It is without question that man’s most treasured leisure-time activities are infinitely enhanced by the accompaniment of alcoholic beverages. Sitting up from home plate under the scorching sun beside the rotund gentlemen trying vainly to control his three feral children would be a miserable experience without an ice-cold Budweiser in each hand. If not for that cooler full of sub-zero Coronas, a day at the beach would be nothing more than a sweaty struggle to keep sand out of your nether-regions while watching groups of hot girls frolic around the tools who carry their six-packs on their stomachs. Even a simple event like watching football with the guys would be a painful episode of awkward silences and feigned cheers without a frothy, chilled Heineken to help break the ice.
With its limitless benefits and infinite varieties, alcohol plays an undeniably essential role in the social interactions and collective customs of people all over the world. Drinking is, and forever will be, the most enduring ritual in the cultural traditions of men and, therefore, we must relearn the forgotten practice of consuming alcohol with respect, purpose, and, above all, manliness. Men need to step their drinking game up and start doing it right, so that we can make the most of our nights and leave the bars with dignity, pride, and maybe even a little something sweet on the side.
Take some time to observe the drinking practices of your fathers and grandfathers and you’ll see that they don’t trifle with brightly colored cocktails or “frozen” drinks that are more parts juice than alcohol. They go straight for the good stuff: beer and neat whisky, or an appropriate wine (and not a cheap one either). I don’t think my father has ever had an appletini or a mai tai; and the only thing he adds to his whisky is an ice cube. There is something important to be learned in the drinking customs of our predecessors and if our generation is to rediscover these manly drinking habits, it is important that we draw and understand a set of guidelines for successfully drinking like a man.
First off, we need to remind ourselves of the respect we must have for alcohol. Sure, shotgunning a PBR or taking back-to-back shots of Georgi sounds like a hell of a good time (and it was, back in high school), but these barbarous approaches to drinking are no longer suited for the lifestyle and image of modern man. The Caveman understands his mortality and knows the repercussions of mishandling alcohol and assuming he is invincible. By having a better understanding of the effects of different alcohols, you can be more careful in selecting which drinks to indulge in. I, for one, am completely intolerant to vodka. As much as I love the taste of Grey Goose with cranberry, I know vodka turns me into a dancing lunatic and leaves me with a tremendously excruciating hangover. Whiskey, on the hand, puts me in great spirits! Remember, manly drinking is not based on your rate of consumption but on the quality of your choices. Experiment with different alcohols and mixes, and see what works best for you.
Next, we need to reevaluate our goals when drinking. As a man, getting “fucked up” should no longer be the primary objective of the night. Unless you’re working through a break up or witnessing the end of days, you should no longer be drinking just to get drunk – that’s called alcoholism. Alcohol should be treated as a merriment-enhancing, social lubricant which loosens your inhibitions and opens you up to spontaneity. It is a sweet, luxurious nectar that is to be savored and relished, not chugged and washed down with club soda. The point is, you shouldn’t need to be drunk to have a good time, but it definitely does help.
Finally, men need to drink like men. Frilly, fruity cocktails and alcohols diluted by juice aren’t made for men. Sweet drinks are deceptive Sirens, luring you in and letting you believe you can carelessly indulge in their candied intoxicants… before you know it, you’ve crashed into the cliffs and you’re rolling around topless, spewing vomit all over yourself and ensuring that no woman will ever go home with you.
A great bartender at a Houlihan’s in Secaucus, New Jersey once told me, “you’re only as good as your last drink,” and that is something that I try to remember every time I step up to the bar. If girls giggle at your order, then you got the wrong drink. If the bartender chuckles, you ordered the wrong drink. If it comes with a straw or umbrella, and you aren’t at a tropical resort, you ordered the wrong drink. Remember, what you order and how you order it says a lot about you, so let us continue our efforts to become better men by choosing to drink with respect, purpose, and manliness.
*All images courtesy of The Chive