The 10 Commandments For Drinking Like a Man

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Guys, I hate to say it…but a lot of you are letting me down. More importantly, you’re letting yourselves and your gender down. Every time I go out to a bar and I see a guy with a purple or pink shot in their hand, a small part of Burt Reynolds’s mustache dies.

When I venture out to a restaurant and I see a man with a martini that is any other color than clear, I am forced to say a small weeping prayer for the future of mankind. Now I don’t mean to turn this into a post strictly directed at guys, because ladies…this is of the utmost importance to you too. What a person drinks says quite a bit about who they are, and if the man at your side prefers drinks with umbrellas over ones with whiskey, well…you’ve got some serious decisions to make. So without further ado, I present:

1. Thou Shalt Learn to Enjoy Whisk(e)y - Bourbon, Scotch, Irish, Tennessee whiskey and every other form of the drink shall heretofore be your best buddy. You can start by mixing with soda at first to ween yourself into it if you need to (Jim Beam and Coke is a perfectly acceptable manly drink), but at some point you’re going to have to learn to drink the stuff on its own. It’s a complex, mysterious and brooding spirit, which are not coincidentally three things you as a man should also strive to be. This commandment is the most important, and the hardest to get through, which is why it’s first. If you can master the ways of Daniels, Walker, Dickel, Jameson and Glenlivet…the rest of this should be cake.

2. There is No Such Thing as a “Chocolate Martini” - This has been said elsewhere many a time before, but it bears repeating. The only things that should be in a martini are gin (or a quality vodka), vermouth, and garnish like an olive or onion. Anything else, and you’ve made a grave mistake punishable by a lifetime of Grey’s Anatomy reruns.

3. Thou Shalt Not Drink a Frozen Drink - The ONLY exception to this is if you’re at the beach or on a cruise. Otherwise, stick to hunks of ice or chilled mugs to cool your drink. Alcohol is not meant to be drunk in smoothie form.

4. Thou Shalt Not Consume Drinks With Idiotic Gimmicky Names Meant to Cover Up How Girly They Are - So help me God, if I see any of you jackasses out there with a Sex on the Beach or a Screw Me Blue in your hands, I’ll slap it to the ground and eat your worthless soul so fast you’ll truly come to appreciate the phrase “life flashed before my eyes” like never before. You’re not fooling anyone. Just because peach schnapps has some alcohol in it does not qualify it as an alcoholic beverage. It has its place in the great wide world of booze, but mixed up with 18 other fruit-flavored alcohols and garnished with a paper umbrella and stupid name ain’t it.

5. Thou Shalt Learn to Appreciate All Forms of Beer - If Natty Light, Keystone and Coors are your idea of what beer is and is meant to be, you’re living your drinking-life like that of a child in sub-Saharan Africa. Bring that inner impoverished child into the “civilized” world and open your dry crusty wind-chapped eyes to the world of ambers, stouts, saisons, hefeweissens and the multitude of heavenly hops-angels just waiting to surround you and give you a glimpse of the Promised Land. While you’re still getting over your silly stigma that Guinness is a “heavy” beer and cringing at the thought of a slice of lemon in your Hoegaarden, the rest of us will be happily melting our brains away into oblivion. With the superhot hops-angels, of course.

6. No Worthwhile Woman Will Ever Be Impressed With How Much You Can Drink - Being able to funnel six beers at once or taking down an entire fifth of rum in one night may impress the shit out of your buddies, but no quality woman on earth will give a damn about how much you can drink. For that matter it’s really not worth even trying, as trying and failing will produce far more disgusting consequences than you ever bargained on. Let it be known: while some refer to alcohol as “Liquid Panty Remover”, puke is far better known as “Liquid Loneliness”.

7. It’s More Than Okay to Drink Wine - Knowing the name of a few good Cabernets and Pinot Noirs is a highly valuable thing. Inevitably in your life you’ll need to go to expensive restaurants for anniversaries, birthdays, and pet funerals… and knowing what’s good vs. what tastes like grape-flavored vinegar not only makes you look smart and sophisticated, but saves you from drinking grapes that taste like they were fermented in horseshit. Become familiar with the ins-and-outs of a few wines, and the impression you’ll make will be well worth it. Being labeled as “cultured” is never a bad thing…being labeled as “ignorant” always is.

8. It’s Worth it to Learn the Rules and Traditions of the Drinking World Before You Go Out Into the Wild (and Make an Ass Out of Yourself) - Pro Tip: When drinking one of the aforementioned obligatory wines at one of the aforementioned stuffy and overpriced restaurants, do not sniff the cork. Check it for mold or odd discoloration, and then put it down…but do not sniff it like a damned country bumpkin. Pro Tip 2: Do not make a big show of popping the cork off a bottle of champagne. Hold a cloth or towel over the cork and catch it before it shoots into the ceiling. It’s the grown-up thing to do. There are a thousand small rules like these (or maybe “customs” is a better word?) surrounding the booze-life that knowing can be the difference between you looking like a showboating know-nothing jackass, or a refined gentleman of great taste and culture. The two mentioned here are a start, but take the time to learn what separates grown men from the forever-frat-boys and you’ll be more than a few steps ahead.


9. The Way You Treat Bartenders and Waitstaff Says More About You Than You Know - I don’t mean to get all Jesus-y on you guys, but as the Good Book says, “That which you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto me.” And I can tell you, that’s exactly how a woman or prospective business associate will see it. Snapping, clapping, yelling, whistling or just general rudeness to someone waiting on you are a sure sign to anyone in your company that if they spend enough time around you, you’ll eventually treat them with the same selfish nonchalance and disdain that you treat those who are paid to be nice to you. And for crying out loud, TIP WELL. You have no idea how far this can take you.

10. Any Free Drink is a Good Drink - I know, this seemingly negates some of the previous rules, but hear me out. Not even mentioning the many economical reasons that you should never ever in your life turn down a free drink when offered to you (which essentially boil down to: YOU’RE NOT BUYING IT AND IT’S NOT POISON, SO WHO CARES!?!), it’s just plain RUDE to turn down a shot or drink purchased by someone else for you (unless it is, in fact, poison). They’ve not only put down their hard-earned dollar to buy you a taste of the good life, but they’ve also taken the social gamble of saying “Hey, this is a person who deserves a drink for saving babies/stopping (evil) moving trains/kicking my ass in Guitar Hero, and by golly…I’m going to buy them a beverage in public to show the world how noteworthy their accomplishment is!” That’s quite simply a proposition you can’t say no to. If you do, you’re a dick.

Much like the Bible, there are many more minor rules to the world of drinking, but these are the Big 10, the ones that in a general sense should guide you throughout your journey through this magical world of booze and keep you from temptation and harm. It’s a cold and frightening world out there, but by following these simple rules you definitely have a better chance of emerging unscathed.

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  • Oliver says
    If your beer needs fruit in it to make it taste good, order a different beer
    • Amen! Can't stand the pretense of the fruit in a beer brigade. Mind you, I've always been more of an ale, bitter or stout man than into the namby pamby light brigade.
      • New Member says
        Honestly, I cannot express enough how happy I am to find a website where the subscribers aren't a bunch of light lager drinking kn*bheads. You said you're from the UK? Youd hate what the modern world has done to the place.
      • Sam says
        fruit flavoured beer?!?!?! HAHAHA!! cracks me up!
      • bryn says
        I've been told that the reason behind putting a slice of lemon or lime in a Carona stems from olden days back in Mexico when bottle caps were steel and when stored for long periods of time, would tend to rust. Wiping a lemon around the top of the bottle once opened was an easy and unoffensive way to sterilise it. Then the marketers got hold of the idea and used it to sell Carona to the world.

        As for fruit flavoured beer... If you've never had a Belgium styled Cassis or Frambious - re-read the fifth commandment above then get out there and give one a try... they're different, but that's what makes them appealing, a good palette cleanser after too many pints of bitter.
      • Chris says
        When your next at a bar.. try something different. 1 new beer each visit. And I dont mean a Lion Red for a Speights (cos arent they the same??)
        Try a Czech Pilsner or better still fly to Prague and enjoy a pint in the outer metro bars for around 40 cents NZ!!...
        Or come home and do the EU... over a month, a beer from different European countries.
      • Eli says
        Galbraith's in Mt Eden has an awesome line-up of both beer and Scotch (as well as their own brews) ... and the various Belgium-style base (like De Post, the Occidental, etc) all have some good offerings. Try some tried and true labels like Leffe, Chimay, McEwens, etc.

        Note that Ale is typically fermented at temperatures between 15 and 24 °C (60 and 75 °F). At these temperatures, yeast produces significant amounts of esters and other secondary flavour and aroma products, and the result is often a beer with slightly "fruity" compounds resembling apple, pear, pineapple, banana, plum, or prune, among others. Your typical ale has a sweeter, fuller body than a lager ... if you have only ever consumed a lager or light beer (the type of chilled-to-the-point-of-no-flavour drink that Sam and Oliver would appreciate, no doubt in a plastic cup), then you haven't lived yet.
      • Evan says
        I actually prefer whiskey to beer! And it definitely feels more masculine! Haha.
      • Colin says
        As a Scot I can report that all the (many) distillery masters I've spoken to recommend a drop of water with a single malt.

        You say a bloke shouldn't drink anything but clear 'martinis'. You obviously haven't tried pink gin.

        As to fruity beers - try Bellhaven's fruit beer - real Scottish beer. An what about the many Belgian (probably the best brewers in the world;-) fruit beers?
      • Keri says
        I'm adding olive juice to the things that are ok to add to a martini, at least for girls. Nothing better than a dirty martini.
      • Topher T says
        There are so many hundreds of tasty and interesting beers around, from abroad and right in our own backyard. If one of your locals is putting on a wee Oktoberfest celebration get along and try them for yourself, you could find a new favourite. I haven't ever stuck to drinking one kind of beer and don't ever plan to.

        If beer were a woman I'd take her to bed, from her bubbly toes to her soft tasty head.
      • Karl says
        Chris Campbell is spot on. We were in Europe a couple of years back for a reasonable period of time, and one of the highlights was trying all the different beers. In the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, etc it was ~NZ$1.50 a bottle (500ml at that too). I wrote (briefly - was otherwise occupied mostly) about it here:

        New Zealand has progressed hugely with regard to wine, as the wine lists in any reasonable restaurant will attest to. There is a great range priced accordingly, with something for everyone. Beer however in the majority of establishments is an afterthought; a smaller number of offerings, and they tend to be towards the lower end of the range price and quality wise, and are just variations on similar themes from different brands.

        There are a few places that trade on their wide range of beers (thanks Eli, Galbraith's added to the list), but it would be nice to see many more restaurants, bars etc offer a better range as a matter of course, as happens with wine.
        • Agreed. Coming from the UK I've been used to a wide range of beers being available in the pubs and restaurants. It would be nice to see more boutique breweries here in NZ. I wonder what's involved in setting one up.....

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