Sensible drinking during Silly Season: how to be responsible and still have fun

Top drinking tips for Summer from Food24's resident spirits and cocktails writer, Leah van Deventer.

by: Leah van Deventer | 14 Nov 2017
 

(image: iStock)

Let’s be honest: there are few things as fun – or stress relieving – as throwing back a few drinks in a dimly lit bar, preferably in the company of a sexy stranger. Yes, the night is dark and full of terrors, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying yourself. Here’s how to get your drink on without serious regrets.

Chew it over
Believe it or not, booze is mostly absorbed in your small intestine, not your stomach. However, a belly full of food slows the flow of alcohol to your gut, which means your blood-alcohol level will be a steady rise rather than a rapid spike … and no one wants to peak too soon. In other words, a plate of nachos will stop those margaritas from putting you on your arse.

Raise the bar
Bartenders are a friendly bunch. If it’s quiet, chat to them for a while; ask them what they recommend you drink. If it’s slammed, try order from the same one each time, so at least they recognise you. Remember their name. Your efforts will be rewarded if you get in a bind, plus your bartender will probably spot trouble long before you will.

Tip the scales
See previous point: take care of your bartender, and they’ll take care of you, whether it’s serving you quickly or helping you sidestep unwanted attention.

Phone a friend
Friends watch each other’s backs, and their stuff. And hopefully they’ll stop you from making bad decisions, whether it’s calling your ex or going home with a rando. However, if you like flying solo, let someone know where you are. That way if you do go missing (!) the cops will have a starting point for their search.

Keep your head above water
Ethanol is not only the magic ingredient in booze that makes you feel good, it’s also a diuretic, which makes you pee. When you drink, you lose both precious water and electrolytes, which is one of the reasons you feel awful the next day. The answer? Lots of H20, and either coconut water or Rehidrat before bed.

Spend like a sailor
Bad quality = bad hangover. Drink the best you can afford, from mixers to spirits.

Hold your drink
There are predators out there who will do anything to get your fine self into bed. Always watch your drink being poured, and never leave it unattended. 

Wrap it up
Just because they smell nice doesn’t mean they’re clean. If you choose to get some refreshment of the horizontal variety, condomise.

Reinvent the wheel
This isn’t the 90s, you have no excuse to drink and drive. Sign up for a designated-driver service to be driven home in your own car, or take a taxi – app-operated ones are safest.

Stay woke
If you opt for a taxi, always check for child locks before setting off, and don’t pass out on the way. It’s one thing if your driver takes the scenic route, it’s another if he chooses the destination. 


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