Alcy’s guide to hard liquor

Liquor in the front and poker in the rear is the Poker Room’s new slogan (also the name of a very good rock ‘n roll album by a band called the Reverend Horton Heat, who are known for their “saucy” lyrics)

I wanted to give my advice on which liquor ranks highly in my book compared to the alternatives. I’ve gone through various phases of my life when I’ve consumed mass amounts of hard alcohol and have assembled a list of my favorites. I’ll break down my preferences.

    Rum

Rum and cokes are my standard for getting messed up. The drink is so simple that no bartender can mess it up and it has the easiest taste to it so you can drink them fast. This isn’t my preference if I had a choice of something to drink but I like it at bars. In college I went through a phase where I was strictly Bacardi and coke. It was around 20 dollars a fifth and a major step up from Bankers. Shooting Rum isn’t my favorite but if it’s in the freezer it’s manageable. I put Cap’t on the same level as Bacardi and I really could care less between the two. I have never found a liking for a high end rum because it’s not a shot drink and can you really taste a difference if it’s mixed with coke? I try to stay away from 151 but that and Cherry Coke go pretty well together. I am also a fan of Rum Runners and Miami Vice’s.

Vodka
I think Vodka is the most standard alcohol out there. It’s a good straight shooter and mixes fairly well. If I’m going to mix it I like it with fruit mixed drinks like strawberry kiwi or pineapple orange. If there isn’t that, I’d put it with Orange juice and practically never with Cranberry. There are so many different Vodka’s but I’ve grown towards Grey Goose as my favorite. I used to order it on the rocks at bars but it will mess you up pretty fast and taste wise there are better things out there. Belvedere and Ketel One would probably be next in line followed by Smirnoff and Absolute. Anything less like Bankers or Vlad are last resorts. I’ve read that you can brita filter those lessers kinds and have an improved blend. Personally, Goose from the freezer is the best and easiest shot to take, no chaser needed. Just to harp on my opinion of a chaser. If I’m just starting drinking a chaser is not a bad idea but once I’m in the flow of drinking I can pretty much handle any shot without the need for one. If I have to use one though I think beer is the best chaser.

Scotch & Whiskey
I’ll group these two together only because my experience with them is less. I think the two obvious standards are Jameson and Jack Daniels. Both are reasonably priced and better quality than the Evan Williams and such. If we are going higher end you’d obviously place Johnnie Walker, Macallan, and GlenFiddich in the Scotch category. The only way I’d drink Jameson is on the rocks. I’m not sure if it’s a good mixer or not but a little ice in there and it’s a nice drink. Jack and Cokes are standard but have never been my thing because I prefer rum. The one time I strictly had Jack and Cokes I was running and faceplanted breaking my two front teeth. Sadly to say I’m not a huge scotch drinker. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy it, it just would never be my regular get wasted drink. Scotch and cigars are a manly combination that if you don’t like, most likely you aren’t a man’s man. The only time I really drink the higher end scotches is at the Borgata’s Racebook where they give out free top shelf drinks when you are making wagers. Shots of scotch don’t really bother me but drinking them neat (no ice) or on the rocks is probably a better method. I think Southern Comfort should also be included in the category and I’ve had it with Ginger Ale or Coke and think it’s decent but too much makes me ill. SoCo and lime isn’t a tough shooter either.

Gin
I went through a tangueray and tonic phase sometime in late college and have never really gone back. It’s an ok drink but I just don’t like the Gin drunk. It’s a mellower, not as wild type of drunk. I think the taste when mixed with tonic is fine but it’s not a shooting alcohol. I remember killing a fifth of tangueray one time and then not feeling drunk but just completely sick and after that I’ve never went back. The mixer of tonic just doesn’t work with my body.

Tequila
Strictly a shooting alcohol for me. I’ve had a few Tequila phases in my days and they always lead to trouble. It’s either passing out or throwing up most likely. Cuervo is the obvious choice for reasonably price tequila. Patron would be my choice of better tequila. Warm Tequila makes me want to gag but if the time is right I have no problem throwing it back. Training wheels (salt and lime) are generally not preferred but makes the shot much, much easier. The Rock and I tried to make some Tequila Sunrises one time but I think it proved to be a disaster as the grenadine is still in my possession.

Misc Alcohol
I’m not a huge fan of Jager. For some reason it just doesn’t taste good to me and I think I’ve probably puked a time or two from it’s consumption. I’ve done a boxed wine phase where I’d fill up a 20 oz red cup and just see how many cups I would need to get retarded. I think it used to be about 5 red cups and then you’d go out, not remember anything, and wake up completely hungover. MD 20/20 made me put my arm through a fish tank after drinking 3 (as the legend has it). I have no experience with 4 locos but I intend to stay away. As of late I’ve been mostly a beer guy and have stayed away from hard alcohol as it tends to mess me up pretty good. For some reason I am able to consume more liquor past the point of no return and that tends to lead to problems. Most times I won’t turn down shots though so if you’re buying, I’m drinking.

Just to add good bar drinks / shots:
Carbombs are a hit
Jagerbombs are manageable
MindErasers are insta-blackout
Kamikazes are an easy shot
B52’s are barely a shot
3 Wisemen or 4 Horsemen show how much of an alcoholic you are

So there you go. If you don’t know that much about hard liquor I hope I’ve upped your learning curve and now you can drink like the best of them.