I was reading a recent NYTimes article (actually it is billed as a "blog" which annoys me because I don't see how it's different from one of their articles other than the comments and some marginally different font and page formatting, but I digress) about how we choose drinks based on what we want people to think of us. No huge revelations there, but I still found it an interesting read.
Of course it led me to think about what my drink selections say about me. When I was in New York, my drink of choice was a vodka tonic, both because I liked the taste and also because it was something I'd picked up from my mother. I also thought it seemed a bit classier than drinking a beer, which I associated with poor people and the uncultured. Wine was something that I drank with dinner, but wasn't socially acceptable to be ordered anywhere else.
Moving to Sydney changed all that. Australia (along with other countries like the UK and Ireland, where binge drinking is essentially the norm and a bit of a public hazard) requires that one serve of hard alcohol is equal to one regular shot glass, or 30ml. Considering how much vodka a NYC bartender would normally pour into a vodka tonic, this meant that even ordering a double and paying twice as much left me wondering if I had just been duped into paying for a glass of tonic.
And so, I generally stick to beer and wine. Australian beers are a little bit awesome, especially when compared to the chilled frothy urine that passes for the American version. If I find myself in most places that I would class as a "pub", there's no question that I will order beer. I can actually think of certain pubs I go to on a regular basis that I have never ordered anything other than beer. This is possibly in the fear of anyone in the bar thinking I'm not a real man, which is hilarious considering how many other reasons they would have to think that. But alcohol, much like love, defies logic.
However any trip to somewhere with a nicer atmosphere means that I will lean towards ordering a decent bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, ideally with a friend, as the looks that come along with asking for a bottle and one glass generally aren't kind. I imagine that being specific about my choice of wine makes me seem more worldly than the fatass next to me asking for a $3 schooner of beer, which is also ironic considering that wine gets me drunk and beligerent so much faster and results in many more broken glasses and hurt feelings.
The one other choice that happens literally a handful of times a year is a Smirnoff Black (a.k.a. Smirnoff Blackout) which might seem like a girly drink at first glance, but essentially says that I've decided I have no issues with not remembering anything that has happened or will happen within 3 hours in either direction of that first sip. Because really, you have to save the good stuff for special occasions.