It’s time to up your game, beverage-wise
By Jacey Gibb, Distribution Manager
Here’s a personal question: Do you still dress the same as you did several years ago? Do you hang out with exactly the same people and have exactly the same job? No? Then why are you still drinking the same stuff you guzzled down when you were a teen? That Smirnoff Ice might have done the trick when you were too young to know better, but you’re sophisticated now! You pay taxes! You deserve better!
I’m here to convince you to drop whatever over-sugared, pre-packaged concoction you’ve been overindulging in every weekend and switch gears to something better—something like making your own cocktails.
First off, cocktails are the natural progression from everyone’s weird obsession with highballs earlier in their drinking careers. My first time in a club, I approached the bartender and realized I had no idea what to even order. I was freshly 18 years old—the legal drinking age in Alberta—but wanted to blend in with the other trash bags at the club, so naturally I did what I thought was the least inconspicuous thing anyone could do and I just ordered what I’d seen people in pop culture drink: a Screwdriver. I then proceeded to drink solely those for the entire evening, afraid to deviate from what had miraculously become my signature drink.
There’s a reason we turned to Screwdrivers, Rum and Cokes, Vodka Crans, and highballs of a similar ilk—they were the only drinks we knew. The ones that were name-dropped in movies and television so we grew up thinking that’s what adults actually drink. However, you’ve matured since hitting the legal drinking age and your drink choices should mature along with you. Yes, some cocktails call for sweet liqueur, and some even contain simple syrup—which is straight-up a liquid of equal parts sugar and water—but it’s nowhere near the sugar K-hole formerly known as a Rum and Coke.
Cocktails are like the electric car of alcohol in that they’re an efficient way to drink. The percentage listed on any alcoholic beverage is its “alcohol by volume (ABV),” or the amount of pure alcohol contained in 100 mL of said drink. That means a beverage with 8 mL of ethanol in every 100 mL has an 8 percent ABV. Instead of guzzling away pints of five percent beer or glasses of 12 percent wine, you can sip on a single cocktail and achieve a similar buzz. That’s because spirits generally range between 20 and 50 percent, and most cocktails contain between two and four ounces. Consuming less liquid also means you won’t feel bloated or have to hit up the bathroom every 10 minutes.
Cocktails are also, quite simply, fun. There is a near-infinite amount of possibilities for what a cocktail can hold, from the alcohols used, to the bitters, to the eclectic garnishes, to the glasses they’re served in. Cocktails offer a chance for expression that something like a sleeve of IPA just doesn’t match.
In future installments of “The Pour Boy,” I’ll be covering the essentials—and non-essentials—of homemade mixology. What kind of gear you need, which alcohols to keep stocked on hand, and even some of the finer points, like why some cocktails list raw eggs among their ingredients.
For any newcomer homemade cocktails can be a daunting task, but with a few pointers and some key supplies you can be a pour boy too.