For those of us who enjoy an occasional drink (or more), having a good time and enjoying ourselves are the best part of the experience. Unfortunately, too much liquor or bad drinking habits can turn a fun night into a nightmare. Nausea, discombobulation, hangovers, and embarrassment are not what anyone wants to toast. Here are 11 tips for drinking with class, not looking (or feeling) like an ass, and delighting in every glass!
1. Eat Up
If you're planning to drink, you'd better have some hearty food already in your belly. Have some protein and carbs to coat your stomach and provide a barrier from the alcohol taking over your body too quickly. Even if you're going out for dinner with wine, have a few nibbles before heading out, as the wine is generally served before the food reaches the table. Plus, lack of food can make you ravenous, and with the inhibition and appetite stimulation alcohol creates, you'll wind up reaching for junk food or overeating.
2. Limit Your Drink Count
This may seem obvious, but the more you drink, the cruddier you're likely to feel later that evening or worse yet, the next morning. Have a plan and stick with it. Whether it's 1, 2, or 3 drinks for the night, pick your number and that's it. Spread out your drinking through the night strategically so you sip slowly and don't feel pressured to have another when your pals go for another round.
3. Color Matters
Clear liquors such as vodka and gin are less likely to make you feel crappy than dark ones such as rum and whisky might. The lighter the color, the less toxins and impure components in the beverage. If you only love to go dark, make sure it's a small amount and you've got a generous mixer or water with it. With so many cocktail concoctions these days, you're sure to find a clear liquor drink to enjoy.
4. Forgo the Bubbly
As classy as a glass of champagne or prosecco may seem, those bubbles may actually get you drunker faster, which is elegance thrown out the window. Sure, a toast to the bride and groom or a sip or two as part of another celebratory moment won't hurt you, but glass after glass of the bubbly stuff can accelerate alcohol absorption and make you want to pop an aspirin instead of a cork.
5. Rock the Rocks
Shots and straight up drinks are a recipe (or lack of recipe) for disaster. Straight alcohol gives you a great chance of drinking too much before you know it and feeling loopy and ill soon after. Go for your drink over ice for slower sipping and dilution of the alcohol. Your drink will seem longer-lasting and more refreshing.
6. Drink a Glass of Water Between Drinks
When your cocktail runs dry, wait a round before ordering another. Grab a glass of water or a club soda with lemon before you move on to another alcoholic beverage. For one, you'll rehydrate, and secondly, it will give you time to decide if you really need another drink after all. Perk, you'll save some moolah too!
7. Choose Mixers Wisely
What you mix your alcohol with is almost as important as the choice of alcohol itself. Forget sugary sodas and who-knows-what's-in-them syrups. The sugar can make you feel sick and make for a funky (in a bad way) combo with lots of liquors. Go for real juices like grapefruit or tomato for a more natural drink with added vitamin health benefits.
8. Go for the Good Stuff
A few extra bucks can mean a much better outcome for your body after a night of drinking. Top shelf only is the best bet. These are better filtered from impurities and are made from finer ingredients. Chugging cheap alcohol is not only going to make you sick, but you won't exactly seem like the most upscale guy at the bar by doing so either. Plus, when you spend more per drink, you'll likely drink less, therefore preventing a hangover.
9. Be the Life of the Party
No, not the type of life of the party who's doing keg stands and tequila shots, but the kinda person who's taking to everyone, mixing and mingling, and doing more than standing in the corner asking for another. Be friendly and spend time socializing and you'll wind up drinking less because you're so well occupied.
10.Get Enough Zzzzzzs
If you've had a lot to drink, make sure bedtime provides a decent night's sleep. Alcohol can put you to sleep fast, but the quality of sleep generally sucks and you're likely to wake up early. Try to stay in bed as long as you can and keep a water bottle by your bedside so you're not parched. Even an extra hour or two can make the difference in feeling like hell or being good to go the next morning.
11.Take Your Vitamins
Taking multivitamins on the regular can help you avoid the adverse effects of alcohol. You'll be healthier and more immune to the perils of hangover symptoms such as headaches, body aches, and bloating. No, taking vitamins isn't a pass to go nuts on the booze, it will just make your body more capable of fighting off the misery.
So who's ready to say "cheers" to a night out with friends at the local watering hole? Now that you know what to order and how to drink like a champ, you're only concern will be who's going to drive you home.