4 Ways We Drink Alcohol Wrong (And How To Get It Right)

February 16, 2019

Years after I graduated from college, and having joined the ranks of the overworked and underpaid white-collar corporate employees, I became a bit more enlightened about enjoying food and drink. Sure, I go off and indulge every now and then, but I know that living off siomai meals and instant pancit canton on an everyday basis won’t cut it anymore. Even drinking enough beer night after night to construct a full-scale replica of Megamall out of the cases we finished off starts to get old after a while.

Looking back, I realize that I picked up a lot of bad habits in my younger years. While all the alcohol I drank then made for fun nights I can never quite fully remember now, they’ve also affected how I currently enjoy my drinks. I made this list so you youngsters can learn from my mistakes. Hopefully, it can help you avoid plenty of headaches, and prevent drinking alcohol from becoming an ordeal.

4. Ice with Beer

Leave it to Japan, though, to make a beer that needs ice. via http://www.shifteast.com/asia-trends/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Ice-Beer-Kirin.jpg

Leave it to Japan to make a beer that needs ice. (via Shift East)

Pop over to any bar in Manila on a Friday night, and you’ll see plenty of minors patrons drinking their beer in glasses full of ice. It’s become so bad, that the servers automatically bring over a bucket of ice anytime anyone orders beer. Sure, our weather is as cool as a sunny day in hell, but that’s no excuse to chug down watered-down alcohol. However, if you’re one of those people who do it just to avoid the taste of beer, maybe you’re better off sticking with a nice can of soda instead?

How to get it right:

Diluting the low quality beer with ice can sometimes be acceptable, but it’s a bad habit that can ruin your first taste of the good stuff. It’s as if you got all dressed up to go on a date but wore bacon briefs underneath (which will suck if you get lucky).

Forget the ice. You can just cool the beer inside your refrigerator for a few hours if you want. Use a nice, big glass and pour the beer slowly. Take time to admire its appearance. Waft the aroma a bit towards your nose, and savor its bouquet. Think of all the responsible adult things you could’ve used the money for, instead of buying that expensive bottle, and regret nothing. Then, take a sip.

Beer may taste better when you’re smug about drinking it, but just remember to always tell the waiter to hold the ice.

3. Cocktail = Sugar + Alcohol

I'd like my sugar in rainbow colors, and intoxicating too. via http://deep-seated-boy.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-1st-saturday-night-hang-out-central.html

I like my sugar in rainbow colors, and intoxicating, too. (via Deep Seated Boy)

As a former college student who had to stretch his allowance from week to week, I can personally attest to the joy that a bottle of bilog and a few litro packs of pomelo juice can bring. Add twenty pesos for a pack of Happy peanuts, and you have the ingredients for a pretty fun weekday afternoon.

This, however, sets a bad precedent. Most first timers at a bar quickly scan the drink list for the sweetest and fruitiest concoction on the menu. Only when you get something neon that looks radioactive and tastes like five bags of skittles do you realize your mistake.

How to get it right:

While I would never judge anyone based on their drinking preferences, people are doing themselves a great disservice by ordering what’s basically artificial fruit juice and alcohol.

Cocktails are made to enhance and bring out nuanced flavors in alcohol. A good mixed drink will have components that complement one another, and not drown everything out in sugar. Try to ask the bartender for his recommendation for a more complex drink next time, or try out one of our cocktail recipes instead. It won’t be as sweet, but it’ll be infinitely more satisfying.

2. Using a shot glass for everything you drink

The tagayan is one of the most Filipino drinking traditions. Almost everyone’s first drinking experience happened with a group of more experienced drinkers entreating them to join in for just one shot. While this practice is suited for cheap mass-produced alcohol, it’s kind of hard to justify with a bottle of Blue Label. In my opinion, if the bottle costs at least a thousand pesos, then it shouldn’t be bolted down so quickly.

How to get it right:

There's actually dozens of these, but you just really need about three.

There’s actually dozens of these, but you really just need three.

Good alcohol, like good wine, deserves to be savored and appreciated. Take time to enjoy that drink you’ve bought with your hard earned money. Get to know the flavors that differentiate one variant from another.

Different kinds of spirits have their own respective characteristics and flavors. Getting the best out of each means using the right kind of glassware. For example, use a scotch glass with your whiskey and enjoy cognac in a tulip glass.

Using the correct glassware not only enhances the pleasure you get from drinking, it also impresses the heck out of bystanders. A decent set of complete glassware can be had for around 500Php, I’d say that’s money well spent.

1. Indulging in nothing but the cheap stuff

Indulging in alcoholic drinks will never be part of a healthy lifestyle, but like my dad says, “As long as you’re going to kill yourself, might as well do it in style.”

I've never heard of anyone going gangsta over Remy Martin, either.

I’ve never heard of anyone going gangsta over Remy Martin, either. (via Imageshack)

It’s a bit difficult to justify moving up to mid-tier brands if all you want is to get wasted, especially since alcohol in the Philippines is remarkably affordable. However, as is the case with cheap versions of anything, the low-end brands are filled with adulterants and additives that are better suited for industrial laboratories than kitchens. The results of which can be felt in your killer hangover the following day.

How to get it right:

If you want to avoid wanting to murder everyone after you wake up the next day, then you may want to go for better quality booze. You may have to spring for almost a thousand pesos for a good bottle, but it’s worth it. It tastes great on its own and can be used as a good cocktail base, too.

Buying more expensive alcohol also gives you the excuse to take every drink nice and slow, saving both your money and your liver. It’s a win-win situation.

While no one can tell you how you should enjoy your drink, breaking these bad habits will help you have a better time. After all, you don’t want to end up a slaphappy drunk who randomly threatens to buy out other people, other people’s friends, and other people’s clubs right?

Any other bad habits you want to share? Did you use empty cases of beer like large lego blocks, too? Let us know in the comments below!

Banner via Sorry For Partying

Nico Goco Nico Goco

Nico is an engineer with a fondness for food, drink, and cooking. This is in serious conflict with his desire to lose weight. Writing is his outlet to make sure the right side of his brain still works. When free, he likes to read, travel, and nurture a dozen different hobbies. He also believes that the perfect fried chicken is the cure to anything.

19 comments in this post SHOW

19 responses to “4 Ways We Drink Alcohol Wrong (And How To Get It Right)”

  1. Lars Roxas says:

    hala! lagot ka sa fans ni anne, nico!

  2. Adrian De Leon says:

    Adik ka!

  3. Kimberly says:

    GSM Blue hahaha

  4. Katrina says:

    There’s actually something worse than beer and ice… WINE and ice. I’ve seen it happen.

  5. jA says:

    I agree.. Beer tastes better without ice! And thank you for the best advice I’ve had in years, regarding alcohol.

    “Buying more expensive alcohol also gives you the excuse to take every
    drink nice and slow, saving both your money and your liver.”

  6. TM says:

    it should be illegal to serve a warm beer in a bar!

  7. Ann Qurtis says:

    i can buy this website

  8. Nappy D says:

    wish the author were named pedro

    vote for pedro

  9. Thea says:

    Any good drink suggestions, though? 🙂

    • Nico Goco says:

      for cocktails? 🙂 if you’re going to go the juice route, lychee cocktails (made form real juice) are a great way to go. you can also check out don papa rum and their mixes. often though, you can’t go wrong with good alcohol, a twist of lime and lemon and lots of ice. try and check out or cocktail recipes too!

  10. Pedantic Curmudgeon says:

    Cognac in a tulip glass? If you’re going to be telling us how to get it right, then I suggest you do the same. (There’s a big hint in the name “brandy snifter” for that one…)

    • Nico Goco says:

      i’d agree that brandy and cognac are pretty much the same thing, but their makers would say otherwise. 🙂 courvoisier and hennessy both prefer tulip glasses. the shape of each glass pretty much serve the same purpose, that is a wide base allows more surface area between alcohol and air to release more vapors, while a narrow rim concentrates the aroma towards the nose. biggest difference would be that the snifter allows you to cup the base in your palm, warming the brandy even more to encourage more release of its aroma. While cognac makers believe their creation is more delicate, thus the longer stem to help keep the temperature more stable. but whatever helps you enjoy your spirit more, go for it.

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