23 Southie Tips for Handling Your Liquor

No. 4: Don’t drink martinis.

In our March feature, “Coddled, Not Stirred,” we ask the question: Why are Boston’s college students so immature when it comes to drinking?

Maybe it’s the way we’ve raised them. Here, then, are some tips for teens on how to handle one’s liquor.

Dear Teen,

I know you think you’re ready for many things, but you’re not. Still, I know you’re going to do them anyway. I don’t want you to drink, but if you do, I want you to be good at it. I want you to be safe. So here are some rules:


There’s a difference between the life of the party and the drunk of the party; never confuse the two.


Don’t get a fake ID. Cops run stings in early fall to bust little punks like you, so stick to small house parties in familiar places with people you’ve gotten to know well.


If they give you the creeps, don’t go to their parties!


Don’t drink martinis. You’ll overshoot your tolerance in one drink and suffer a frightening blackout and a demonic hangover.


Never order “well liquor.” And if you don’t know what that is, you shouldn’t be in a bar anyway.


If you can’t afford the decent stuff, you shouldn’t be drinking it.


Steer clear of dark beers, especially at daylong events like barbecues and tailgates. They have a higher alcohol content and get you drunker quicker. Plus, they’re full of bad carbs, so they’ll make you fat and bloated.


Stick to light beers, like Michelob Ultra and Corona. You’ll be able to pace yourself better and avoid becoming the kid everyone pities.


Shots are a definite don’t. Leave those to insecure followers with something to prove. So until you’re toasting to your partnership at a law firm or your 20th anniversary with your spouse, you have no reason for shots.


But if you do choose to do shots, stick to ones mixed with juice that have two names.


Take a hard pass on fruit garnishes, especially at dive bars; they’re most likely filthy, partially rotten, and covered in the germs of all the hands that fondled their raw pulp during the night.


Tip bartenders and waitresses and treat them with respect. No matter how cool you think you are, you’re really the loudest, most immature person in the bar. Singing “Hands to Myself” 10 times in a row while trying to pass it off as ironic makes them (and me) hate you.


Most bartenders do the right thing, but a lot aren’t terribly smart, stable, committed to, or even aware of their responsibility to keep you safe as you drink.


Never leave your well-being in the hands of a bartender. They’re often intoxicated themselves and overserve, endangering patrons.


Never drink tequila except in a Border Café margarita, and only with premium silver tequila. And only have one; it’s all you need given the size you’re served.


Never, ever order scorpion bowls unless there are 10 of you splitting one and it’s the only thing you’ll drink all night. There is more cheap, sugary liquor in that bowl than you can imagine. It will fuck you up and leave you bouncing around Faneuil Hall, trying to score a cab on a freezing November night.


Never let someone make your drink at a house party (at least the bartender has some training), and never leave your drink.


Don’t smoke. It’s gross, expensive, and you’d be surprised by how easy it is to get hooked.


Never, ever leave your friends alone and drunk. Never leave them at parties where you think they’ll be okay because they met the kid who’s hosting it at freshman orientation. He could be a sociopath who got kicked out of prep school for rape.


Never leave a friend behind. Make sure everyone gets home safely.


If you follow this advice, you’ll be sober enough throughout your college years to realize that the type of drinking you saw there isn’t the type of social drinking generally accepted by adults.


Lastly, never be afraid to say no. Not doing what everyone else is doing is the coolest thing you can do. It means you’re a badass who doesn’t give a fuck what the rest of the little twerps around you think.


Mostly be safe, have fun, and good God, study a little!



Coddled, Not Stirred