Friday, May 17, 2013

Girl's Guide to Drinking

Vodka. Rum. Pinot Grigio. Jungle Juice. Rum Gigglers. Buttery Nipples. Lemoncello. Long Island Ice Tea. Jack and Coke. Appletini. Chambord. Champagne. Margarita. Mimosa. 
What are these magical items you ask? These, my friend, are my source of power. Since the age of 21, I have been in love, in love with liquor. Something happened at that age, perhaps it was the weight of ageing or maybe the stress of living but alcohol offered me a sweet sweet release. Sounds like I'm in the early stages of alcoholism huh? Perhaps. But that's a bridge to cross another day! 

Let's talk about alcohol for a minute. While yes, drinking is not a joke, it shouldn't be abused, it should only be done in moderation and when you are drinking be mindful of what you can take, where you are, who you are with and how much you have had. 
Okay so now that I've said that, its time to get down to business! 
Okay so you're headed out with the girls and you've just had a shit day and was stood up by a guy you really wanted to meet for a long time; aka it is time to drink! But girl, listen getting tipsy is one thing, getting wasted is another having a drink and enjoying the relaxing affects of its tingly euphoria dripping up your spine making you forget your troubles and puking in your hair and crying your mascara off because fuck him he lost out on you is a whole nother animal. Believe me, if anyone understands drinking your problems away, its me but that was home alone with an Amy Whinehouse album. There's alot of things that can go wrong (and probably will go wrong). You will say something you didn't mean to say, something mean or something you weren't supposed to talk about. You will get depressed, because alcohol is a natural depressant and if you have any feelings on the surface of your mind that are negative or sad, they will bubble up. You will rip that gorgeous dress you just bought, loose those flaw-free earrings or trip on those mile high heels and bust your ass infront of that sexy ass bartender. Whatever. Drink. Go. Have fun. But there is a limit, where drinking is no longer fun and just a punishment for your poor innocent liver and the patience of all those around you. 
First tip, get something to eat. Having a tummy full of food actually makes your alcohol tolerance go up. Grab something carby, bread is good. Something with fiber that fills you up. Have a full glass of water before you start. 
Figure out how you are getting home/around. You are drinking yes, but how will you get home. Too often I see girls out drinking just wave goodbye to their girl friends or give the ol' "are you okay?? are you sure? okay bye". It has happened to me several times. Let me say this and I cannot stress it enough DO NOT LEAVE YOUR FRIENDS IF THEY HAVE BEEN DRINKING. NO. DON'T DO IT. If you are a girl or have girl friends get them home, make sure they have a safe way home. Wait with them until the taxi comes, or take them back to your place until their ride comes. Make sure they call you when they get home, if they don't call them all night until you hear from them. As women we have to look out for each other as sisters and make sure that we take care of each other. Arrange for someone to pick you up, have the number for a taxi (I have taxi on speed dial for 4 different cities), or negotiate a designated driver.
Okay so different types of drinks have different potencys. The higher the alcohol percentage the more alcohol it has in it, that may be obvious but look at the numbers. 12 ounces of beer is almost a tenth less alcohol than rum. You'd have to have a shit ton of Budweiser to equal an Irish Car Bomb.  
So if you're starting with shots understand that one shot does not equal one beer. Going back and forth between hard liquor and beer is not a good idea in general, it will make you drunker quicker, sicker quicker and you'll loose track of how many you've had because simple math is hard when you're sloshed. 
Vodka is my drink of choice, because it has no calories, doesn't give me a hangover and goes with any cocktail mix. Darker liquors like whiskey, Jagermeister, scotch, and bourbon have more of a concentration of liquor and work harder on your body. So take it easy on them. 
Korean pop star Boa enjoys a beer too!

Understand your body, regardless of our post feminist societal mindset, women have a lower tolerance for alcohol than men. Its just the way it is, it has to do with our metabolic rate not our capabilities as indivuals. We all know that you're a badass and more capable than any man in the workforce but girl, chill. Chugging beers is not making anyone take you more seriously except maybe the paramedics, they are waiting outside. How drunk we get has to do with our weights as well as gender and other factors such as genetic predispositions (my family are ALL lightweights as am I), how much your culture drinks (I'm looking at you France), and allergies to wheat, barley, hops and such. The chart below shows the blood alcohol level based upon how much you weigh and drink. 

 ***One drink=1 ounce of 80 proof spirits; 3 ounce glass of wine; or 8 ounce glass of 5% beer.

Jesus! 80 proof spirits! Wtf are you drinking? Gasoline?? Anyway. As you can tell it doesn't take a lot to be legally hammered. 
I'm not a big beer beer drinker, but I do know that there are 5 main types of beer. Pale ale, made of top fermenting yeast and predominately pale malt. Stout is dark beers using roasted malts or roast barley; these include Baltic stout, dry stout and Imperial stout. Mild ale has a malty palate and usually has a darker colour.  Wheat beer is brewed with a large proportion of wheat although it often also contains a significant proportion of malted barley. Lager is the English name for cool fermenting beers of Central European origin. Pale lagers are the most commonly consumed beers in the world. Another type is Lambic, a beer of Belgium, is naturally fermented using wild yeasts, rather than cultivated.In addition, other organisms such as Lactobacillus bacteria produce acids which contribute to the sourness.
I am a big cocktail drinker, the more stuff that goes in it, the more neon, the less I taste alcohol and bonus points if it emits steam or has an adorable umbrella, I'm all in it. But what has what in it? And will I like it? here are some popular combinations. The next time you are out, order one at the bar and try it. 


 Remember to pace yourself and drinking water between each drink is also a good way to stay non-nauseous. 
Indulging in spirits can be a fun way to relax once you've understood that it lies in moderation and is not a good long term way to solve your problems. Understanding it can deter abuse and can lead to a long, healthy, happy relationship with drink! Cheers! 

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