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Liquor Guide

By nosilA in Culture
Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:15:23 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

You may be like many people who have had a very limited exposure to liquor.  Perhaps you have had mixed drinks, maybe even shot down cheap tequila in college, but shy away from the good stuff straight.  

This guide should help you find the alcohol you like and direct you at what to buy.  Everyone's tastes and tolerances are unique, but some basic principles are the same for everyone.

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Note: bottle refers to 750mL bottle unless otherwise specified.  Prices are given as examples only and are based on my part of the US.


Brandy is a spirit distilled from fruits.  If the fruit is not specified, grapes are standard, but it's easy to find Apple, Apricot, Plum, Peach, and essentially any other fruit.  Cognac is a popular form of Brandy.

Cognac is always aged at least two and a half years in barrels, not bottles as cognac gets its color and taste from the barrel itself.  Cognacs are often blended with older batches, but are labeled according to the youngest component in its blend using the following designations:

VS: Very Special (2 1/2 years)
VSOP: Very Superior Old Pale (minimum 4 years)
Napoleon: Minimum 6 years
XO: Extra Old - At least 6 years, often much older

Many people are happy with cheaper cognacs, but I've found that I only really appreciate the cheaper XO's, such as a bottle of Remy Martin X.O. I picked up for $90 as a present recently.  You can spend thousands on cognac, but I don't have that kind of money to spend, even as "research."

I enjoy cognac at room temperature straight, though it can often be blended with sparkling or tonic water and/or put "on the rocks" for sipping.  One time I mixed a cheap brandy with sprite and found it tasted like a good ginger ale.  As with most liquors, the more you blend it, the less quality you need to use.


Gin is very pure distilled alcohol with flavors such as juniper added later.  Allergies to juniper are common, so one should be careful having gin for the first time.  

Gin is frequently used in martinis or in gin and tonic.  A gin martini generally has a touch of vermouth, but is essentially straight gin.  

Personally I don't enjoy the taste of gin much, but it seems that a lot of people like Bombay gin as a reasonable quality inexpensive variety at about $10-15/bottle.  This makes it one of the cheaper liquors to consume.


Rum is generally distilled from sugar and traditionally comes from the carribean.  Frequently rum is flavored after distillation, either with spices, coconut ("malibu rum"), or virtually any flavor.  Although rum is normally 80 proof like most liquors, 151 proof rum is common, and I've seen intermediate proofs such as 120.  Rum can be dark or light.  

Rum drinks are often considered "girly drinks" as many come with a paper umbrella.  Don't let this classification fool you - they are often very strong.  My father has a story that he was in Jamaica on his honeymoon sipping down Planters Punch, which is generally made with a lot of rum, sometimes some triple sec, and a little juice.  He spent most of the mornings with a nasty headache and he couldn't figure it out since all he was drinking were fruity drinks.  Be warned - rum makes it easy to forget how much you are drinking and sugar aggravates the hangover.

My favorite thing to do with rum is take a generic frozen juice concentrate, add about 6 ounces of rum (include flavored rum if you want) and fill the the blender with ice and blend.  Serve in pretty glasses with little umbrellas and you have a nice cocktail to have fun with.  If you only make one blender worth for 2 people, you should be fine.  Don't lose count though.

Rum is cheap.  Stay away from plastic bottles, but other than that, go with what you want.  This is assuming you don't want to sip it, which some people do, but usually rum is used in mixers, not straight.


Tequila is distilled from the agave plant in Mexico.  Tequila is actually a form of a larger category known as Mezcal.  Cheaper forms of Mezcal will have a worm, tequila does not. You can find silver tequila, but gold is more common.  Most tequila is not aged, but if you find the term Anejo on the bottle, it means it was aged for at least a year.  The taste of anejo tequilas is vastly different from those that aren't aged, so even if you think you don't like tequila, you should try something anejo.  

Tequila is also used in fruity drinks, such as margaritas or mixed with juices.  If you are drinking tequila mixed with something, it is less important to have good tequila.  However, if you are taking shots, try something a little better than Jose Cuervo.

Different brands and types of anejo tequila have very different flavors, since they are aged in varying containers.  You can expect to spend around $40 for a decent aged tequila, but you can certainly spend much more.  Herradura Selleccion Suprema goes for $200/bottle - I saw it in a restaurant once for $25/shot, but never tried it.  I've heard it's worth the money, but I will stick to my $40 bottles.

There is much more to tequilas, some of which can be learned at this tequila page.  


Ahh, vodka.  It's great - it can be distilled from absolutely anything.  Many people associate potatos with vodka, but in fact most vodka sold in the US is distilled from grain.  The factors that most influence how good vodka is are how many times it is distilled and how pure the water added is.  All vodka is watered down from 190 proof to the 80-100 range.

The better a vodka is, the less you will taste it. Vodka is best straight, chilled.  You can store vodka in the freezer, it will not actually freeze at that kind of temperature.  Shoot it, sip it, put it in a martini glass, whatever.  

Flavored vodkas aren't great straight, but mix well.  Many people mix vodka with juice, such as a Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice), or with milk, such as a White Russian (vodka, milk, coffee liqueur).  My favorite thing is to mix vanilla flavored vodka with diet coke.  Then again, with vanilla diet coke scheduled to come out in September, maybe i can stop buying vanilla vodka.  Red Bull and Vodka is very popular these days, but be warned, the sugar in that mix is a recipe for a hangover.

Most of the vodkas you will see on the shelves these days have pretty bottles and cost a lot of money.  These really aren't any better than Absolut, and are inferior to Stolichnaya.  There are certainly better and more expensive brands than these, but I find Stoli to be at a great price/enjoyment point for me.  At $15-20/bottle, this shouldn't break a working persons budget.  Under no circumstances should you buy vodka in a plastic bottle.  That is, unless the drug store is out of rubbing alcohol and you have to clean something.


Whiskey comes in many forms (and two spellings), such as Irish, Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, and Canadian.  They are all exceedingly different.  Personally I find most whiskeys too harsh and they aren't frequently mixed down with anything.  

One could write a whole article on Whiskey, or even one on just scotch whiskey, so I could hardly do the subject justice as a section in this article, even if I enjoyed whiskey.  

Each type of whiskey is sufficiently distinct that one should try all of them (not at the same time) before dismissing the whole class.  Many people will only drink one type of whiskey and dislike all of the others.  

Liqueur and Wine Apertifs

Liqueurs and wine apertifs are not spirits, but are frequently mixed with them.  They vary in alcohol composition, typically anywhere between 20-80 proof.  

A common wine apertif is vermouth, which is mixed with gin in martinis.  

There are so many times of common liqueurs it's hard to list them all.  Generally they are sweet and you would not want to drink them straight, but some, such as Amaretto, are acceptable straight.  I've sipped Godiva Cappuccino Liqueur before as well, but it's definitely meant to be mixed with something.  

Triple Sec is another common liqueur, as is its cousin, Blue Curacao.  They have an citrus like flavor and are mixed in lots of things, including margaritas.  Blue Curacao is very very blue, and can make pretty mixed drinks.  Vodka with a touch of blue curacao and grenadine (a cherry-flavored red liqueur) makes a pretty purple drink.

Liqueurs vary in price, but most aren't very expensive and last a long time.

Final Notes

"Proof" is a term equal to the double of the alcohol content.  Therefore an 80 proof alcohol is 40% alcohol.  It is impossible to have actual 200 proof alcohol because it will absorb some water from the air.  A "shot" is 1.5 ounces, so you get about 16 out of a 750mL bottle.

A good reference for drinks of all types can be found at Webtender.  If you are interested in making mixed drinks, this is a great place to go.

Moderation is very important.  Know the alcohol content of your drinks.  For example, Long Island Iced Tea is almost pure alcohol at 80 proof.  One glass is like having 4 bottles of beer.

If you are drunk, drink lots of water before you go to bed.  There are dozens of hangover cures, but dehydration is one of the main causes of a hangover and some water never hurts anyone.

Stick to one type of alcohol.  It's much easier to count, and is less likely to make you sick.  It's a good idea to keep count, which some people do with lemons on the glass or similar tricks.  Getting sick is not fun and can happen to anyone.

Happy drinking!


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Favorite type of liquor
o Brandy 3%
o Gin 6%
o Rum 6%
o Tequila 8%
o Vodka 24%
o Whiskey 26%
o Other 5%
o I don't drink 19%

Votes: 173
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o tequila page
o Webtender
o Also by nosilA

Display: Sort:
Liquor Guide | 400 comments (351 topical, 49 editorial, 0 hidden)
Correction on Vodka section (4.80 / 5) (#1)
by CaptainZornchugger on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 12:12:01 PM EST

Under no circumstances should you buy vodka in a plastic bottle.

Not true. Smirnoff is now available in a plastic bottle. Although it's not as good as the other vodkas you mention, it is certainly acceptable for mixed drinks, and not too bad for shooting. About $12 for a 750mL bottle.

Plus, plastic bottles don't break. I once had the misfortune of seeing a full glass bottle of Kremlyovskaya (better than stoli, hard to find) knocked off a counter and shattered before my eyes. Possibly the saddest thing I've ever seen.

Look at that chord structure. There's sadness in that chord structure.
Eek (4.50 / 4) (#60)
by phybre187 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:23:40 PM EST

Shattering a bottle of vodka? That, my friend, is alcohol abuse.

[ Parent ]
Vodka (4.50 / 4) (#6)
by Irobot on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 12:28:29 PM EST

Although I no longer drink, my drink of choice used to be straight vodka. FWIW - since this is obviously not a comprehensive list - I did a taste test using Finlandia, Stolichnaya, Tanqueray Sterling, Absolut, and Smirnoff's. The Tanqueray was the best, followed closely by Absolut. A mild bite (for vodka), with a clean, crisp taste. Stoli had a bit of a thick taste, lowering it's quality IMO. The others are lower shelf brands, included only for experimental control's sake. Just my recommendation on a brand of vodka if anyone is interested. Your tastes may differ...


The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn

grey goose vodka (none / 0) (#210)
by mikeliu on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:54:48 PM EST

Best vodka I ever had was Grey Goose vodka.  It's really quite good, and at a reasonable price of about 20 dollars a bottle.  Very clean taste, which I hear is described as hints of granite or some bull like that, but I dunno about that..........

[ Parent ]
i must admit (none / 0) (#283)
by buridan on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:21:30 AM EST

finlandia has fallen off the quality they had about 5 years ago, now it is about the same as stoli.

[ Parent ]
Skyy (4.00 / 3) (#7)
by jayhawk88 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 12:30:04 PM EST

Skyy vodka makes an excellent screwdriver, and is (generally) cheaper than Absolut.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
Good newbie guide (4.33 / 6) (#24)
by bodrius on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:46:17 PM EST

Some comments:

a) Rum: sipping rum is actually quite common, but if you consider rum to be a cheap drink, then you cannot sip it. As you suggest, cheap rum is good for mixing, and nothing else.
   Good rum, however, is harder to find in the US and tends to be expensive. It's great straight, perhaps with some lemon juice. Drink it warm/slightly-hot.
   I personally like the Pampero Aniversario (and their cheaper varieties are quite good too), but St. James and Appelton are also ok too. Cuban rum is great, but not available for USians.
   Avoid anything you have seen on TV. Bacardi is disgusting.

b) Tequila:
   I tend to prefer Sauza as a brand. Cheaper than the high-end, much better than Cuervo. Cuervo in general has been described to me as "that awful tequila gringos drink" and my tastebuds tend to agree, although I haven't seen that many "gringos" drinking tequila.

c) Vodka:
   Vodkas should not be flavored (by a corporate brand). Period.
   If you want to add a "mixed flavor" to a drink, adding the flavor yourself on the spot will give better results without sacrificing a full bottle of vodka. If you really, really, really want the vodka to absorb a fruity flavor for weeks, do the flavoring yourself.
   I used to drink Absolut, but a sip of their citron can destroy your tastebuds for a week. Be warned.

d) Whisky:
   At least in the case of scotch, as far as I know it's usually watered down with either water or soda precisely because it's too harsh to drink straight for a lot of people..
   There are four combinations here: typical soda, normal water, good soda, good water.
   The results are vastly different with each, and while some people may hate whisky with soda (I do), they may like it with water, and vice versa. Some people dislike them both because they tried bad choices of soda/water, and this is a case where you notice the difference between different waters.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...

Coffee-flavoured Vodka (none / 0) (#77)
by superdoo on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:06:59 PM EST

"c) Vodka: Vodkas should not be flavored (by a corporate brand). Period. If you want to add a "mixed flavor" to a drink, adding the flavor yourself on the spot will give better results without sacrificing a full bottle of vodka. If you really, really, really want the vodka to absorb a fruity flavor for weeks, do the flavoring yourself. I used to drink Absolut, but a sip of their citron can destroy your tastebuds for a week. Be warned."

One cheap and easy way to create an interesting flavoured Vodka is to dump a bunch (use your own judgement, 10-20) coffee beans into a bottle and stick it in the freezer for a week. You can sip the coffee-Vodka straight or mix it, plus you can eat the resulting spiked coffee beans!

Remove yourclothes to reply.
[ Parent ]

flavored Vodka (none / 0) (#183)
by Osty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:11:20 PM EST

One cheap and easy way to create an interesting flavoured Vodka is to dump a bunch (use your own judgement, 10-20) coffee beans into a bottle and stick it in the freezer for a week. You can sip the coffee-Vodka straight or mix it, plus you can eat the resulting spiked coffee beans!

I tried that last week, using espresso beans. Man, was it a kick in the pants! Good, though (a little bitter). Right now, I've got some vodka infusing with a vanilla bean (only one bean, because I just used what vodka was left in the bottle, which wasn't a whole lot). This makes a really good drink for sipping, though I haven't tried mixing it with anything yet. Maybe a vanilla-flavored vodka martini. Much better than the vanilla-flavored vodkas you'll find in the stores. I haven't decided what future flavors I want to try, but the sky is the limit here. Just be sure to do it with good vodka (doesn't have to be great vodka, since you're changing the flavor, but don't go bargain-barrel here, either. Unless you have to monetarily) and good ingredients, and the longer you let it infuse, the stronger the flavor (duh).

Looks like it's time for me to hit the liquor store, and then the grocery store.


NoPopIE, Internet Explorer popup killer (win2k/xp only, for now).

[ Parent ]
Vanilla and Ginger (none / 0) (#219)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:18:26 PM EST

though I haven't tried mixing it with anything yet

Mix it with ginger ale. Vanilla vodka and ginger ale is one of the finest, if most dangerous, mixed drinks known to (wo)man. Tastes like cream soda, and it's way easy to drink too much! Go light on the vodka, you'll want more than one. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Scotch and water (none / 0) (#101)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:46:34 PM EST

   At least in the case of scotch, as far as I know it's usually watered down with either water or soda precisely because it's too harsh to drink straight for a lot of people..
   There are four combinations here: typical soda, normal water, good soda, good water.
Be careful here! Some people use way too much water. A friend of mine mixes water 1:1 with his McCallen 18 year. I just don't see the point, he might as well stick with his 15 year bottle. Too much water destroys the flavour and leaves it tasting like a cheap watered-down whisky. Some Scotches have a fuller flavour than others, but really, it only takes a few drops to bring out the essence. Thank goodness you didn't mention ice: keep that for blends.

I like my Scotches before - but not during - dinner. They don't fill me up like beer does, and for some reason increase my appetite and enjoyment of the meal.

[ Parent ]
More scotch advice (none / 0) (#151)
by EngnrGuy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:56:38 PM EST

A good way to prevent this when ordering a scotch in a restaurant is to ask for the scotch neat and the water in a separate glass.
I have to confess to drinking a lot of good scotch neat before I went to Scotland and was shown the error of my ways in numerous distilleries.  A bit of water is a must to get the best flavour, kills of the hard alcohol note at the start.  Without water you basically blow out your tastebuds to the more subtle flavours.
My best bottle currently is a Bowmore 21 yr. old, and the single malt I recommend most is Springbank, preferably 15 yr or older.  Has an amazing complexity for such a light coloured whisky.  And for those who love peat & smoke, Lagavulin (sp?).
The reason Johnny Walker Blue is so expensive is it is a blend of really good single malts.  18 yr. plus I think.  

[ Parent ]
water? teach me the ways... (none / 0) (#160)
by hotpix on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:39:04 PM EST

Okay, I'm a huge fan of slowly sucking on a glass of old scotch straight up. I've heard about this "drop of water" thing but frankly never quite got it. So, how much do you add? Directly to the glass, or take a sip of water and then the scotch? Please advise. Haven't tried Bowmore or Springbank, but Lagavulin is my absolute favorite. Have you found anything else like it? I haven't...
"Hey, I've been around! Well, maybe not around, but I've been nearby!" - Mary Tyler Moore
[ Parent ]
Just a spash. (none / 0) (#185)
by MightyTribble on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:14:22 PM EST

That's a technical measure. It means more than a drop, less than a pour. ;-)

Good, filtered water or spring water from a bottle, mind. NOT TAP WATER.

I typically add between 10 - 25% of the neat malt as water.

[ Parent ]

Hard to say (none / 0) (#322)
by EngnrGuy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:34:06 PM EST

A splash is a good description.  I usually pour a couple of fingers of whisky, splash some water from the Brita in and enjoy.  Another thing I've found is to avoid glacially cold water.  I like the water best at a bit below room temperature.
Like Lagavulin?  Hmmm, tough one.  It is pretty unique.  You might like Highland Park, from Orkney.  
Another stupid whisky trick is to do "flight" tastings.  Say a 12, 15, 18, and 21 yr old of the same whisky.  You can learn the true meaning of the word smooth that way.  Or with something like a Balvenie, you can compare whisky of the same age from different kinds of barrels, ie. sherry barrels versus port barrels.  
Ah, appreciation of good whisky can be such an expensive hobby.

[ Parent ]
Bison Grass Vodka (none / 0) (#211)
by gidds on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:55:33 PM EST

Vodkas should not be flavored

With at least one exception: Bison grass vodka.  It's flavoured with a blade of bison grass, a long grass that grows on the plains of Poland.  This gives it a subtle, slightly herby flavour that's well worth trying.  I came across this by chance in Oddbins, while getting in more conventional drinks for a holiday.  It was a good holiday...

OTOH, I hardly drink any alcohol these days – a few years ago I worked out that I was mostly drinking from peer pressure, and because I expected it to make me feel good, when it only ended up making me tired, fuzzy-headed, and eventually ill.  These days I have more fun, keep my wits, and can drive afterwards!  I'm not against alcohol as such (in moderation), but I wonder how many other people don't realise that they can have just as much fun without.  Things are getting better, but I still wish that choosing not to drink wouldn't raise so many eyebrows...

[ Parent ]

I have a bottle of unwatered single malt (none / 0) (#267)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:35:17 AM EST

~150 proof! It's only drinkable straight if it's your third or fourth scotch in that sitting. Otherwise, must add a splash of water (not tap water!).

It was a birthday present from my wife. I found out it was $60 for that tiny-ass bottle (250ml IIRC). Now that's a way for your wife to show you she loves you.

Apologies to MightyTribble for using the vernacular.

[ Parent ]

Scotch Whiskey (4.50 / 4) (#27)
by hatshepsut on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:49:55 PM EST

Two things when it comes to scotch whiskey: older, non-blended.

Scotch whiskey that is blended (unless it is Ballentines, which is sort of the cool-aid of scotches and should be treated as such) is a blight upon humanity. Single malt and the oldest you can afford (I got to sniff a bottle of 50 year-old once, the day after a tasting...I couldn't buy even one glass) is the way to go.

Oh, and skip the Cardhu, that stuff is like sucking Alcool(TM) through a peat bog.

Whiskey?!? (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by smileyy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:49:26 PM EST

You're whining about Scotch whisky and you spell it the Irish/American way? For shame...

Shame on Rusty for not having 'whisky' in the k5 dictionary, either. Maybe that's why your post looks like that...
...alone in suicide, which is deeper than death...
[ Parent ]

UK vs. US spellings (none / 0) (#73)
by hatshepsut on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:55:01 PM EST

I am sorry about that. Being Canadian, I tend to spell in an absurd (and quite odd) blend of UK and US spellings.

When I use the spell-check feature, I always ignore the "misspelled" words like neighbour, labour, sulphur, etc., but saw that whisky was pegged as wrong and just mindlessly corrected it to whiskey.

I don't even remember how I am "supposed" to spell it in this country, I have seen it both ways. As usual, Canadians are the self-conscious and self-effacing bunch that just try to get along...

[ Parent ]

Spellings (5.00 / 3) (#76)
by smileyy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:03:13 PM EST

AFAIK, if it's Canadian or Scotch, the name is 'whisky'.  If it's Irish or American, the name is 'whiskey'.  Excursions on the web seem to bear this out.
...alone in suicide, which is deeper than death...
[ Parent ]
Argh (4.00 / 1) (#212)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:57:16 PM EST

Look in your display prefs. The spellchecker offers a choice of US, UK, or Canadian dictionaries. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
kool-aid (3.00 / 1) (#65)
by Altus on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:32:20 PM EST

Ive had Ballentines and I think its my favorite cheep (read blended) scotch, not incredible, but drinkable and better than dewars IMHO.

but I ahve no idea what you mean by "the cool-aid of scotches ", can you explain.

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Cool-Aid (none / 0) (#71)
by hatshepsut on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:51:13 PM EST

When I first learned to drink scotch (with a bunch of kilt and sporran clad bagpipers, I might add), we had 8 people in a room with 8 different bottles of scotch.

All we quite drinkable, including the only blended scotch of the bunch, the Ballantines.

On a flavour comparison, I found (and was seconded by many there) that the Ballantines was an acceptable drink, but was not nearly as flavourful (or interesting) as any of the single-malts.

We took to calling it cool-aid for that reason alone: quite drinkable, but a very mass-produced sort of flavour. I apologize, it really was an uncalled-for "in joke" that I wouldn't expect anyone else to understand.

[ Parent ]

its cool (ha!) (none / 0) (#74)
by Altus on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:55:43 PM EST

I was just wondering if you were calling it sweet or fruity or if maby, somewhere, there is a giant antrhopomorphized ballentines bottle bursting through a brick wall and distributing itself to minors.

I was just a little confused :)

I do understand what you mean though.

what do you think of chivas, Ive had it a couple of times and my father loves it (although his tastes are not refined)  its not bad for a blend.

on the otherhand, perhaps the whole blended issue should be droped and we can all move on to talking about single malts :)

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Mmmmm, single malt! (none / 0) (#83)
by hatshepsut on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:25:25 PM EST

Anything but Cardhu. No, really. Well, as long as it is at least 10 years old.

I haven't tried Chivas. Once I realized the difference between single-malts and blends, I stopped buying blends and settled for smaller bottles of the "good stuff".

One thing I would love to try is actually Jonny Walker Blue Label. Black and red label are both blends (I think) and red label shouldn't be used as anything but paint stripper. I saw a bottle of blue label once (again, back when I was broke) and it was incredibly expensive (which is usually a good sign for scotch). Never had a chance to try it though.

If all else fails, however, a nice glass of Glenlivet will always work for me.

[ Parent ]

Blue (none / 0) (#106)
by Altus on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:03:21 PM EST

Ive had it.  when I was in japan about a year ago I got the chance to try a number of incredible whiskys (scotch, irish, burbons) at no cost...  very high end shit.

I remeber the Johnny walker blue, I was excited to try it, haveing heard about its $300 a bottle price.  Frankly, I was disapointed.  I mean, it didnt suck,  but it want that good either... certainly not good enough to warrent that price... sure maby at $100 or even $150 but for the prices I see on the bottles I dont think so.

Id rather have a bottle of glenmorange (sp?) for alot less money.

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

bull (3.00 / 1) (#175)
by buridan on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:33:32 PM EST

every scotch drinker knows that when the pennies are missing famous grouse is a fine substitute for a single malt.  oh sure, single malts, my favorites are from the north isles, are great and fine things to drink and reminisce about but the old grouse, she's the life of many a fine man.

[ Parent ]
Four kinds of 'Whiskey' (4.00 / 1) (#179)
by MightyTribble on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:05:07 PM EST

There's Grain whisky, blended whisky, malt whisky and everything else.

The only 'real' whisky is malt. It's never refered to as 'scotch' in polite company, only as 'single malt' or, maybe, 'whisky'. This is the real, original stuff. Drink it neat or with a splash of water. Never 'on the rocks'.

Then there's the grain whiskeys of the Americas - the bourbons (made from maize and rye) and sour-mash. They're shite in comparison, but OK if you need to clean a toilet. For the love of all that is holy, mix it with something. Anything. Coke, Draino, vomit, whatever's handy.

Then there's 'scotch', or blended whiskey. Chivas Regal, Canada Club are examples of this. OK if there's nothing else around. Feel free to have this 'on the rocks'.

Finally, you have wacky Jap Whiskey and the liquor whiskeys. The less said about them, the better. Drambuie is one such critter.

Note: scotch != whisky. :-)

[ Parent ]

Mostly agree (none / 0) (#291)
by hatshepsut on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:19:16 AM EST

Except that Canadian Club is Canadian Whisky/Whiskey, or commonly referred to as rye.

I wouldn't drink CC neat if you paid me, but it is nice with gingerale or coke.

I don't believe I have ever tried bourbon (except Kentucky bourbon, which I am under the impression is a very specific type). But I wouldn't feel any need to drink it neat.

I use the terms "scotch whisky", "rye whisky", etc. in order to differentiate. This is somewhat important around here as there are many kinds of "whisky" or "whiskey" available and it eliminates simple errors at the liquor store. Blended "scotch whiskey" can be drunk, if nothing else is available, but can be mixed. If I caught someone drinking single malt mixed I would be forced to hunt them down and eat them. Irish whisky is wonderful neat but also excellent in Irish coffee. I don't drink rye neat, but I know some who do.

[ Parent ]

Had a bit of 30 year old once (3.00 / 1) (#266)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:27:01 AM EST

It's a dream. Oh man, if only I were rich and could regularly afford that stuff, but a small bottle was in the high-hundreds range.

[ Parent ]
older single malts not necessarily better (4.00 / 1) (#307)
by akp on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:37:02 PM EST

Single malts age at different rates depending on the peculiarities of the particular distillery. Some reach their full maturities at 10 years, some at 12, and some at 15. If you let them age past that point, then they will get a bit smother and more fully flavored, though the additional aging doesn't make as much difference as the initial maturation time.

The point is that, generally, an 18 year old Glenmorangie will be smother and more refined than a 10 year old Glenmorangie, but the same is not necessarily true for a 16 year old Lagavulin, or a 14 year old Oban. While it's not quite apples and oranges, comparing ages across brands is likely to be misleading.


[ Parent ]
Hangover Tip (4.25 / 4) (#31)
by enthalpyX on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:56:27 PM EST

I find when I've been drinking too much (as is often the case in the Craziness that is College Life (tm)), vitamin B-1 helps a lot. It's usually trivial to down a supplement in addition to copious amounts of water, before going to bed. I'm not too familiar with the specifics, but allegedly, it helps your body process the excess alcohol in your system. Vitmain B-1 (Thiamin) can be found in wheaty-style foods, as well as many fruits.

Never fails me (none / 0) (#67)
by Dphitz on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:40:35 PM EST

Since a hangover is generally caused by dehydration, I simply drink about 3-6 big glasses of water before I go to sleep, depending on how much alcohol I've had. The next morning I have virtually no hangover. Hasn't failed me yet. Sometimes I'm so drunk it's hard to remember to do this but the thought of how I'll feel in the morning will usually jog my memory.

God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Hangovers (none / 0) (#196)
by tzanger on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:50:40 PM EST

The only time I get hangovers is when I drink and then have a cigarette or two. Never without smokes though.

I'm probably nic-fitting but hey it's the only hangover I know :-)

[ Parent ]
Go to sleep sober (5.00 / 1) (#218)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:11:03 PM EST

The absolute best way in the known universe to stave off the hangover is simply to go to sleep sober, or at least relatively close. If you have the luxury of blowing off the next day, just stay awake when the fun's over, drink a lot of water, and hang out. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Reflect on your evening. Spend some time with your, ummm, "new friend." ;-)

In any case, the less drunk you go to sleep, the less hangover there will be.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

going to sleep sober (none / 0) (#316)
by aphrael on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:07:11 PM EST

is difficult for me if i've been drinking. there's a point where the alcohol makes me really sleepy, and i stay awake past that, while i'm not wired, i can't fall asleep, either.

[ Parent ]
Don't forget the salt (none / 0) (#354)
by borderline on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:45:36 PM EST

You lose salt with all that water that leaves your body. So eat something salty together with all that water. Makes it even more effective.

[ Parent ]
Not processing, replacing (none / 0) (#169)
by Hobbes2100 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:02:10 PM EST

It's not that you are processing the alcohol any more efficiently. It's simply that the process of processing alcohol depletes the body's store of B-1 (and other vitamins and minerals .... as does the associated "breaking of the seal" and subsequent trips to the bathroom). All of this, is one part of what leads to a hangover.

Taking supplemental vitamins (even drinking some Gatorade or other drink with electrolytes) will help you fight the dwarves in the morning.

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal
[ Parent ]

Mmmm . . . tequila (4.33 / 3) (#32)
by Dphitz on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 01:56:45 PM EST

Most people I know wrinkle their nose at the thought of tequila. Probably because they're used to the cheap shit like Jose Cuervo that burns your throat and stinks like crap. The good stuff like Patron (silver) or Tres Generaciones has very little smell and goes down smooth enough to not need a chaser. It can be a little pricey at around $60 a bottle but well worth it.

God, please save me . . . from your followers

It isn't the smell or the burning (none / 0) (#182)
by greydmiyu on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:09:18 PM EST

It is the taste that is the problem.  I can't think of any tq that I haven't wretched over even the slightest sip.  The only thing worse was some really bad single-filtered store brand vodka from Lucky's which smelled like nail polish remover.
-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
Tequila (3.00 / 1) (#217)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:08:18 PM EST

Tequila's one of those drinks that you either like a lot, or hate a lot. Tequila's never been anything but good to me. I've never had a bad night drinking it, and it always leaves me oddly hangoverless, too. Can't stand the fruity mixes though -- it's all about shots with tequila.

Rum, on the other hand. Good God, I can't even be in the same room with the stuff.

I suddenly notice that this is like the fourth comment I've posted to this story. I probably look like a huge boozer. I'm really not! I hardly drink at all anymore. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Hmmm... (none / 0) (#336)
by lewiscr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:51:47 PM EST

Rum and Tequila both depend on the quality. Cheap Rum tastes like shite. Cheap Tequila tastes like vomit. Cheap vodka is rubbing alcohol. Good stuff tastes great straight at room temperature. This works for me acrossed all types of alcohol.

The only alcohol that this breaks down on (for me) is Jagermeister. I hear more "bad college stories" about Jagermeister than all other alcohols compbined.

[ Parent ]

Stoli... (3.00 / 3) (#38)
by Vash on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:06:17 PM EST

BTW, Note that Stoli is made from grain grown on the plains around Chernobyl... for those of you who like your alcohol irradiated.

Obligatory Recommendation (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:18:20 PM EST

Stoli is a great, low cost vodka you can find anywhere, but my personal favorite is Krolewska. I don't drink much beer, generally just liquor. I can't imagine why beer is more popular, God knows it's not the taste.

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
Taste? (none / 0) (#165)
by dipierro on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:50:13 PM EST

I can't imagine why beer is more popular, God knows it's not the taste.

Then again, maybe it is. It's quite common for groups of people to use willingness to engage in masochism as a way to measure sexual worthiness.

[ Parent ]
A few additions (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by Miniluv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:22:43 PM EST

Cognac is a subset of brandy, specifically a subset of grape derived brandy made only from the grapes in the region of Cognac, France (thus the name). There is a drink made in the same fashion of the grapes of the Armagnac region which goes by the name Armagnac, surprisingly enough. Cognac was a favored drink of Napoleon, and Courvoisier still bears the seal remembering his love of it.

Vodka is considered best, by many, at 100 proof. This is tradition all the way back to the days of Mendeleev who wrote a thesis Tequilas vary widely based on what region of Mexico they are from. You are drinking Mexican tequila, right? Silver is the non-barrel stored straight distillate. Gold is so named because it has acquired a smoky, golden color from being aged in wooden barrels, much like many other liquors.

When talking to a purist, remember that a Martini contains gin, never vodka, and always a trickle of vermouth. If you want vodka in your martini, you'll need to specify it. Martinis have also spawned a host of similar drinks, usually involving vodka or gin mixed with some other liquers and flavors (often fruit) such as the Bellini or the Gibson.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown

fajl ne najden (none / 0) (#91)
by Kiscica on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:31:56 PM EST

Mendeleev who wrote a thesis

Mendeleev of periodic table fame wrote a thesis on vodka? That sounds very interesting... unfortunately the link returned a "fajl ne najden" (file not found). Is there a fresher link available?


[ Parent ]
Google (none / 0) (#115)
by Miniluv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:27:45 PM EST

Unfortunately I did a quick search, saw a result, couldn't figure out what it said, and thus assumed that since there were a half dozen or more lines on the page that it must've worked. Silly me, I should've grabbed my Russian boss.

I don't have links handy, though if you're truly interested I can do a bit of asking around, since I have several russian friends/co-workers who're inordinately proud of Mendeleev and his work with vodka (go figure).

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

It's a national legend. (none / 0) (#254)
by i on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:18:50 AM EST

See e.g. here

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 0) (#284)
by Miniluv on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:28:25 AM EST

So, it wasn't so much directly a contribution to vodka, but a more general work regarding alcohol and its mixing with water, etc.

I'd still like to find a copy of the paper, translated of course, and see exactly what it says, as there are plenty of people out there claiming that he did in fact write a more vodka oriented piece. Thanks for the info though.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]

All tequilas are Mexican (5.00 / 1) (#353)
by borderline on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:40:40 PM EST

Tequila is a region in Mexico. If it's not from Tequila, it's not tequila. So all tequilas are from Mexico. Pointing out that cognac is from Cognac, you should know this.

Vodka at 100 proof or higher is too much, IMHO. It's best at 64 to 80.

[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#366)
by Miniluv on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 08:35:12 PM EST

Sadly I see more misrepresented Tequilas than I do Cognacs. Most likely because so few people drink Cognac as compared with Tequila.

"Too much wasabi and you'll be crying like you did at the last ten minutes of The Terminator" - Alton Brown
[ Parent ]
Gin drinker (4.91 / 12) (#47)
by Rand Race on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:34:31 PM EST

At least you admit you don't drink it much, so I can forgive you.

A common wine apertif is vermouth, which is mixed with gin in martinis.

MIXED!?!? No, no my friend. For a dry martini you simply point the bottle of Vermouth at the gin... with the cap still on. For a very dry martini, I usually just whisper "vermouth" somewhere near it. Winston Churchill made his martinis by pouring gin into a pitcher, then glancing briefly at a bottle of vermouth across the room. There's recipes on the web that call for a 2:1 Gin:Vermouth ratio for a dry martini; these people are on dope. That's too much for a sopping wet martini - the best wet martini is made by pouring a little vermouth into the glass, slopping it around a bit, and pouring it out before putting the gin in.

"I like to have a martini
Two at the very most --
After three I'm under the table,
After four, I'm under my host."

-- Dorothy Parker

All that said, I prefer a Gibson. ;)

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Gibson (none / 0) (#66)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:34:15 PM EST

I like a gibson, usually better than a martini. Cocktail onions really add something to the drink. Although I also like a martini dirty sometimes. You're right on about the vermouth, just a touch is all you need. I have seen spray bottles that you spray over your martini to give a hint of vermouth. And don't even mention the word martini and give me a glass of vodka.. THAT'S NOT A DAMN MARTINI!

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Mothers' milk.... (none / 0) (#110)
by louboy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:20:24 PM EST

For you other gin-lovers, what is your favorite brand?  Of course I love Bombay Sapphire...but any less-common gins you've run across that you enjoy?  My favorite gin right now is probably Plymouth.

     "It has no color in itself,
      But in can make you see rainbows"

[ Parent ]

Re: Mothers' milk.... (none / 0) (#124)
by iso on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:42:39 PM EST

As far as the more commonly available gins go, I've become quite fond of Tanqueray 10. It's quite a bit more expensive than Sapphire (at least here in Ontario), but I've found it tastes particularly good in a dry martini, and is better than the standard Tanqueray. Worth checking out at any rate.

- j

[ Parent ]

The Real Deal. UK Gordons. (none / 0) (#180)
by MightyTribble on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:07:00 PM EST

Gordon's gin from the UK (or duty free). 47% alcohol by volume, and key ingredient of the world's finest Gin and Tonics (with schwepps tonic, of course).

Accept no substitutes.

[ Parent ]

The best aren't British (none / 0) (#197)
by kumquat on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:52:27 PM EST

Citadelle (France)
Hendricks (Scotland)

[ Parent ]
Where then is Scotland? (5.00 / 1) (#361)
by grrussel on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 01:04:44 PM EST

If not in Britain?

[ Parent ]
Not so piney (none / 0) (#199)
by rigorist on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:57:28 PM EST

I really like the Tanqueray Malacca gin. The juniper is a bit more muted than in most gins.

[ Parent ]
Gordon's. (none / 0) (#232)
by Requiem on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:05:15 AM EST

It's excellent, though I must admit to having tried few others.

[ Parent ]
Don't forget (none / 0) (#313)
by Rand Race on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:45:04 PM EST

Plain old Bombay gin. Good stuff, but without the extra flavoring found in Sapphire.

Also the Dutch gins. Most of what I've seen talked about so far has been English (dry) gin, but Dutch (sweet) gin can also be very good. Bols V.O. Genever and Leyden Dry Gin are pretty good sweet gins. Bokma Jonge Graanjenever and and De Kuyper Genièvre are other popular Dutch gins (that I haven't had). More popular in continental Europe and Quebec than in the US or Britain, its a nice change of pace for the gin connoisseur. There's also a French gin called Citadelle Gin and a startlingly expensive Scottish gin called Cadenhead's Old Raj Dry Gin both of which are supposed to be very, very good.

Also surprising no one has mentioned Beefeater. I'm not a big fan of it but it has its proponents.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Drinking Gin Properly (none / 0) (#116)
by 0xA on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:29:51 PM EST

Rand you are completely correct. When I drink (2 or 3 times a week) I usually drink Martinis, I've had the same 375 ml bottle of vermouth for 2 years. My friends refer to my martinis as "frozen gin".

[ Parent ]
Sapphire (none / 0) (#206)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:43:40 PM EST

Bombay Sapphire, on the rocks, in a tumbler, and get that goddamn obnoxious martini glass out of my face. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
martinis (none / 0) (#231)
by Requiem on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:04:44 AM EST

I must admit to being an aspiring gin drinker. I was told by a friend of my father's that to make a martini you pour the gin, show the bottle of vermouth to the glass, and then put the bottle back in the cupboard. Works for me.

[ Parent ]
Alternatives to olives? (none / 0) (#337)
by lewiscr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:58:17 PM EST

Olives tend to have a short lifespan around my house.  What are some good alternatives that people have laying around?  (Pearl Onions have a similiar short lifespan.)

In a pinch, I'll usually throw 3 coffee beans into the glass.

[ Parent ]

The Vesper (4.25 / 4) (#55)
by leviramsey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 02:56:34 PM EST

The martini invented by James Bond, in the novel Casino Royale:

  • Three measures Gordon's Dry Gin
  • One measure of vodka (preferably a Russian grain vodka)
  • One-half measure of Lillet Blanc (a Bordeaux-based wine appertif)
  • Mixing instructions
  • Shake until ice-cold
  • Add a large thin slice of lemon peel
  • Serve in a deep champagne goblet
"Gosh, that's certainly a drink," said Leiter.
Bond laughed. "When I'm -- er -- concentrating," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."
He watched carefully as the deep glass became frosted with the pale golden drink, slightly aerated by the bruising of the shaker. He reached for it and took a long sip.
"Excellent," he said to the barman, "but if you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it still better."

The Razorblade of Light and PGGB (none / 0) (#148)
by Hektor on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:45:37 PM EST

I caught this one off of a song by Tom Lehrer (inventor of the jell-o-shot):
  1. parts gin
  2. part vermouth
I have no idea how it tastes, but if what I've been told, the name I just gave it is not an understatement.

And of course we shouldn't forget the best drink in existence: the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Here's what the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has to say of it:

It says that the effect of drinking a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.

The Guide also tells you on which planets the best Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one and what voluntary organizations exists to help you rehabilitate afterward.

The Guide even tells you how you can mix one yourself.
  Take the juice from one bottle of the Ol' Janx Spirit, it says.
  Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V - Oh, that Santraginean seawater, it says. Oh, those Santraginean fish!
  Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzine is lost).
  Allow four liters of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in memory of all those happy hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia.
  Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odors of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.
  Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it sissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink.
  Sprinkle Zamphour.
  Add an olive.
  Drink ... but ... very carefully ...

Taken from page 17 of "The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide" ISBN 0-517-14925-7, by Douglas Adams.

[ Parent ]

What DNA had to say about it... (none / 0) (#154)
by Erbo on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:04:49 PM EST

Q: How do you mix a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster?

A: I'm afraid it is impossible to mix a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster under Earth's atmospheric conditions, but, as an alternative, I would suggest you buy up the contents of your local liquor store, pour them into a large bucket, and re-distill them three times. I'm sure your friends would appreciate this.

-- from Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic: The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Companion
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

This could be a good introduction to a column (4.00 / 3) (#57)
by theboz on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:04:24 PM EST

I prepared an article on tequila that I never submitted long ago (including photographs) and I think it would probably be good to make a column out of this. I think that this article is way too high-level to be at all useful, but as an introduction to each of those things it could be nice. I'd volunteer to write an article about tequila though, and I'm probably more qualified than much of K5 about that because I've actually been to Tequila. I expect that my trip to the Bushmills distillery wouldn't be of much use though, since there are so many whiskey experts here.

Anyway, I am a big fan of many types of alcohol. Tequila, rum, whiskey, vodka, brandy, beer, ciders, I could go on and on. As much as I like the stuff, I actually don't drink that often, certainly not as often as I used to, nor often enough to clear out my cabinet full of bottles of different stuff.


I heard alot of tequila is synthetic now (none / 0) (#61)
by gr00vey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:24:51 PM EST

because agave is becoming endangered, is that true?

[ Parent ]
I don't know (none / 0) (#64)
by theboz on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:31:56 PM EST

Perhaps the cheap stuff is synthetic, and agave production is low. The thing is that it technically could be grown elsewhere, but I think the major tequila producers have some sort of rights to the plants or the name tequila. I mainly get stuff like Cazadores or Don Julio, which is pretty good stuff and definitely not synthetic. I don't even think Cuervo is synthetic, although I'm sure they do mix it with other stuff. It's all reposado though, which means they blend it with other tequilas and possibly water or some other filler.

[ Parent ]

reposado (none / 0) (#370)
by smkndrkn on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 11:20:17 PM EST

Actually means rested. In other words its been aged between 2 and 12 months. Much more and it would be considered an Anejo. If it doesn't say 100% agave then its a mixto and then its more likely to be a mixture of other ingredients. Gary

I find this corpse guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and I fine it $40. -- Judge Roy Bean, finding a pistol and $40 on a man he'd just shot.
[ Parent ]
If it doesn't say 100% Agave... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by frankwork on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:56:28 PM EST

...then it's probably half grain alcohol.

Even some of the cheap Añejos (like the reasonably tasty Sauza Conmemorativo) aren't 100% agave.

That said, generally only Mezcal (of which I'm not a fan) is made from the wild agave plant. AFAIK, most tequila is made from "domesticated" agave. This is still more expensive than generic ethanol, which explains why, e.g. Cuervo Gold is about half grain alcohol. My favorite all-agave cheap tequila is Puerto Vallarta (a Reposado), which makes a very smooth margarita and is suitable for drinking straight.

(Most of this is straight off the menu of the local tequila bar).

[ Parent ]

Raises More Questions than it answers. (3.00 / 6) (#68)
by jefftang on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:41:14 PM EST

This is a nice start, but very incomplete. This article lists many kinds of liquor with out really giving much information on them. There should be the following information about every liquor you talk about:

  • What is it made from?
  • What makes it different from the other liquors if they're made from the same stuff?
  • A little history.
  • What does it taste like?
  • How is it used?

Give it a rest (2.33 / 3) (#86)
by Toranaga on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:27:28 PM EST

We have a nice, quick article on the basics of different alcohols and you complain about its incompleteness. Write your own article. Your incomplete argument is completely subjective to how much information you want to know.

[ Parent ]
as for whisky being too harsh... (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by ph0rk on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:42:13 PM EST

try to get your hands on a nice quality whisky, try to go for something 80 proof though as stronger stuff burns more until you are used to it.

now, put a shot in a rocks glass (with no ice) and hold and sip it as you would a brandy. Good whiskies to try are Gentleman Jack (suprisingly good, but the makers of Jack Daniels. It is a tennessee whiskey) Jacon's Well (By the makers of Jim Beam, and it is a bourbon.  I find this to be one of the smoothest whiskies for 18.95 in NC.  The same comapny sells Knob Creek, though at 100 proof it is not for the uninitiated).

at a lower grade some bars will carry a 7 year Jim  Beam, and a few other similarly older whiskies.

I couldn't say what scotch to try first, though I've had Glenlivet and it was passable, I just personally do not care for the peat taste of scotch.

Ultimately, the real trick is to avoid the well stuff, i.e. what the bar will sell you if you don't ask for anything better.

Most liquors, in my opinion, are best served straight (with the exception probably of gin).  Once you appreciate it in this form, you'll know what makes a good mixed drink.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]

Scotch is like wine! (none / 0) (#90)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:31:49 PM EST

"I couldn't say what scotch to try first, though I've had Glenlivet and it was passable, I just personally do not care for the peat taste of scotch." Drink a Talisker, followed by a Dalwinnie (sp?). You'll detect no peat in the second drink. I quite like a slightly smokey flavour. As with wines, Scottish Wiskies vary immensely. It's definitely an acquired taste, but so is ny favourite drink, Guinness. The Scotch I've been drinking the most recently is Laphaiog (sp?), although a friend of mine *swears* by McCallen. Personally I like something with more to it, but I would never turn down a nip of his 18 year old bottle (even if it meant I couldn't drive home afterwards).

[ Parent ]
Its... (none / 0) (#136)
by dregvant on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:58:32 PM EST

Laphroiag... very good stuff.  

[ Parent ]
Spelling (none / 0) (#162)
by Carik on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:43:38 PM EST

The spelling is "Laphraiog," I believe.  All the whiskeys you mentioned are good, though I prefer Dalwhinnie and Talisker.  (See my post above)

[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#222)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:22:22 PM EST

Sorry, my Scottish spellings are dreadful.  I read your other comment: I don't know why the link you pointed out claims Dalwhinnie is from the Northern Highland.  It's only 30-35 miles north of Pitlochry, which makes it central Highlands IMHO.  I know, I drove through it last summer.  It must have been written by somebody from the southern lowlands.

[ Parent ]
Laphroaig (none / 0) (#251)
by hotpix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:28:13 AM EST

My Scottish spelling is also... well, not dreadful so much as nonexistent. That's why I always look these things up.

The map I'm looking at shows the Dalwhinnie distillery at the very south/bottom of a tight group of distilleries that would be considered north highlands, and then a relatively small break, and another group clustered together to the south and slightly east in the central highlands. So really, the geographic distance does not look that different - an arbitrary line of sorts.

But what can we say, coming from a country in which Michigan is considered "mid-west" when it is obviously mid-north at best and slightly east of "mid" if you wanted to get picky?
"Hey, I've been around! Well, maybe not around, but I've been nearby!" - Mary Tyler Moore
[ Parent ]

Correct (none / 0) (#367)
by Protagonist on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 09:51:45 AM EST

I'd just like to point out that of the four different spellings of Laphroaig (pronounced "la-froyg") offered in this thread, hotpix' is the correct one.

Anyway, Laphroaig is the whisky for me. Other Islay malts such as Ardbeg and Lagavulin may do in a pinch, but only in a pinch. If you get a chance, and if your palate can handle it, try the 114.6 proof "cask strength" version; it's orgasmic.

Hahah! Your ferris-wheel attack is as pathetic and ineffective as your system of government!
[ Parent ]

makers mark (none / 0) (#125)
by DrSbaitso on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:43:14 PM EST

not sure how much it is, because i've only had it from others' private stocks, but Makers and Coke is a good drink :)

Aeroflot Airlines: You Have Made the Right Choice!
---Advertising slogan for the only airline in the USSR
[ Parent ]
hold on... (none / 0) (#288)
by ph0rk on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:08:20 AM EST

at 90 proof, i fing makers a tad harsh for sipping, as will the beginner.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]
Bourbons and blended scotch (none / 0) (#234)
by IHCOYC on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:24:34 AM EST

I find that at least some of the less expensive whisk(e)ys are good enough that they make the extra cost of the costlier versions unnecessary. In my opinion Old Forester is a perfectly good sipping bourbon, despite being usually lower in price than Maker's Mark or some of the expensive, single-barrel boutique whiskeys.

Scotch conoisseurs often speak as if they hold all blended Scotch whisky in disdain. If you aren't one of those, though, the bargain brand Cluny is quite good for the price. Around here it tends to be priced with Usher's Green Stripe and similar brands, but its taste is quite sweet and mellow with a good deal of recognisable Scotch character; it is almost as good as Teacher's Highland Cream among the blended Scotches, and definitely better than J&B or Passport.


#define QUESTION ((2 * b) || !(2 * b))
[ Parent ]

Scotch for the beginner (none / 0) (#265)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:18:45 AM EST

I wouldn't suggest Glenlivet for a beginner, as it's a bit harsh, although it is a decent Scotch for the mass market. Glenfiddich is quite a bit smoother and should help turn a beginner on to Scotch.

After that, it's going to get harder to find the good stuff in your average corner grocery store. Remember in general: highland=clean taste, lowland=smoky peat taste. Both are highly valued and are of generally equal quality, but it depends on your particular taste as to which you prefer. Some don't like highlands because they don't have enough body (that rich, smokey peat taste). I prefer the cleaner taste of highlands, but I do have both at home.

[ Parent ]

Not quite accurate (4.00 / 1) (#287)
by MiddleAgedGuy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:04:50 AM EST

Scotch whisky comes from four main regions. The lowlands, the highlands, the islands and I would add Speyside/North East Scotland as a separate area because of the taste. The peatiest whiskies are the ones from the island of Islay (pronounced Eye-la), with Laphraoig being the smokiest. Lagavulin, also from Islay, regulary tops the polls at whisky tastings along with Macallan from Speyside. What is also distinctive about the Island whiskies is the taste of seaweed/ocean air, that they have, easiest to spot in Talisker from Skye, which is matured in casks in a warehouse right at the waters edge. If you want to find out a lot more about Scotch whiskies a search on Google should turn up a lot of info.

[ Parent ]
from my experience (none / 0) (#295)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:48:54 AM EST

I was not intending to be an authoritative source overall, just that those two are the main ones I drink. I currently have an Islay and a few highlands at home. Can't remember where the 150 proof bottle is from though.

[ Parent ]
Hard liquor should be banned (1.43 / 46) (#70)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:45:30 PM EST

While I think that total prohibition is a fundamentally flawed idea to the cultural importance of alcohol, I see no reason why hard liquor should be legal. The facts are that most people who consume it are alcoholics who can't get drunk quickly enough from wine, beer, or even malt liquor. Furthermore, it uniformly tastes terrible and is exceptionally bad for you.

One of the most tragic occurrences in our society is when young people try to drink liquor and get behind the wheel of an automobile, often killing and maiming themselves and innocents along the way. If liquor cannot be banned, due to the power of the lobby, it should be taxed 1000%, minimum. A bottle of vodka should cost at least $1000, and it should only be available on Wednesdays, from noon-3:00 PM.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Facist. (NT) (2.33 / 3) (#78)
by lithmonkey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:14:18 PM EST

Blah. Stupid.

[ Parent ]
Excuse me (2.20 / 10) (#87)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:27:33 PM EST

There are adults here, trying to have a serious conversation. Why don't you rejoin us when the liquor-haze wears off?

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

EXCUSE ME... (4.75 / 4) (#95)
by Supra on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:37:45 PM EST

Just because you think that it should be banned does not mean that eveyone else should think the same way... Maybe the comment made was a bit on the immature side.

At anyrate, generalizing about the drinking habits of those who enjoy "hard" liquor is rather annoying. There are a vast multitude of people that enjoy liquor responsibly.

I do however, agree with you about drinking and driving. It is wrong, and there aren't two ways about it. However, I believe that banning liquor would be worse for society than better (i.e. "Prohibition" jeez... that worked *real* well, and it didn't spur a ton of crime or anything, did it?... give me a break!).

What we need is good parenting. Let me be understood that I do not, in any way, place the blame entirely on the parents, but they do bear a large responsibility in this matter. AND that... is an entirely different discussion.

[ Parent ]

one more thing... (1.00 / 1) (#96)
by Supra on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:39:29 PM EST

I DO realize that you said you understood that prohibition does not work, but I was also displaying my disgust for the concept.

[ Parent ]
hey, stop reusing your lines! (3.50 / 2) (#166)
by startled on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:55:04 PM EST

"There are adults here, trying to have a serious conversation." Trolling is much less enjoyable when you just keep repeating yourself-- I even got sick of Subject Line Troll eventually, and he was fabulous. The drunks maintaining equilibrium bit is much better.

[ Parent ]
You idiot. (4.66 / 3) (#103)
by Matadon on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:56:51 PM EST

Your assertion that "...most people who consume [hard liquor] are alcoholics..." is completely without base, unless you'd care to provide some evidence to support your claims.  I'm one of many people who enjoy a good shot of stiff Irish whiskey every few months, and who otherwise consumes alcohol about once every week or two.

Second, DUI deaths aren't caused by alcohol -- they're caused by drunk idiots getting behind the wheel.  Instead of pushing a second prohibition, why not stop stupid laws that put all the drunk drivers on the road, at the same time (e.g., last call laws)?  Why not push for cheaper, better public transportation so that drunks don't have to drive to the bar?  Why not support DD programs that will come pick you up for a small fee if you need a ride home?

Don't blame the sword for the work of a murderer.

"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

Malingnant fool (2.37 / 8) (#139)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:05:01 PM EST

If you believe that many drunk drivers on the road simulataneously is more dangerous than a drunk driver on the road with predominantly sober motorists, you're completely wrong. Drunk drivers maintain an equilibirium in groups, and it is also much easier for enforcement to corral these liquor-sodden drunks when they known exactly when to catch them.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Evidence, evidence... (none / 0) (#289)
by Matadon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:11:24 AM EST

Perhaps you'd care to explain to me how a highway with a majority of drunk drivers is somehow safer?  By the same logic, we should just all drive drunk, because we'd form some type of alco-vehicular equilibrium?

Care to present any psychological or physiological evidence for your rather extraordinary claim?

"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

Obvious Troll [n/t] (2.00 / 1) (#108)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:08:07 PM EST

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
If it's obvious, then it's not a troll (1.00 / 1) (#161)
by dipierro on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:43:20 PM EST

It's a parody, or tongue-in-cheek humor.

[ Parent ]
Shouldn't it be funny, then? [n/t] (3.00 / 1) (#184)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:11:34 PM EST

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
Not if it make a good point. (none / 0) (#240)
by dipierro on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:17:42 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Yes... (1.00 / 1) (#135)
by araym on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:58:21 PM EST

I agree, just as all marijuana users are addicts, so it is true with alcohol, it should clearly be banned. Prohibition Forever!


[ Parent ]
Utterly baseless... (4.50 / 2) (#141)
by Danse on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:10:15 PM EST

What evidence do you have that most people who enjoy hard liquor are alcoholics? I can point to at least 10 people that I know that are not alcoholics, but do enjoy hard liqour occasionally. Sure, it's anecdotal, but then I'm not the one making ludicrous claims with no evidence at all. Besides, we've seen what happens when you ban liquor. People still make it and drink it, and it's of much worse quality and causes more crime and health problems. Basically, you'd have a second War on Drugs on your hands, which is about the last thing we need.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Ever try getting a drink in North Korea? (none / 0) (#198)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:52:59 PM EST

You know how many alcoholics they have? None.

Stalinist Russia was also cleansed of alcoholism ("Vodka is the enemy of production") by state force. Don't knock it until you've tried.

Unless, that is, you support the "rights" of maniacs to get behind the wheel and plow into a busload of kindergarteners one crisp January morning.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Sigh... (none / 0) (#253)
by Danse on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:12:58 AM EST

North Korea and Stalinist Russia... there's a couple of utopian societies for ya... of course we should do like they did!!

Unless, that is, you support the "rights" of maniacs to get behind the wheel and plow into a busload of kindergarteners one crisp January morning.

Ok ok... IHBT... I'll not make it worse by continuing...

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Fallacy. (none / 0) (#292)
by Matadon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:20:52 AM EST

Straw man; you have failed to address the original question -- what proof do you have that the majority of those who imbibe hard alcohol are alcoholics?

"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]
Whatever... (5.00 / 2) (#167)
by Valdrax on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:58:22 PM EST

While I think that total prohibition is a fundamentally flawed idea to the cultural importance of alcohol, I see no reason why hard liquor should be legal. The facts are that most people who consume it are alcoholics who can't get drunk quickly enough from wine, beer, or even malt liquor. Furthermore, it uniformly tastes terrible and is exceptionally bad for you.

Actually, most of my friends and I drink only hard liquor because few of us like the taste of beer or wine.  Saying that all hard liquor tastes bad is purely your opinion.  I'll take a shot of Southern Comfort or Amaretto over a can of beer anyday.  The health risks involved with strong alcohol are no different from beer if you drink it in proper moderation.  None of my friends are alcoholics, and neither am I.

One of the most tragic occurrences in our society is when young people try to drink liquor and get behind the wheel of an automobile, often killing and maiming themselves and innocents along the way. If liquor cannot be banned, due to the power of the lobby, it should be taxed 1000%, minimum. A bottle of vodka should cost at least $1000, and it should only be available on Wednesdays, from noon-3:00 PM.

Placing the blame for DUIs on hard liquor is a misrepresentation of the facts.  According to MADD's website, a study by the NHTSA indicates that the drink of choice for DUI is beer, not hard liquor.  The IIHS also says that beer is the number one drink for people stopped for drunk driving or involved in alcohol related crashes, and another statistic on the site would say that 80% DUIs are primarly beer drinkers with 20% being primarily wine/liquor drinkers.  Raising taxes on hard liquor will do absolutely nothing to dent DUI.  It will just encourage the people who go out and drive drunk to buy more beer instead.

[ Parent ]

Excuse me (1.00 / 1) (#191)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:25:21 PM EST

Do you know how many alcoholics know they are? Approx. 5% according to NEMLA figures.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Geez (4.00 / 1) (#306)
by rankor on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:27:26 PM EST

I drink hard liquor because I dislike the taste of beer and wine. I've _never_ driven drunk. I had a shot of Captain Morgan's last night with my Coke (Captains & Coke) after I got home from work. I did the same the night previous. I got drunk on the night of my engagement party two weeks ago. All from hard liquor. Prior to that, I drank at the 4th of July (2 drinks - both hard liquor). Prior to that, April 26th at a Concrete Blonde concert. Prior to that, New Years Eve. I probably wont drink again until Labor Day and then New Years after that. So all of a sudden I'm some sort of menace to society? Grow up a bit, please.

[ Parent ]
Joey (1.00 / 1) (#315)
by medham on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:54:07 PM EST

I'm not angry anymore.

I think that about cinches it, Otis.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

And you're smoking what???? (none / 0) (#221)
by DoctorD on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:21:49 PM EST

Well for one, I like hard liquor better than I like most beers that I have tried.  Granted I have found a few German imports that I like...but in the end they cost me more than my favorite drink--strawberry dacquri.

As for being an alcoholic...HAH!  I've only been drunk twice in my life.  Once was at home with my roommate--we both had a shitty weekend, and he made me a rum and coke.  The second time I was out with a friend who was the designated driver...it's all because I wanted one of the bar's signature drinks...it came in a plastic fishbowl...  Typically I'm the designated driver, so I have no problem going to a bar and drinking nothing but cokes or water.

Personally if we're going to tax something, we should tax stupidity--it cases far more problems than hard liquor does.  Besides most drunks I've seen at bars are the people who drink a case of US beer, then act all macho as they stumble to their car.  Now I'm not supporting the drunk drivers at all, I'm all for cops rounding them up...I'd rather not hear about some poor kid, or family get killed by some lush who wouldn't give up their keys.
"If you insist on using Windoze you're on your own."
[ Parent ]

Probably nothing (none / 0) (#244)
by Pseudonym on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:27:26 AM EST

It may seem an obvious point, but I suspect that someone who wants to ban alcohol probably isn't smoking anything.

sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Not really (none / 0) (#351)
by borderline on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:25:50 PM EST

I know quite a few stoners that like to ramble on about the evils of alcohol.

[ Parent ]
I thought this was a troll (none / 0) (#263)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:12:17 AM EST

But further reading shows me you're actually serious! Please, move your prohibitionist attitude to a country that doesn't care about individual freedom and personal responsibility. Too bad the Taliban's Afghanistan isn't around anymore.

That said,

The facts are that most people who consume it are alcoholics who can't get drunk quickly enough from wine, beer, or even malt liquor.

If that were true, then most people would be alcoholics with the amount of hard liquor sold in this country. Oh, and the number of hard-core alcoholics, and the use of hard liquor, went up during prohibition. Want to start that all over again?

I have an entire shelf lined with over 50 bottles of hard liquor and liqueurs. It's been there for years since I don't make drinks from any one of the bottles often enough, and keep buying new bottles to make a certain drink.

If you take away my hard liquor because some people can't use it responsibly, I'm going to take away your SUV because of the lady trying to put on her makeup while driving.

Furthermore, it uniformly tastes terrible and is exceptionally bad for you.

Ban Double Whoppers and brie cheese too if you're going to use those criteria. On the other hand, taste is subjective, because I find an ice-cold shot of Absolute, a nice cognac in a snifter, or a tumbler full of single malt to be quite pleasant. And reasonable amounts of alcohol has been shown to have health benefits.

try to drink liquor and get behind the wheel of an automobile

Quit trying to tie the liquor itself to the irresponsible actions of a minority who use it. But then by your logic, kids who drink and drive after drinking three six-packs of Miller are just fine because at least it's not hard liquor.

[ Parent ]

A good programmer you must be (none / 0) (#296)
by medham on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:53:03 AM EST

Not understanding the logical AND, not to mention sundry other things.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Okay, (none / 0) (#340)
by Quila on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:48:05 AM EST

Double Whoppers or brie cheese.

[ Parent ]
Grey Goose (4.33 / 3) (#72)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 03:54:55 PM EST

Can anybody comment on the quality of Grey Goose vodka? It's from France of all places. I'm not a big vodka drinker, but recently I've had a couple of these (6 shots per glass!) chilled and with green olives. Quite tasty, but how does compare with other vodkas? A Russian friend of mine says a good vodka doesn't need to be chilled, and he really dislikes Smirnoff. He hasn't heard of Grey Goose though.

It's pretty darn good, IMO (none / 0) (#80)
by Iesu II on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:16:10 PM EST

I'm not a hard-booze drinker, so grain of salt and all. I've tried Absolut, Absolut Citron (uggh!), Skyy, Grey Goose, and a potato vodka which I can't recall the name of (something Russian, natch). The Grey Goose and the potato vodka were the only ones that were sippable sober. :) Very fresh, faintly sweet taste.

[ Parent ]
Nothing wrong with it (none / 0) (#82)
by nosilA on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:21:28 PM EST

Grey Goose is a perfectly acceptable vodka.  I prefer Stoli, but they are of similar quality.  Your friend from Russia should recognize that brand and be able to turn his nose up or not.

Good vodka doesn't need to be chilled, but it's still better that way.

Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

Quality Stuff (none / 0) (#94)
by HypoLuxa on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:36:39 PM EST

Grey Goose is good, and expensive. For your sippin' pleasure, try Stoli, Ketel One, Belvidere, and Cristal. For a different but still enjoyable flavor, try some potato vodka. Luksosowa is a quality Polish potato vodka.

Really though, if you are mixing it, nothing that costs more than Absolut is worth it. Particularly if you are mixing it with fruit juice (Screwdriver, Cape Cod, etc.). Don't spend the money on expensive vodka when you can't really taste it. A Grey Goose vodka and tonic is going to taste pretty much identical to an Absolut vodka and tonic.

I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.
- Leonard Cohen
[ Parent ]

I'd recommend it (none / 0) (#100)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:44:23 PM EST

Not my personal favorite, and a little pricy, but otherwise a very good, drinkable vodka. About chilling, he may be correct, but I suspect that like most people, you'll find vodka much more palatable after it chills in the fridge.

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
weird goose (none / 0) (#102)
by loudici on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:51:37 PM EST

now that is one of the weirdest marketing pitch i have ever met. this is a vodka that proudly claims being french, which does not sound like any vodka would want to, since we all know vodka should be polish or russian, has a name that uses one of scotland's favorite birds, a french flag on the bottle, and is mostly sold in the US (i have never seen it in france).

i think the guy who got in that business must have had too much of it.
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]

Critically Acclaimed (none / 0) (#105)
by yonderboy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:59:24 PM EST

It's gotten a lot of awards at various tastings. But that really isn't a measure of how good it is. It's a rye vodka, so it's has a grain alcohol taste. That all depends on your pallate, however. Mezzaluna, Cristall, or Three Olives would also be good choices if this is your style.

I prefer potato vodkas, myself. They're a bit smoother and have a nice flavor. Chopin, Luksusowa, and Belvedere are all pretty good potato vodkas.

[ Parent ]

My $0.02 (none / 0) (#285)
by 87C751 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:43:01 AM EST

Though I no longer drink, I was once quite a vodka fan. But I found Grey Goose martinis to have a not-quite-pleasant afterflavor. Stoli was my favorite, along with Ketel One. Absolut was my Absolut Minimum. And vermouth content in a proper vodka martini is measured in parts-per-million.

I thought Belvedere was a rye vodka, not a potato. It definitely had a different feel to the alcohol high.

Regarding congacs, I got to sample Louis XIII once. It was interesting, but I preferred Remy Extra XO (which was about 1/3 the price of the Louis). Courvosier Millenium was a quite nice VSOP while it was available.

My ranting place.
[ Parent ]

Grey Goose (none / 0) (#122)
by dregvant on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:38:39 PM EST

I really like grey goose and tend to use it for my martinis.  If I'm mixing I prefer Sky over Stoli etc... but maybe I have strange tastes.

[ Parent ]
my russian friend likes smirnoff (none / 0) (#147)
by mpalczew on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:41:22 PM EST

A Russian friend of mine has no problem chilling good vodka in the freezer and he likes smirnoff because according to him it gives the least hangover.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
my favorite (none / 0) (#152)
by startled on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:58:02 PM EST

I like to experiment with others, but Grey Goose is my old standby. I love it. I'd been drinking Ketel One for a while, and while I still often prefer it when I'm having a vodka martini (which is almost the same, but what the hell), Grey Goose is what I drink on the rocks.

And yeah, I prefer not to chill it too much. I disagree with all that about not tasting your vodka-- there's a distinct and subtle flavor to all the vodkas I enjoy, and I prefer not to keep 'em in the freezer. I like 'em with one ice cube in a nice glass.

[ Parent ]
Warm smuggled Stoli (none / 0) (#216)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:05:00 PM EST

In college, a friend got a bottle of Stoli from her dad that he had carried back from a trip to Russia. Not a word of English on the label -- this was not made for export. We drank it warm, straight up, and it was incredibly good. I have tried the same with domestically bought Stoli, and I swear it's not the same stuff. I don't like the local Stoli nearly as much. Anyone know if they produce it differently for the Russian market, and where, if anywhere, you can find that in the US?

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
real stuff (none / 0) (#324)
by roju on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:45:44 PM EST

I had the same experience.  My dad isn't a big drinker, so he passed along a bottle of what was probably Stoli (fuzzy memories :).  Again, no english on the bottle.  It was the first time I'd been able to stomache straight vodka in years.  It was really quite good, I began to see how the russians could wake up to it ;)

How about finding that stuff in Canada?

[ Parent ]

Grappa (1.25 / 4) (#79)
by vambo rool on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:16:09 PM EST


Ughhhhhhhhhhhh! [nt] (none / 0) (#81)
by Iesu II on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:17:21 PM EST

[ Parent ]
We need some 40 oz malt licker up in this bitch (3.87 / 8) (#84)
by rasactive on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:25:35 PM EST

no text.

liquor too [nt] (none / 0) (#85)
by rasactive on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:26:20 PM EST

[ Parent ]
My recommendation for 40s (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:58:34 PM EST

It doesn't seem to be nationwide, but when I'm having a 40 oz. night, I always pick up a couple of 40s of Laser.  Don't let the low quality 80s-style label scare you.  It can be found in Wisconsin, and I've heard rumors of it elsewhere but who knows.

I find I have to choke down the first sip, but after that it's smooth sailing.  And the best part of it?  Two bottles, more than enough to get hammered, costs about $3.75.

Plus you get the added social benefit of being seen carrying around a forty.

If no Laser is around, then of course there is the classic Old English 800 (OE).  I prefer more hardcore names like Laser, Cobra, and Colt 45.  I mean let's be honest here, when you're drinking a forty, you might as well go by the name.

And for those in Europe who may not have firsthand experience with a forty... I know it can be found in randomly in some places.  I noticed OE at the KaDeWe in Berlin, for example.

It's great for the poor college kid who is willing to drink something "fun" as opposed to "good".

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

Other Recomendations (none / 0) (#126)
by The Turd Report on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:43:28 PM EST

My list of Best 40s:

  • Steel Reserve HD
  • Olde English 800 HD
  • Hurricane
  • Crazy Horse (WARNING! Comes in a 64oz!)
  • Hamms (79 cents!)
  • St. Ides

[ Parent ]
It's all about the name. (none / 0) (#129)
by HypoLuxa on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:47:14 PM EST

I prefer to stick with violent weapons in my 40, which is why I recommend Laser, Magnum, and Colt 45. Also, it's important to note that Colt 45 works every time, according to Billy Dee Williams.

I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.
- Leonard Cohen
[ Parent ]
Yea! (none / 0) (#156)
by Inoshiro on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:25:27 PM EST

Sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Right on, this guy gets it. (n/t) (none / 0) (#202)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:22:51 PM EST

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
OE (none / 0) (#130)
by dregvant on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:50:15 PM EST

As far as malt liquor goes, stick to OE.  It's a little oilier than I wish it was, but its the best of the bunch.  My second choice would be Mickeys, but its a distant second.  A case of OE 40s are perfect for a nice sunday afternoon BBQ.

[ Parent ]
More Detailed? (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by babbitt on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:29:47 PM EST

Could someone with some more experience drinking post a more comprehensive guide?  I just turned 21 and am interested in learning more about the various Liquors, specifically brands and what one would recommend, etc.

I've tried some very old (40 years or so), very nice scotch...which I very much enjoyed a sip of..and liked it.  Sadly I think that continuing to try to drink that would be an exceptionally expensive path to take.


Ben Abbitt

Give a man enough rope, he'll hang himself. Teach a man to make rope, he'll hang other people.

I like Bushmills and Jameson for Whiskey. (nt) (none / 0) (#92)
by ODiV on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:35:42 PM EST

[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
I spent three weeks in Ireland last summer.... (none / 0) (#121)
by anyloveisgoodlove on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:37:24 PM EST

It was a nice trip,a pay back for my parents who sent me in College... My dad got me hooked on Jamesons and Ginerale. Sounds girly, but I love it. I now don't drink any other wiskey besides. Scoth on the other hand I drink with the inlaws.

[ Parent ]
I usually take my whiskey with orange juice (none / 0) (#134)
by ODiV on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:54:37 PM EST

Sounds a little weird, I know. But it's got a taste you can get attached to.

Now I want a drink. :)

[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Makers Mark Whiskey (none / 0) (#131)
by The Turd Report on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:51:58 PM EST

Very good stuff. It comes from Kentucky and usually runs about $20 a fifth. As far as other recomendations, you will have to sort a lot of that out yourself. But, try to spend about $20 per fifth. It is a good taste to price ratio. You can buy cheaper liuqors, but they usually suck. Unless you spend considerably more than $20 (like $100+), you are not going to notice a big difference in the more expensive bottles.

I would recomend going to your favorite bar and trying what they have on the shelves. This way you can try several types and prices and you don't have to buy a bottle of something you end up hating. Just note what you like at the bar and use that as a guide when in the liquor store.

[ Parent ]

A sample of my favorite booze... (none / 0) (#208)
by dbgrandi on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:50:28 PM EST

Dalwhinnie has to be my favorite scotch. It is quite a smooth drink and isn't incredibly expensive. Bourbon is one of my latest endevours and I must say that I've become quite fond of it. Knob Creek has been my drink of choice this summer.

[ Parent ]
try this site (none / 0) (#230)
by tornadron on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:04:42 AM EST

Drink Boy...run by oddly enough Robert Hess, Host of the .NET Show (yes the Microsoft Developer Network one).

[ Parent ]
Getting drunk helps (none / 0) (#261)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:58:21 AM EST

Seriously, I learned all I need to know during the "drunken years" from 18-22. (no, I never got in trouble, but partied and drank a lot). I learned all I need to know about German wine by going to a wine fest and hitting every booth on the way -- asking questions at each stop.

If you liked the Scotch, I'd suggest saving money for a Whiskey Trail tour through Scotland. In this you hit all the major distilleries in Scotland for big tasting sessions. I'm still dying to do this.

Otherwise, just Google or Yahoo around the net. There are an amazing amount of bartender and alcohol sites.

P.S., A wine hangover doesn't mix with Mountain Dew and Whatchamacallit candy bars out of the vending machine, and cheap American beer and very cheap locally-bought Mexican tequila are not a good mix. P.P.S. Ice cold Greek ouzo made by a certain 80 year-old Cretian man in the back of his restaurant (and sold in leftover orange juice bottles) is absolutely delicious totally mind-blowing. I stayed drunk for three days on about $10 of quality ouzo.

[ Parent ]

Okay sonny. (none / 0) (#364)
by mindstrm on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 04:19:12 PM EST

Scotch. If you find you like scotch, get yourself a few good bottles. Collect them, almost. If you just want to get wasted and act like a dork, don't do it with a $200 bottle of scotch. Cheap stuff will work just as well.
I usually keep around 3 or 4 types of scotch.. from the expensive bottle that only comes out on really special occasions among people who will appreciate it, to some reasonably good 18 year for sitting around.

Other than that, whatever turns your crank. I like Stolichnaya Ohranj (sp?). Frozen, straight shots.

Vodka lives in your freezer.
Scotch does not.

If you like rum (I don't) then have a look around for some of the more tropical rums. This doesn't necessarily mean they have fruity crap added... it just means it came from somewhere tropical. Bacardi tastes like dirt compared to most real rum.

Example: Don Centenario, from Costa Rica. Good rum.

Tequila: Go with the little mezcal bottle with the worm in it.. it tastes good. If you want to impress someone, though, go find a bottle of aged tequila (Anejo, as the post said). It will cost, but it's a sipping drink.. and is VERY smooth and unique compared to what most poeple think of when they think of tequila.

Gin & Tonic: aka Panty Remover. Okay. A girlie drink many say.. but it has the interesting effect that, under a UV light, if fluoresces quite brightly, especially if you get the mix just right. Trippy in nightclubs if you are into that kind of thing. You can pretend you are drinking radioactive waste, if you like. Might help you stomach the taste.

Learn some fun drinks to help you get wasted. For instance. Get a clock with a second hand, a shot glass for everyone involved, and a case or few of beer.
The game is simple. Everyone does a shot of beer every minute. Anyone who misses does two.
Everyone will laugh at you and say it's stupid. but don't worry. They will soon be stupid drunk.

Learn to mix a Ghostbuster. Drop a B52 in a shot glass into a mix of southern comfort & coke in a large glass and chug the whole thing.

[ Parent ]

Some advice for beginners (5.00 / 1) (#387)
by Scratch o matic on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 05:53:20 PM EST

First of all, drinking will not make you cool. You should never drink, or drink things that you don't want to, because "everyone else does."

Having said that:

The best advice for a novice is to find a few drinks you like and stick with them. Over time, you will be exposed to more drinks that you may like...usually because a friend is drinking one and you give it a shot. I'll end this post with a short list of safe bets

As in most activities, don't try to act like you know what you're doing if you don't. Sidling up to the bar and ordering a "whiskey" will only point you out as a doofus to anyone within earshot.

Don't drink straight liquor unless you like it. On the other hand, don't be afraid to try straight liquor; you may be among those who DO like it. This is one area where quality is essential: the higher the quality (i.e., usually the more expensive) the more likely you are to be able to sip it. Don't bother with shots except for certain celebratory situations. Shots are for kids and people who want to get the liquor down without anyone knowing that they don't like the taste. If you're not willing to swish it around in your mouth, don't put it in there in the first place.

If you are really interested, you might want to get one of many small cocktail guides that are out there. It's a nice touch to be able to serve (and drink) the old classics. Select one categorized by major ingredient, and with good pictures so you can get the serving right. You can even get such a guide for a Palm Pilot...try Drink Juggler, which I haven't used, or Drink Boy, which I have used but can find a link for at the moment.

Some safe bets for ordering at a bar:

1) Seven and Seven. A mixture of 7Up and Seagrams 7 (a blended whiskey.)

2) Screw driver. Vodka and orange juice. An excellent choice because vodka has a mild flavor and mixes with anything. Some people think anything with fruit juice in it is a "girly drink," but that's crap. Let those people have their budweiser, and you drink what you want to drink.

3) Greyhound or Salty Dog. Vodka with grapefruit juice (with or without salt on the rim.) One of my personal favorites...light like a screw driver, but not as sweet. Also a little out of the ordinary, so you don't feel like a sheep.

4) Rum and Coke / Bourbon and Coke. An easy to order, fairly boring drink. Good for drinking at someone's house when a professional bartender is not available.

5) Are you ready for this? Harvey Wallbanger. Made with orange juice and Galiano, which tastes like licorice. Tastes surprisingly good, and fun to order. A great conversation piece. Before you order, look for the distinctive Galiano bottle, tall, skinny, and yellow, so you don't get denied.

6) Whiskey Sour / Amaretto Sour. Either liquor mixed with 'sour mix,' a tart citrus concoction. Tasty and a little out of the ordinary.

Some more advanced drinks for mature taste buds: (NOTE: drinks like those above are dominated by the mixer, and will usually do just fine with whatever cheap "well" liquor the bar has on hand. If you are asked for a preference, either say "out of the well is fine, thanks," or expect to pay an extra couple dollars for a premium liquor that you probably won't be able to taste. The following drinks, on the other hand, are dominated by the liquor itself. You should experiment and find a label that you like. You can also get these out of the well, but the quality will suffer noticeably.)

1) Martini / Vodka Martini. Either gin (a piney tasting liquor) or martini chilled, served with a dash of vermouth (a type of white wine) in a cool glass. If you ask for a martini, you'll get a gin martini with olives and no ice. You can specify vodka, on the rocks, a lemon twist, or any comination thereof. By definition, a martini is one part gin and one part vermouth, but anybody who actually makes it that way runs the risk of getting shot. In reality, they are made with a dash of vermouth, or no vermouth at all. A dash is called "dry" and none at all is called "extra dry." And contrary to other posts in this discussion, you order a little more vermouth by asking for your martini "sweet," not "wet." The martini is a drink that I recommend you try to appreciate (I prefer the vodka...gin is not my bag.)

2) Gin and tonic. Gin and tonic water. Standard gin labels include Tanquerey and Beefeater (the Tanquerey is pretty much the standard in the U.S.)

3) Manhattan. Like a martini, but with bourbon instead of gin. You have to really like bourbon to like this drink.

4) Scotch Rocks. Also called Scotch on the Rocks. Just straight scotch with ice. QUALITY MATTERS HERE. Something in the US$15-20 range (per drink) would probably be mighty tasty for starters. Not that you have to spend that much, but something in that range can probably tell you whether you like it or not. If you start cheaper, you might not like the cheap stuff, and won't know what you're missing. If you want to be extravagent, try Johnny Walker Blue -- pretty dang pricey but quite tasty. Johnny Walker Black and Red are the next two steps down from there, in price and in flavor. This is probably a once-in-a-while type drink. People treat the varieties of scotch like they do cigars, and a complete discussion is beyond the scope of my little rant. Suffice it to say that it's not for everyone, but you should give it a try.

Tired of writing. Summary: try a few things and stick with them. Branch out as the opportunity arises. Don't be a doofus.

[ Parent ]
Rye & Ginger (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by parsec on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:31:48 PM EST

I enjoy a good single malt scotch, but I think rye whisky (particularly Canadian rye, which most rye whiskies are) is my favourite. I recommend Gibson's Finest (the 'sterling edition' in particular), as well as Wiser's. Canadian Club, not so good; Crown Royal, overrated and overpriced. All in my humble opinion of course. Anyway, one of my favourite drinks is a rye and ginger ale.. some Gibson's and Canada Dry, or whatever your ginger ale of choice is, over ice cubes. Deliciously intoxicating. Canadian Club has come out with a new 'CC&G' drink, basically bottled rye and ginger.. save some money and make your own.

Single Malt Scotch (none / 0) (#158)
by Carik on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:33:06 PM EST

If you're a fan of scotch, I recommend the following:

Talisker -- Ten year single malt, from the Isle of Skye

Ardbeg -- From Islay.  Single malt, aged ten or seventeen years.  There's also a limited amount still available of a 1977.  Sadly not available in the USA.

Dalwhinnie -- Fifteen year single malt, from the northern Highlands.

These three are my favourites -- their placing varies from day to day.  The only one I don't have a bottle of on hand is the Dalwhinnie;  I've seen both that and Talisker for around US$45 for a bottle, and the Ardbeg for around 25 Brittish pounds.

Take a look at http://www2.adhoc.net/scubi/whisky/scotch/malts/Dalwhinn.htm for a little detail on Dalwhinnie and Talisker.  MacAllan's is also acceptable;  I have fond memories of touring the Glen Ord distillery, but otherwise I'm not a huge fan of their whiskey.  I recently had a chance to try Tyrconnel Irish Whiskey (also a single Malt), and I'm planning to buy a bottle as soon as I can afford it.

Really, though, whiskey is a personal preference kind of drink.  Find a good irish pub and work through their menu one per night or so.  8-)


[ Parent ]

single malt != scotch. ;-) (none / 0) (#190)
by MightyTribble on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:22:29 PM EST

Common misconception.

A single malt is a whisky.
A scotch is a blend of single malts or grain whiskeys.

'single malt scotch' is, therefore, incorrect. ;-)

[ Parent ]

not according to the people who make scotch ... (none / 0) (#238)
by hotpix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:08:45 AM EST

I'm at a scotch distilleries webpage <www.scotchwhisky.net> and they're calling it "single malt scotch whisky"...  "It" in this case being what we're all talking about, e.g., Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Glenlivet, etc.  As opposed to "blended scotch whiskies".

Quoting from their site:
"What is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky ?
A Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the product of one specific distillery and has not been mixed with whisky from any other distilleries. The greatest concentration of malt whisky distilleries can be found in the Speyside region of north-east Scotland, with Highland, Lowland and Islay being the other main malt whisky producing zones. Each of these regions has its own particular distinctive style of malt whisky and although it is not possible for two malts to be identical, even if the distilleries that produce them happen to stand side by side, it is usually possible to distinguish in which region of Scotland a particular whisky was made. "

... "What is a Blended Scotch Whisky ?
A blended scotch whisky may contain a combination of whiskies from over 40 or 50 different malt and grain distilleries. The normal ratio of malt to grain is 60% grain 40% malt. The percentage of malt used will determine the quality and smoothness of taste and character. Each whisky used in the blending process will normally have been matured for about 5 years, however there are a number of higher aged blended scotch whiskies available. "

(The term single malt scotch whisky is not to be confused with single grain scotch whisky, which is the product of a single grain distillery.)

Sites of other scotch distilleries concur.  For example, the Glenmorangie site (one of the first to pop up when you ask google for scotch) refers to it as "single highland malt scotch whisky".

Or you could ask the members of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society <www.smws.com> which bills itself as "An association of lovers of single malt Scotch whisky."  

"Hey, I've been around! Well, maybe not around, but I've been nearby!" - Mary Tyler Moore
[ Parent ]

Maybe a typo? (none / 0) (#271)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:51:53 AM EST

Maybe he meant scotch doesn't necessarily equal single malt. People do have the habit of saying "scotch" when they're referring to blended or single malts. It's like going to Germany and saying you want a "Bier" without specifying pils, export, alt, etc.

[ Parent ]
They're using Scotch to mean 'From Scotland' (none / 0) (#299)
by MightyTribble on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:15:52 PM EST

...as opposed to scotch, the drink.

Plus their site is called scotchwhisky.net, so they have a hidden agenda. ;-)

It's a bizarro semantic point. Every whisky on that site *is* Scotch, because it's from Scotland, not because it's a blended whisky drink.

Very, very confusing. ;-)

[ Parent ]

Scotch vs. Scots (none / 0) (#360)
by roryi on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 07:59:09 AM EST

Scotch is a drink - namely, a whisky (no "e"!). Generally is either single malt or blended.

Scots means "something pertaining to or coming from the country of Scotland".

If you want a whiskey, rather than a whisky, may I recommend you look a little further west? Millennium Bush, from Bushmills, for example, is extremely drinkable...

[ Parent ]
what would you suggest (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by techwolf on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:36:11 PM EST

for someone who HATES the aftertaste of alcohol? my buddy will NOT drink (unless it's mikes hard lemonade *yawn*) because he dislikes the after taste that damn near all drinked mixed or otherwise tend to leave in one's mouth. not to mention that, well, damnit we all tired of hearing him wine about going out drinking and not being able to go with us because the drinks all suck.

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

High Quality Vodka (none / 0) (#97)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:42:30 PM EST

...probably mixed with something. If you scroll down, you'll see I recommend a brand which I particularly care for. It has a very mild taste and little aftertaste.

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
Exactly... (none / 0) (#128)
by Danse on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:45:31 PM EST

I used to be much the same way. I hated the taste of alcohol. But vodka is my preference now (the higher quality the better) as it is hardly noticeable when mixed with just about any juice. Screwdrivers, kamikazees, or any other vodka-juice mix are great. Unfortunately, a lot of clubs will use rather cheap vodka and/or use a ton of vodka and barely any juice. When you order, you might want to specify that they take it easy on the vodka. If he likes Mike's Hard Lemonade, then he'll like just about any good vodka drink. Prolly like Smirnoff Ice as well.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Everclear (nt) (none / 0) (#207)
by useful on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:46:09 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Amaretto? (none / 0) (#98)
by darthaggie on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:43:38 PM EST

Give your friend amaretto-based drinks. If nothing else, then some amaretto mixed with 7up/Sprite should suit him.

Just remind him to be careful of such mixes. It is very easy to fail to keep track of how much alchohol one is ingesting until it's too late. In which case, drink as much water as you can stand before bed, then every time you visit the bathroom, drink as much water as you can stand. Yes, I know, you'll spend most of the night pissing like a racehorse, but you'll feel pretty good come morning.

I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]

You, sir... (none / 0) (#163)
by TurboThy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:45:25 PM EST

...are quite mistaken. Amaretto is not for drinking, it is for making tiramisu and/or pouring liberally over home-made or Häagen-Daszchtsdcz1 ice cream. For this purpose, it is second to none. For drinking, it is the sure road to sugar poisoning.

1: I can never remember how it's spelled. I heard that they chose the name to make it sound Scandinavian which, if it's true, makes them utter fucktards. But it's still great ice cream, expecially the Toffee & Praline.
'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
[ Parent ]
sugar poisoning (none / 0) (#270)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:48:20 AM EST

So adding sugar (amaretto) to sugar (ice cream) is less prone to sugar poisoning than plain sugar (amaretto)?

[ Parent ]
Of course... (4.00 / 1) (#343)
by TurboThy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:58:05 AM EST

...the immense amounts of sugar in the two ingredients cancel each other out.
'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
[ Parent ]
BS (none / 0) (#274)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:55:12 AM EST

"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

[ Parent ]
Wine (none / 0) (#99)
by nosilA on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:43:44 PM EST

Get him started on sweet wine.  I can't think of any brands off the top of my head, but a fairly unoffensive and reasonably cheap wine is Yellowtail Shiraz.  A white zinfandel (which is actually pink) might also do the trick.  But if you go to a wine store and ask specifically for something sweet they will give you much better advice.

Barring that, mix him something either fruity or milky.  I reccomend a daquiri fairly light on the rum, or a white russian using the following proportions:

  1. oz vodka
  2. /2 oz kahlua
  3. oz milk
you can gradually increase the vodka and kahlua until he starts liking the taste.

Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

Almaden White Zinfandel (none / 0) (#113)
by Iesu II on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:25:24 PM EST

...is ass-cheap and surprisingly drinkable. Not sickly sweet, not acrid. Nice and chuggable. ;)

[ Parent ]
Cheap wine (none / 0) (#235)
by dipipanone on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:01:45 AM EST

Get him started on sweet wine. I can't think of any brands off the top of my head

What's the word?

Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
sweet wines (none / 0) (#398)
by umbralblight on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:52:23 PM EST

one of my favourite wines is a really cheap german.  The Leibfraumilch Rheinhessen by Weber is $6 a bottle, and tastes amazing chilled.  Beats the hell out of those nasty sutter home bottles of piss. The Rheinhessen is nice and sweet, but not sickly so; with a nice fruity flavour that has no hint whatsoever of rubbing alcohol or gasoline(unlike the sutter home). It's easy for me to sit down with a bottle, and the next time I look down find it empty.  Very drinkable and for a great price. :)

[ Parent ]

Simple-- the cure for the aftertaste of alcohol (2.00 / 1) (#107)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:06:00 PM EST

... is lots of alcohol.

As the night goes on, the taste fades into the background.  So suck it up for the first hour and drink a lot more.

Oh, and don't worry about the aftertaste lingering till the next morning-- it will be concealed by the vomit taste.

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

The drunker I am, the worse it tastes. (none / 0) (#112)
by Iesu II on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:23:27 PM EST

I just care less. How little I care seems to vary quadratically over the drunkenness, so in effect it still gets easier to drink. :)

Drinking all the way to toenail-puking land, meanwhile, served to put me off vodka for about six months. Not a good introductory method. To this day the smell of vodka makes me cringe a bit...

[ Parent ]

I know (none / 0) (#120)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:35:37 PM EST

Of course that wasn't supposed to be actually good advice =]

I'm actually not pro-vomiting.

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

If he likes coffee, try a good stout. (none / 0) (#109)
by Iesu II on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:19:22 PM EST

I'd recommend Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout, Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, or even something flavored like Fuel Cafe or Young's Luxury Double Chocolate Stout. I wouldn't recommend Guinness - it's pretty bitter. Nothing beats the aftertaste of a good smooth stout.

[ Parent ]
Guinness is the king of stouts! (none / 0) (#118)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:30:06 PM EST

Good Lord man: your heresy is beyond contemplation!  Guinness is the stout that all others are compared to.

There are two types of stout, chocolate and coffee.  I believe Guinness falls in to the chocolate category.  Most of the stouts a sampled at brewpubs in the US were coffee stouts, which to me are disgusting.  They taste like cough medecine, and often slightly liquoricey.  Guinness really isn't that bitter - there are many lighter coloured ales and lagers that I've tried that have much more bitter flavours.  They also all had the problem of being carbonated, which I strongly dislike in any drink, be it beer, pop or wine.  Beamish makes a good alternative to Guinness, although not quite so smooth, and Murphy's makes a VERY smooth stout (although it tastes like water if drunk right after Guinness).

[ Parent ]

Unfortunately, I must disagree. (none / 0) (#195)
by Iesu II on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:48:37 PM EST

I've liked almost every other stout I've tried better than Guinness. To my palate, Guinness has a bitter overtone not like hops or black coffee, but like aspirin (not that bad, but the best match I could come up with). A chemical bitter rather than a rich bitter. I am very willing to concede that this may be because I'm buying Americanized Canada-brewed bottled Guinness instead of getting it on tap in a little Irish pub in the motherland. However, if you tell an American to get a Guinness, they'll likely get a bottle from Canada. So, I don't recommend it.

I did have Guinness on tap at a bar in Spain, and it also had the same bitter tang. Wonder where Spanish Guinness comes from...

[ Parent ]

Don't drink Guinness from a bottle! (none / 0) (#209)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:53:56 PM EST

I think I can count the number of bottles of Guinness I've had in my life on one hand.  The stuff is foul, and carbonated to boot.  I've drunk two 8-packs of the cans in the last 10 days though.  

A lot of people turn their noses up at the cans (usually imported in to both Canada & US from Ireland apparently), but I don't think it tastes much worse than badly poured draught pint.  In fact, an under-used tap of Guinness quickly loses it's charm.  I was living in London, Ontario a couple of years ago when Guinness asked quite a few restaurants where it wasn't very popular to take it off tap and serve it in cans to keep the quality reasonable.  

Guinness is all in the freshness of the barrel and quality of the pour - if you go to Dublin, ever pint will have the head sit well above the top of the glass.  BTW, I lived in Denver for three years, and had no problem getting canned draught Guinness from the liquor store... but would also take the IPA or ESB from the Wynkoop or Breckenridge Breweries (or the Dark Star from Pint's Pub) in preference.

[ Parent ]

unless it has a widget (none / 0) (#298)
by bil on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:13:22 PM EST

Guinness from a bottle with a widget is the same as guinness from a can with a widget but more expensive.

Guinness from a can or a bottle without a widget is ok but a completly different (and far inferior) drink.

Draft guinness in Dublin is the best by far but (if you factor in the air fares) the most expensive. Actually the best pint I ever had was in the Guinness museum in Dublin, unfortuatly you can only have one (included in the ticket price) as they dont have a license to sell the stuff(!).


Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

I got hammered at St. Jame's Gate (4.00 / 1) (#308)
by DodgyGeezer on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:54:19 PM EST

Actually, you can get drunk at the Guinness factory - I did this in 1996.

Four of us went to the museum.  Our girlfriends were convinced that they would like the Guinness here as it was the real thing.  Of course they didn't, so my friend and I had theirs on top of ours.  At which point some American tourists at the next table gave us their tickets... our girlfriends decided to go shopping at this point, whilst we stayed behind accepting tickets from people who didn't want to drink.  We stumbled out in to bright sunshine at 4pm... what a laugh!

But you're right, the best Guinness I've ever drunk was in Dublin.  I think it's because they all know how to pour it, and they never rush.  Every one took at least 5 minutes.

[ Parent ]

Bottled Guinness (none / 0) (#224)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:27:07 PM EST

Bottled guinnness is an abomination, and should be illegal. Well, wait. I'm told the new bottled version, with the widget, is ok. And the cans are ok. But the old style guinness in a plain bottle, carbonated, is a travesty. Just don't even bother. It's not the same beer at all.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I've tried can (5.00 / 1) (#269)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:46:10 AM EST

I tried the canned Guiness with the widget in it, and I was surprised that it was quite good. I went out later to the local Irish pub to have one there. While the can isn't as good, it makes a very respectable attempt at draft. The bottle with the widget is likely to get very close.

Guiness has reportedly spent millions in widget development.

[ Parent ]

Stout (none / 0) (#223)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:25:03 PM EST

Guinness is the stout that all others are compared to.

Ha! Yeah. "Hey, this one's not as watery as Guinness." "Oh, this one's not as bitter as Guinness." "This one's pretty good. Not too bubbly, like Guinness is..."

Ok, ok, to be fair, a proper Guinness, air-pulled by someone who knows what they're doing, is a fine stout. But outside of Ireland, it's far too easy to get a bad Guinness. Murphy's, for example, tends to be more consistently good, though much harder to find. The problem really is that Guinness is the Bud of stouts. They have such massive distribution that it's inevitable that 90% of places that serve it don't serve it right. Most stouts are harder to find, and therefore you only find them in bars that don't cater to the BudBudLightCoorsCoorsLightMichelob crowd.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

About those stouts................................ (none / 0) (#326)
by techwolf on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:17:15 PM EST


Don't you mean cold piss? (or warm depending on where you are)
Of all the stouts I have had I kinda like new castle. or is that not considerexd a stout?

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Newcastle (none / 0) (#332)
by rusty on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:48:12 PM EST

Yes, all the beers I listed were of the "cold piss" variety. That's the beer selection at many, many American bars, listed fast by a bored-looking waitress, while you sit there and think "Dear God, am I going to have to order a frigging Heineken or what?"

Newcastle is a brown ale, which is not really anything like a stout, though the same family of breweries does produce Beamish stout, which is pretty good, IIRC.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

New Castle is a Brown Ale (none / 0) (#394)
by Lizard on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 04:22:10 PM EST

Brown Ales are a bit sweeter than Stouts. Generally they have a little brown sugar or moleasses in the recipe whereas a Stout is characterised by having roasted barley or black malt.

New Castle is a good beer, if you can find it on tap. Too often the clear bottles haven't been treated well and it ends up more than a little bit skunked.
Just Because I Can!
[ Parent ]

Bell's (none / 0) (#279)
by tiberius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:21:54 AM EST

Bell's Brewery out of Kalamazoo, MI produces, by far, the best beer I have ever had. Specifically, Oberon is my personal favorite and I feel that the aftertaste is the best part. I have seen people who say they despise beer in all forms ask for another round of Bell's.

Also, tomorrow is my 21st bday and I can guarantee that at 11:59pm tonight, I will be in line at a liquor store with a 6 pack of Oberon in hand.

Anyway, drink Bell's, you'll be happy. Happy drinking.

[ Parent ]
Cider! (none / 0) (#111)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:20:29 PM EST

He dislikes the after taste of alcohol, but can handle Mike's.  Strewth: poor guy!  I can handle about one bottle of those drinks (Mike's Hard Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice, etc), after which they just seem far too sweet.  It's almost like they are thick they're so sweet.  It makes my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth and I can feel the hangover headache coming on!

Being English, I started off as a teenager like many of my friends drinking cider.  Hard cider if you're an American.  The choice isn't so hot in N. America, but Strongbow is acceptable.  British Columbia has some very good ciders out of the Okanagan valley, but they're very different, and not nearly dry enough for my tastes.

My wife is currently on a Snakebite craze at the moment.  This is half-and-half cider and lager.  She prefers Strongbow and Stella Artois for this.  It makes for a sweet beer, or a softer cider.  Make sure it's at least in an Imperial pint glass (20 fl. oz.) instead of the smaller American pint glass, or bigger.

A variation of this drink that I used to make at home in my quart glass (40 fl. oz.) was a Snakebite & Black.  Head f**k juice, as we called it ;)  Most pubs refused to sell it too, for reason I couldn't fathom!  It's a standard Snakebite mixed with a small amount of concentrated blackcurrant juice.  This leaves it tasting like pop, although much nicer than the alcho-pops that are all the rage the moment.  Unfortunately, concentrated blackcurrant juice doesn't seem very common in N.America, and is quite expensive when bought at British import shops.  I haven't had it in a long time :(

Finally: go to decent bars.  Do not go to a generic place where everything is going to taste the same (and disgusting at that).  These places can be easily spotted with their crowds of students, rednecks or neon signs advertising any of the following products: Bud, Miller, Coors, Molson and Labatt.  If you're in Toronto, take him to the Up And Down at John & Adelaide and ply him with a couple of Lush Martinis - if he's still in the mood for drinking after that, all alcohol will go down (and back up!) so quickly he won't notice the after taste.

[ Parent ]

marijuana (n/t) (none / 0) (#140)
by j1mmy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:09:57 PM EST

[ Parent ]
don't drink... (none / 0) (#146)
by baniak on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:32:21 PM EST

I have a friend who doesn't like the taste of liquor either, and he was a good sport and hung out with us when we went out drinking... simply becuase he liked hanging out with us... he'd just drink pop... er... I mean soda... when we went out.

[ Parent ]
Me too! (none / 0) (#239)
by Pseudonym on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:11:39 AM EST

I'm like your friend. I'm a non-drinker simply because I cannot stand the taste (or smell) of alcohol. So as you can guess, I'm looking through the suggestions with not a little personal interest.

I've tried liquers like Amaretto, Kaluha and Bailey's. Didn't like them. The alcohol still tastes foul to me. Never tried Mike's hard lemonade, and to be honest after their TV adverts I'm not willing to try. :-)

Stout may be promising, as I do love coffee. (Good coffee, that is. Melbourne has a culture not unlike Seattle, so we do take our coffee seriously.)

As a suggestion, and based on personal experience, your friend may appreciate a bloody mary, if he's into hot food (chilli, curry etc). This is really the only drink that I have found which is even remotely palatable to me, since the alcohol flavour is overpowered by the heat of the mix. Get him a virgin mary first (the mix without the vodka) and see if he likes that. One thing I've found, though, is that many places make truly awful mixes, which is invariably caused by using something other than Lea & Perrins or using no tabasco, which results in a drink which closely resembles tomato-flavoured paint thinner. You might want to make him one yourself first.

Good luck, and please keep those suggestions rolling in.

sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
No alcohol? (none / 0) (#259)
by Bill Godfrey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:46:04 AM EST

If you hate alcohol, don't drink it.

Bill, drinks cola in pubs.

[ Parent ]

In a properly mixed drink.... (none / 0) (#300)
by Elkor on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:38:10 PM EST

the taste of the alcohol should not be readily apparent.

Most bars give "too much" liquor so that the customer knows he is getting some booze.

Fruit liquors are the easiest to make mixed drinks with. A typical rule of thumb is 1 part alcohol to two parts mixer. Have him try these (most bartenders will do special requests if you tell them what you want):

Amaretto Sour w/ Sprite:
1 part Amaretto
1.5 part Sour Mix
.5 part Sprite (helps sweeten the drink and cut the bitterness)

Fuzzy Navel:
1 part peach schnapps
2 part orange juice

Blue Whale:
1 part Peach Schnapps
1 part Blue Curacoa (Blue orange flavored)
2 part pineapple juice
1 part Sprite/7-up
Be careful with this one, as there are several recipes for Blue Whales.

Good luck, enjoy.

"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Captain Morgan's... (none / 0) (#310)
by rankor on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:12:30 PM EST

Spiced Rum is always a good bet for those who hate the aftertaste of some liquors.  Personal favorites are with Crush (Sunkist), Coke, Vanilla Coke, and Dr. Pepper.

All the recipes are pretty much the same which makes them easy to make...

12 oz. Soda $foo to 1 shot of Captain's.  Ideally with ice, mix well.

Adjust ratios according to your preference.

I highly recommend the Captains and Crush (or whatever Orange Soda you have in your area).

[ Parent ]

Three Rules of Not Tasting It (none / 0) (#317)
by gte910h on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:19:45 PM EST

1. The more confusing a drink is, the less you will notice the taste of alcohol.

2.The colder a drink is, the less you will taste it.

3.The sweeter a drink is, the less you will taste the alcohol.

Then there are the three honorable mentions of getting the booze down the gullets of the unexperienced:

1. It will taste better after you get used to the taste. (Like coffee).

2. Chasers, a drink sipped after drinking each swallow of a non-alcoholic drink, or after the entire drink, will get rid of 90% of all aftertastes if the chaser is flavorful.

3. Food gets rid of alcoholic taste. Drink at resturants...especially mexican resturants.

So using these principles I would suggest for your friend the following drinks at bars:
Captain and Coke with Lime with a Shirley Temple chaser

WooWoo (Vodka and Cranberry Juice) and sprite chaser

White Russian, using good vodka (stoli vanilla if they have it) on the rocks (yes, Ice and milk)

Or if he gets tired of going to the bathroom, there is ordering a glass of sweet ice tea, and long island ice tea, and drinking the long island quickly. He won't notice the aftertaste of ANYTHING else after that. He also should drink frozen lime margaritas whenever he goes to mexican resturants. And if he ever goes to New Orleans, he should drink handgrenades. I don't know anyone who can't drink one, and I know too many who drink more than that and didn't like themselves the next day.

[ Parent ]
...and some water never hurts anyone. (3.00 / 1) (#117)
by EsotericJoyride on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:29:58 PM EST

Maybe this is an urban legend, but didn't a girl die because she was drunk and drank too much water?

found an article (4.00 / 1) (#119)
by EsotericJoyride on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:33:01 PM EST

Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill You: Report July 2 -- By Alison McCook NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new review of three deaths of US military recruits highlights the dangers of drinking too much water. The military has traditionally focused on the dangers associated with heat illness, which has killed a number of healthy, young enrollees, Colonel John W. Gardner of the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner in Rockville, Maryland told Reuters Health. However, pushing the need to drink water too far can also have deadly consequences, he said. "The risk has always been not drinking enough," Gardner said. "And then people who aren't medically attuned get overzealous," inducing recruits to drink amounts of water that endanger their health, he added. "That's why we published this paper: to make it clear to people that overzealousness can be dangerous," Gardner explained. In September 1999, a 19-year-old Air Force recruit collapsed during a 5.8-mile walk, with a body temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors concluded he had died of both heat stroke and low blood sodium levels as a result of overhydration. During January 2000, a 20-year-old trainee in the Army drank around 12 quarts of water during a 2- to 4-hour period while trying to produce a urine specimen for a drug test. She then experienced fecal incontinence, lost consciousness and became confused, then died from swelling in the brain and lungs as a result of low blood sodium. In March 2001, a 19-year-old Marine died from drinking too much water after a 26-mile march, during which he carried a pack and gear weighing more than 90 pounds. Although he appeared fine during the beginning stages of the 8-hour walk, towards the end he began vomiting and appeared overly tired. He was then sent to the hospital, where he fell into a coma, developed brain swelling and died the next day. It is unclear how much water he drank during the march, but Marines were given a "constant emphasis" on drinking water before and during the activity, Gardner writes in the latest issue of Military Medicine. In an interview with Reuters Health, Gardner explained that drinking too much water is dangerous because the body cannot excrete that much fluid. Excess water then goes to the bowel, which pulls salt into it from the body, diluting the concentration of salt in the tissues. Changing the concentration of salt, in turn, causes a shifting of fluids within the body, which can then induce a swelling in the brain. The swollen organ will then press against the bones of the skull, and become damaged. The researcher added that previous cases of water toxicity have been noted in athletes who consume excessive amounts in order to avoid heat stroke. In addition, certain psychiatric patients may drink too much water in an attempt to wash away their sins, or flush out poisons they believe have entered their bodies. In 1998, the Army released fluid replacement guidelines, which recommend a certain intake of water but limit it to 1 to 1-1/2 quarts per hour and 12 quarts per day. It takes a while for these guidelines to get "permeated out" to everybody, Gardner admitted. In the meantime, he suggested that bases take notice of the mistakes of others, and "not wait for somebody to die from (water toxicity) again," he said. "You can't prevent everything bad from happening," Gardner noted. "But when it does, you have to learn from it." SOURCE: Military Medicine 2002;167:432-434. Copyright 2002 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Copyright © 2002 ABC News Internet Ventures.

[ Parent ]
Water & ecstacy (none / 0) (#132)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:52:54 PM EST

Isn't drinking too much water what kills most people who take ecstacy?

[ Parent ]
Nope (none / 0) (#155)
by premier on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:08:35 PM EST

Taking ecstacy is what kills them.

[ Parent ]
Heat stroke and dehydration, yes. MDMA, no. (none / 0) (#189)
by MightyTribble on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:19:26 PM EST

MDMA is fairly benign. The main danger is taking a drug that isn't E under the assumption that it is, and having a nasty reaction, or getting heat stroke, which leads to heart failure.

The trick is to make *sure* that what you're getting is MDMA, that you're not allergic to it, and that you stay hydrated. But don't go crazy - you can kill yourself by drinking too much. You basically flush all the essential salts out of your system, which screws up your heart. Then you die.

[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#159)
by dipierro on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:38:02 PM EST

Most people who take ecstacy die many years later, from heart disease.

[ Parent ]
You're thinking of.. (none / 0) (#164)
by fluxrad on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:46:58 PM EST

the girl that basically drank something like 10 gallons of water because she "thought" she was dehydrated after taking a couple of hits.

If you drink too much water you can drown your organs, which is what happened in this case.

"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Only 3 litres (none / 0) (#205)
by DodgyGeezer on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:37:55 PM EST

Well, after a search on google, it turns out that there is a lot of information on this subject.  Apparently, it only takes about 3 litres. That's 2/3 of a gallon, not 10.  I think the girl that you're referring to is Leah Betts.

[ Parent ]
Sounds low (none / 0) (#338)
by hans on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:06:44 AM EST

Was there a time frame on this? 2/3 of a gallon isn't too much. I could do that in about an hour.

[ Parent ]
Kidney function (none / 0) (#379)
by DodgyGeezer on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 12:02:55 AM EST

Could you safely drink that much if your kidneys were temporarily shut down?

[ Parent ]
Osmosis (none / 0) (#349)
by borderline on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:19:07 PM EST

It's osmosis that kills you if you drink too much water too quickly. Less salt in your blood than in your organs => too much water enters your organs. This can make your brain swell and other nasty things. So if you go for the hangover prevention/cure of lots of water, eat something salty as well.

[ Parent ]
Hyponatremia (none / 0) (#385)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 12:30:49 PM EST

Actually too much water CAN hurt.

Granted this happened during an Ultra Marathon, but still. Alcohol (as well as caffein) is a dyarethica and so you CAN run low on Sodium and Potassium in your blood. Not pretty.


Hi everyone,

I'm writing this to "the big list", the PA Buzzards, Virginia Happy Trails
Running Club, the Montgomery County Road Running Club (in Maryland) and a
few others to say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for the Get Well Wishes, Cards,
Flowers, and overall concern and support. Wow! I have a lot of wonderful

I am writing to so many people for a few reasons - first, I have received
many inquires about how I am doing after the Vermont 100 miler. Also, many
people heard about what happened (which I'll explain below) but only got
parts of the story. So you'll get the story here - as best I know it, from
me, Michele Burr - the person who got a severe case of hyponatremia at
VT100. The people who do know about my getting hyponatremia have urged me
to post something so that people are aware of this very serious problem.
I must admit, I don't remember much because I had a seizure and went into a
coma but I have pieced together many things from people who saw me at the
end of the race and from talking with my husband, who thank God, was there
at the finish line and with me during my 5 day stay at two hospitals in
Vermont and then New Hampshire.

WHAT IS HYPONATREMIA? This is a condition in which there is a very low
concentration of sodium in your blood. It is also seen in conjunction with
WEIGHT GAIN (not weight loss) and most often occurs during endurance
exercise lasting more than 5 to 7 hours. (From:
http://www.halcyon.com/gasman/water.htm) More specifically, hyponatremia
develops as sodium and free water are lost and replaced by fluids, such as
plain tap water, half-normal saline, or dextrose in water. Basically, this
condition occurs when a person takes in too much water and not enough salt.
So you are probably wondering...was I taking Suceed! caps? Was I drinking
electrolyte fluids? Yes to both of these questions but obviously I was not
taking enough of either one of these things and yes, I was also eating
potato chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fig newtons, and potatoes
-but again, it wasn't enough salt and I was taking in too much water. My
weight was up 5 pounds at the last weigh-in. To give you an understanding of
where my sodium level was compared to a normal person....most people have
about 140-145 mEq/L - this is some sort of measure of the amount of salt in
your blood. I had 113 mEq/L. This is extremely low. So, why is this a
problem? Because you need sodium in your blood for your brain to function.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? The answer to this question is the scary part and why
this is such a medical emergency when it occurs.
****Many of the symptoms are NEUROLOGICAL in origin.**** Level of alertness
can range from agitation to a coma state. Variable degrees of cognitive
impairment (eg, difficulty with short-term recall; loss of orientation to
person, place, or time; frank confusion or depression). Other symptoms
include seizure activity and irrational behavior. In patients with acute
severe hyponatremia, signs of brainstem herniation, including coma; fixed,
unilateral, dilated pupil; decorticate or decerebrate posturing; and
respiratory arrest. Coma and seizures usually occur only with acute
reduction of the serum sodium concentration to less than 120 mEq/L.
(Remember my sodium level was at 113 mEq/L.)

I didn't recognize where I was or who my friends were or who my husband was
at the end of the race. I walked the last 5 to 10 miles which is very
unusual for me and people said I didn't know who they were and it appeared
as though I didn't even know I was in a race. Shortly after I crossed the
finish line on Saturday night I started to vomit uncontrollably then I had a
seizure then I went into a coma. I remained in a coma for 3 days. At some
point before I woke up out of the coma I began the "irrational behavior"
mentioned above. I pulled out all my IVs and ripped off my EKG patches and
tried to kick and hit the nursing and neurosurgeon staff. I was very
combative whenever someone tried to touch me and was eventually given
antipsychotic medication.

When I woke up I didn't know where I was, what
had happened, what month, or year it was. Upon being forced to give a guess
for the month I told the neurosurgeons, "I think it's Vermont" for the
month. I couldn't read and I couldn't add numbers. On Tuesday after the
race I started to feel much, much, better. I could read again and I had
watched a car commercial to figure out what year it was. I also got a lot
of the story about what happened from my husband. It was on this day (or
maybe Monday?) I learned I had been in another hospital earlier. Why was I
first in a small local hospital (Ascutney in Windsor, VT) and then
transferred by ambulance to Dartmouth-Hitchcock? That has to do with the
scariness about how to treat this medical emergency. It you don't do it
right, it will lead to further and permanent brain damage.

HOW IS HYPONATREMIA TREATED? From http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/heat.html: It
says that the condition is frequently mis-diagnosed as dehydration and that
the consumption of water makes matters worse because it dilutes the blood
sodium concentration even further than it already is.
From http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic275.htm :
"The principal causes of morbidity and death are when chronic hyponatremia
reaches levels of 110 mEq/L or less and cerebral pontine myelinolysis (an
unusual demyelination syndrome that occurs when HYPONATREMIA IS CORRECTED

Much has been written about treatment of hyponatremia and the potential
adverse outcome of central pontine myelinolysis. This condition is
demyelination of the pons, which can lead to mutism, dysphasia, spastic
quadriparesis, pseudobulbar palsy, delirium, coma, and even death.
Raising the serum sodium concentration more than 25 mEq/L or to a normal or
above-normal level in the first 48 hours increases the likelihood of central
pontine myelinolysis.

The main controversy in the literature surrounds treatment of chronic
symptomatic hyponatremia because, as mentioned, central pontine myelinolysis
may result if the condition is corrected too rapidly. Therefore, although
treatment in these patients is similar to that just described, the rate of
correction should be slower (0.5 to 1 mEq/L per hour). Aggressive therapy
should be discontinued when the serum sodium concentration is raised 10% or
symptoms abate."

Upon being admitted at the first hospital in Vermont my soium level was 113
mEq/L but then quickly went to 116 and the next reading was at 126. The
hospital felt uncomfortable and kept telling my husband it was possible I'd
get "PONDS" - which is central pontine myelinolysis (permanent brain
damage). They also told him to think about long term care for me and that
"things could turn out a number of ways". They also asked him if I remained
in a vegetative state, would I want my organs donated and did I have a
living will prepared. At this point, an ambulance took me to New Hampshire
to Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Needless to say, I think I aged my husband about 10
years during these 5 days.

WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM EFFECTS? Well, so far I feel I am about 95% back to
where I was neurologically before the race. (Physically, I lost 10 pounds.)
I couldn't remember my password when I got to my office so I couldn't log
into my computer and I forgot a combination lock number I often used. I
also forgot a few people's names. I had a little bit of trouble typing and
signing my name but that seems to be gone now. The last clear things I
remember from the race are at the mile 18 aid station. I am also a bit
spacey (it's a bit difficult for me to concentrate) but I can drive. I am a
research scientist so it's important that I be able to generate and
interpret statistics. I haven't tried that yet but I'm optimistic. Here are
a few more links (in case you just can't get enough about hyponatremia):

Finally, the way to avoid this in the future (for me) is to drink less water
and eat more salt. I will also push for a blood test from my doctor before
I run another 100 (this was my 5th one) to make sure I am not starting out
at a deficit - which is what the doctors were suggesting at
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. They said that my low sodium diet, combined
with a high volume of running (sometimes as much as 100 miles/week) and
sweating in the heat and humidity here in the Washington DC area were the
problem combined with the low volume of electrolyte fluids (relative to the
amount of water I was taking in).

This was scary. I hope some people will be educated by reading this and for
the many people who emailed and asked me what happened, I hope this answered
their questions.

Thank you so very much again everyone for your concern. My friends,
co-workers, relatives, and the ultrarunning community have been great!
Michele Burr

-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Good potato vodka? (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by baniak on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:41:00 PM EST

I always thought vodka was made with potatoes, and now I find that it never is... except for a few cases...

Anyway, I like the few potato vodkas I have had (at least I thought they were potato vodkas, because they tasted like potatoes...)

Any recommendations? I like Chopin, that's about the only one I can find.

Luksosowa (none / 0) (#127)
by HypoLuxa on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:44:50 PM EST

Polish, potato vodka. Smoky flavor and very tasty.

I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.
- Leonard Cohen
[ Parent ]
Stoli & Grey Goose (5.00 / 1) (#143)
by Biff Cool on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:16:43 PM EST

Grey Goose being the better (and more expensive) of the two. I know I've had Chopin before but I don't remember how much I liked it (at least in comparison to Stoli and GG). I found one bar that carried Red Army Vodka and forced my friend to try it. She said it was really good.

My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler

[ Parent ]
Whoops (none / 0) (#144)
by Biff Cool on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:19:18 PM EST

Sorry neither of those are potato vodkas (IIRC).

My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler

[ Parent ]
Shakespeare (none / 0) (#149)
by siliconincdotnet on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:45:57 PM EST

I recently bought a bottle of Shakespeare, and found it to be much smoother than Grey Goose. Other than that, I stick to Stoli and GreyGoose. What sucks: Vox and Belvedere.

[ Parent ]
Belvedere (none / 0) (#204)
by dbgrandi on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:36:54 PM EST

...is pretty good. Although I can't remember if it is potato vodka, I do know that it is made by the same people who make Chopin.

[ Parent ]
Interesting, but... (4.25 / 16) (#133)
by labsuit on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 05:52:56 PM EST

As my Dad used to say, it's all the same when it's splattered on the pavement at 4:00 AM.

Monkey sleep! Monkey eat! Monkey boogies to the beat!
Actually, you can tell when... (none / 0) (#348)
by borderline on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:10:40 PM EST

...somebody drank a whole bottle of Blue Curacau. Don't ask me how I know this.

[ Parent ]
Tequila and OJ (3.00 / 1) (#137)
by jred on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:00:38 PM EST

Is my "at the bar" drink.  Kind of like a Tequila Sunrise without the girly red stuff :)  Be aware, the quality of the orange juice makes as much a difference as the quality of the liquor.

The cheap tequila I like is Sauza Hornitos (horny toes).  It's good enough to not need mixing or chasing, but cheap enough you don't flinch at sharing.

I've taken to drinking Patron at better bars (but not the silver).

And never, ever Cuervo Gold.  I'd rather drink beer.  Actually, you can't get me to drink beer, I'd go with Coke or Dr. Pepper.


NZ Black Russian (4.00 / 1) (#138)
by Tatarigami on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:03:24 PM EST

A very popular drink in New Zealand is the black russian, although I'm told that what we call a black russian is mixed differently to what you'd get if you asked for the same overseas.

For this, you'd take a measure of vodka, a measure of coffee liquer, and make it up to the desired strength with coke. I practiced mixing this drink for years, but never managed to get it right -- probably because I used to drink the failures to 'punish' myself for my lack of skill...

Kahlua is my liquer of choice. I've tried others, but this is the one I developed a taste for.

Dump the coke (4.00 / 1) (#258)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:44:47 AM EST

[ Parent ]
American Black Russian (none / 0) (#334)
by lewiscr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:33:44 PM EST

As the previous poster mentioned, the American version doesn't have any coke.

I'll start with a shot of both Kaluha and Vodka and a very small amount (4 drops) of vanilla extract (real, not artificial).  I used to use Stoli Vanilla Vodka, but I prefer to add the vanilla myself.

After 2 of those, I stop adding the vanilla, and start adding more vodka.  Mostly because I can't pour 4 drops of vanilla anymore :-)

Its a bit sweet though, so you might have a wee headache in the mornin'.

[ Parent ]

Fun and fear at the bottom of a bottle (4.33 / 3) (#142)
by boyde on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:15:01 PM EST

I liked this story. It certainly helped to clear up a few myths with regards to Tequila and Mezcal that I had been told and, somewhat embarrassingly, propogated. We always tried to get the Mezcal with the worm and always presumed this was the best Tequila, mainly for the fabled pyschotropic effects of the nasty little creature. Apparently wrong. Quite wrong. Doh.

I have tried most liquors, though I think they are more appropriately called spirits here (GB), and I have to say I struggle to find a favourite. I entered whiskey in the poll, but to get a good whiskey costs money. Maybe £30-£40 for a bottle that doesn't make you grab your face and attempt to pull it off while all the while making a strange 'Urrrrrrrnnkkkkgggggggiiiiiiii' noise. If you do get a good bottle though, there is no finer neat spirit/liquor.

Vodka is a drink of my youth, one that I drank at 18/19, usually in quantities my mother would frown on (come to think of it, I do to), and that has caused me to have a few 'adventures', most of which have slipped, thankfully, into the mists of time. I don't believe there is a vodka out there that can be sipped straight rather than shot, but it certainly makes a fine mixer drink. Like nosilA said: put vodka in the freezer, it really works wonders.

Tequila. Now here is trouble waiting to happen. For some reason, one I am unable to pin down, one shot of tequila and I can here someone singing

"There may be trouble ahead
But while there's moonlight and music and love and romance
Lets face the music and dance


Go find somewhere as far away from people, heavy objects and, most importantly, more tequila as you possibly can. It does something evil to my brain, I can hear Mr. Trouble and his Merry Pranksters skipping down the street to lead me into Mischief. YMMV, of course.

Ok. Waffle, waffle, waffle. I've had a beer ;)

To summarise, my advice is this: If you are buying liquor/spirits, go for the good stuff. Don't over spend, but don't go cheap. If you just want to get drunk, get some beers or a few bottles of wines - spirits/liquor are strangely potent, even if you do drink a similar amount of alcohol. Just be careful, spirits/liquor are best consumed for the love of them and their taste, not to get wasted.

Rolling around in the muck is no way to get clean.

Wuss (none / 0) (#173)
by bobjim on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:26:43 PM EST

Many is the time I've pleasantly sipped the vodka supplied in student bars (usually the cheapest they can find) out of those little plastic cups. The addition of ice makes it more palatable.

My worst nightmare occured one night when a club decided to offer whiskey for £1 a shot rather than vodka. Cheap whiskey straight is awful. Cheap vodka straight is merely unpleasant. Either, however, was preferable to the aberations known as "Vodka Kick". Comes in bottles. Not especially alcoholic, but tastes like fruit sweets would if you dissolved them in ethanol.

And I really don't want to recount the drinking games where people think it's really clever to add ridiculous quantities of chili powder to a perfectly decent shot of vodka. So I won't.
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
[ Parent ]

A different mixed "drink" (4.33 / 6) (#145)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:30:18 PM EST

Jello shots.

These were popular around my college, when made correctly.  Always with vodka, because you don't want something that doesn't have a strong flavor in any way.  But you do want potency.

Making jello shots is a delicate process, because if you put in too much alcohol, the thing won't freeze and it is disgusting.

If you make it properly so that it is both potent and solid, it is a good way to get plastered even if you don't like any kind of alcohol.

The key is not to try to taste it, suck on it, or chew it.  Just swallow it whole.  It goes down really easily even as a whole chunk, and you can't taste *any* alcohol until it melts.  And by then it should be past your taste buds.

The only problem is that the jello shots dissolving causes a delayed and sudden reaction.  So anyone who keeps downing them because they don't feel anything will find that they are suddenly on the floor.

If you know what you are doing (as in, how much is too much), it can be pretty fun occasionally.  I can't put my finger on exactly why.  It might be partly because you don't have the taste of anything in your mouth which is kind of nice.

But there's also a whimsical fun to downing jello and then a little bit later suddenly becoming drunk.  YMMV.

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson

Jello Shots (5.00 / 1) (#200)
by UM Maverick on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:04:23 PM EST

Ok, it's kind of ironic that this is going to be my first K5 post, but I need to comment on the jello shots...making them with vodka is good, but if you want something really tasty, try green jello and Midori (a melon liqueur). If you're feeling a little feisty, try strawberry jello with "99 bananas"

[ Parent ]
Well, to each his own (none / 0) (#203)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:33:12 PM EST

You're coming from a different approach towards jello shots.  Some of my friends would agree with your way... they make it taste good.  That's not bad.

For me, the thing about jello shots that really sets it apart is you don't have to taste any alcohol at all.  So I go for as little flavor as possible in the alcoholic portion of the shots.

Anyway, happy jello shooting!

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

Midori+Vodka (none / 0) (#226)
by R343L on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:51:44 PM EST

I've used Midori and Vodka as half a cup of the cold liquid in a normal size box of non-sugar (nutrasweet) lime JELL-O (American brandname -- O don't know what size it is, much less other brands). It was pretty good and it solidified properly in less than 4 hours. If you use a recipe for the jello that involves heating some of the water (most do), you need to make sure the water cools down a lot before you add the alcohol -- alcohol has a pretty low boiling point.

"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

Jello (5.00 / 2) (#214)
by rusty on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:00:39 PM EST

I actually like the taste of well-made jello shots. It's such a shame to see people down them without allowing any mouth contact at all. I always moosh them around for a bit first. Yummy. But always ask, because some people will try to get creative and put rum or tequila in them. Both are disgusting. Stay away!

Second, the official name for the person who circulates a party passing out the Jello shots is "The Jello Fairy". Gender is not a factor in this. I just thought everyone should know that.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

rum/tequila in jello (none / 0) (#227)
by nosilA on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:52:31 PM EST

I'm not big on tequila, since I like my jello shots to be sweet, but rum is fine... as long as it's not spiced rum, and as long as you don't overdo it.  It makes the jello shot a little sweeter than you would get with just vodka, which is just fine by me.

Of course, as with any very fruity thing, it's way too easy to get drunk / have a hangover from them.

Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

Ick! Rum! (none / 0) (#229)
by rusty on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:04:36 AM EST

I can't really comment on the general appropriateness of rum in jello shots, because rum makes me vomit. Like, literally, drinking rum at all makes me sick. Always. So, as you may imagine, I avoid it with extreme care.

That said, I can't see how it would be good. The problem is jello has a particular taste which seems to clash with virtually anything else, except vodka (which pretty much adopts the flavor of the jello, but with alcohol fume aftereffects). It sounds awful to me, but there's no accounting for taste. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Cheap vodka's the only way to go (none / 0) (#250)
by wonkie on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:20:23 AM EST

Hey, good to see I'm not the only one who can't hold down Rum. Rum and Whiskey always do it to me... probably goes back to some bad experiences when I first started drinking :P My drink of choice used to be cheap vodka. By cheap, I mean the $10 plastic half gallon jugs with Russian names (Vladimir and Popov always seemed to be the best). They're the only way to go when you're on a college budget :)

[ Parent ]
drinks that don't stay down (none / 0) (#305)
by ipinkus on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:23:49 PM EST

Annecdote: My first bad experience was with Vodka. I hadn't had a sip of alcohol until this one day in grade 8 where we played a drinking game with two bottles of Absolut... Long story short, I was sick for an entire weekend. The smell of vodka makes me sick to this day.

Much the opposite of you as my drink of choice is Crown Royal. I wish we could trade places for a while as this thread has me thinking I'm missing out by avoiding Vodkas.

Silly conditioning...

[ Parent ]

drinking vodka (5.00 / 1) (#321)
by roju on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:27:50 PM EST

I had a similar experience.  When I was beginning highschool, my drink of choice, if not my only drink, was vodka.  Eventually it got to the point where even smelling vodka (and vodka's not even supposed to smell) would make me want to throw up, and one taste would make it happen.

Recently I've been able to stomache it again.  I'd recommend finding someone who makes really good mix drinks or shots, and trying that (with some good vodka).  Then work your way up from there.  I'm drinking vodka again, and I'm lovin it :)

[ Parent ]

Try this recipe (none / 0) (#268)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:40:46 AM EST

Mix rum with pineapple juice, the stuff that is still kind of thick with the pulp. You still don't taste the rum much even when you get up to 1:2 rum/pinapple.

[ Parent ]
Tequila (3.00 / 4) (#150)
by starduste on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 06:56:23 PM EST

Ah yes, I remember Tequila from my youth well... One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor.

does anything mix well with (2.66 / 3) (#153)
by techwolf on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:01:13 PM EST

Mountian Dew?

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

when i was 18 (3.00 / 2) (#170)
by jimjamjoh on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:04:27 PM EST

(not so very long ago, mind you), i had naught at my disposal to speed me to the drunkeness i feel my destiny save for a bottle of my father's dewar's (scotch, average stuff) and a bottle of mountain dew.

against the caveat of my youth and commensurate lack of perspective, i can honestly say that i found the mixture pleasantly suited to the desired aim.

which, if mountain dew is indeed your mixer of choice, i'd esteem your aim to be as well...

[ Parent ]

Vodka & Lime (2.50 / 2) (#174)
by coryking on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:27:08 PM EST

Vodka + Lime + Mountian Dew...

[ Parent ]
supposedly, whiskey. (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by jeffehobbs on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:17:19 PM EST

Mountain Dew was originally designed to be mixed with whiskey. http://metropulse.com/dir_zine/dir_2002/1226/t_artbeat.html In the mid-1940s, two Illinois-born entrepreneurs named Barney and Ally Hartman had the kind of foothills smarts and pluck described above. They built a beverage plant on Magnolia Avenue in 1932 and ended up bottling a concoction that went well with whiskey. As Barney's daughter put it (according to researcher Dick Bridgforth), "[Dad] just wasn't ashamed to take a drink or two." What the Hartmans acknowledged as their "private whiskey chaser" was named a slang term for moonshine, and "Mountain Dew" eventually became a phenomenon. It's a fairly awful tasting mix though. ~jeff

[ Parent ]
Diet or regular? (none / 0) (#188)
by greydmiyu on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:18:57 PM EST

I can say that Diet Dew with Remy Red and Absolut Vodka is not worth the experiment.  
-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
A buddy of mine (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by marxmarv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:31:37 PM EST

once mixed n parts vodka with m parts Mountain Dew 6x fountain concentrate and added a splash of tequila for flavor. He christened it the Urine Sample. It was an interesting beverage that I sampled at his leaving-Taco-Bell party.


[ Parent ]

Tequila. (n/t) (none / 0) (#237)
by Korimyr the Rat on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:04:26 AM EST

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]
Vodka (none / 0) (#264)
by RandomPeon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:14:03 AM EST

I find vodka and mountain dew in roughly equal parts to be quite a tasty drink. Not something to serve to others, but not a bad drink IMHO.

[ Parent ]
me too. (none / 0) (#339)
by wbd on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:44:53 AM EST

On Friday nights after work, I'd pour off just under 1/2 of a 600ml bottle (to account for air space, which can be filled with the spirit) & top it up again with 300ml of 40% alcohol plastic bottle vodka, then drink it on the 20min walk into town. By the time I hit the first bar I was really mellow.

[ Parent ]
The Hillbilly Highball (none / 0) (#302)
by Captain_Tenille on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:06:11 PM EST

Whiskey (cheap! don't waste good stuff) + Mountain Dew. Some friend of mine came up with it. It's pretty atrocious, but it can get you through the evening, I suppose.
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!
[ Parent ]

A Dew Rum-Rum (none / 0) (#311)
by The Private Fedora on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:35:18 PM EST

I've heard good things about Mountain Dew mixed with a lemon-lime rum, such as Bacardi Limon.

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?"
Patrick Henry, The War Inevitable, March 23, 1775
[ Parent ]
Southern Comfort (none / 0) (#352)
by pgor on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:35:49 PM EST

If you're not averse to something of a cough syrup-like flavor, try Southern Comfort.


[ Parent ]

Of course.. (3.20 / 5) (#157)
by Inoshiro on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 07:28:26 PM EST

A good White Russian is a great way to start the day. And I'm not the only one who believes this. Many dudes agree with me. Mudslides are also nice (add Bailey's and play with the amounts a bit).

[ イノシロ ]
Great Kahlua recipe (none / 0) (#257)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:43:52 AM EST

I have a great Kahlua recipe I got from my mom, and it makes great black/white Russians. You normally use vodka as the base, but once my mom tried Everclear. 90 proof Kahlua anyone?

[ Parent ]
So post it. (none / 0) (#333)
by Inoshiro on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:00:13 PM EST

I'd like to try it :)

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
brandy: germaine robin (3.00 / 2) (#168)
by startled on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:00:45 PM EST

My favorite drink is by far Germain Robin XO Select. They recently hiked the price on me after a long sale, so it's a bit too pricy for me to keep drinking.

Still, as far as price per value, it's still strong. About $100 a bottle, but it tastes as good as much more expensive brandies. If that's too steep, I'd recommend their "Fine" brandy, at about $35. It's not the same, but it's still quite good.

Ardbeg at BevMo (3.00 / 2) (#171)
by jsled on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:11:02 PM EST

Ardbeg is available in the US at BevMo ... at least in the Bay Area. Perhaps not the 1977 [maybe in the case -- I haven't looked too closely], but more recent years... but by my unrefined palette, still quite excellent.

I don't drink... (3.66 / 3) (#176)
by swf on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:37:46 PM EST

and it bugs the hell out of some people. All you have to do is say "I don't drink" when they offer and that is enough to set them off. Most people are ok about it, they just go "Ok, I got juice if you'd like" instead. But I never could understand why some people take it upon themselves to try their hardest to get me drunk. Honestly they are worse than door-to-door salesmen.

I have thought about just having a casual drink once or twice. I can't stand beers or wines, so I considered liquor (or "girly drinks" as they are called here) but in the end I'm just too damn depressed to drink.

You think that is rough... (3.00 / 2) (#187)
by greydmiyu on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:17:47 PM EST

...try saying that you don't want children sometime.  People try to make you breed or actually think that saying "Well, I hope you don't ever have children1" is an insult.  *shrug*

-- Grey d'Miyu, not just another pretty color.
[ Parent ]
how 'bout both? (3.00 / 1) (#242)
by hotpix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:20:14 AM EST

My guy doesn't drink a drop *and* doesn't want to have to kids.  He's not here tonight, so I'll second these comments on his behalf.  

People are rude and weird sometimes.  Especially when they find out that he's NEVER had a drink. Not ever.  Why start? he asks.  Frankly, it's a little disappointing to me, as I love wine (but not enough to drink the whole bottle myself over dinner) and love scotch, used to love to go to wine tastings, and always dreamed of travelling around Scotland doing tastings, the whole nine yards.  So for me, it makes sense that it's a bit annoying (but hey, the other 99.9% of this guy is fabulous, so who cares).  But I just don't get why some friend/acquaintance hosting a party gives a flying f***.  Just give him the juice for goddsake.  Have to say though that the vast majority of people have ZERO problem with it.  Just switch straight to, "Okay, I've got..." without even blinking.
"Hey, I've been around! Well, maybe not around, but I've been nearby!" - Mary Tyler Moore
[ Parent ]

Good choice (4.00 / 1) (#213)
by Perianwyr on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:59:01 PM EST

If you believe that you can't drink in moderation at any time (even regardless of past history...) listen to your own intuitions before you start.

I know that I'm the kind of person that can't drink when they're in a bad mood. Only a few times have I been in bad enough a mood to ignore this internal warning, and have gotten utterly destroyed doing so.

If I'm feeling all right, I can drink. Otherwise, I'd best stay away.

[ Parent ]

I never drink.... (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by Demiurge on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:37:24 PM EST


[ Parent ]
You got off lightly (3.00 / 1) (#241)
by Pseudonym on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:18:26 AM EST

Only one person has tried to get me drunk. Usually what people do when I say "I don't drink" is start off on a long speech justifying their own drinking habits, as if I'm some kind of puritan who thinks of them as sinners, or at least victims of the demon drink.

People who try to get you drunk (and I've had my fair share of those) are almost a relief by comparison.

sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Errr... (none / 0) (#243)
by Pseudonym on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:23:01 AM EST

Sorry about the contradiction in the above post.

The part which says "only one person has tried to get me drunk" is the incorrect part. I meant to write "more than one person".

Serves me right for not proofreading.

sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
the tequila cut (2.50 / 2) (#177)
by buridan on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:39:17 PM EST

now on drinking tequila, or mezcal which is different, i have one bit of advice, the cheaper the tequila the more lime juice, however, unless you are drinking the finest tequilas, which require no lime, a sure cut to make is to ask the bar tender to add a 1/2 finger of lime juice to the top of your shot, more or less this tranforms the tequila shot into a slightly different drink, but the difference, well, a 1/2 finger of line makes young cuervo nearly palattable, and a few drops in 1500 makes all the difference, and skip the salt bit unless it is off the breast of a willing participant.  in short, the lime makes the tequila.  

If you need lime, your drinking the wrong tequila (none / 0) (#192)
by anyloveisgoodlove on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:28:01 PM EST

I can't tell you how long I settled for the crap... Cuervo Gold is my margarita mix and 1800 is standard for straight... there are a few others when i'm frisky.....

[ Parent ]
i agree (none / 0) (#201)
by buridan on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:17:01 PM EST

but given that lots of people will never order anything other than  crap, i offered my advice.  if u r drinking straight though i suggest sauza anejo, it is much better than 1500

[ Parent ]
My choices.... (none / 0) (#369)
by smkndrkn on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 10:58:27 PM EST

...margaritas or mixed drinks I like Don Julio's blanco. Fairly cheap for a 100% blue agave tequila and tastes great. If I'm doing shots or sipping I tend to go for an Anejo like Herradura. YMMV..have fun. Gary

I find this corpse guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and I fine it $40. -- Judge Roy Bean, finding a pistol and $40 on a man he'd just shot.
[ Parent ]
Less expensive premium Vodka (3.00 / 2) (#178)
by CrazyJub on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 08:52:03 PM EST

Iceberg Vodka is one of the easiest drinking vodka I've had, and the bottle is very sweet.

Also, Port is something to try if you havent already,

Question (none / 0) (#181)
by RyoCokey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:08:59 PM EST

Actually just starting trying port out of curiousity. Is there any you'd recommend?

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
Ports (none / 0) (#228)
by R343L on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:56:43 PM EST

Warre's Warrior is a good, inexpensive port. Vintage ports can be expensive (especially if they are older -- newer ones haven't had time to develop flavor), but you can usually find an LBV (late-bottled vintage) around and they are usually cheaper. I never really liked tawnies so I can't help you there. Graham's Six Grape is supposed to be a decent "everyday" port, but I haven't tried it. Stay away from the crud they often have in grocery stores---if you see a whole row of the same brand of "port" and it comes from somewhere other than Portugal (although the companies are usually British or have British names) do not buy it.

"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

Port (none / 0) (#249)
by Shadow On The Sun on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:18:06 AM EST

I really like port, although I haven't tried that many types or brands. I do like Quinta do Noval tawny port.

[ Parent ]
Port recommendations (none / 0) (#276)
by CrazyJub on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:33:57 AM EST

First, a small primer. There are several choices when it comes to Port, and depending on which one you get it can effect taste, price and time to you have to keep it in a cellar.

But first of all, an important note...Proper port is from Portugal, hence the name PORTugal. Like the champagne region of France, they are fighting to keep the name to themselves, so watch what you buy.

LBV - Late Bottle Vintage

This product is drinkable now, and will keep after opened for several months (refrigeration optional but will keep longer) This is the least expensive of the Ports, and will give you a good intro to the drink. Also if you want to cook with it, use this as your kitchen standard.

Tawny - 10, 20 or 40 years

Now we are getting into Port that is aged in casks, rather than in the bottle (vintages) which again will effect the price slightly. The colour is lighter, and will keep for less time after opening. Depending on the year, the taste will change, start with a 10 year old to start, expand from there.

Vintage Port

Now we are getting into collectable territory, this is usually reserved for the serious drinker, and will need to be kept in your cellar (or closet away from all light) for anywhere from 5 to 15 years depending on the year of the release. Also, once this is open, you drink the whole bottle in one sitting, like a vintage wine.

There are other types (Ruby, White 'chip-dry') but this will get you started.

As for which brand? Well this is a personal preference, but in North America:

Taylor Fladgate

That should get you started.

[ Parent ]

Second that (1.50 / 4) (#388)
by MrYotsuya on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 10:57:26 PM EST

I have to agree, that stuff is deadly. If mixed with anything like orange juice, you couldn't tell there's vodka mixed in with it.

[ Parent ]
Tequila (2.00 / 1) (#194)
by marxmarv on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:40:16 PM EST

seems to be at the root of all the interesting drinking stories.


As a sophomore in college... (5.00 / 1) (#215)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:00:57 PM EST

the times I had tequila were usually the END of my stories.

"And then the last thing I remember was taking swigs of tequila straight from the bottle."


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

straight from the bottle (none / 0) (#246)
by KaizerWill on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:46:01 AM EST

is a very very bad idea. cause you definitely can't keep track of your intake amounts that way. the first time i did that was the first time i got sick.

You were there for that...
[ Parent ]
You bet it was dumb! (none / 0) (#290)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:15:28 AM EST

And not something I have done in a long time, naturally.  After sophomore year I spent a semester in Germany, got a taste for beer, and usually stick to that.  Much safer.

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
As I always say (none / 0) (#335)
by drsmithy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:46:26 PM EST

Anything that starts with Tequila, will end in tears.

[ Parent ]
Crown Royal (none / 0) (#220)
by ariesboi on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:20:01 PM EST

Personally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Canadians for Crown Royal whiskey, my personal favorite.

I don't think I've done a shot of anything else in at least 5 years now :)

I also like... (none / 0) (#282)
by cstokes on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:50:44 AM EST

Maker's Mark, though not as good for shots, but goes damn good with Coke.

[ Parent ]
Grenadine (none / 0) (#233)
by kuro5hinatportkardotnet on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:09:50 AM EST

Actually grenadine has nothing at all to do with cherries as it is pomegranate syrup.


Libertarian is the label used by embarrassed Republicans that long to be open about their greed, drug use and porn collections.
Irish cream, anybody? (none / 0) (#236)
by MsWillow on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:02:30 AM EST

I'm fond of Amaretto (ideally served straight, warm, in a brandy snifter), but Irish Cream is another good drink. Bailey's is the best-known, but I usually prefer Carolan's or Brandon's. One I've learned to avoid was Emmet's - it left a greasy film in my mouth :(

I've only ever been drunk twice, both times on Carolan's. Neither time did I get a hangover - I think it had a lot to do with the ice in the drinks, and the cream slowing the alcohol's entry into my system.

You might like it, it's not as harsh as straight whiskey.

I'm an impure woman. The impurities, as in gemstones, are what give me color and character.

Coffee & Cream (none / 0) (#312)
by The Private Fedora on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:39:24 PM EST

I've found that a coffee with a shot of Bailey's is a wonderful way to end an evening.

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?"
Patrick Henry, The War Inevitable, March 23, 1775
[ Parent ]
Sulphate Sensetivity (4.00 / 1) (#245)
by xunker on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:41:13 AM EST

Something else worth noting when talking about drink is something called "Sulphate Sensitivity" or "Sulphate Allergies".

While it mostly applies to wines, it can also happen in similar liquors like brandy and such.  I'll spare the details and simply give the short version: During the fermentation and aging processes beverages produce, and sometimes are later fortified with, varieties of sulphur/sulphate compounds -- they occur naturally but can be added late to retard spoilage.  They are also used in some pre-packaged foods, mostly "junk foods" like granola bars and things that are intented to be kept soft.

A segment of the population, up to 3% and 5% by some estimates, has "issues" with these compounds -- and by an interesting coincidence a large number of these people have asthma, too.  In 90% of this 3-5%, sulfates cause mild to extreme gastrointestinal distress that can take the form of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  In the remaining 10% it can also cause potentially fatal asthma attacks.

I'm not a big drinker, and a few years ago when I had my first amount of red wine in Las Vegas, I found myself on the receiving end of Sulphate Allergies.  Though I didn't get the asthma attack (though I am asthmatic), I did experience the nausea and ended up hurling my guts out in a wastebin in front of "Binions Slots o' Fun".  Right in full view of a packed commuter bus.

Binge drinking (none / 0) (#247)
by DodgyGeezer on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:53:56 AM EST

I'm not a big drinker, and a few years ago when I had my first amount of red wine in Las Vegas, I found myself on the receiving end of Sulphate Allergies.
Maybe that explains my problem: everytime I drink too much wine quickly I seem to leave a pavement pizza. Come to think of it, there must have been sulphate in my Guinness+vodka when I was on my stag night last August.

There is a benefit to this you know: once you've emptied your stomache, you have room for more booze. 10 years of binge drinking, and I still haven't learnt my lesson. I will eventually as my hangovers get more and more painful and longer and longer (some now last more than 24 hours).

[ Parent ]
vodka/gatorade (none / 0) (#248)
by KaizerWill on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:13:20 AM EST

my friends tend to do this a lot, and its not half bad.


  1. pour a medium sized glass of gatorade
  2. dilute slightly with absolut
  3. drink a quarter to half of this concoction
  4. dilute with more absolut than before
  5. see #3
  6. rinse, repeat, untill you drink the last of the glass, which is mostly absolut...
This is another thing which is a BAD IDEA cause you cant count accurately how much youve had.

You were there for that...
can't stand being drunk (3.20 / 5) (#252)
by florin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:05:01 AM EST

I've heard some people do not drink alcohol because of the taste of it. Well, i don't drink because i don't like the feel of it. That is, i don't like being drunk, not even very slightly. I don't know why, but i actually feel much better before drinking alcohol than after.
It's like alcohol is an eraser for every thought and feeling that's refined beyond a certain limit; drink some, and you're left with only the gross stuff of the mind. Also the joy you get, which many people seem to praise, feels much coarser than the normal thing.
But the general opinion seems different, so i don't know, maybe it's something different with me.

Attitude can make a difference (none / 0) (#293)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:22:59 AM EST

Alcohol isn't something that makes you feel happier, but it does things that allow you to be happier if you want to be.  It relaxes you and lowers your judgment, makes things seem less complicated.  But if you are feeling negative, alcohol isn't going to help, and will probably make it worse.  Do you tend to be a negative or pessimistic person?

I have one friend from collge who was so skeptical about drinking that, the few times he did have something to drink, he would be very negative about it and only try to confirm his preconceptions that drinking was totally lame.  So of course he got nothing out of it.

Just a thought.

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

actually, "au contraire" (none / 0) (#341)
by florin on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:50:15 AM EST

Hmmm... You know, in fact, i think i'm at the other end of the spectrum. On the Keirsey temperament test, i'm Idealist / Champion (that is, the worst kind of idealist :-D). And i remember, when i was a kid, being effectively paralysed by laughter quite often (while the others, of course, thought i was going nuts - otherwise why someone would laugh so much?). And yeah, i'm unreasonably optimist.

An interesting coincidence:
When talking to people who took drugs, i've been told that alcohol mixed with drugs is bad, it gives you a "bad trip".
Now, on the other hand, some of the experiences those people had while "tripping" were curiously similar with things that i experience quite naturally; i'm not thinking of visions or halucinations or voices or anything like that (because i never experienced anything of that kind), but sudden leaps of joy, or deep "oceanic" happines... That kind of things happens to me sometimes, without the help of any chemicals.
So... i don't know. Perhaps it's a relevant coincidence, perhaps not. But someone i know uses to tease me, saying i got an LSD vial hidden under my skin by aliens. :-)

Oh, and yes, i did swallowed large amounts of alcohol, ocasionally, when i was a student. I think i was close to coma once. But it was always because "that's what the gang used to do". When the social influence slackened, i quit drinking alcohol almost completely. If i drink now more than one bottle of beer at a time - that's a miracle of sorts. :-)

[ Parent ]

Congratulations (none / 0) (#346)
by rusty on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:45:13 AM EST

You are one of the few humans who don't need to drink. You seem to be equipped naturally with some of the real "hard stuff", and alcohol will seem only a pale and artificial imitation. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Maybe (none / 0) (#347)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:33:15 AM EST

you have manic episodes?

I can't tell from what you say how intense the sudden leaps of joy are but maybe, who knows.

I think mania without also having depression is really rare.

Anyway, if you're that happy, this is not a "problem" that needs solving!

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

*shrug* (none / 0) (#318)
by bakuretsu on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:10:39 PM EST

Perhaps you live a peculiarly euphoric life, and the kinds of happiness you feel on a day-to-day basis are so good, they cloud over any drunken optimism.

I know I enjoy a drink now and then, because the inhibition of being inebriated is fun.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]

I am missing (none / 0) (#255)
by Koo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:36:26 AM EST

Slivovica and Rakija in your guide.

Slivovica and Rakija (none / 0) (#396)
by McKracken on Sun Aug 18, 2002 at 07:20:18 PM EST

Slivovica is a type of rakija (brandy) made of plums. There are some very nice, usually left to age in a barrel burried in the ground. Mostly they are 40% alcohol. Can give you a headache of a lifetime, but mostly taste nice. Slivovica can be used to make "Shumadia tea" or Vruca ("the hot one") It is made by caramelising sugar (250 g appx for a 1L), and than pouring "Meka" (the soft one, Slivovica of about 20% alcool). Tastes great, and is usually drinked in the winter. Serve in 2dl glases.. There is also "Ljuta" (the hot one) which is double destilled Slivovica (probably the best one)

[ Parent ]
Very nice, couple of comments (none / 0) (#256)
by Quila on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:38:40 AM EST

Vodka: Yes, Absolut rocks. Flavored vodka is not vodka -- it's gin. But semantics aside, if you want to make it, make it yourself. Throw a stick of cinnamon or some currant or lemon rinds in a bottle of regular vodka and let it sit for a few weeks.

Whiskey: Yes, you should have done more research here. Personally, I like the Highland single malts, as they have a very pure taste, and I am not too hot on others such as Islay, as they have too much of the smokey peat taste. Jack Daniels single barrel is also very good for a bourbon, but as the whiskey gets cheaper it becomes good only for stripping floors (true experience). The big thing here is to check the age of the whiskey, but a 1968 single malt bottled in 1980 is not 34 years old, it's twelve (only cask time counts).

And you forgot ouzo.

I know why drunks are always shouting... (2.00 / 1) (#260)
by Bill Godfrey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:54:16 AM EST

They are complaining about the taste.

They use confusing vocabulary though (5.00 / 2) (#294)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:25:04 AM EST

I keep trying to figure out how a screwdriver can taste "party woooooooooo", but that's what they keep telling me...

Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Quality Vodka (3.00 / 1) (#262)
by tenzen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:08:18 AM EST

There are a few quality vodkas in the $20-30 range, and the bottle is not always a good indicator.  My roommate and I spent 2 semesters sampling all the vodkas availible in the liquor store he worked at. This is a summary of my findings.

Greygoose Orange is the best flavored vodka by far.

Chopin is great if you want to actually drink potato vodka

Belvedere is the grain cousin of Chopin, and better than Greygoose

Svedka is the best economy vodka around, a 1.75L for @$20, and it comes in a glass bottle

3 Olives is probably the smoothest I've tried

Stoli Crystal was not impressive, but the vanilla is top notch

Ketel One, Iceberg, Hamptons, and Tanqueray are respectable runner ups.

It comes down to the taste and the burn.  Put the stuff in the freezer for a few hours before your taste test if possible.

What about Absolut? (n/t) (none / 0) (#281)
by cstokes on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:47:18 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Its about marketing (none / 0) (#319)
by tenzen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:20:30 PM EST

Absolut was about premium pricing and an incredibly effective advertising campaign.

[ Parent ]
Flavored vodka (none / 0) (#365)
by Am03bA on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 07:50:14 PM EST

I'm usually not much of a vodka drinker (I prefer bourbon.), but my local liquor store recommended a flavored vodka called Charbay. http://www.charbay.com/flavored_vodkas.htm It is divine. The blood orange flavor is delicious. It makes all other orange flavored vodka I've had taste like baby aspirin or sno-cone syrup. It's not cheap - about $40 a bottle, but worth every penny.

[ Parent ]
Whisky (none / 0) (#272)
by loaf on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:55:08 AM EST

There's a simple lesson with good Scotch (nb there's no 'e' in Scotch) - if you can't pronounce it, it's probably top stuff.

Multimedia whisky pronunciation delight (none / 0) (#325)
by mdecerbo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:03:23 PM EST

Hmm, does that mean you'll no longer be able to enjoy them all once you can pronounce them?

Of course not.

So check out this Web page, where some must-be-obsessive guy has links to audio files
where the former chairman of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society pronouncing each one of our favorite tongue-twisting nectars.

Extra credit for whoever makes the PDA version (do any PDAs do the audio thing?) for drilling yourself on the plane over to Scotland.

[ Parent ]

Some comments about vodka... (4.00 / 3) (#273)
by qba on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:53:02 AM EST

... from a Pole:
  • Belvedere and Chopin are indeed both very good vodkas (they are not, contrary to what somebody stated, made by the same people - they are just marketed by the same company in the US); Belvedere is made from rye, while Chopin is made from potatoes.
  • the same company that makes Luksusowa (another good potato vodka) also produces Pan Tadeusz, which is even better - but I don't know whether you can find it in the US.
  • Wyborowa has traditionally been THE Polish vodka, but it has lost its market share because of poor marketing and disputes over brand ownership. Now that Pernod Ricard bought it, it's making a comeback. Good and less expensive than Belvedere.
  • and finally, there's Zubrowka - a 40% vodka flavored with a species of grass found in Poland. Here it is one of the most popular brands and you can certainly find it in Western Europe. It's greenish, every bottle has a blade of grass inside; you drink it straight (COLD!) or mixed with apple juice to form a drink called szarlotka.

If you're lucky enough to be a UKian (3.00 / 1) (#275)
by S1ack3rThanThou on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:56:46 AM EST

Then REALLY good absinthe is a must.

None of this rubbish you see in most places, the best stuff, and the ONLY stuff that has ever made me even mildly hallucinate, is La Fee absinthe. It comes from the museum of absinthe in France and is as close to the stuff that was originally made as possible.

Currently there are a lot of poor absinthes out there, really high alcohol content, aniseed flavouring and green food colouring. These are a complete waste of time.

Anyway, these guys import it, and deliver it VERY quickly. Try it, you might like it!


Mildly off my topic... I've never tried pocine but thats supposed to be quite an experience... Anyone tried some?

"Remember what the dormouse said, feed your head..."

pocine, what is it? (n/t) (2.00 / 1) (#286)
by Zentipede on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:56:29 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Irish Potato Spirit. Should be Poteen. (none / 0) (#297)
by S1ack3rThanThou on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:02:48 PM EST

Irish spirit!


Strong stuff!

"Remember what the dormouse said, feed your head..."
[ Parent ]

Legal in US (none / 0) (#309)
by warped1 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:01:55 PM EST

Is absinthe legal in the US? More specifically, does anyone know if it's okay to import it here from that website?

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#320)
by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:24:05 PM EST

It is not legal. Importing it openly might subject you to prosecution.

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]
Unknown. (none / 0) (#363)
by mindstrm on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 04:03:13 PM EST

I seem to recall seeing a warning in an airport recently about how absinthe was not permitted.. I believe it was in the US. not sure.

Hey. We have it in Canada though.

I believe there are requirements as to how much wormwood extract is permitted in order to be sold. The stuff you get in the store here is probably not as potent as the old stuff.

And whether or not people hallucinate on absinthe is still largely debatable... it does contain a hallucinogen, but the amount of alcohol you end up ingesting along with it would seem to indicated you'd be on the floor with alcohol poisoning before you had enough in your system to trip.

[ Parent ]

re:If you're lucky enough to be a UKian (none / 0) (#374)
by Drownedrat on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 09:22:32 AM EST

Absinthe is good but damned expensive, recently got a lot of hype in the UK now it's legal again. Overlooking the fact it was never illegal here, just banned in most supplying countries.

Re Poteen, it is very efficient stuff. Last time I had it took one or two large slugs from the bottle & keeled over shortly afterwards (wasn't all I'd been drinking, but was very powerful). Best way to get it is befriend someone with Irish family who visits them often (esp. rural ones)


[ Parent ]

Rum (none / 0) (#277)
by Dphitz on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:50:47 AM EST

Bacardi 151. Yuk! I can't remember how many times I chucked biscuits in my high school years because of this evil stuff.

God, please save me . . . from your followers

Proof and alcohol content (3.50 / 2) (#278)
by miker2 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:55:08 AM EST

A little correction from the story: the reason why there cannot be alchohol above 190 proof (95%) is because at that concentration it is physically impossible (using distillation or other physical means) to separate water and alcohol because the two 'chemicals' form an amalgam. One can use chemical processes to attain this, but to what point? I find that anything that can cause instant blindness/death is probably too strong for consumption. I'll just stick to my Tanqueray.

Higher than 190 proof.... (4.00 / 1) (#303)
by Elkor on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:16:42 PM EST

Actually, you can get alcohol to 196 proof (98%) by replacing the water with an inert chemical.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) this chemical is poisonous to humans. There is a little speech given at the beginning of every semester to every lab class about how the alcohol has this chemical and is toxic, so "Don't steal any, you'll get really sick."

So, do not steal the alcohol from the Chem Lab. It is a Bad Idea (tm).


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Actual information about poisonous alcohol (5.00 / 1) (#356)
by bluebox on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:26:33 PM EST

A set of Material Safety Data Sheets for various kinds and solutions of alcohol can be found here.

There are actually different kinds of alcohol.  Ethanol is the kind that's good to drink.  It is distilled from fruits, grains, sugars, potatoes, etc.  And most governments around the world, including the United States of America, like to tax it very heavily.  Our American Federal Gov't protects us by  adding poison  to otherwise perfectly drinkable Ethanol.  They call this Gov't poisoned alcohol "denatured".  The poison is added so that people can't drink ethanol that is sold with fewer taxes for industrial use.

Methanol is poisonous alcohol fermented from wood.  Check the Material Safety Data Sheet here.   It can make you blind.

200 proof Ethanol doesn't make you blind.  It can severely irritate you insides though.    ( Check the MSDS links above. )  Mix it with some water before drinking.

Isopropanol  commonly known as rubbing alcohol is also commonly used in perfumes. It seems to make you sick, but I'm not sure how it differs from Methanol. I don't think it makes you blind though because the MSDS sheet for Methanol was the only one that mention this specifically.

[ Parent ]

200 proof is BAD (none / 0) (#377)
by jhylkema on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 10:16:50 PM EST

200 proof alcohol is anhydrous. It doesn't contain water but usually is made with benzene. Drinking benzene is a Bad Thing and is not recommended.


1260 divided by the weight of the problem equals the length of the solution.

LEGAL NOTICE: Spam sent to this account will be prosecuted at $1,000 per message (RCW 19.190.030).

[ Parent ]
Azeotrope (none / 0) (#330)
by tgallistel on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:44:37 PM EST

Actually this problem / phenomenom is called an Azeotrope. Essentially the mixture of 96% ethanol and water has a boiling point (78.2 C) below that of either pure water (100.0 C) or pure ethanol (78.5 C)

[ Parent ]
Instant blindness/death (none / 0) (#362)
by mindstrm on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 04:00:54 PM EST

This is a myth.

Pure (or near pure) ethanol is no more dangerous for you to drink than, say, 75.5% pure alcohol (bacardi 151, for instance). Well okay, it's obviously 33% more potent...

Pure moonshine or whatever you want to call it will not make you instantly blind. It will not instantly kill you. It WILL irritate your throat/stomach, because, after all, ethanol is an irritant. It WILL taste like shit. It WILL have explosive vapor. But it's still your good old friend, ethanol.

The myth about moonshine making you blind usually has to do with badly made moonshine containing methanol or other impurities which ARE really Not A Good Thing(tm)

[ Parent ]

Possibly the Best Vodka Ever (5.00 / 1) (#280)
by kcidx on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:41:08 AM EST


Quite seriously one of the finest vodkas in the world. Without question.

Learn to enjoy atleast one liquor (none / 0) (#301)
by edpowers on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:03:15 PM EST

Yes even on the east coast business engagements sometimes occur over a *couple* of drinks. I found it useful to have atleast one liquor I can enjoy straight for these types of encounters. I'm still pretty young for my position and when meeting with sales people I think it helps establish that I'm not some junior wuss that fell off the truck yesterday that will believe whatever these patholigical liars are pushing. I don't think this is necessary, just useful, like being able to smoke a cigar. My personal drink of choice is Scotch on the rocks and nothing worse than Johnny Walker Black Label. You have to ask for a brand with liquors or you'll end up with "well liquor" which is the cheapest stuff the bar could get, aka "gut rot".

Scotch (none / 0) (#368)
by vectro on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 10:15:59 AM EST

I find I much prefer The Glenlivit to Johnnie Walker. The Glenlivit is a single-distillary scotch, whereas Johnnie Walker is a blended scotch; Johnnie Walker actually consists of a variety of different scotches blended together. The Glenlivit is also not much more expensive.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Note on serving Brandy.... (none / 0) (#304)
by Elkor on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:23:14 PM EST

If you are serving Brandy in a snifter (almost bowl shaped glass with a large "belly" and smaller opening), be sure not to put too much into the glass, as it is supposed to be swirled around the glass so it can "breath."

To check the amount, you should be able to lay the glass on its side (with the base of the stem touching the table) and gently roll the glass around. The liquid should not quite reach the lip of the glass, so it doesn't spill out.

Also, to keep brandy warm in a cool room (AC, drafty room in winter, etc), take a second brandy snifter and fill it with hot water (hot tap water is fine, don't use boiling water) and place the snifter with the brandy on its side over the one with hot water.

The steam from the water will keep the brandy warmed.

A Hot Toddy is 1 part brandy and 1 part hot water.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
Don't drink it too warm (none / 0) (#342)
by gylle on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 06:27:43 AM EST

The people who wrote the wine guides that say that wine and cognac is to be served at room temperature are from times and places where room temperature is no higher than 18°C.

All people "know" that some drinks (like red wine and cognac) are to be served at room temperature, and some drinks (like white wine) are to be served chilled. I find that I often get red wine served much too warm, and white wine much too cold.

[ Parent ]

grenadine is NOT made from cherries (3.00 / 1) (#314)
by gte910h on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:52:09 PM EST

grenadine (a cherry-flavored red liqueur)

Its made from pomegranates, the fruit that Persephone ate six "seeds" of on her trip to Hades in the Greek story about the cause of winter. It has a hard outer shell and tons of little pulp covered seeds inside. You eat the pulp on each of the seeds, then spit each out the core.

They don't taste like cherries at all, but then again, cherry flavoring doesn't taste like cherries that much either.

This is a good but messy thing to eat in the summer/spring on picnics with someone else. I suggest keeping them away from kids dressed in anything but swimtrunks or red shirts. They take forever to eat all the way, but they're SOOO good.

Most normal grocery stores in the US will have them at least once a year, ask your produce section manager when they are available in your area.

Raki (none / 0) (#323)
by Tatarigami on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:40:16 PM EST

Whenever I find myself in a Mediterranean restaurant I ask if they have raki available -- it's a strong colourless drink which comes either pre-flavoured with aniseed, or with a cracked aniseed you can drop in the glass and shake a couple of times to mix the flavour.

Mmm. Aniseed.

Mediteranean drink (none / 0) (#397)
by McKracken on Sun Aug 18, 2002 at 07:33:45 PM EST

Are you sure it is called 'Raki'? Do you know what is it made of? What country did you try it in? Lot of questions, right?

[ Parent ]
alright damnit I want to know NOW! (none / 0) (#327)
by techwolf on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:21:51 PM EST

how the hell can one "pull" a bad draught of a stout? you just open the can and pour! how the hell hard is that??

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

Bad stout (5.00 / 1) (#371)
by Tatarigami on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 02:30:30 AM EST

how the hell can one "pull" a bad draught of a stout? you just open the can and

Stop right there -- you just answered your own question.

Stout doesn't travel well, and canning it doesn't help. Chemical engineers in Ireland claim to have found a way to preserve it properly using nitrogen as a foaming agent, but I'm sceptical. If you can find one, try a brand that's brewed in your neighbourhood. Maybe there's a local pub with its own brand. Of course, it won't be 'real' stout that way -- just something that looks and tastes the same.

But we're not snobs, are we?

[ Parent ]
oh,ok thanks. <N/T> (none / 0) (#393)
by techwolf on Mon Aug 12, 2002 at 03:52:06 PM EST

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]
Rum (none / 0) (#328)
by mdecerbo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:32:42 PM EST

Good guide! But the idea that "rum is cheap" is going to be passe in a few years. Ten years ago, tequila was "cheap" and the idea of a premium tequila was hard to fathom. But now that the tequila market has been successfully differentiated, the next thing is rum, which I will write about a little to amplify the otherwise excellent commentary above.

Cruzan is a decent inexpensive rum, whether dark (for things like rum and Coke) or light (for pina coladas, a nice sweet and fruity concoction for people who don't like the hard-alcohol taste).

Moving up the price ladder only a little, I never shell out for Bacardi when Cruzan is half the price, but I may just be overly attached because of Cruzan's interesting and super-friendly distillery tour, which I can't recommend highly enough if you are ever in St. Croix and want to break up the beach-lounging a little.

There are only a few true premium rums that I know of, but Sea Wynde (about $38-$42 a bottle in Massachusetts) is an interesting one. I think it is intended to mimic the old British Navy rums.
It's a blend of many different rums, also aged somewhat if I remember correctly. Smooth and smoky, it resembles a sweeter cognac in some ways.

There are other premium rums out there, like Ron Anejo Aniversario, Ron Cortez Anejo, and "British Royal Navy Imperial Rum" (which sounds like it has the same goal as Sea Wynde), but I haven't tried them. Rumshop.net seems to have a lot more information.

I wonder what the next undiscovered spirit of which premium varieties will suddenly become popular might be. Now that there are premium rum and tequila, not much seems to be left. Top shelf ouzo, anyone? (Or does it already exist...?)

Cruzan (none / 0) (#329)
by nosilA on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:41:30 PM EST

I discovered Cruzan when their flavored rums were on sale.  I picked up a bottle of the banana stuff and loved it.  I have enough Baccardi to last me for a while, but when that bottle runs out, Cruzan will be next.  I poked around their website some, and I really want to go on the factor tour.  I also noticed they make a 120 proof, which I'll have to try some night when I have friends over who will stay a while.

Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]

Zaya (none / 0) (#331)
by Verminator on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:53:17 PM EST

Zaya is a Guatemalan rum that's aged twelve years. They call themselves the worlds finest luxury rum and I believe them. The stuff is quite good, best straight at room temperature. Very sweet and aromatic with a ton of flavor. 750 ml goes for around $30-$40 where I'm at, but I don't know how widespread their distribution is.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.
[ Parent ]

Question... (none / 0) (#372)
by frenetik on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 04:52:19 AM EST

What about Habana Club?

It's my personal favourite and I was a bit surprised not to see it on your list...

Friends are like plants. They need attention and they need to drink. -- SPYvSPY
[ Parent ]

Me gusta ron Habana Club mucho! (none / 0) (#392)
by billfold on Fri Aug 09, 2002 at 04:22:46 PM EST

Havana Club rum is fantastic, and is actually what got me to like drinking rum.

Is Havana Club available in the U.S.? I'm guessing not, due to the trade thingy with the tropical paradise known as Cuba.

I've heard that Bacardi stole the recipe from Havana Club or at least there is some sort of conspiracy theory going on.


The non-aged white (or Silver) which costs $2.75 USD in Cuba, is perfect for Cuba Libres, mojitos or other mixed drinks.

The aged (añejo) rum is fantastic. Here in Canada we can get the 3 year, and the 7 year at the liquor store. Oddly I never see the white non-aged rum.

When in Cuba, buy the 15 year old bottle which is approximately $70USD in Cuba.

They do not export it outside of Cuba. It is *fan-friggin-tastic*. Drink it straight on ice, and it's similar to a beautifully aged scotch.

Don't get me started on Cuba. What a paradise.

[ Parent ]

Rhum Vieux Agricole (5.00 / 1) (#373)
by rootdown on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 06:48:41 AM EST

I understand that rhum may be seen as cheap liquor since most of the time you can't find any good bottles (at least in Canada). Drinking Bacardi or Captain Morgan is not a recommended experiment except if you are preparing a gallon of cocktail for your house warming.

I was not a big fan of rhum until I went to Martinique. You find it everywhere, cheap and good. Even white rhum turns out to be excellent. If you ever go there, I recommend Trois-Rivières white rhum for everyday drinking on the beach, does not smell and taste like friction alcohol (like Bacardi) but a little bit fruity with a lighter taste. Anyway, going to the Antilles or Carribbeans is the way to go to get yourself acquainted with rhums.

The problem with rhum is that there does not seem  to be a generally accepted nomenclature of them as is for scotch, cognac, porto (i know it's not liquor) or other "high-end" liquors. The good thing in Martinique and Guadeloupe is that they stick to "apellation d'orgine controllée" (AOC) system (since these islands are part of France). So you can get a gradation of quality and types of rhum. Cheap rhum is mostly made from byproducts (a kind of molasss) of sugar extraction from the cane with caramel added for taste. In the AOC system, you have rhum made from this "industrial" process and "Rhum Agricole" made solely from the sugar cane juice (vesou). White rhum agricole is bottled 4 months after distillation, it's "young" rhum. Then you have names like "Vieux" (Old) which indicates at least three years of maturation in oak caskets. Rhum Vieux is then amber and possesses a larger palette of tastes. You can visit rhumagricole.com for more (seems to be down at the moment).
I don't know if such nomenclature exists in other countries but it should.

If you need cheap rhum (at home) but don't want to go the Captain Morgan/Bacardi route, try Saint-James' Royal Ambre Rhum Agricole. It's way better and isn't more expensive (at least in Canada).

Now where did I put this 10 year old "Rhum Vieux Agricole" I brought back...

[ Parent ]

Surviving late capitalism (3.00 / 2) (#344)
by Alan Crowe on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:15:21 AM EST

Back in 1988, I got mixed up in a strange Buddhist sect, and took to meditating for 20 minutes twice a day. After a while, I found that I had become much more aware of the effects of alcohol. Previously I would go down the pub on a Friday night after work, and by the end of the second pint, I would feel the alcohol kick in and do its stuff. Later I was really noticing the effect after 1/2 a pint. Great, twice as pissed for half the money! Err, no. Not only was I noticing the effect much more, but I realised that I didn't like it.

At the same time I started questioning some of the things I did. I was 28, had a well paid job, and had done some exploration of the world of luxury drinks. I was somewhat aware of how time consuming drinking alcohol was. If I spent Friday night in the pub, that used up Saturday morning as well. The choice was not between going to the pub on Friday night and going to a concert instead. It was between, on the one hand, spending Friday night in the pub, and on the other hand, going to a concert on Friday night, and going windsurfing on Saturday morning. Exploring luxury drinks was a distraction from the basic question about drinking: was that what I really wanted to do with my time? Would buying better drinks help?

Realising that I disliked the effect of alcohol made this question moot. It remains an interesting question. Alcohol is pretty basic product, C2H5OH. One could pay lots of money to have more of one impurity and less of another, but the basic concept remained: poison yourself by drinking a toxic industrial solvent, because the symptoms of poisoning include mild euphoria. If one found the basic concept less attractive than prior to penetrating its mystique, could it be rescued by changing from Talisker to Laphroaig, or by changing from Mouton Rothschild to Chateau Neuf du Pape?

There was an obvious follow up question, for anyone with a computer science background that includes the halting problem. Trying various drinks is a positive test for finding the one true drink that will make your life better, but what is the negative test? When do you stop? When do you say: I been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt? July 1988 was when I stopped, and threw the tee-shirt into the box of cleaning rags :-)

What my decision lacked in drama, it made up for in breadth. Not only was my long march through Brandy, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Whiskey, etc, over, but there was to be no compensatory exploration of cannabis, amphetamine, LSD, PCP, MDMA, cocaine, heroin, etc. The basic concept of improving ones life with a pill, potion, or herb, had lost its credibility.

Alarming content to process shift

In our late capitalist world the prominence of various opinions and points of view depends on the profitability of the business model supporting them. Your ability to survive in the modern world depends on your ability to grasp this. For example, it is easy enough to find commercial products to help with your foot problems, from simple corn plasters to expensive orthotics. You can even spend thousands of dollars on corrective surgery for your bunions and hammer toes. You never hear about uncommercial approaches to these difficulties, because word is spread by ineffective amateurs with no advertising budget.

If you think there is some truth to what I have written, save it to disk, print it out, stick a copy on your fridge, stick a copy by your bathroom mirror. It is up to you. No-one is paying me to push this view, because no-one can make money off it. If you do not spot the implications of this and compensate in some way, these views will be swept away by the torrent of paid for advertising, backed by profitable business models, and, of course, all the attitudes those adverts foster. In an hour, you will have forgotten, and it might be a year or two before you encounter such a point of view again.

On the other hand (none / 0) (#345)
by rusty on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:31:31 AM EST

The flip side of this is that some people do enjoy the effects of alcohol, and try different drinks to discover the ones that are most pleasing to them, in taste and affects. I assume you go windsurfing because you enjoy it, despite the mild risk of drowning. I rock climb because I enjoy it, despite the mild risk of falling and re-ventilating my skull. So why not drink alcohol if you enjoy it, despite the mild risk of poisoning by industrial solvent?

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
No risk (none / 0) (#355)
by Alan Crowe on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 02:52:02 PM EST

So why not drink alcohol if you enjoy it, despite the mild risk of poisoning by industrial solvent?

Alcohol is the industrial solvent I was referring to. Getting poisoned by it is the point of drinking it, because the symptoms include mild euphoria. So there is certainty here, not risk :-)

The flip side of this is that some people do enjoy the effects of alcohol

Notice that I used to enjoy drinking alcohol, then I mixed with a different crowd and did different stuff for a while. After year I didn't enjoy drinking alcohol any more. Alcohol has a pretty mixed bunch of effects. Whether or not you enjoy it enough to persevere with it is partly a social construct. Is it manly, grown-up, cool, forbidden fruit, glamorous, etc.? I think it is very interesting that the effects of alcohol are sufficiently ambiguous that one can flip from liking them to not liking them in one year. Whoops, I'd better stop in case Americans read this and start getting mad ideas about "prohibition-the rematch"

[ Parent ]

a couple of points (none / 0) (#359)
by suntzu on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 01:19:51 AM EST

1) As Rusty pointed out, some people enjoy alcohol. Sure, like anything, it can be done to excess, but it can be relaxing and enjoyable. It certainly isn't a mind expanding substance, as some people like to claim of other substances, but if you just wanna relax, sit around, shoot the shit, it's not bad. I think it's important to realize that not every activity has to "elevate" your life in some way. It's ok to enjoy mindless fun. I mean, you said yourself, you used to enjoy it, so if anything, you should be able to see both sides of the coin, the "to each his own thing." Now that you've been someone who's both enjoyed and not enjoyed alcohol, you should have some perspective one why it can be either enjoyable or not, and shouldn't write everyone off as someone who foolishly drinks an industrial solvent. I know it's bad for me, but the quality of life improvement i get at the moderate rate i use it is worth it. It's not an all consuming desire to waste myself in liquor, it's just fun to get your buzz on occasionally. >/p>

2) You shouldn't write off other drugs just because you don't like alcohol. I know people who use marijuana in moderation and who don't drink at all, or maybe have a glass of wine or beer with a meal because they like the flavor (the point is, they like alchoholic drinks for flavor, but not intoxication). I'm not saying go out and try herion, crack, PCP, or even coke or speed, but plenty of people have quality experiences with other drugs you listed (LSD, MDMA). Again, moderation, understanding. Being a rave kiddie and eating a roll every friday night rots your fucking brain, but every drug has a different dangerous rate of consumption, and this, like it's pleasurableness, varies from person to person. Taking that roll that one time on New Years Eve, or smoking that joint at the end of the week isn't great for you, but it won't destroy your life, and some people really do enjoy it. What it takes in physical health is made up for in mental pleasure. If it was all so clear cut, people wouldn't have been using drugs for thousands of years with radically varying success and failure.

[ Parent ]
A shortcut to wisdom? (none / 0) (#395)
by milovoo on Thu Aug 15, 2002 at 02:23:26 PM EST

>What my decision lacked in drama, it made up for in breadth. Not only was my long march  
>through Brandy, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Whiskey, etc, over, but there was to be no  
>compensatory exploration of cannabis, amphetamine, LSD, PCP, MDMA, cocaine, heroin, etc. The  
>basic concept of improving ones life with a pill, potion, or herb, had lost its credibility.

     It sounds to me as if you are excited about reaching a dogmatic opinion and no longer having to trouble yourself making rational decisions. I would just like to say that one must be careful of adding too many of these to your life, or you will stop seeing things as they really are.

     There are so many good things about this post, and I agree with you about the non-commercial approach to finding your own path, but I just wonder if you are as accepting of others paths as your own, it seems to have a strange air of preachy-ness, or is there a regional difference in sarcasm?

     (I never had any social pressure to drink and therefore never really got into it (I'm 30 and I've probably had less than 20 total drinks in my life) I've found that I like the occasional marijuana much better, although I didn't find that until I was 25)


[ Parent ]

I enjoy vodka. (none / 0) (#350)
by jforan on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:21:12 PM EST

But Absolut is by far the worst.  I wouldn't even drink a fruity mixed drink with it.  I usually drink it mixed with soda (club) and a lemon (VSL), but will gladly have anything above 90 (on the list below) on the rocks with a lemon twist.  I usually buy Skyy at home, as it seems to have the best cost to quality ratio.

My rankings:
100 - Belvedere
93 - Grey Goose
90 - Stoli
90 - Skyy
85 - Ketel One
83 - Chopin
80 - Finlandia
75 - Smirnoff
20 - Zhenka (not bad though for $7.77 per 1.75L in New Hampshire.)
2 - Absolut


I hops to be barley workin'.

Vodka (none / 0) (#357)
by Hiro Antagonist on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:28:38 PM EST

My worst experience with vodka happened several years ago while I was on active duty with 1st Infantry division:

We had been in Bosnia for about three or four months when they gave us the opportunity to go to Budapest on a three day pass.  Civilian clothes, no flak vest, relaxation.  Of course, being the hard drinking 18-20 year old Joes most of us were we were thrilled to have the opportunity to drink again (Bosnia being a "no drinking" mission).

We left the hotel and scouted around and found a grocery store that sold booze.  I looked and found what I thought was a local brand.  Happily I hefted my bottle of "Tiger Blood Siberian Vodka" and strolled to the register.

Upon returning to the hotel I a.) noticed that "Tiger Blood" was made in Hoboken NJ (Oh the irony) and b.) stuck it in the fridge.

Showing remarkable restraint I waited for two hours until the vodka was chilled to some degree.  With baited breath, I opened the door of the mini-fridge and reached for my bottle of sweet sweeeeeeeeet vodka.....

And the bar holding it in the door gave way and the bottle dropped to the floor and shattered.  My platoon mates heard me scream two rooms down.

And hence, I was forced to go to Captain Jacks in an almost sober state.

That was just wrong.

Actual information regarding poisonous alcohol (5.00 / 1) (#358)
by bluebox on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:32:28 PM EST

A set of Material Safety Data Sheets for various kinds and solutions of alcohol can be found here.

There are actually different kinds of alcohol.  Ethanol is the kind that's good to drink.  It is can be distilled from wine that contains ethanol produced by yeast that consumed sugars from fruits, malted grains, and other sweet or starchy food. .  Most governments around the world, including the United States of America, like to tax it very heavily.  Our American Federal Gov't protects us by  adding poison  to otherwise perfectly drinkable Ethanol.  They call this Gov't poisoned alcohol "denatured".  The poison is added so that people can't drink ethanol that is sold with fewer taxes for industrial use.

Methanol is poisonous alcohol fermented from wood.  Check the Material Safety Data Sheet here.   It can make you blind.

200 proof Ethanol doesn't make you blind.  It can severely irritate you insides though.    ( Check the MSDS links above. )  Mix it with some water before drinking.

Isopropanol  commonly known as rubbing alcohol is also commonly used in perfumes. It seems to make you sick, but I'm not sure how it differs from Methanol. I don't think it makes you blind though because the MSDS sheet for Methanol was the only one that mention this specifically.

Many people associate the term "Homebrew" with poisonous home made liquor that will make you blind. Indeed, homebrew made by some particularly ignorant people can make you blind. These people sometimes resort to dumping their aftershave and rubbing alcohol into a glass and drinking it.

During prohibition in America selfish moonshiners would sometimes resort to using old automotive radiators as condensors for their stills. This was bad because those radiators were often made with a lot of lead. Resulting popskull booze would do all the bad things to you that lead poisoning does.

What the tax collectors don't want you to know is that any wine that is good enough to drink can make you some booze that's quite safe and easily of better quality than the cheap stuff from the liquor store. Stick to shiny copper, glass, and stainless steel when building your still. Joints can be pasted together with bread dough to prevent pressure buildup and subsequent explosions.

The Nanny-state idiots who support the 21 year drinking age don't want you to know that wine will almost make it's self. Put some yeast in a gallon of juice, stuff a towel in the top instead of using the cap, and then don't put it back in the fridge. in 1 - 3 weeks you will have some wine. The sweeter the juice was, the stronger the wine will be. If the juice would not hurt you before it fermented, the wine won't hurt you after it has fermented. Experiment a little. Get a book. You can make a good tangy and very alcoholic drink this way in only a couple of weeks.

NOTE: To all of you that are chomping at the bit to post about how dangerous it is to to make your own drinking, please include facts, and links with all posts. I've been studying and doing this stuff for a decade. Fermented fruits and malts will not hurt you. You could poison yourself with lead, or with dirty, green copper, or you could blow yourself up with steam. But you can do all that stuff in the kitchen anyhow. Stupid people shouldn't use a pressure cooker, do their own plumbing, or deep fry turkeys.

Sources and uses of methanol. (none / 0) (#376)
by tech on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 04:23:26 PM EST

Methanol is actually distilled from crude oil.

Methanol will make you go blind, and so will any other alcohol taken in the correct amount. Methanol is substantially less intoxicating than Ethanol (as found in spirits), and so people drinking it invariably drink too much.

Another thing that makes Methanol dangerious is that it is almost always sold 95% pure or better.

Methanol's main use is in preparation for chemical operations - it has wonderful residue-free cleaning properties.

A more interesting use for Methanol is as a performance racing fuel. Often, lubricants, dyes, and burn-activated odors and colors are added, but it's also common to see pure CH4-OH being poured into a fuel cell.

Normal alcohols are created by removing one of the Hs from a normal hydrocarbon, and replacing it with an OH. Isopropyl does something more complex than this. I'm not a chemistry buff, but Google.com is.

Hope this clears things up,

-- -- --
To email, remove the spam. I don't like Spam. I think I'll have the Spam Spam Spam Eggs Bacon Sausage and Spam, only without the Spam.
[ Parent ]

More on Methanol (none / 0) (#378)
by bluebox on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 10:17:32 PM EST

Thanks for pointing out that methanol can be made from stuff other than wood.  I never knew that before.  

The following website:
"Also known as wood alcohol, methanol is made domestically from natural gas, coal, wood, or fermented agricultural wastes. "

Here is a great website that talks in detail about some of the historical evolution of wood alcohol production processes.  They don't talk about making it from fossil fuels though.


[ Parent ]

Methanol (none / 0) (#382)
by dashuhn on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 04:56:22 AM EST

Every natural fermentation process which produces ethanol also produces a certain percentage of methanol.
In undistilled products, this is not a problem, but when the fermentation product is distilled, e.g. in order to make Brandy, the methanol will be the first thing to come out of the distillation, due to the lower boiling-point of methanol. Therefore it is crucial to dump the distilled fluid, until it is actually ethanol which leaves the distillation apparatus. The two can, of course, be distinguished by their density.
Because this step is frequently "forgotten" in illicit distilleries, it is not uncommon im some parts of the world for, for example, whole wedding parties to suffer from methanol poisoning.

[ Parent ]
No, I don't buy it. (none / 0) (#384)
by bluebox on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 12:18:47 PM EST

You claim that a small amount of methanol is produced from every natural fermentation process.  This may be true. It's probably a very small amount.

You go on to talk about needing to throw away the first bit of booze that comes out of the still because it's the methanol, and people get poisoned if that part isn't thrown away.

I don't buy that.  

I have read dozens of books and articles on the topic, and never read the suggestion that the first bit of distillate should be thrown away.

I've never done it. I've drank my home made drinks in excessive amounts at times.  Never got poisoned.  Usually didn't even get a hangover.

My rule of thumb ( I think it's a good one)  is that If I wouldn't drink the wine, I won't drink the liquor made from the wine.  

The ratio of Ethanol to Methanol would be the same in the distillate as it would be in the wine, assuming you let all of the resulting distillate mix in the same jug.   So the Liquor won't be any more dangerous than the wine.

Do a google search on "methanol poisoning" +wedding.  You don't get any hits that talk about wedding parties getting poisoned.  

It doesn't make sense.  I'd guess it's folk lore.  Probably started when some drunks decided to drink their aftershave, or rubbing alcohol after they ran out of good booze.    

[ Parent ]

I belive it's CH3-OH.. (none / 0) (#391)
by slaisc on Thu Aug 08, 2002 at 07:28:48 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Just to clarify... (none / 0) (#380)
by JackStraw on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 01:30:10 AM EST

You're telling me.. that if I take fruit juice and yeast, put it in a clean bottle w/ a rag in the top,and let it sit for 1-3 weeks, I'll have wine? And you've done this more than once and never gotten sick?

I plan to go check this out at the library... but, it's your opinion that no special equipment is needed? That's frikkin awesome.

-The bus came by, I got on... that's when it all began.
[ Parent ]

It's a fact, alcohol is easy to ferment (5.00 / 1) (#383)
by bluebox on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 11:55:51 AM EST

Isn't nature great!

I have done this more than once.  ( Actually dozens of times over the last 15 years)  I have never gotten sick, other than just getting hung over from drinking too much.  

Actually the home fermented drinks usually don't give you much of a hangover, because they don't have added perservatives, and they still include the yeast.  Yeast is rich in B vitamins, your body uses a lot of B when it metabolizes alcohol.  

My wife works at a cafeteria were they throw away the juice/syrup from canned fruit.  My latest experiment was to ferment that liquid.  The worst stuff was the Cherry juice. It got really dry and really acidic.  You'd get drunk, but you'd be eating lots of rolaids the next day.  The peach/pear juice actually fermented out quite well.  At one point it was a lot like drinking a fruity alcoholic punch.

( Of course, it's not going to be exactly like what you get when you pay $10 for bottle and need a cork screw to open.  But hey. It'll have alcohol in it. )

I'd suggest starting with apple juice.  Preferably non-reconstituted apple cider.  If you like wine that is dry, just throw in the yeast.  If you like your wine sweeter, or stronger add 2 - 3 pounds of white sugar.  

You should get brewing or wine making yeast at supply shop, or on the internet.  It will result in a significantly better product.  Bread yeast will work, though not advisable, it won't taste as good.

Don't be afraid to sample it every day.  It may reach a peak/optimal flavor that you like, but then keep fermenting into something that is dryer/blander/stronger than you want.  You can alway throw it in the fridge to slow it down.

Their are lots of resources on wine and beer making on the web.  Go check them out.  The key  thing to know is that you *CAN* drink the stuff ( be it wine or beer ) at any time.  You could drink it before it starts fermenting (In that case it's still just fruit juice, or grain malt)  while it's fermenting, after it's done fermenting, or after it's been aged for a year, in the case of wine.

One last thing.  It's best to keep oxygen away from your fermented product.  Oxygen is good before fermentation starts, because the yeast need some if it to reproduce.  But, during and after fermentation, oxygen will oxidize the alcohol producing a drink  that tasts stale.  A rag stuffed in the neck of a bottle is OK during fermentation because the CO2 given off by the yeast will tend to push gas out of the jar.  But once fermentation is mostly done this won't work so well.  Then use glad wrap, or aluminum foil, or plastic, and secure it with a rubber band.  This will let pressure out if necessary so the bottle doesn't explode due to the last bit of fermentation that might still be going on.  Don't use a cap until you are sure fermentation is complete.  

[ Parent ]

UK & Proof (none / 0) (#375)
by Drownedrat on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 09:26:10 AM EST

in the US & UK Proof has a slighly different meaning. US proof is as in the article. In the UK it only goes up to 150 & was assesed on how dilute alchohol could be & still allow gunpowder doused in it to ignite.

Not sure on the exact details, but that's the basic. Obviously doesn't apply to import booze as most will use the US system.


Slightly Incorrect (none / 0) (#399)
by FeersumAsura on Tue Jun 10, 2003 at 01:58:28 PM EST

In the US proof covers the range 0..200 degrees and in the UK proof covers the range 0..175 degrees. See Calculator for %AbV and Equivalent Values.
It didn't work the first time.
[ Parent ]
Tequila......F*ck, fight or cry. (none / 0) (#381)
by Kapoor on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 03:08:56 AM EST

Where I am, Tucson AZ, Sauza Silver, Gold and Commerativo are the work-a-day man and womans Stoli. Sure, there are _better_ Tequilas, but only at 5x the price. You don't need to jam a lime into your kisser as quickly as possible or lick salt from the crotch of your hand to make Sauza palatable. I like it on the rocks with a side of water.

Since the specialization of the Tequila market has led to increased demand of the mysterious golden tears of Montezuma, there is currently a shortage of the source plant, Blue Agave throughout the growing regions of Mexico. You can expect to pay 10-15 clams for a bottle of Sauza whereas it was only a paltry 8.00 bucks a bottle not 2 years ago. Which will only of course increase it's demand. Scarcity=value, right?

For those of you who are after the stoic-cowboy-flinching-at-the-pure-manliness-of-this-indigenous-beverage effect I would whole heartedly point you at the ever present Cuervo. Perfect for those Fraternity hazings where only the most challenging spirits will do. Anything to mask out that taste. You spilled a bit on your Toga, fetch me the paddle.

Perfect vodka martini (none / 0) (#386)
by Scratch o matic on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 04:13:50 PM EST

The vodka martini has been my standard drink for many years now. Properly made, they are tasty yet potent. A non-trivial plus is that the distinctive glass gives you a certain air: young women will think you are sophisticated, and mature women will think you know a thing or two about life. Men may think you are a poser, but hey, they are too.

The perfect vodka martini is made like this:

1) Fill a martini glass about half full of ice, then add a little vermouth. Swirl it around and set it aside.

2) Fill a shaker half full of ice, and add 3-4 shots of vodka per drink. Shake well (at least 30 seconds -- the shaker will turn frosty and your hand may begin to turn numb.)

3) Cut a slice of lemon in half (so you have a semi-circle) and take the fruit completely off the rind.

4) Dump the ice and vermouth out of the martini glass(es), and pour the contents of the shaker into the glass.

5) Rub the lemon rind around the entire rim of the glass, then twist it over the drink (to get that citrus micro-spray) and drop it in.

The perfect vodka martini will have a few tiny slivers of ice floating on top when fresh. The shaking is key -- it adds water to the vodka by melting the ice. The more you shake, the smoother the taste.

The drink should be consumed before it gets warm. Olives may be substituted for the lemon twist, but be warned that the olive flavor dominates the drink.

The proper way to order the drink I have described is "Vodka martini please. Up, with a twist." You may also specify the brand right up front, since you will be asked anyway: "Grey Goose martini, please."

A great drink... (none / 0) (#389)
by DeadBaby on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 05:13:16 PM EST

Mix to your liking:

Pineapple juice
Orange Rum
Crushed Ice

You can use regular rum but it's just not the same. Probably the best mixed drink I've ever had in my life.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan

Absinthe (none / 0) (#390)
by Stu Charlton on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 05:56:20 PM EST

Absinthe is becoming trendy again, but for good reason.  Lots of information is available on the web. It's banned in North America generally, but it's available in the UK, Czech Republic, and Spain (and maybe others in the EU).  It's a great drink.  Licorice in flavor (specifically fennel, anise, etc), very potent, and a smoothness that's very unique (it almost evaporates in your mouth).

Absinthe's, besides being very strong (140 to 150 proof) active ingredient is Thujone, a toxin that comes from the Wormwood plant.  Thujone is similar to THC in cannibis in its molecular structure and effects (though Thujone has been known to cause bizarre behavior when consumed excessively).

There's a new absinthe version legal in U.S./Canada, called Absente, that is 110 proof and contains legal levels of thujone, using southern wormwood instead of more potent/bitter traditional wormwood.  

rum (none / 0) (#400)
by destladB on Sun Jun 15, 2003 at 06:52:58 PM EST

all this talk about rum, i noticed nobody seems to have mention the best rum i know of, and also happens to be widely available - whalers rum.

it's a dark rum, relatively inexpsive, taste's really damn good (you can sip or mix it) and just damn well rocks...

at trader joes (in ca, at least) you can get a 750ml bottle for about $11...

Liquor Guide | 400 comments (351 topical, 49 editorial, 0 hidden)
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