A Cocktail Pairing Guide For Your Lice Infestation

by Glynis Ratcliffe
head lice
Mypurgatoryyears / iStock

Congratulations! It looks as though one member or more of your family has been infected by every parent’s favorite pest: lice. It’s truly a milestone in parenthood; you must be so proud.


Okay, it’s more likely that you currently feel like throwing up your last meal, especially if you’ve spotted a few of those creepy crawlies skittering around in a family member’s hair. Don’t worry, I get it. I’ve dealt with moths. I’ve dealt with ants. I’ve dealt with fleas. Nothing compares to the horror that is a lice infestation.

So, how do you get through it? Well, I’m not here to share a how-to-get-rid-of-lice guide. That shit is all over the internet. Nope, what I’m here for is to offer moral support, in the form of a handy dandy cocktail pairing guide, for each day that you have to deal with those goddamn lice. Because the only thing that can get you through this kind of horror is alcohol, pure and simple.

Day 1: Discovery

We need an easy but effective cocktail on this first night, because you’re probably going to be spending the first three hours after you find out just researching all the different ways to treat lice, then making the decision. Then you have to go get said treatment and apply it to whichever kids (and adults) have it. You have no time to be making fancy pants drinks, honey. Grab that box o’ wine and get drinking.

Day 2: Combing and Washing All the Things

Chances are, you have to do some old-fashioned combing with an old-fashioned metal lice comb. It doesn’t matter what new treatments are out there, everyone has to use the comb. And it sucks. Cocktail match? The Old Fashioned, of course. Because chances are, you’re pretty bitter at this point, so you may as well have a cocktail with some bitters in it.

Day 3: Nit-Picking (and Washing All the Things)

I’m sure you’ve established by now just how much this process sucks. You’ve probably washed everything in your house at least once, bagged all your kids’ stuffed animals, and found yourself obsessively peering into the mirror at your own hairline when you brush your teeth. Now you have to sit down for another night of bloody nit-picking, so it’s time for a Bloody Mary.

Day 4: Finding A Louse. In Your Own Hair.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Isn’t it great when you spend so much time checking everyone else’s hair that you miss the nits in your own hair? As you douse your head in whatever treatment you committed to, after you’ve checked the kids’ hair again and they’ve gone to bed, you need something to keep you going. Irish Coffee, stat.

Day 5: Nit-Picking Everybody’s Goddamn Hair

This is the frigging apocalypse, and no amount of Bailey’s and coffee is going to get you through this. The kids have now watched approximately 30 hours of Netflix this week and played 40 hours of Minecraft. There’s no time to prepare anything pretty or delicious. You need something quick and effective. Tequila shots it is.

Day 6 and Onward: Who the Hell Knows

Listen, there is no hard and fast timeline for getting rid of these shit-disturbing little bugs. You may be in the clear at this point, in which case, you need to get yourself some champagne or prosecco, stat. On the other hand, I know some families who have dealt with an endless cycle of children re-infesting one another for months on end. If this is you, I would recommend getting one of those gallon bottles of vodka to keep in the fridge for the foreseeable future.

The Last Day: All-Clear

Finally, you got the all-clear from the school. No more of those disgusting bugs, no more searching, strand by strand, and finally a break from the insanity of life in front of a screen that you’re not even looking at, 6 hours a day. Clearly, this calls for something fancy, but you’re too tired. A beer and then bed? Sounds absolutely perfect.