Discussion Post: Alcohol! Do You Like It? Do You Not? Should I Try It?

This is a very self-centered post. I mean, I want to hear all your alcohol stories too of course. Not the “I got so drunk I threw up in a mailbox” ones, but more the “I never liked beer until my friend got me to try this thing when we were on a trip once” stories. But also, you get to give me advice!

Ready to see why I don’t drink? A friend took this photo on Friday, the face I make as the taste of alcohol hits my tongue:

It’s GROSS!!!! It tastes all chemically and weird and disgusting and I don’t like it!!!!

But, on the other hand, that’s how I used to feel about coffee. And over ten years I slowly went from drinking “hot chocolate with a slight taste of coffee” to “coffee that only tastes half like chocolate”. It’s still a journey, is what I am saying. Coffee is disgusting, but I can now tolerate it so long as I have lots of cream and sugar and preferably some super sweet flavoring added.

Should I attempt to go on this same journey with alcohol? Try something that tastes like strawberry lemonade which has gone just slightly sour? Or is it not worth it?

And if it is worth it, what drink recipe would you suggest?

And what was your own journey to finding alcohol that tastes Not-Gross?

22 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Alcohol! Do You Like It? Do You Not? Should I Try It?

  1. I have remained a teetotaller as I feel it will be difficult to stay within the limits if your acquaintances know you drink.

    Easy to refuse the first drink. But if you’ve had one then difficult to refuse the next. Might be considered as an unsocial behaviour !!!

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    • Luckily, no one gives me a hard time because the faces I make are SO FUNNY it is clear I don’t like the drink.

      On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 10:33 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. This is such a fun question for me for multiple reasons. First, I recently dealt with this my dad, who wanted to try some alcoholic drinks but didn’t know what to order, so we experimented with things while he was staying with us for an extended period of time. Second, I can’t drink right now, so with this, I can live vicariously through you! 🙂 YAY for me!

    Okay, so IF you decide you want to try some alcoholic drinks, I recommend starting with some hard seltzers. Most common ones are White Claw or Truly. My recent favorite has been High Noon (watermelon flavor but they have other flavors like black cherry, pineapple, grapefruit etc.) I recommend these because they basically taste like flavored sparkling water and are also pretty low in alcohol content. The goal is obviously NOT to get you drunk but to have to try something and see if you like it. Also, these are served cold and can be refreshing on a hot summer day.

    If you are at a restaurant and want to try something alcoholic, I recommend a frozen margharita (or a regular margharita) or a daquiri. Ask the server/bartender to keep it light on the alcohol. My dad really started enjoying a good margharita. If you decide to go down this route, go with someone who knows the place and an vouch that it has a good margharita made with real ingredients and not fake mixes. Fake mixes = heacahe and you don’t need that given your history of migraines.

    IF you decide you want to try wine, I started by introducing my dad to Moscato (white) and Lambrusco (fizzy red). Again, the reason being that both of these wines are sweeter, served cold, and very low in alcohol content. My dad has since graduated to liking sweeter Reislings and Gewurztraminers but we can discuss that at a later date if you try and like Moscato.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I do already like soft seltzers. Flavored seltzer is my usual order at bars (no caffeine, no alcohol, and an excuse to leave a big tip for the waitress). And the hard seltzers have all kinds of flavors you can’t get in soft seltzers! Worth it for that alone.

      I want to try a Margharita! Because it is MY drink! I have a pizza and a drink and a daisy and pearls. I’ve enjoyed the pizza and the daisies and the pearls, but never the drink. Only I don’t like salty drinks, is it salty? Or is it fruity?

      Is there a wine that tastes like sparkling grape juice?

      On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 11:26 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Margharitas taste like lemonade if they are made right. So mostly sour and sweet. Ask the person making the drink NOT to put salt on the rim (don’t forget to ask for that because most places do put salt on the rim). If they have an option to put sugar on the rim, ask for that. Tequila (the liquor in the margharita) has a pretty strong taste/smell to it, so have someone put very little bit in it at first to see if you like it.

        The wine that tastes the closest to sparkling grape juice is sparkling Moscato d’asti. It was one that even my mom liked when I had her try it a long time ago.

        The nutella flavored liqior is Francelico. Another one is Ameretto, which is made with almonds. These reminded me that one of the other cocktails that my husband recommended to my dad — a white russian, which is basically an adult milkshake. I didn’t recommend this one initially because it can be kind of strong (mostly alcohol), so just be careful if you have one of these.

        Finally, I would say, in addition to what Emily said regarding different reactions to drinks, I would start very slow and only slowely sip on one or two drinks and see how you feel. You might feel some immediate sensations but alcohol takes about 30 -60 minutes to hit your system, so your reaction might change as the alcohol is processed by your body. I remember my mom’s reaction when she tried a TINY glass of moscato was that she felt warm in his face and ears. My dad never has more than one cocktail or one to two glasses of wine and just said he feels relaxed and happy! He also said that it feels fun to have a drink socially and that makes him happy.

        I think like Emily said, as long as you have a healthy relationship with alcohol it can be fun – especially experimenting to figure out what you may or may not like.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh yes, the sweet liqueurs could be starters too, serve over ice and tiny sips. Drambuie is a honey-based one in the same family as Frangelico and Amaretto. And then there are the cream family – Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlua, tastes like those sweet coffee drinks you say you like.

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        • This is all just SO EXCITING! It’s like when I learned how to drive, a lovely challenging learning experience.

          On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 4:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I think you’re lucky to be free of even the lightest psychological craving for alcohol. Why would you want to change that? Believe me, real alcohol does not work as the happy pill that you see in Hindi movies. I just get tired after more than one drink, and I guess that makes me lucky that I’m not among the puking/hangover crowd.

    And it’s different than coffee, in that I still don’t really like the taste of alcohol per se. That’s basically just a disinfectant.

    I like the bitterness of certain alcoholic beverages. Like somehow, alcohol-free beer just doesn’t taste quite the same. I like the feeling I get from a beer or beer mix at the end of a hard day that now I am relaxing. And I like the ceremony of the stuff my parents used to drink on our vacations to the North Sea, where you had to light the shot and say a specific rhyme before extinguishing it with a special tiny pan. And the sugar in it would crystallize and it would taste of mint and oranges and immediately warm your stomach. It’s really hard stuff to get started on, but that was the first alcohol I liked.

    You know, your coffee order with lots of cream and sugar, plus flavor, actually puts me in mind of Baileys. That’s one drink that masks the flavor of the alcohol pretty well, and you’re not required to drink large quantities of it.

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    • Ooo, I like the little drink ritual thing! That’s what seems psychologically appealing about alcohol to me, if anything, the social rituals that surround it. Which of course you can enjoy without drinking, and I have for years and years. No reason I can’t sit on the porch with my parents at the end of a hot summer day while they drink gin and tonic and I drink just tonic.

      I’ve had people tell me Baileys is like the chocolate milk version of alcohol, which does sound appealing! Isn’t there another thing that tastes like Nutella?

      On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 1:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I grew up in a family with a healthy relationship to alcohol and enjoy it in moderation. You can live a happy life with or without alcohol, obviously, but experimenting is fun if you’re in an adventurous mood. I agree with filmikudhi’s recommendations above. To the easy summer wine list, I would add vinho verde, which is a light, bubbly Portuguese wine, low alcohol content and meant to be served cold. Other thoughts:

    – Different alcohols react differently with different bodies. I find rum easy on the system, I like whiskey and gin, I tread carefully with tequila, and I mostly stay away from vodka. This is based on my experience with how my body reacts, other people have totally different reactions. If you try any drinks with hard liquor in them, keep in mind that any aftereffects may have to do with the kind of liquor and/or any of the other drink ingredients. This is especially true of sweet tropical drinks that might be appealing because they don’t taste like alcohol. If you’re experimenting, I’d recommend you start with a drink that has only one type of liquor, and other ingredients that are familiar to you – a mojito with rum, lime, sugar and mint, for example, or make your own watermelon lemonade or preferred summer drink and spike it with a little something. Sweet drinks can be yummy but are more likely to make you feel sick if you drink more than your body can comfortably take.

    – Other beginner drinks based on my travels: hard cider in the British Isles. In Spain teenagers drink calimocho, which is cheap red wine mixed with Coca Cola. Surprisingly not terrible. If you don’t like Coke, there are other summer drinks made with red or white wine or beer mixed with Sprite or lemon soda. In the US, people get very snobby about wine coolers or mixed drinks that use beer or wine, but it just reduces the alcohol content and adds sweetness. Throw in a little cut fresh fruit to the wine mixer and you have sangrĂ­a. If you go this route, use cheap table wine or light lager-style beer.

    – Drinking culture varies a lot by place and group, but Marees is right that this can be a big factor in whether or not it’s fun. I’m guessing your friends are very responsible and sociable drinkers. The drinking culture when a was a college student in Ireland or a high school student in the US was what I would characterize as unhealthy: focus on consuming a lot of alcohol in a compressed amount of time, getting drunk as an excuse to transgress social limits, people regularly drinking until they get sick or hungover. In Spain or Italy, in contrast, getting out of control drunk is frowned upon, people drink smaller servings over many hours and almost always accompanied by food. Focus is on socializing and shared conversation. Understanding your limits is respected. This makes for a positive experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agree about it depending on the group. I may have mentioned this before, but the ONLY times I have felt pressured to drink have been when I was with much much older people!!!! The kinds who have fancy white wine that they serve with snacks. The menu plan is white wine perfectly paired with elegant cheeses or whatever, and having someone say “uh, can I just have water?” is NOT welcome. Meanwhile, the people in my age group would at the most spring for a fancy beer and they aren’t going to plan a menu around it, so not sharing with them is no biggie.

      See, the different reactions, that is what scares me! Because I would kind of like to know my varying reactions and tolerances and so forth just in case it comes up by accident. Like, drinking a fruity drink at a party and then feeling really really weird, I would like to be able to say “ah, I feel weird because there was gin in that!” instead of “I am DYING”.

      Now I’m excited! This is like homework! After I move into our apartment, I can have my friends make me a mixed drink with a different mixer every Friday night and figure out all my reactions! Other reason I have never drunk, living alone is scary. I don’t want to have a surprise reaction and be by myself. But hey, friends upstairs now! I can grow a third arm or whatever and it will be FINE!

      On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 2:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I feel like I’m kind of in the same vein as you in the sense of “most alcohol is gross”. So when I found alcohol I like, I stick with it and never sway. So here’s my experience/suggestions.

    Beer is disgusting. Every time I drink a sip of beer, I make that face. Even hard cider tastes too much like chemicals and soda for my tastes. So I avoid beer completely. Wine, I am VERY picky with. That you have to do a little bit of research on to learn about sweet vs. dry wines. I tend to stick with sweet, even though I do enjoy the occasional merlot. My favorite is moscato. Almost always sweet, not really a burn either. My favorite brand is Bella Sera, but that’s hard to find. Barefoot, Sutter Home, Carlo Rossi are all good. Even pink moscato is still sweet. But rose (with the accent over the e) is starting to push that “too bubbly for me” taste.

    OR, even better, as a Jew, since you asked specifically about sparkling grape juice, Manichewitz is the way to go. Pretty cheap, and tastes so much like grape juice that no one else in my family drinks it. I haven’t had it in a while, but I don’t even remember there being much of a kick, which you have to be careful about, which I’ll get to later.

    I also agree with Filmikudhi as well that hard seltzers are good. Actually, most of Filmikudhi’s comment, I feel the same. In my opinion, though, White Claws are very overrated because they taste too much like regular seltzer, ergo no flavor. I had grapefruit flavored White Claw over the weekend, and it smelled like a candle, and didn’t sit well with me while I was drinking it. Truly is a lot better, more flavor, especially their iced tea line. Literally tastes like lemonade.

    Margheritas are delicious, especially the strawberry ones I used to get at my college bar. And daiquiris, which were my first drink when I turned 21. Mixed drinks can REALLY vary in strength, depending on who makes it and how much alcohol is in there, and then if they don’t taste like alcohol, they can be dangerous because the alcohols typically used have a higher proof than beer or wine, so you’ll get drunker faster, without even realizing it if the alcohol is masked by the fruit. That, though, you do end up getting used to the burn after a while. I am also still the person who will sip on the same drink for hours, especially if it comes out in a giant glass, so I don’t feel it as much.

    You might also like cream liquers, Rumchatta, Baileys, etc. I have also seen chocolate wine which is refrigerated and has a similar consistency. Chocolate martinis are delicious, but they don’t really go well with an actual meal, you know? It’s like ordering a milkshake with your meal. No, the milkshake is dessert. So is a chocolate martini.

    And last but not least, especially if this is your first foray into alcohol, DO NOT order a Long Island Iced Tea. Sounds harmless, but contains nearly every hard liquor known to man. I had a sip ONCE and felt it immediately. If someone like you drank a whole one, it would be very bad very fast. No no no.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used to make Long Island Iced Teas! Okay, I used to have other people make them. When I worked at the movie theater, we had a liquor license. Most of the time, people just wanted Rum and Coke, which was easy. But I had a couple customers who ordered Long Island Iced Tea, and I ended up just handing them all the bottles and the measuring thing and having them make it for themselves.

      On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 4:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Okay, but don’t ever drink them because there is so much alcohol you will feel it immediately. I don’t understand how people drink them while watching a movie. That seems irresponsible and also dumb because then you won’t be able to pay attention.

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  6. Haha, your reaction is priceless! I think I have an atypical relation with alcohol in that I neither crave it nor dislike it. I’ve tried a variety of them including hard liquors, but nothing has stood out in particular. I don’t mind sipping on them in between food and conversations, sometimes for hours on end. They haven’t affected me much beyond slight dizziness after say a whisky and I feel I would’ve enjoyed the socializing even without alcohol. I actually faked drunkenness when my friends and I tried alcohol for the first time as a group, because everyone else was hilariously drunk and I wasn’t, but I didn’t want to miss out on the fun!

    So I don’t have anything to recommend other than not trying anything on an empty stomach. I am totally going to try what others have recommended though, maybe find something I actually like (which may not be a good thing with alcohol!). And I just remembered something I liked when I had it – Moscow Mule.

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    • See, this is what I am curious about! Blue eyed blondes are supposed to be genetically likely to have an extremely high alcohol tolerance. But on the other hand, I tend to react badly to basically everything (caffeine, aspirin, antihistamines, anesthetic), so will I be hyper sensitive or hyper insensitive?

      On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 7:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I am like you. I reach very badly to caffiene (I had a small cup of chai the other morning and had the jitters all day, including at night when I kept waking my husband up to tell him that I couldn’t sleep because the caffiene was still in my system. He told me I was nuts!), antihistamiens (it is NOT non-drowsy you liars!!!) etc. But I don’t react badly to alcohol. However, my goal is never to get drunk. And I also never drink anything I don’t enjoy. So when I am having a drink, it is something I really like and I am trying to savor it.

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        • Antihistamines are INSANE!!!! My Mom refused to give them to me when I was little because they made me bonkers, like even the over the counter stuff. And then as an Adult I decided “I know better than Mom, I will take a benedryl, HA!” And yes, it made me totally wacko. Both sleepy AND hyper. Have you experienced that? It’s like your body can’t move, but your mind can’t stop moving. HATE THEM.

          Good to know you have a similar sensitivity but alcohol isn’t a problem. Maybe that will be the case for me. Certainly it’s something I should know about myself, being aware that I have a bad reaction to antihistamines is a super useful piece of information, knowing how I do or don’t react to alcohol would also be good to know.

          On Wed, Jun 30, 2021 at 9:42 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Like many people I never liked beer that much until I found IPA. The hoppy flavor is something I just love now. How about hard ciders? Similar alcohol content as hard selzters but much more sweeter. Flavored sake or soju are also good. Around 12% alcohol in multiple flavors. Sake you will find in a Japanese restaurant and soju in Korean. Both are plesent don’t have typical alcohol taste. Served cold so you take small sips and it is like eating a flavored candy. I find mulled wine is the easiest thing to drink.

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  8. I only like sweet drinks and really drink only two types of alcohol: sparkling strawberry wine and Somersby Apple Cider. Apple Cider is not available in Italy so I can enjoy it only when I’m in Poland.
    I don’t like “hard” drinks and being honest I’m afraid of them because I have seen too many people destroyed by alcohol.

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