How to Drink like a gentleman.

While the fannies and the ninnies decry the drinking culture in New Zealand, and other similarly liberal shores, those with maturity repine with the following enlightened attitude:

How to drink like a Gentleman:

The things to do and the things not to. As learned in more than 30 years of reasearch.

A good passage:

“But what is reliable stuff? What is the thing to drink, specifically? I go back to my Rule No. 1. The better thing to drink, whenever there is a choice, is the milder thing. Wine is better than a highball, a highball is better than a cocktail, and a cocktail is better than hard liquor taken straight. To be sure, there are times when the system craves something with a swift and powerful kick. A man just saved from drowning or acquitted of murder is not likely to be content with a glass of beer; he wants a pint of whisky, and he wants it at a gulp. But such inflammatory emergencies are surely not common in normal life.”

And my favourite:

¬†“The typical situation is far less harrowing. The day is done, and the time has come to feed the body and relax the mind. Pleasant companions have gathered, and the aim of every one is to expand and be happy. Each has suffered since morning from the burden of chores and the assault of bores, and each is eager to let go his running rigging, drop his mainsail, and drift along quietly on the evening swell. Does he need a shot of 50-per-cent alcohol to achieve this benignant process? Does he need cocktails full of gin, rum, rye, applejack, and what not, with liqueurs, fruit juices, and bitters to disguise their naked shame? The answer is usually no, and in a perfect world it would be no all the time‚ÄĒbut as things stand, alas, it is sometimes a kind of yes.”

Oh how true:

“There are two tests: the company assembled and the dinner in prospect. If the company is made up wholly or in large part of yahoos to whom the only meaning of drinking is getting tight, and if the dinner ahead (as is likely in such a case) promises to be badly cooked and badly served, with nothing decent on the table to wash it down, then go for a cocktail by all means, and then for another, and then for as many more as you can get hold of. For what you need in such a situation is not something to emancipate you from care gently and beautifully, but something to knock you out at one crack. In other words, what you need is not an ap√©ritif but an an√¶sthetic. Chloroform would be better, or the kick of a mule; but in their absence you must put up with a cocktail.”

Me: Alas I was once such a yahoo. And for some is indeed an attitude of vigilance one must apply in order not to be charming rather than boorish. My rule of thumb to try to be aware of the point you become “glittery”. When you feel the wine sparkling from your eye and you think you must be with the finest company in the nation. Even when you’re drinking alone. ūüôā ¬†

Then there is the peril that one becomes so tight you exude the contents of your stomach over the hosts property. This is not uncommon amongst teenagers. This is sometimes necessary to remind us we need to be watching “how much we drink”, not “how drunk we feel”:

If you stick to a drink an hour you will be fine. If you drink faster than this you may get in trouble. Think of the accidental drinking death stories you hear of. There is nothing less cool than choking on your own vomit while trying to get to a slightly more intoxicated state. This is what happened to Amy Winehouse. This is what happens when you fall for the “Drinking Glamour”. A glamor is a tempting illusion. You drink too much and at lesser degrees of this, you wake up with a bad case of the dry horrors and feeling like a prick.

 Another couple of helpful rules for upcoming generations:
Never become drunker than the drunkest person in the room.

Never drink and go on social media. You regret it in the morning. Every time a coconut.

It is easier to not have a drink than to stop in full swing. 

And to finish with the following from How to Drink Like a Gentleman:

“But to drink hard liquor before wine is as barbarous as going to church in a bathing suit or with boxing gloves on. It simply insults the whole evening. It is gustatory suicide. All this ought to be taught to the young by the moral leaders of the nation; but, as I have said, they neglect their duty.”

 So perhaps we need to take our young sports people and sports ladies by the hand; forget their past indiscretions and teach them how to not drink like tits. Without any prissy commentary from TV3 hacks.

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