…

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond with Russ

I feel reader, I let you down. I mean technically I promised and offered nothing but still. I wanted to give you a cheese roll experience and I failed. That is not the standard that’s just British sets.

So sadly Cheese rolling was still a no, so if you’ve come here expecting me to have somehow done the cheese rolling, you’ll be disappointed again. Sorry… this blog isn’t going to plan. However here is a video of the Master of Ceremonies (side bar how cool would it be to be a Cheese Master) rolling the cheese to ensure the tradition continues unbroken.

hopefully next year, muggins here will be running after the cheese.

So what can I offer? Well I have mentioned there other bank holiday traditions in my quirky country. And back in the day I did one of them. Almost 10 years to the day I’m going to recount, the time I almost became a world champion….

10 Years ago I was a very different person. Now I’m a below average cyclist, and a way below average runner. Back then I was 5 stone heavier and a crap rugby player. But me and friends were always up for a challenge and decided we would do the Tetbury Wool sack Race. So what in the hell is that Russ? Well Reader is held every year on Whitsun bank holiday, and you run down a stupidly steep hell with a 60 pound sack of wool and run back up it with said sack. Fastest wins. You have different categories. It at the time was known as the world championship of wool sack racing (other options are now available)

We had settled on the Mixed relay race. So two lads and two girls (one would go on to become a gold medal winner at the Winter Olympics… there’s always one who leaves the band for better things) I somehow was the lead out, which meant down the hill hand sack over. It was supposed to be easy and mean the more capable member could make up any deficit I build (they had a lot of faith in me) I approached this event with the usual commitment I had to training back then… I committed to doing little. And so I was not ready. But by 10:30 we were in the pub (rugby play) as we discovered we were the only mixed team! So we had to cross the line to win that was it.. World champion baby!

Except… the organizers felt we should have some competition… we weren’t bothered but they insisted. So a bunch of people from the British Army volunteered…. This went down like a lead balloon with us. Anyway we posed for a photo…

Then it was the start line. And the hill suddenly looked steep. I looked to see who I was racing. The man must have been 4 ft tall, but a Gurkha, a nepalis soldier, renowned for there endurance. Against me and well see in the pics what little I brought to the table.

The gun went off and I was winning, for literally a second. The fact I went early is irrelevant, but the guy was gone, while I looked like bambi on ice trying to balance the sack on my back, and stay upright… drinking was not a good idea. Somehow I made it to the bottom, my dignity and self-respect lagging behind. Handing over to the first of the girls who did a great job but the girl was fast and left our team mate for dead. Then the last downhill leg and the second girl of our team, the downhill skier just went for it, I literally saw a sack and  a pair of legs but she was flying with no fucks for her safety, there were audible cries from the crowd, as we walked back up to discover our final team mate had dropped the sack and we were disqualified, people were telling her that was the best run they’d seen.

And so I became a silver medalist (no medals were given) in a World Championship (it counts) If I do cheese rolling all I will get is some Double Gloucester!

Sadly no video evidence exists of our effort but you can see a video of what the event is like here:

Boozy Travels with Rivers

First – a thank you!

A special thanks to Seven who came up with the initial idea to have a blog segment about different drinks from different places! To celebrate that great idea the first drink is Seven’s favorite – the Moscow Mule. Aside from being a delicious drink a key selling factor for Seven is the copper mugs they’re served in. I have to agree – those mugs are fabulous. Not only are they aesthetic but the temperature conduction of the copper makes your drink feel extra cold and therefore extra delicious all while looking about as cool as the contents. 

These drinks are super common and variations are available almost anywhere you go but to make the OG at home is simple…a long as you have the copper mug! Accept no substitutes!

Moscow Mule

    1.5 oz vodka

    4 oz ginger beer

    3 lime wedges

Combine vodka, ginger beer and 2 lime wedges in a copper mug and stir. Garnish with additional lime wedge. 

And now to a land far, far away…

Next we’re gonna travel overseas to Belgium! WT has a favorite cocktail there that reminds me of something that would be served in Florida. The Belgian Orange Blossom cocktail comes from Brussels – a mellowed out, smooth drink that WT describes as a not too sweet orange hard candy. This is her go-to when heading out on the town with friends, but as the DD she orders the virgin option also included below. 

Ready for a crazy alcohol fact about Belgium? You are required by law to keep a disposable breathalyzer in your vehicle at all times. They’re sold for around $5 in auto parts stores. 

Belgian Orange Blossom Cocktail

    3 thin slices of orange (peel on)

    2 teaspoons almond syrup

    2 oz. gin [or for a virgin option replace with 2 oz. lemon lime soda]

    1 oz. pink grapefruit juice

    1/2 oz. lemonade

    1 oz. seltzer water

    2 dashes bitters

Using a tablespoon, lightly crush the orange slices in a tall glass. Do not mash the oranges; just crush them enough to release a bit of juice.

Add 1/3 cup ice to the cup, fill with the remaining ingredients, and then stir lightly, keeping the orange slices at the bottom of the glass. 

According to WT, in the clubs they sometimes decorate the glass with candied orange slices and some fresh orange wedges. Sometimes they use other fruits to make it pop or floral sprigs. 

I can’t lie. I think I’m going to have to try this one at home as soon as possible.

Its all in the name…

A random drink with a name that gives pause

We all know at least one drink with a crazy name that makes you wonder. Every post will feature one random drink with a more random name. This time its A Short Trip to Hell. 

A Short Trip to Hell

    2 oz of peach schnapps

    2 oz of strawberry schnapps

    2 oz of wild berry schnapps

    1 oz of jagermeister

    8 oz of Red Bull energy drink

Shake Red Bull, peach, strawberry, and wild berry schnapps in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass. Then put Jagermeister into shot glass. Drop in the shot and drink.

Had any of these drinks? Love em? Hate em? Comment below! And if you have a favorite drink that you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you and feature it on the next post!