Ask drinkplanner drinks for beginners

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I finally got my free Brolly in the mail!  Anyway, onto the question…


I’m new to the drinking world, so I’ll be the first to admit I’m a total ignorant about it, thus my question, something good, to have for social drinking, that wont be girly or anything like that but I also don’t want something that will leave me shitfaced since I’m not too fond of being a total jackass in public. A friend recently got me some apple martinis when we had gone out, like I said, I’m not too experienced but at least to me they were pretty good, any suggestions and comments?


Fearing Alcohol’s Real Taste”

First things first FART, I hope your friend was a female.  A dude buying another dude apple martinis sounds like a date to me.  And if that’s what it was, hey…that’s your business.  However, you asked for suggestions that aren’t girly, so I’m going to assume your friend was a) a girl, b) it was a joke on you, or c) you seriously need to direct your friend here.  Help is available!  Operators are standing by!

It’s quite timely that you send in this question now, as I have a younger brother about to turn 21 and was trying to think of appropriate drinks for a new drinker.  It’s the perfect season for it too, as summertime drinks tend to be lighter and easier to drink.  Let’s enumerate, shall we?

1. Beer – It’s a no-brainer, but it needs to be listed (because some people ain’t got no brains, ya know?).  If you enjoy beer, this is a great way to go.  Cool, crisp, refreshing, and low alcohol make this a great drink for beginners to cut their teeth on.  If you don’t like the taste of the standard American macrobrews (and it’s understandable, many don’t), start with some of the summer brews that most breweries offer.  They’re lighter, and often gently flavored with citrus that makes them more palatable to the uninitiated.  I had a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy last summer and thought it would be a great starter-beer for people who don’t like beer (and for those who do like beer as well).  I had a Miller Chill at a party last weekend and I didn’t hate it (and I’m not a fan of Corona and lime).  There are so many different kinds of beer out there you’re bound to find ones you like…just keep a friend close who already likes beer to drink up all the ones you don’t like.

2. Rum and Coke – Also known as a Cuba Libre, it’s almost exactly what it sounds like: white rum, cola, and garnished with a lime.  If that’s still too harsh for you, switch over to a spiced rum like Sailor Jerry (my personal favorite) or Captain Morgan to ease the harshness of the rum.  Every bar on the planet can make it, it goes down easy, and nobody will question your ability to take a leak standing up.

Oh Xenophobia, you’re so hilarious!

3. Vodka and Fruit Juice – My first full drink I ever had was a cranberry and vodka (aka a Cape Cod) and it was eye-opening as someone whose previous encounters with alcohol had been sips of either scotch or dry (drrryyyyyyy) martinis from my parents that alcohol didn’t have to taste like pickled piss.  Scotch and gin don’t taste good to an inexperienced palate, but fruit juice sure does.  The great thing about unflavored vodka is it mostly tastes like nothing, so whatever you choose to mix in it takes the dominant flavor.  Cranberry, orange, lemonade, pomegranate, whatever…9 times out if 10 it will mix well with vodka.

4. Whiskey Sour – Whiskey sours taste like they were made in Easy Drinkin’ City, Missouruh.  With plenty of sweet to go along with the sour, and the “whiskey” part will keep you sounding far from sissified.  The sour mix and booze blend almost magically to create a drink that tastes ever-so-nice yet keeps the alcohol content down so you don’t become a “total jackass” in public (have you never heard of karaoke!?!  It was practically invented by drunken public jackassery!).

5. Mojitos/Margaritas – As long as they aren’t frozen or from a pre-made all-in-one mix (meaning the kind that have the tequila/rum already added) you’re doing ok.  As I’ve said before, frozen drinks have no place in your man-hand unless you’re at the beach, poolside, or on a cruise.  Margaritas on the rocks are perfectly acceptable.  You still probably wouldn’t want to order one of these after work with your boss (unless in a Tiki bar), but in most other situations a freshly made mojito or margarita is perfectly acceptable (and downright delicious).

If this pantsless freak brings your drink…RUN!

6. Stoli O and Soda Water With an Orange Slice – I picked this one up from my new buddies at the Modern Drunkard forums.  It’s more of a make-at-home drink than an order-out drink, but Stoli O (or probably any orange vodka, though I know Stoli O to be good) with soda water, garnished with an orange slice.  I’ve made a similar drink with Whitley Neill gin, tonic water, and a clementine orange slice and it was simply divine.  There’s just something about citrus in the summertime that really hits the spot, and since it’s in season, it’s a great time to experiment.

There are many more drinks that are good for newbie drinkers, but these are probably the easiest to make or buy at a bar.  Got another suggestion?  Leave it in the comments.  Have a question about boozing?  Ask DrinkPlanner!

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  1. CodeMonkey Said,

    It’s been forever since I had whiskey sours, my roommates and I used to make it by the pitcher. You’re right about the easy drinking and your recommendations hit the beginners and summer spot. When I was out at a bar with my girlfriend who doesn’t drink, my brother ordered us a round of “Soco and Lime” shots, (SoCo is Southern Comfort), and for someone who doesn’t drink at all, she loved it so much she wanted to go home and make it. I’d like to recommend the Soco and Lime shots. Happy Drinking!

  2. ditriech Said,

    When I started drinking out in public, I was a big fan of the Seven and Seven.

  3. DrinkPlanner Said,

    Ahhh…the Seven and Seven is a good one. Well done sir.

  4. hollis216 Said,

    First things first. Apple martini. Really? Leave them well alone. This whole “advice” list is full of things that I would think less of you for drinking.

    Mate, beer is a top choice. Shows you’re one of the lads and everywhere will have it. Start out with an ale or a bitter, both smoother than lager. Use them as training wheels and then make the step up to lager. Cider is also right up there. Start with something sweeter like Strongbow before making the step up to Magners (also called Bulmers). When it comes to fruity beer or shandies, don’t you dare. Eventually you will come across someone who will break your arms for it.

    Rum and coke is acceptable, but find a good dark or gold rum and run with it. Goslings Black Seal and Gold are availible in more and more off licences and are both beautiful with coke, and in the case of the Gold, soda water or ginger ale as well. Failing Goslings Gold, go with Cockspur or Mount Gay.

    Fruit juice is a no-no unless you are doing up a silly punch or a rum swizzle, [email protected] if anyone is interested in a good swizzle recipe. Vodka with orange juice is sort of acceptable, cranberry juice will make you the brunt of countless jokes about it being “that time of the month” for you.

    Whiskey sours and margheritas are not something you drink around strangers if you are a bloke. If there’s a theme night or theres a massive quantity mixed for the night, tuck in. Whiskey sours are the drink of cougars on the prowl, and margheritas belong to young drunk girls.

    Mojitos are superb at anywhere with live music and a lounge layout. Sit off to one side, sip and enjoy the tunes.

    Flavored vodka is never ok.

    Soco and lime is never ok. Learn the difference between good and bad sambucca and do good sambucca. Same for tequila. Lemon and salt is called training wheels. Learn to go without them.

    7 and 7 is a good choice. Coke and ginger-ale work as well.

    I originally saw shandy and was in disbelief that it was being suggested seriously. Read down and realised that the entire answer was full of the drinks of homosexuals, old women and sorority girls.

    The drink in your hand is the third thing noticed about you in a bar, behind looks and dress sense. Or the first thing noticed if it’s bright green in a martini glass. People probably will judge you by what you drink in the same way that they judge you by how you dress. And you’d not head out to a bar in a pair or arseless leather trousers, now would you?

  5. DrinkPlanner Said,

    Clearly, someone didn’t read the whole article.

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