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Rules of drinking when you're 25 or older

September 09, 2011|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

This past weekend marked a big step for my close group of friends: We're turning 25. Not all at once. Slowly.

But it's started, and I'm next.

We've landed somewhere between trays of 25-cent draws at sticky college hangouts and $25 bottles of wine on our Scotchgarded couches. The rules have shifted slightly, whether I want them to or not, and the thought of being "too old" is starting to have some heft behind it. Some.

Closer to 21 than 30, most things stay the same. The mornings-after just start to slowly ache a little more. To make the transition easier, I've been putting together some ground rules:

1. We're too old for (mixed) shots. Not a shot to start the night. Or end it. But we're too old for shots. The ones members of LMFAO fist pound about. Multiple rounds of anything that isn't straight liquor is for sorority bonding. (Notable exception: Jello shots. I mean, ‘cmon.)

2. We're too old for beer pong. Ditto to any other drinking game that you were taught sophomore year. Not only are you going to end the night early with your face in the bushes, you're going to do it after a 21-year old kicks your butt. You're out of practice. (Notable exception: Football season.)

3. We're too old for 5 a.m. Because we have jobs now. Not classes where we can borrow someone's notes. When your night is still raging on at 5 a.m., it's going to take a hell of a lot of extra sleep to make Monday manageable. Just don't do it. When the clock says 3, wrap it up. Or at least pick up a glass of water. (Notable exception: That one time the DJ was soooo good.)

4. We're too old for three-night weekends. Is there any worse feeling than looking at your bank account Monday morning after a busy weekend? Between drinks, cabs, cover and late-night food, just one night out is enough to do some serious budget damage. Don't make it worse by raging every night. (Notable exception: The entire summer. Don't waste it.)

5. We're too old for the words "amaretto sour." And probably "redbull vodka." And definitely "sex on the beach." (Notable exception: None.)

Emily Van Zandt is the Metromix nightlife producer. On second thought, she'd like to play more beer pong., @mmxbars

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