This brief guide is intended, dear reader, to spare you much heartache. Trust me, you don't want to learn how to drink in a gay bar. :- )
So, without further introduction, here are MoHoHawaii's guidelines for successful drinking. Prost!
It's generally a bad idea to drink on an empty stomach. An empty stomach will cause you to absorb the alcohol very quickly. You can feel drunk on a single drink if your stomach is empty. This is not a good idea.
Note: Some bars (outside of Utah) serve large drinks, drinks that really count as doubles (i.e., two drinks in a single serving). If this happens, realize that you are drinking two drinks and adjust accordingly.
Since everyone metabolizes alcohol at different rates, I recommend just being aware of your body. If your speech is slurred, and you feel that your motor coordination is impaired, slow down.
A lot of people who start drinking wonder if they might be prone to alcoholism. There's an easy test. If drinking a little compels you to drink until you get very drunk, and you have a history of not being able to drink moderately, you're probably a person who should be drinking at all. There's no shame in this; if that's you, just don't drink.
I have a personal testimony of drinking. It's a wonderful way to connect with other people socially. It's a great addition to delicious food and congenial conversation. It's a well-established part of social camaraderie, going back at least 18,000 years of human history. I love to think of our hunter-gatherer ancestors sitting around sharing a brewski and telling stories around the campfire.
Finally, here are a few tips for things to drink.
Beers: try microbrews, or beers from Belgium or Germany. Mass-market American beer really isn't fit to drink.
Wine: start with sweeter wines and work your way to drier wines. Wine can be expensive. If you're budget conscious, beer or mixed drinks are probably a better deal. Wine generally means "red wine." White wine is inexplicably popular in the U.S. It's perfectly fine to pair red wine with seafood dishes.
Mixed drinks: There are a lot of choices. Here are a handful classic cocktails that get served to guests in the MoHoHawaii household. Be sure to make these with good quality spirits.
2/3 oz. Rose's Lime juice
2 oz. gin (Beefeaters or Plymouth)
Shake with ice until very, very cold; strain into a cocktail glass.
2 oz. bourbon whiskey (Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, etc.)
1 oz. sweet vermouth (Noilly Prat, red label)
Dash Angostura bitters
Stir with ice (don't shake, or you get unappetizing foam on top); strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a preserved cherry.
2 oz. bourbon whiskey (Wild Turkey, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, etc.)
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth (Noilly Prat, red label)
1/2 oz. coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
Stir with ice until very cold; strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a preserved cherry. This is amazingly delicious and doesn't taste like coffee.