So, tomorrow is my twenty-first birthday. A wide world of alcohol lies open before me, rather like a patient etherized on a table. I have, however, very limited experience in this world and have no idea where to begin. I can’t go out and do the “get trashed” thing because of the diabetes, so I need a drink that I can enjoy and won’t have wasted the alcohol on.
Can’t be super-sugary or carb-filled. So, no daquiris, etc. But I like diet pop.
I don’t like beer. A German word meaning “bitter, fetid ass-taste.”
Can’t be too exotic. A friend (her twenty-first was last week, but she was in Europe, so it was anticlimactic) and I are walking to a neighborhood bar. Think “standard Wisconsin tavern.”
That’s about it. If anyone wants to share stories of their twenty-first birthday celebrations, feel free.
I have a vivid memory of my first legal purchase of an alcoholic beverage. It was a bottle of pineapple wine that I bought at a Katz Drug Store in Springfield, Missouri on February 10, 1969. I enjoyed the wine immensely, but after having consumed the entire bottle, I disgorged it all.
I thought I didn’t like beer but over the last few years I’ve found I seem to have a taste for darker beers. I looooooove me some Guinness. I doubt that’s going to be at your neighborhood bar, though. In the future, you might want to give a few different sort of beers a try. Avoid the mass-market American crap, though.
I don’t really have much other advice, though. Hmm. Hopefully somebody who can give you some suggestions will appear here. I only wanted to tell you not to completely throw beer out the window forever. I never thought I’d like any, but I do.
I’m such a geek, for my 21st I went to a Star Trek convention. And I didn’t drink at all. No, I don’t know why, except that I’d already had a legal drink in Ottawa the year before so it didn’t seem quite as big a deal.
Black Russians are awesome. I was introduced to them by a helpful bartender while I was waiting for a connection at O’Hare. I was sick, and my throat was killing me, so I asked her for a good, soothing drink. She recommended a black russian, and it was a perfect choice. Very smooth, mellow, and not goofy looking.
The more “foo foo girly” version, the white russian, unnecessarily adds in milk, and looks far less cool to drink. Being a girl, it likely won’t matter to you either way. heh. But seriously, try a black russian at some point. Them’s tasty drinks! (But don’t drink too fast…they will fuck you up right good.)
Normally I drink Jack & Ginger, or sometimes Captain & Coke when the mood strikes me. Both are good, simple, tasty, and look like normal cocktails. As an added bonus, since the brand is in the name, you don’t get suckered with bottom-shelf swill. If sugar is an issue, Jack & Ginger is probably your best bet. (They are better than Captain & Cokes anyway, even if sugar isn’t an issue.)
For vodka drinks, the simple vodka tonic is your best bet. Be sure to specify what vodka you want, as most bars will foist bottom shelf crap on you if you don’t specify. Grey Goose is the cadillac of vodkas, but is expensive. ($8 per drink expensive.) Absolut is probably a good vodka for you to start with.
If you start out with “foo foo girly” drinks, you will be stuck with them. It’s not cool to be still drinking them into your thirties, so I’d advise cultivating a more mature palate right out of the gate.
Here’s how to make them at home if you want to stock your own booze:
Ideally use rocks glasses, which are half-height. Fill most of the way up with ice. Then pour in booze to between a quarter and a third of the glass. Top off with the mixer. Vary the amount of booze to your taste as you get more familiar/intoxicated.
Captain & Coke = Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum. (Get a little captain in you.) If making at home, you get the option of what kind of coke. (Caffeine free, sugar free, diet, etc…)
Jack & Ginger = Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale. Some suggest that it is a crime to cut Jack with anything, but I say screw that. Ginger ale is good.
A home bar with a bottle of Jack, Captains, Grey Goose, Absolut, Ginger Ale, Coke, and Tonic is, IMO, a fully stocked bar that virtually any guest can enjoy. Oh yeah, and have a lemon in the fridge.
You can’t go wrong with a good Old Fashioned. Take an old fashioned glass (or really any short tumbler will do), muddle a dash or two of bitters with an orange slice and a small spoonful of sugar, add a touch of water and a few good glugs of bourbon, fill with ice, and add a cherry.
If you don’t like the taste of alcohol it’s probably going to be a bit too strong for you, but IMO there’s not a better drink for slowly sipping while sitting and conversing.
I see that a vodka and tonic has already been recommended, though I can’t quite agree. With a gin and tonic, not only are you getting the real deal, but the gin, tonic, and lime all combine to form something heavenly-tasting; with vodka and tonic, you’re just getting the flavor of tonic and lime, and tonic unmixed with gin and lime is nasty. Go for the real stuff – Bombay is a good choice, though I prefer Plymouth as it has a fuller flavor.
A real margarita (not one of those slushy abominations) can also be an excellent drink. Two parts tequila, one part lime juice, and one part triple sec, shaken violently with ice and served over ice, salt optional (but recommended).
Oh come on people. It’s her birthday. Go to any bar and order a Chocolate Cake. Remember to keep the juice of the lemon in your mouth when you drink it.
Happy birthday. Insert lecture on drunk driving here. Insert 2nd lecture on alcohol and diabetes here (you will go babbling shit-faced in the space of 5 minutes if you’re not careful). Check your meter more often.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes, guys! I’ve already had the safe drinking lecture a billion times, both from my doctor and my parents (a combination of “take it slow” and “don’t let strange men buy you drinks.”) My friend also knows what to do should something bad happen, and we’ll only be a few blocks from where we’ll be crashing.
The Chocolate Cake shot sounds fantastic, and so do the martinis. Ellis Dee, the advice on foo-foo girly drinks is duly noted. They will be avoided unless being foo-foo girly is necessary. Should I become a CIA operative, for example, and need to go deep undercover.
I’ve watched The Big Lebowski about four times in the past two weeks, and I’m curious about one thing. What’s the difference between a White Russian and a Caucasian?
For my twenty-first birthday, I went to Applebee’s with a bunch of friends, and imbibed a long string of girly drinks, including but not limited to a strawberry daquiri, a margarita, a Long Island iced tea, and a mudslide. Oh, that’s a drink one remembers: Long Island Iced Tea. There’s something like four shots in it, but it doesn’t taste very alcoholic. I sucked down half of mine before it hit me–like a sledgehammer.
For the big 21 you should aim pretty lowbrow and try a variety of drinks. You should have at least one Jello shot, maybe a shot of Jägermeister, and my patented White Trash Margarita™ which is Cuervo gold and Fresca (can alco be made with Diet Sprite, but the Fresca is better) after four or five of them they taste almost like a real Margarita. And get you a designated driver! Have fun.