Out of all of the topics that we here at Team Tawlesome (Tall + Awesome) decided to approach for our Movember series, How To Drink Like a Man was certainly one that I felt could be taken down several different paths. Ya see drinking correctly is highly dependent on a whole series of different aspects, most obvious being age and income. Although indulging at times and ordering a nice bourbon or scotch is great, during those dizzying years that are your early-to-mid twenties, you most likely can’t afford to drink like a GQ editor every time you go out or have company over. Additionally, beer, liquor, and wine are all highly dependent on personal taste and I am certainly not going to tell you that you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T like something (although I will berate anyone for drinking anything with the words “light” or even more “lite” printed on the label).
I for one used to loathe the existence of Tequila, but after several credible and dedicated people convinced me that I was simply drinking bad tequila (I hope you burn in hell Señor Cuervo), I learned that tequila can be a beautiful thing when mixed correctly (sans-Patrón, I’m not much for “eating the worm” (yes, I am snooty about certain types of liquor. If you’re out of college and NOT picky then you are A – an idiot, B – have no sense of taste, or C- an alcoholic)).
So friends, Bromans, and countrymen – lend me your ears as we look at some key aspects of How To Drink Like a Man.
1. First and foremost, learn to enjoy whiskey. I don’t care who the hell you are, men have been drinking whiskey for hundreds of years and all of the great drinking cultures of the world (Ireland, Scotland, the American South) have their own variation on it. Whiskey offers blanketing warmth that brings smiles to all (until you have one too many and then anger has a habit of popping up) and is best consumed during the fall/winter. Additionally, Whiskey is a spirit that amplifies one’s mood from love, love, love to “let’s go fight that entire flock of sleeping Canadian geese!” If you don’t like it straight, it’s okay, I don’t judge execution, I’m just looking for effort. Some of my favorite ways to consume the firewater would include Irish Aspirin: a shot of whiskey accompanied by a shot of OJ, the always classic Old Fashion, and my go-to the Harry Douglass, otherwise known as a Whiskey & Ginger (a Creative Director I interned with a few years ago suggested the pairing and told me he and his college buddies had dubbed it the HD, no relation to the football player of Louisville/Falcons fame).
2. Unless you’re on a cruise or at a resort, avoid anything frozen. Just don’t do it. Seriously, don’t.
3. Don’t drink anything that you would feel ashamed of drinking in front of or explaining to your Dad or Grandfather. Take a moment and imagine explaining to your Grandpappy what a Vodka-Red bull or Sex On The Beach is. No, really think about that, I’ll give you a minute. (Pause) Yeah, exactly. The only exception to this would have to involve buying shots for you and a young lady you might’ve met at the bar and after initially offering to buy shots of Maker’s, she counters with the suggestion of Lemon Drops. This might not be the woman you’re going to marry, but just remember; Grandma and/or Mom weren’t their firsts either.
4. Treat your bartender with respect. I try to push this as much as I can, but if you’re trying to find yourbar, you will definitely want to shoot for a good report with the bartender. An extra buck here or there or just being polite will definitely help you make headway into getting free drinks or especially heavy pours. Also, think about when you see someone be an ass to a bartender and then put yourself there. Is that how you want to make a possible first impression with prospective mates at the bar? No, I didn’t think so.
5. Be willing to try something new. Nothing irks me more than folks unwilling to try a new drink, especially beer. I get that I like dark beers more than the average person, but whenever I see someone buying a light domestic at a bar with oodles of local craft brews on tap, I die a little on the inside. Craft breweries are thriving like never before in the US and more often than not there’s a GREAT brewery cranking out awesome and exciting beer near you. Also, it’s a great way to support local business and show some hometown pride.
6. Wine is always acceptable. FACT – wine is the drink of the Gods. Do you see a god of beer or spirits (well, actually after some careful Wikipedia-ing, it does seem that there might’ve been an ancient Sumerian God of Intoxicating Beverages, Ninkasi, but their ain’t no Third Eye Blind power ballad about him now is there?)? Dionysus was probably the most fun deity that was ever mustered and for good reason. Wine makes us happy, jolly, joyous, and loving. You share a bottle of wine with someone, something good is bound to come from it. Wine compliments food, mood, and is almost universally appreciated in some sense. If you dig the Franzia or maybe some Yellow Tail action, go for it, I happen to adore Charles Shaw (and for $3 a bottle, it’s AWESOME (Damn you Trader Joes for not having any Texas locations (I know you have something to do with this Whole Foods))), but like a small batch whiskey or special edition porter, make sure you savor the goodness.
- 6 –A. Don’t be the douchebag that pretends to know a lot about wine. EVERYONE knows someone that thinks they know a lot about wine. They’re the ones that will identify what the differences are between “Champagne” and Prosecco or why Californian wines will never eclipse what the French have done. Now if you do in fact know a lot about wine, then go for it, but please refrain from drowning people in the shit. Those that are genuinely interested WILL ask you and those who don’t will appreciate your lack of a need to be that guy.
7. You are never going to impress someone with how much you can drink. Sure, most dudes will take pride in drinking their buddies under the table (hangover or not), but I’m not really talking about buddy-buddy drinking (more on that later). Everyone experienced what I like to call the “Meteorite Theory” at some point in college or soon after. What’s the “Meteorite Theory “ you ask? Well, I’m so glad you asked. I am only speaking from experience at my fine center of higher education and recipient of Top Party School in the Country Honors for 2011/2012 Ohio University, but I’m sure this behavior can be seen at any bar at any college across these United States and beyond.
A) Drink enough to gross out your parents before walking out into the world.
B) Find whichever grimy sludge hall you call “your bar” at school and immediately order a drink.
C) Continue this until suddenly your mind stops working at the rate that you are used to.
D) Begin bumping around the bar amongst your friends until you “crash” into that girl from your sociology class that you noticed was reading “Infinite Jest”
E) Start off conversation by talking about how impressive that is (which you’ll most likely liken to running the entire Great Wall of China while holding a cinder block over you head, blindfolded).
F) Buy way too many cheaply made well drinks and forget about any sense of morality/hesitation.
G) Boom, meteored.
All of that being said, no one of the opposite gender is ever going to sleep with you because you drank an entire 30 case to your face over a 12 hour period, I promise.
8. What happens or what is said when a group of men are drinking together stays within the group. In any group of man-friends, there will most likely be varying levels of attachment with the opposite sex. As we at Team Tawlsome get older, more and more of our brethren will become involved in serious relationships or they’ll get engaged and eventually, BOOM, married. As I was recently reminded after watching the entire 5 Season Masterpiece that is Friday Night Lights, marriage is all about communication. However, there are certain things that go on amongst men drinking heavily that you do NOT share. And no, I’m not talking about someone being unfaithful or anything like that, but there are just certain things that you don’t want your buddy’s girlfriend bringing up when you bring the hot, new yoga instructor on a double date. “So have you recovered from throwing up all over that mechanical bull last weekend that you claimed was taunting you all night?” Say goodbye to any chance of experiencing “downward facing doggy-style.”
9. The Hair of the Dog Can Save Your Ass. You know what sucks? Being hung-over. Seriously, there are few things more debilitating and soul crushing than feeling the effects of last night’s excursion into the darkness and knowing that you only have yourself (or possible the overly friendly bar tender that you totally had a chance with) to blame. Thankfully, for some reason our bodies have a tendency to be put back into neutral by ingesting some of the same poison that brought us face to face with the wrath of the Four Horsemen just hours before. I don’t believe that there is any surefire hangover cure, but there are times where a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, or just a beer can really help. That, along with a nice frittata, omelet, or day old slice of pizza and BOOMSHOCKALOCKA, good as new, eh, sorta. At least you’ll be good enough to watch the 8 hours of football or trip to Home Depot that is set to follow.