Here’s the thing, ideally, a gentleman never gets drunk because a gentleman should never lose control of his faculties. Now, that is definitely easier said than done!
Drinking, and by that, I mean alcoholic beverages, can be a pleasure, a social expectation, or tricky at times because it may damage your reputation. For example, the office holiday party almost always produces some gossip because some people like to drink too much. The same goes for weddings or business dinners, you do not want to be the guy that ruins the evening for everyone or be responsible for not closing the deal.
I certainly have been drunk before. In particular, there was one instance where I was about 18 or 19 years old, it was at a party and I drank a lot, I passed out and I could not remember a thing anymore. But when I talked to my friend the next morning, he told me that I had puked on his leg. I have never been as embarrassed before and I never had as much to drink thereafter.
So even if you are not wasted, being intoxicated always has an impact on how you behave and how you are perceived. The truth is, we are never at our best behavior when intoxicated and the potential of long-term regret outweighs the pleasure of one night.
To top it all off, everyone has a smartphone these days and they take photos and videos and they may end up getting to your employer, your mom, or to that uncle who had you in his will. So the main goal of drinking like a gentleman is to enjoy yourselves while still being civil and in full control of yourself.
8 Practical Drinking Tips
1. Know Your Limit
Everyone has different reactions to the amount of alcohol they drink and it is up to you to know what is acceptable and what is too much. For you, that may mean one drink an hour, maybe you can do more, maybe you can do less. Maybe you will always have to eat something before you drink or maybe you abstain completely.
2. Stick With The Classics
Most bartenders will be able to mix up a gin and tonic or an old-fashioned. Moreover, keep in mind, a gentleman drinks his beverage from a cup or a glass, not from the can or the bottle. Personally, my drink of choice is a Manhattan which usually consists of a rye whisky with some vermouth, some bitters, maybe a maraschino cherry and a little bit of an orange peel or grapefruit peel. I love this go-to drink because I had it many times before, I know how strong it is, I know how to pace myself.
Generally, most whiskeys have about the same strength unless they are cask strength and because of that, it is best to always order your specific whiskey. I like to have a Manhattan on the rocks with crown royal rye whisky. Now, if the bartender does not have that whisky, ask them what they have and you may come up with something, that is okay.
3. Pace Yourself
You are under no obligation to keep up with how much other people are drinking. Ideally, you can establish your own pace and one of the best ways to fend off questions for another drink is to simply have your glass half full. If you don’t want to drink at all, that is totally fine. You may be on a prescription medication, you don’t drink for religious reasons, or you just don’t feel like it today. If you still do not want to explain yourself all the time while you are not drinking, ideally, just order a lime and soda with some ice ideally in a high ball, that way, it looks like a gin and tonic and nobody will bug you.
4. Be Immune To Peer Pressure
Honestly, that is one of the hardest things for most men. Most people love to drink and enjoy doing so in a company and that may mean that they will bug you consistently and you just have to be firm and say NO multiple times if necessary. There is no need to explain yourself, you can just say “No, thanks, I’ve had enough for tonight.”. Simply repeat if required.
5. Do Not Push Drinks On Others
You may be really into paying this round of tequila shots but not everyone might be into that. It’s fine to offer someone else a drink but if they say no, accept it for what it is, do not tease them, do not ask them again, or make fun of them.
6. Treat Bar Staff With Respect
I know that can be hard if you have been waiting in line for twenty minutes and you feel someone else has cut in and gotten served ahead of you. Keep your composure, wait for the bartender, try to seek eye contact but do not wave with your money, don’t snap with your fingers because that is just rude and impolite. Of course, you should also tip well in line with the social norms in the place you are at. In the US, for example, it is typical to tip 15-20%. In Germany, for example, it is not expected.
7. Keep Your Hands To Yourself
Drinking will usually relax even the most guarded person’s view on interpersonal space but getting too close to someone or even touching them is a clear indicator that you have had way too much to drink.
8. Do Not Sneak In Your Flask
In conclusion, drinking like a gentleman means you should not behave in a way that makes you a pain in the *** to others around you. Very simple, isn’t it? What are your drinking pet peeves?