An Unsolicited Guide To Drinking Like A Respectable American



The United States ranks 23rd in the world for alcohol consumption per capita. This is disconcerting considering we are falling behind in education and health care, along with the fact that the dollar is down. America should expect more of its alcoholism, especially since we completely and utterly dominate the other vice ridden endeavors. Tobacco production, gun ownership, cocaine use, and fast food face stuffing are past times where America thrives. Why let our drinking game suffer?

It comes as no surprise that Old World drunks such as France, Ireland and Poland would defeat us at their own game, but shockingly, even Korea is outdrinking us Yanks. We know they’re better at math, but how are we going to let them take arithmetics and boozing? It’s a little disappointing we can’t muster the gumption to throw down a few extra drinks to crack the top twenty. Sure, Utah and the abstinence crusading dry counties of the South are skewing the score for the rest of us, but corporate America could try a little harder when they go to Vegas on the company dime. Less surf n’ turf, more sazerac and tequila. We need to take responsibility and make Lady Liberty proud. Triumphing in the Olympics every four years isn’t enough. That’s why I’m here to encourage your drinking habit, and since we all need to go the extra mile, I’m going to help you drink like a bona fide citizen of this fine nation.

Without further ado, here is a guide to drinking like a respectable American.


1. Absinthe

This green goodness is often portrayed as a dangerous hallucinogenic and was banned in the States and much of Europe in the early 20th century. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to ban a hypnotic combo of tripping and drunkenness, but some people like to kill the fun. In reality, Absinthe is no more dangerous than any other spirit. A renaissance began in the 1990s and now it’s back on the shelves. While I don’t recommend this being your weapon of choice, if you should decide to go on a marvelous drunken adventure, this fuel will turn you into a true Teddy Roosevelt.

2. Appletini

Few things are funnier than a bartender punching a patron in the face, but unless you want to be said patron taking knuckles to the dome, don’t order this drink. As a concerned citizen, I’m ashamed you even considered it.

3. Bourbon

America’s pride and joy! Originally whiskey from Kentucky, now any US distillery can call its whiskey Bourbon if it’s made from at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels. There are other criteria, but the important thing is knowing Jack Daniels is not bourbon. JD is Tennessee whiskey. Also an acceptable choice. Anyway, if you have any trace of American jingoism, you will, at least once in your life, experience alcohol poisoning from drinking the sweet nectar we call Bourbon.

4. Bud Light

If you’re into drinking a gallon of fermented urine that’s been carbonated to make a mildly palatable beverage, this Bud’s for you. It’s cheap, relatively patriotic (see InBev), and it only takes twenty cans to put on a buzz. On top of all that, it’s the world’s most popular beer, making it the Justin Beiber of drinking.

5. Bloody Mary

Drink this early and often. If you decide to pursue a life of chronic alcoholism, this infamous brunch cocktail should be your signature drink. The vitamins and minerals in the tomato juice will help power you through the day. It’s recommended to have a premixed bloody concoction for time efficiency. Don’t be a novice by using store bought bloody mix. A delicious recipe is quite simple: tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and hot sauce. Sprinkle a little S&P, maybe some onion powder. Feel free to experiment. Go wild. Add a minimum of two ounces of vodka and you’re ready to spearhead the day.

*Substitute vodka with tequila to make a Bloody Maria.

6. Champagne

Ah, what rappers affectionately refer to as bubbly and can be better described as adult Sprite, champagne has become the colloquial term for sparkling wine. Originally from the Champagne region of France (who knew?), variations of this libation are produced from the hillbillies of Missouri to the Boers of South Africa. It can be cheap or expensive, but most of all it’s fun to drink. Go now and buy a cheap bottle of brut, shake it up, pop the cork, and spray the contents all over some strippers. You will feel great, no matter your gender. Remember to bring ones, strip club ATMs are taxing.

7. Cosmopolitan

Vodka, triple sec, cranberry, and lime juice. Women, have a field day. Fellas, you should know better. LBGTQ, do as you please.

8. Flaming Doctor Pepper

Despite its name, there is no Dr Pepper involved in the creation of this let­me­prove­to­you­how­badass­I­am­but­not­really­that­badass cocktail. It’s made by filling a shot glass with mostly Amaretto and topped with a high­proof liquor like Everclear. The liquors are layered, not mixed. The shot is then set a flame and dropped into a half pint of beer. The beer kills the flame, hence the not really badass part. Though, it does taste a lot like Dr Pepper. You Southerners feel me.

9. Hennessy

If this is your jam, I assume you’re dropping a filthy mixtape soon. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I mean rap music, you big dumb dinosaur.

*Cognac is distilled white wine. I know, right?

10. IPA

A strong and hoppy beer, IPA is an acronym for India Pale Ale. It’s not actually made in India, but it is a product of British occupation in India. What’s important is knowing that you should drink this instead of Bud Light. There are a bajillion craft breweries across America making quality IPAs and you should be supporting small business anyway.

11. Irish Car Bomb

A controversially begotten concoction, an Irish Car Bomb might be the most offensive bomb shot you can order. It’s made with an Irish stout (typically Guinness), Irish cream (Bailey’s), and Irish whisky (Jameson). I’ll let you deduce where the Irish part comes from and I’ll let you guess why it’s rude to order this at any and all Irish pubs. To make the drink, pour whisky over cream in a shot glass. Drop the shot glass into the half pint of stout and chug. Again, don’t order this at an Irish establishment.

12. Jager Bomb

Unless you’re a cloned stereotype of the person I don’t even need to describe because you know exactly who I’m talking about, don’t order this. Everyone is going to hate you. And if you are a cloned stereotype of the person I decided not to describe because everyone knows who I’m talking about, please surprise us and get something different. Like, anything.

13. Lemondrop

Except for this. No one should order this.

14. Long Island Iced Tea

The only good thing to come from Long Island; with exception to Lou Reed. This cocktail is a superb choice for anyone looking to make a fool of themselves. Make sure you give your keys to someone you trust, then have them give your keys to a random person, because if you’re irresponsible enough to be drinking Long Islands, no one you know is trustworthy enough to prevent your imminent vehicular homicide. If you’re unfamiliar with the chemical compounds of this orgy of booze, it goes as such: vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, triple sec, dash of lemon and lime, splash of cola. It’s a blackout in a collins glass.

Ladies: If you’re on a date and the guy (whom you thought was a nice guy because he wants to get in your pants) buys you this drink, leave immediately. He is trying to take advantage of you.

Actually, just don’t go on a date with any guy. They are all terrible. The only way you’ll ever be happy is by entering into a union with another female.

15. Manhattan

Order this. Unless you’re broke. It is generally expensive. Especially in Manhattan. A simple and sophisticated cocktail, the Manhattan is traditionally rye whiskey, sweet red vermouth, a dash of angostura bitters, and a maraschino cherry as garnish. Most importantly, it’s a product of American intellect and Frank Sinatra approved.

16. Martini

Gin is the spirit used in making a martini. If someone asks you if you’d like a martini and you answer “no, I don’t like vodka,” you basically just said you don’t enjoy sex with a woman because you don’t like buttholes. While sex with a woman can involve anal penetration, it’s not the original mode of operation. Gin is to a martini as vaginal penetration is to sex with a woman. If you’re into anal sex, that’s your vodka martini. I apologize for the graphic hetero­male analogy, but it’s critical you know the distinction. Now onto the specifics. The martini is another quintessential pretentious cocktail, much like the Manhattan. Made with gin and dry vermouth, it’s garnished with an olive. If you’re an amateur, you’ll substitute the olive with a lemon twist. If you ask for a pearl onion as a garnish, you just ordered a Gibson. Again, amateur.

17. Negroni

Gin, sweet red vermouth, and Campari, garnished with an orange peel. It’s an Italian creation. Not an export on par with Sophia Loren, but what is? It’s rumored to be invented by a man named Count Camillo Negroni who wanted a stronger version of the Americano. Don’t order drinks invented by someone who refers to themselves as “Count.”

18. Old Fashioned

Alright, I’ll give you a moment… An old fashioned is simply the kid’s version of a Manhattan. Instead of sweet vermouth, you get a muddled sugar cube. Just add an orange peel and voila! Now stop your womanizing, Don Draper.

19. Pimm’s Cup

It’s a whimpy British drink that you, as an American, should never drink. I won’t even list the one thousand stupid ingredients because it’s a stupid drink and it’s just too many ingredients to list even if it wasn’t a stupid drink.

20. Purple Drank

Also known as lean, sizzurp, and Texas tea, this nonsense will mess you up. There’s zero alcohol involved in this. It’s just prescription cough syrup (codeine and promethazine) mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew, but Three 6 Mafia loves this shit and that’s enough to make the list.

21. Scotch

Whisky from Scotland. Much more badass than the British Pimm’s Cup. Scotland is technically a part of Great Britain, but whatever, I’m distinguishing the two for the sake of booze. It’s fine if you want to drink Scotch, but I highly recommend you choose Bourbon instead because duh. Also, Scotland is the only country that puts more South American snow in their nasal cavity than the States and we should be a little bitter about that.

*Also a brand of tape.

22. Sea Breeze


23. White Russian

If you haven’t seen The Big Lebowski, then you’re out of element (if you have seen The Big Lebowski, I apologize for what I just did there). The White Russian is simply a great drink. It looks great, it tastes great, and it feels great to order. Be warned, you should only drink a maximum of two White Russians. Even the hardiest of stomachs will reject the love affair between dairy and vodka. If you get headstrong and go for the third, I feel terrible for whatever venue you’re about to ruin. Please abide (again, sorry).


  • Koreans are the smartest drunks.
  • You shouldn’t drink Bud Light. It’s not very good and the Anheuser ­Busch family sold it to Belgium anyway.
  • If you’re going to drink whiskey, drink American whiskey. Preferably Bourbon.
  • Rap is cool and American.
  • Scotland must be doing a lot of cocaine.