There was once a time, not so long ago when a night of drinking may or may not have ended in any one of us lying face down on the bathroom floor wearing nothing but a pair of piss-stained Fruit of a Looms with the toilet plunger dangerously close to our asshole. But we are all grown up now – at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves – so it is necessary sometimes to leave our old booze habits behind and usher in a brand spanking new way of getting liquored up that doesn’t strike fear in those we meet. This, my fellow drunkards, is called drinking like an adult. We are no longer fresh out of puberty, trying to find ourselves from fish bowl to toilet bowl. We have families now, careers, and allowing anyone that is part of these scenes to witness us yakking in the weeds after a bottle of Jack Daniels goes in for the kill, well, that’s probably not the best thing for our reputations. So, let’s buckle down and learn how to drink like a full-grown man.
Drinking responsibly is the name of the game here. If we learn nothing else throughout this swill-filled tutorial on what it means to leave that pee-pee pants boozer in the rearview, it’s that we cannot go full-throttle at all times and expect not to shit the bed. We must reinvent that monstrous lush that lurks inside of all of us, just waiting for 15 Jager bombs and a whiskey chaser to take over our bodies and push us into doing some stupid shit that we’ll never be able to live down. Let’s focus our energy on becoming social drinkers, a mighty feat of discipline in which we merely tip back a few drinks ever so often and not go on a crying jag before the end of the night.
The first step is finding the drink that works best with our idiot brains. This means, if you are one of those people who seems to go crazier than a shithouse rat as soon as the tequila shots start flowing, it’s probably not a good idea to get the night started in that direction. Perhaps sticking with beer is a better way. It’s relatively easy to moderate in a social situation, and chances are you are not going to drink enough of them to go off the deep end. But drinking beer around a table of people that are into hard liquor like a 13-year-old boy is porn may require an adjustment.
It’s not exactly a “when in Rome” type of situation, since you’re a big boy now, capable of making his own decisions, so drink whatever you want. But it never hurts to have a cocktail order ready to go just in case – but make sure it’s not a Pink Elephant or some other foo-foo, beverage. Men never drink this way.
Sure, it is perfectly acceptable to freestyle a little once the cute waitress gives you a run-down of the establishment’s happy hour menu, but sticking with what you know is truly the key to responsible drinking. Well, that and not consuming your weight in booze, and then stripping off all of your clothes in the bar to play a game of “catch me if you can, you bastards.” Nobody digs that shit.
Maybe this goes without saying, but part of drinking like a full-grown man is also giving up (or at least cutting back on) shots. It has been said that the phrase “Hey, let’s get some shots going over here,” is really just code for “We’re about to get turned the fuck up.” There’s no way around it, knocking back shot after shot is just a way for people to get shit-faced drunk quicker than what they could on a sipping regimen. That’s precisely the reason why big boy drinkers should probably refrain from doing it. Because when drinking in social situations, either for work or at a family gathering, getting hammered to the point where you’re swinging violent haymakers at everything that moves is not the goal. We want to have an excellent time and leave with our dignity intact. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t imbibe in a shot if something really nice happens to come around. Just know that five of them is not conducive to being an adult drinker.
Although research has suggested that the whole “liquor before beer, never fear” rule is just a load of caca, die-hard drinkers will tell you that science is fucked. Most of us know that whiskey brings about a worse hangover than vodka and that mixing the two, even if only with a few beers, has a way of starting a war inside the body that rivals the battle of Hamburger Hill. Don’t pay much attention to those studies that suggest this or claim that, listen to your body for all the science you’ll ever need.
The responsible drinker can go out with his coworkers or business associates and not have any trouble at all making it into the office the next day. To that end, these folks will also be able to do it all over again as soon as the clock strikes five. So finding out early on which beverages are your friend and which want you dead is essential to drinking like an adult. Again, pick a poison that isn’t too damning.
Dark booze is known for causing some gnarly hangovers since it contains high levels of congeners, which break down into formaldehyde and formic acid. These substances can make the morning after a lot worse. Vodka, gin and rum, however, have lower levels of congeners, so the hangovers can be less severe. But the operative word here is can. As always, moderation is the key; otherwise, you’ll be just as fucked up the next morning as those bourbon-swilling bastards.
It is worth mentioning that grown ass men never show up wherever they are supposed to be in the morning with red-eyes and vomit on their sleeve. In fact, other men may look at you in this condition and size you up as being a lightweight. Don’t give them the goddamned chance to make this assumption.
There’s no doubt that drinking like a man instead of a frat boy can take some practice. But with a little work, you too can rise about the dipshittery and become a pro drinker like the rest of us. Well, like some of us.
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