In Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the character of George is haunted by a decades-old memory of accidentally ordering a "Bergin and water" in a crowded pub. While most of us know the difference between bourbon and gin, it's possible you've made a similar faux pas to the sniggers of nearby barflies without even realising it. Here are 20 popular alcoholic beverages that you might be mispronouncing.
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If you’re an... enthusiastic drinker, you might have wondered at what point social drinking crosses the line into problem drinking. But if you’re worried, you don’t need to be a falling-down, having-blackouts kind of drinker to seek advice and help.
Alcohol-use disorder (AUD) is a medical issue that falls on a spectrum — you can be on the severe end (falling-down drunk, blackouts, relationship problems) or the mild end (wish you could cut back but are having trouble).
There was a point in my mid 20s where I had a solid four-beer-a-day habit. At the time I was dating a brewer and my entire social life just happened to be tied to beer. Going out at night to meet friends for a beer or cracking open a few bottles a pal had brought back from a recent trip (or that my boyfriend had just made) was just what we did. Those four beers were probably consumed over an eight hour period, so I wasn't getting wasted every night, but even then at one point I had a moment of reckoning with myself and made moves to cut back.
Gin is kind of having a moment right now. For distilleries, gin is a lot easier to get started with, simply because it doesn’t require barrel ageing. If you’re a new distillery you can distill a gin and start selling it almost immediately, while a new whiskey distillery might have to wait a few years before it has a product to sell.
Gin - which is traditionally made from juniper berries - has long been noted for its health benefits. According to a raft of scientific studies, it can improve everything from blood circulation to your liver and kidneys. It's also a low-calorie spirit, making it the dieter's tipple of choice.
However, if you're a die-hard G&T fan, you might want to take a closer look at the ingredients in your beverage. Specifically, the sugar levels.
What's better than serving gin and tonics at a party? Having a whole gin and tonic bar, that's what. A few weeks ago I went to a media event for Beefeater. They had your traditional bar there, with a bartender mixing up fancy cocktails. There was also a DIY Gin & Tonic bar. You could ask the bartender for just a glass with ice and gin in it, and then use the assortment of tonic waters and accouterment on the table to build your own. The idea was so fun I started doing it whenever I had friends over… and it was a big hit.
I like a quiet bar. I have since I was 21. This isn't an unusual desire; any time I'm at a bar past eight o'clock, someone (sometimes it's not even me!) eventually says "Sorry, I couldn't hear you. The bar got so loud!" Even the quietest dive fills up now and then with people shouting to be heard, when each person individually wishes the place were quieter. Why, as a culture, have we failed to find a way out of this loudness war? Why are most bars so bloody loud?
You may have heard of mums and dads giving their teenagers alcohol as a parenting tactic - rationales include 1) it's safer to buy it, serve it and monitor it in a controlled environment than to have them sneak off with their friends to scull goon in some sketchy parking lot, and 2) it normalises alcohol so they won't see it as something taboo and therefore something they must ingest in mass amounts as quickly as possible.