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Bro Guide to Hard Alcoholic Drinks

You are probably thinking that this is a rather unnecessary guide. After all…everyone knows what alcohol is and drinking is a rather simple exercise of tipping a glass back and swallowing.

Sure you could look at it like that, but as a seasoned pro of the bar and party scene I can assure you that it is not that simple. Alcohol is an interesting and sometimes complex beast. It varies from the cheap swill that most of us start with, due to a lack of funds, to the higher quality stuff we consume as our palate increases along with our pocketbook.

At some point you are going to realize that you are ready to graduate beyond cheap beer and drink specials…but at that point what should you drink? How can you decide which direction to go with your beverage choices when you are out? Obviously there is some pressure to not only have something you enjoy but to also look suave and sophisticated while ordering. That is why this Bro Guide to Hard Alcoholic Drinks is very necessary my friends.

Development of Taste

There is a unique relationship with your taste buds and what you drink. In general men and women have different taste buds and because of that there is a correlation of what types of drinks each gravitate towards. Typically women gravitate towards “lighter” alcohols like vodka and gin while men move towards “darker” alcohols like whiskey and rum.

Why is this?

Women have more taste buds than men and because of this are more sensitive to the differences in the basic senses available on the tongue; sweet, salt, sour, and bitter. Typically men need a stronger drink in terms of taste to enjoy the flavors.

But, with that being said, as you are starting on your journey of developing taste it is rather difficult to jump right into whiskey and bourbon, especially the cheaper brands, because the flavor can be a bit much. Plenty of guys make the attempt and drink something strong because they feel they should, but might not enjoy it very much.

Of course what is the point of that? Alcohol should be enjoyed for the flavor and taste as well as the buzz, correct?

Guide to Alcohol Types

·       Vodka – A clear, neutral spirit with only a slight flavor which makes it an excellent choice to be mixed with anything. This is a very popular choice for anyone with a variance in quality from moderate to good. It is also a great liquor to start with on the advancement of your tastes.

·       Whiskey – Whiskey includes Scotch, Bourbon, Irish whiskey, and Canadian whiskey with each having a distinct style. Whiskey is an institution for serious drinkers who can compare the complexities and flavors. For the most part Irish and Canadian are less expensive and a good starting point because they have less complex tastes. Good Scotch and Bourbon can get very expensive and should be saved for when your palate can enjoy it fully.

·       Rum – A more tropical favorite distilled from sugar cane, rum comes as light, dark, and flavored. Flavored rums are light-bodied and typically more popular with younger drinkers who are developing taste.

·       Gin – Gin has become vodka’s bitch in the bar scene. Most gins taste the same with the subtle difference between a London dry gin and others like Dutch being slight based on the distillation process. Generally gin is a cheaper alcohol and not a very savvy choice.

·       Tequila – Made from the roasted heart of the agave plant, tequila is a popular choice for shots and generally to get messed up. Honestly there are not a lot of options for drinking this beverage and it is highly recommended to NOT mix it with other types of hard alcohol.

·       Brandy – Made from fermented fruits, such as grapes, nuts and even oils from flowers, brandy can be one strong drink. Unless you really want a stiff, overpowering drink you should stay away from brandy. From experience it is the type of drink to wait on until after you have acquired a flavor for whiskey.

Guide to Drink Selection

Now there are a lot of drinks out there and this is only a small sampling but we are covering drinks for each alcohol type that a man can drink with pride. So use this list as a starting point for great, flavorful drink you can be proud of.

·       Vodka Drinks – Black Russian, White Russian (Dude favorite), John Collins, Kamikaze, Martini, Screwdriver, Vodka Seven. Absolut, Ciroc, and Grey Goose are the better brands to use for quality which equates taste.

·       Whiskey Drinks – Rob Roy (Scotch – Dewar’s or Glenlivet), Irish Coffee (Irish), On the Rocks (Irish – Bushmills or Jameson), Crown and Cola (Canadian – Crown Royal or Seagram’s), Kentucky Cooler (Bourbon), Whiskey Sour (Bourbon – Makers Mark or Jack Daniels).

·       Rum Drinks – Rum and Cola, Rum Runner, Rum Sour are the best choices. Try and avoid the Mai Tai’s, Pina Colada or Mojitos unless you want to look like a pansy. Good brands include Captain Morgan and Barbancourt 5 Star.

·       Gin Drinks - Gin n’ Juice, Gin Fizz, Singapore Sling are good options. Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray are solid brands with Hendricks being a top option if you can find it.

·       Tequila Drinks – Great as a Shot, Margarita, or the classic Tequila Sunrise. Brands vary with far too many good and great options to list but slightly more expensive tequila often has a smoother taste and is worth it.

·       Brandy Drinks – Neat, Sidecar, Incredible Hulks, and Brandy and Cola are good options with Courvoisier and Hennessy being good brand choices for with both having moderate and expensive options.

Of course we can’t have any proper guide to hard alcoholic drinks without reminding everyone to be safe with consumption. Always have a designated driver or take a cab, never drink to excess, and make sure to include water and food in your plans for the evening. By following those few simple rules and guide to types, you can enjoy your time with alcohol rather than regretting it.