Booze 101

By LUKE O'NEIL  |  September 6, 2012

The purpose of drinking is not to get drunk; it's to enhance a social experience. You know who drinks to get drunk? Fucking bums and losers and people who become cocktail journalists — you don't want that, trust me. "Do not try to race the clock and time how many beverages you can fit in before the establishment closes," says Christine Gerow, who manages spots like Bar 10 at the Westin Copley Place. "Remember, the goal is to have fun and socialize, not to get the most intoxicated in the shortest amount of time."

Not to sound like your mother here (though she and I have been talking about you, and we're a little worried), but put something in your stomach before you go out, and drink a glass of water with every serving of alcohol. Another way to avoid getting drunk too fast is by skipping the energy drinks and vodka, Benjumea says. Not only does caffeine make your body more susceptible to alcohol's effects, but it also makes you look like an amateur.

Another pro tip: avoid mixing many types of booze. Mixing booze sounds like a good idea in theory, right? I want all of the things in me at once! Nope. "Don't mix several types of alcohol together, because you're way more likely to get a hangover," says Olivia Vienneau, bar manager at Deuxave. This means skipping a few college favorites. "The Long Island Iced Tea is a big rookie mistake," says Nate Brown, manager of Middlesex Lounge. "It screams, 'I don't know what I'm doing,' or 'I don't have taste buds and I'm looking to get irresponsibly drunk and throw up and pass out and ruin someone else's night.' " Other offenders to avoid? "Drinks filled with sugar and sour mix," says Tellier. "You're getting ripped off, and it leads to an even worse hangover the next day."

CULTIVATE GOOD DRINKING KARMA

The bartenders' number-one suggestion: remember your manners. "Waving money at someone to get their attention is right-out wrong. That's like waving a treat in front of a dog to get him to sit," Gonzales says. There are other guests trying to order, and treating bartenders well means "they will also be much faster on the draw to get you the second drink."

Of course, your bartender isn't the only person you have to take care of. That zombie-eyed kid doing accidental vodka-yoga in the corner? That hard-on looking for an excuse to prove he's a man? Those are your friends. (Nice friends, dude.) Not everyone is as well-behaved as you are, so take it upon yourself to look out for them. That doesn't mean being the schoolmarm, but the people you're with reflect on you, and someone might get in serious trouble. Even worse, you may end up being unwelcome at a favorite bar, and then where will you puke up all your cheap beer?

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