Fun 302: Drinking Alcohol

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Alcohol is fun, but should be drunken wisely

  • Drunkenness turns everyone into a complete idiot
    • Alcohol will inspire you to say things and do things that can permanently destroy relationships
    • It’s very fun to drink, especially when playing drinking games or at a party
  • Drinking is not evil
    • As long as you exercise moderation and stay away from heavy machinery, alcohol actually has health benefits
    • Though many religions shun it, closer inspection will show that it’s more connected to drunkenness than drinking, therefore making it like gluttony vs. food
  • Contrary to some opinions, alcohol does not cause malnutrition
    • Drinking gives the body the illusion of being fed, but a healthy diet will offset any negative health problems
  • Everyone has their own limits, and you can only learn yours through trial and error
    1. Block off 3-5 hours where you won’t be disturbed
    2. Get a hard liquor like whiskey and sit down with a shot glass
      • Alternately get a large pack of beers, since a shot is about the same amount of alcohol as a beer
    3. Have a drink every minute or two until the room starts spinning
      • Feeling tipsy is a result of a low-level toxin that enters your blood stream
    4. That drink amount is your limit
      • Every hour, you can have another drink or 2, as long as you stay in the limit
        • Males generally can process 2 drinks an hour
        • Females can generally process 1 drink an hour
    5. You can develop a tolerance for alcohol, but it’s a lot easier to adjust everything else about your experience
      • The higher the alcohol content percentage, the quicker it can make you drunk
      • Being well-rested makes it easier to take more drinks
      • Eating beforehand can slow down alcohol hitting the bloodstream, especially eating bread
      • Alcohol will make you pee more, so drink plenty of water to avoid hangovers later
      • Drinking caffeine with alcohol will make you more sober and have a harder time gauging your actual drunkenness
      • Don’t mix alcohol with diet soda, it will hit much harder from a lack of sugar mixed into the drink

It’s a lot easier to get involved in alcohol culture if you understand the terminology

  • Understand the nouns when ordering
    • Chaser – drink that’s more palatable than straight liquor, such as beer
    • Cocktail – mixed drink with alcohol and non-alcohol mixed together
    • Infusion – during fermenting process a food item is put into the drink enough to pick up its flavor
    • Liquer/Cordial – sweet spirit with seeds, nuts, spices, herbs, flowers, etc. added
    • Mist – alcohol poured over crushed ice
    • Mixer – drink used to mix with another drink
    • Proof – 200 proof is pure alcohol, US measures by weight & UK by volume
    • Shooter – strong mixed drinks served in shot glasses, sometimes are cocktails
    • Shot – pure alcohol served in shot glasses
    • Sour – cocktail of usually whiskey, sugar and lime or lemon juice
    • Toddy – liquor mixed with hot water and sometimes spices, seen as a remedy sometimes
    • Well drink – less expensive off-brand alcohol meant for mixing when no brand is specified
  • Understand the adjectives when ordering
    • Dirty – martini that has had olive juice mixed into it
    • Dry/wet – refers to how much and what type of vermouth in a martini
    • Naked – served chilled without mixing
    • Neat – all by itself at room temperature without ice
    • Perfect – equal parts dry and sweet vermouth
    • On the rocks – with ice
    • Shaken – mixed in a shaker with ice
    • Stirred – placed in a shaker with ice and stirred, smoother than shaken
    • Straight up – pouring a chilled drink through ice in a strainer, cold without ice
    • Straight – can either mean “neat” or “straight up”
    • Virgin/Mocktail – without alcohol
    • With a tot – with a small amount of liquor
    • With a twist – thinly sliced peel twisted into a drink to add a light flavor

Follow a few general guidelines when ordering a drink

  1. Have the order in mind before approaching the bar, excepting inquiring about the brands of drink available
  2. Establish eye contact and smile with the bartender
    • don’t wave money, snap fingers or yell to get their attention
  3. When ordering, state the name of the brand or drink, and not the drink itself (e.g. Jack Daniels instead of Jack Daniels Whiskey)

There are only a few types of drink bases that every alcoholic drink revolves around

  • Absinthe – distilled botanical herbs that may include the absinthe plant, 90-148 proof
  • Beer – fermented malted grains flavored with hops
  • Cachaça – distilled sugarcane juice, Brazilian origin
  • Gin – fermented grain with herbs or malt and flavored with juniper berries
  • Moonshine – usually distilled corn mash, but varies and is known for being sold illegally
  • Rum – distilled sugarcane byproducts like molasses or sugarcane juice
  • Sake – fermented rice wine, Japanese origin
  • Tequila – fermented blue agave plant, 62-110 proof
  • Whiskey – fermented grain mash, usually 80-160 proof
    • Bourbon – variation of whiskey usually confused with whiskey
  • Vodka – fermented potatoes or grain
  • Wine – fermented grapes or other fruit
    • Brandy – distilled wine, 70-120 proof
      • Cognac – type of brandy with specific requirements
    • Champagne – type of wine that further ferments wine in a bottle to create carbonation
    • Vermouth – aromatized wine flavored with botanical herbs
      •  Martini – 1 part dry vermouth to 4-5 parts gin
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