How to Drink…Everything

How to Drink…Everything

James Sandrini 17th August 2018

People lie.

People lie so often that by the time you’ve actually started a conversation with them they’ve probably already littered any initiation of communication with a few doozies:

“Hey, how are you?” (Lie – I don’t care, I actually don’t even like you)

“Yea,h I’m really well thanks, you?” (Lie – My arm hurts and I’ve half convinced myself that I must have some form of cancer because why else would my arm hurt. Also, don’t care)

“I’m not bad, not bad” (Lie – I. Am. Bad)

If you’re looking for truth, don’t interact with human beings.

Search Engines Accept No Such Prisoners of Politeness

Google knows more about what you actually think and want and need than your family members do. Who do you want as your character witness, your closest friend or your web history? Exactly. Bow to the digital sarcophagus of intent.

We spend a lot of time reviewing people’s keyword habits in order to understand consumer behaviour. And every time we do, we notice a few gems that boggle our already joggled minds. Today, let’s answer the myriad queries about a subject close to our heart: Neat booze and how to drink it. (If you want to know how to talk about it, click here)

How to Drink Whiskey (1,300 searches per month)

Whiskey & Whisky. Bourbon & Rye. Grain & Corn. Whatever your predilection, you really don’t need anything more than a glass and something to rail against to enjoy Whisk(e)y. Single Malts are excellent to remember; Irish really helps you forget; Rye is fighting Whiskey.

You can add a dash of spring water to gently dilute the alcohol and unearth a secondary flavour. Or, if you’re drinking JD or Bells or some other swill, then you can add ice and lather your drink with a sugary mixer. Go for Ginger, eschew Cola.

How to drink Whiskey (if you’re a noob) – Go for a blend. Add ice, soda and a slice of lemon in a tall glass

How to drink Whiskey (if you’re a fucking pro) – “2 doubles. Neat. Separate glasses. The second one’s for whoever else can prove they had as shit a day as me”

How to Drink Absinthe (1,200 searches per month)

Ah, the green fairy. Absinthe has played a fabled role in the history of drinking, art, literature and projective vomiting. And yet it’s comparativejust another type of booze.

There are excellent Absinthe’s out there, ranging from dry, peppery and full of fennel, to sweet, salty and minty. There’s also plenty of tourist nonsense out there, ticking up high ABVs and low production values. And few bartenders have ever ventured deep enough down the rabbit hole to find out, so they’re not much help either.

Do some research. Get some delivered. Drink some with friends.

How to drink Absinthe (if you’re coming down from an LSD binge) – Er, sorry, this might be the ‘hard stuff’ but it’s not that hard

How to drink Absinthe (if it’s 32 degrees, you’re in southern France and the afternoon sun dares to escape over the horizon) – 1 part Absinthe, 2 parts water, a handful of ice

How to Drink Sloe Gin (1,200 searches per month)

1,200 searches a month for something with Gin in the title? We must be, let’s not go there. It’s early yet.

Good Sloe Gin is made by soaking the berries in Gin, then straining. All Sloe Gin made in the EU is at least 25% ABV and tends to be much more ‘Gin’ than liqueur, so don’t expect it to be overly sweet.

So you can comparativedrink it like Gin, WHICH EVERYONE KNOWS HOW TO DRINK RIGHT. Apparently not.

How to drink Sloe Gin (at home) – Tonic and lime work. Soda and lemon works. Apple and a mild sense of adventure also work.

How to drink Sloe Gin (in a good bar) – Order a Wibble. By all means practice how to say it and not sound like Hugh Grant before you do so.

How to Drink Tequila (1,000 searches per month)

There’s a growing legion of erudite epicureans that favour drinking their Reposados and Anejos neat in a brandy balloon. Cute. Not to say they’re wrong, but I doubt these are the folks asking bartender Google for advice.

Tequila, wedded to youthful drinking tales like Twitter for some unfathomable reason continues to be to hate speech, is probably the most straightforward item to drink on this list, seeing as it nestles to cosily into a shot glass at comparative. But that’s not the way to survive it, as long as you can warm to the funk of agave flavour.

How to drink Tequila (as a shot) – With sangrita. Always.

How to drink Tequila (in a proper drink) – Margaritas can be delicious when they’re not pre-batched and funneled into slushy machines. Palomas are as lovely as their name suggests. A Tequila Old Fashioned, when balanced, can be a tasty denouement to an evening where words like ‘denouement’ are acceptable discourse.

How to Drink Gin (600 searches per month)

Considering Gin’s popularity and the comparative dearth of searches, I’m assuming that the general populous have pretty much figured this one out.

For those that haven’t, or those that want to level up from a G&T, then you’ll be pleased to know that Gin goes with just about everything:

Lemonade. Tick. Pineapple juice. Tick. Milk (yes, milk). Surprisingly acceptable tick.

How to drink Gin (if you’re not already dulled by G&Ts) – The key is plenty of high integrity, large ice cubes that do not dilute the drink along with freshly opened tonic and searingly fresh lime. The Gin matters, sure, but the remainder matters more than most give credit too.

How to drink Gin (if you’re really over tonic) – Gin & ginger ale is a fantastic pair. Gin & juice – that means orange – is almost as good as the track. Gin martinis are rightly heralded as cocktails to beat all other cocktails. And if you’re still searching for more, I guarantee your bartender has a strong quota of heady Gin combinations in their locker.

How to Drink Sake (600 searches per month)

A misnomer really. There are ways to drink Sake than just with more Sake, but they’re rarely all that interesting.

How to drink Sake (the Japanese way) – Generously and in the manner befitting the individual product. Sometimes warm; sometimes chilled; occasionally sparkling.

How to drink Sake (the gaijin way) – With a dose of confusion. And a beer.

How to Drink Port (450 searches per month)

I used to work for a wine merchant in Cambridge. If such a question had been pondered in earshot of my colleagues or many of our regular customers, some smug bastard would have piped up with ‘only once it’s been passed from the left!’


Ruby port is fun and playful and can be added to a wide variety of cocktails. Tawny port is a bit more serious, autumnal and nutty, and best served chilled. Vintage port is, as the price tag should remind you, to be drunk on its own. And LBV port…just leave that one in the bottle.

How to drink Port (Oxbridge edition) – To the left. Ugh.

How to drink Port (for everybody else) – After dinner, drunkenly, with cigars and self-loathing. OR…as white port with tonic coz you’re a don.

How to Drink Brandy (400 searches per month) / How to Drink Cognac (350 searches per month)

Let’s deal with these together. For starters, All Cognacs are Brandies but not all Brandies are Cognacs.

Cognac, a commune half way down France’s western coast (albeit slightly inland) is celebrated as the home of the world’s best brandies. Spirits are distilled and aged under strict regulations to make booze so good, rappers will rhyme their titles with the names of women they may or may not sleep with.

Brandy stretches further into the depths of regional liquor production. Some of it is super tasty. Some of it is useful to clean wounds. There’s plenty on both ends of the spectrum. Thankfully, serves are a little more straightforward.

How to drink Brandy / How to drink Cognac (the thrillers) – Neat. Balloon. Fireplace.

How to drink Brandy / How to drink Cognac (the swillers) – Coffee. Sugar. Icy places.

How to Drink Vodka (350 searches per month)

Really? People, really? Let’s make this quick.

How to drink Vodka – Cold.