Drinking Lessons: What to Drink and When


At some point in our American adolescence, we were incorrectly taught how alcohol affects the brain and body.

That is, if you attended public High School, and not a private school that ignored the existence of booze, drugs, sex, premarital sex, anal sex, or oral sex altogether.

Whatever family and consumer science class, Health class or DARE seminar we took, half-assedly taught us how to calculate the result of drinking one drink.

They taught it to us in such a simplistic, linear way, that it goofed us all up forever.

Basically, if you weren’t privy to the pointless American teachings of a failed attempt at a philosophy degree, they taught us that:

One beer = One drink.
One glass of wine (less volume) = One drink.
One shot of any alcohol (much less volume) = One drink.

By this logic, four shots of Jag, are less potent than a six-pack of lite beer…

Try again Public School.

What this doesn’t account for is the variables. The extracurriculars. The rogue elements and naughty parts that don’t follow the rules.
The stuff in whiskey that makes guys want to fight.  The worms and plants in Tequila that make girls want to take their clothes off.  Or the stuff in Jager that makes us pee our pants at our girlfriends parents house, which is followed by an awkward conversation in the mud-room while the washer is running, culminating with her Mom saying, “You should probably go before Tom gets up.”


I sat across from my (single) brother, who lives at home in his obscure fantasy life at Sunday brunch about a month ago.  Sunday brunch, for those who’ve never tried, is a socially acceptable time to drink on a “school night,” and waste the day away.  Bloody Marys… Mimosas… Maybe, a cider or a wheat beer…

Something that drinks easy, takes the edge off from the night before and doesn’t get you too goofed up; these are standard faire for this delightful meal that comes but once a week.

My young, stupid-but-handy brother, proceeded to order a Jack and water, under the logic that it is equivalent to one beer, one mimosa or one bloody mary.

Cute, isn’t he?

Not only is straight Tennessee whiskey, with shitty central Minnesota tap water, ice cubes and hand sweat from the bartender with the cold-sore on her lip, not even close to the equivalent of one beer, but also– no one should ever drink it. Ever.
…unless you’re fixin’ to head home to your trailer and beat your wife.  (Please don’t beat your wife, it’s not cool.)


Later, the little idiot made a stink when Pops suggested he abstain from ordering a second, exclaiming, “I could have ten of these and drive better than you can sober!”

Even though two entirely different police officers, from completely different states would disagree with him, his belligerent behavior is not exclusive to him and his weak minded clan of jaw-chomping fuckheads that funnel cheap fluids down their gullet before they get onto (or into) their four-wheeler, snowmobile, motorcycle or pickup truck.

Other real boys and girls think this way too.
I hear it all the time in the big city.

“I only had four gin and tonics, why do I feel so hungover?”
“This glass of scotch is the same as that Bud. Don’t judge me.”
“It was just two IPA’s, how could I be over the limit?”

It’s not the same people.

As much as I’d like to say learning this is a bi-product of age and experience, I’ve seen many humans from all ages and races, real sweet faces, royally screw their night up because they picked the wrong drink, in the wrong situation, at the wrong time.

Let me help you…

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