This tends to be stuff I don't really like, which is why it's been sitting on the shelf for so long in the first place. In this case I was dealing with Absolut Mandarin, Qino One raspberry vodka, Karlsson's Gold vodka, and Camarena silver tequila. Actually, I love Camarena tequila (I just hadn't gotten around to finishing the bottle), and Karlsson's is pretty good for vodka. Absolut Mandarin, on the other hand, is pretty bad, and I'd like to clarify that I didn't buy it—a friend left it at my apartment for some reason. I figured that the best way to get rid of it all would be to make cocktails to drink while I packed.
You might think that using crappy alcohol to make cocktails is a bad idea, but when it's 2 AM and you've been packing for six hours straight, doing anything except packing seems like a really good idea (besides, most of it wasn't technically crappy, just not necessarily my favorite). You might also think that mixing mandarin orange vodka, raspberry vodka, and plain vodka with rosemary-mint simple syrup and lemon juice would be a poor choice, and you'd be partly right. Flavored vodka is terrible in general, and as such, also a bad choice for any cocktails. But the simple syrup wasn't bad with it—in fact, it was the only good part of the drink. And the upside to working with alcohol that's going to be thrown out anyway is that I have no problem with wasting it. I moved on to a simpler combination: tequila, raspberry vodka, lemon, rosemary-mint syrup, ice. That worked better—but it would have been better yet without the raspberry vodka. And without the vodka, the cocktail is one that I've made before with endless variations, a little like a margarita without the orange liqueur (though I've also made it with the liqueur). So much for creativity.