Staring at a wall of booze bottles is likely the most decision fatiguing image I can think of. “What do I want to drink?” you ask yourself. You’ve seen all these bottles before and you typically order the same drink: why are you wondering what to drink?
Well, you probably just feel it’s too easy to order what you always order. You also see all the options: maybe it’s time to branch out? Yes, it is. But how do you know what you actually want to drink? Ask yourself these questions. Someone could present this to you as an infographic but, because I am a writer, they are presented as words. Read them and imagine the visual flair of an infographic.
What did I have to drink last night? Start here and expand. Unless you are in love with what you had last night, go in a new direction. What’s the opposite of what you had? Go for that. If you loved what you had last night, use the base—whiskey, gin, wine—as a basis for tonight’s drink.
Is this a light or heavy drink? This mostly will steer you to one side of the heavily mixed, eggily frothed, crushed iced concoction world versus the understated, “Up!” drink world.
How is your palate right now? What did you eat last? What will you be eating? If you had to much salt, don’t get that Margarita or that beer. If you are going to be eating something salty, maybe try that Sidecar or glass of champs. Make this culinary quest as varied as possible: don’t play the same fucking note in your mouth all night.
How much money do I have? If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a cocktail, this should whittle down your options easily. You can only get what your budget allows you. (Or you can fucking blow your budget and get wasted and then feel extra guilty the next day.)
How long am I drinking? This is one of those quality not quantity questions. If you’re in for the long run of boozing, mind the time gap between when you start drinking and when you finish. Stick with something easily relatable to hourly consumption.
Do I want what I always order? Perhaps the most important, you should figure out if you are even wanting to experiment. Like the final gatekeeper of samesies, you should test your taste complacency before venturing into new territory. Normally I wouldn’t suggest this but, like I do with myself, I pick a drink and let it be my signature. Signatures are pretty.