Bartenders explain exactly how many drinks it takes to get a perfect buzz
That boozy G-spot
If you’ve Googled serving sizes for alcohol and wondered how you’re still alive, you’re not alone. Apparently one beer, a glass of wine, or one-and-a-half fluid ounces of an eighty-proof spirit is an actual, entire human serving. But even my grandma doesn’t stop at one glass. So where’s the line?
A lot of us go out to get drunk, and there are countless reports that drinking to excess can have negative affects on our health, but more often than not, these reports are not a legitimate representation of the way we drink on weekends.
So we went straight to the people who know best — the bartenders handling our drunk asses: Elena Alvarez, a bartender at The Airliner, Dan Kadish, the Head Bartender and Supervisor at Bodega 88, and Zoe Weaver a bartender at Midway on High.
Gin & Tonic: 3 – 4 drinks
Assuming it’s made with 2 ounces London Dry gin to four or five ounces tonic, three or four of these is the average amount a bartender suggests for an enjoyable night out.
“Any more than two definitely means you’ll be a bit drunk, which is fine. Those serving amounts are pretty standard,” Elena explains. Keep in mind, if a standard drink or serving contains one and a half ounces of distilled spirits, which is about forty percent alcohol, that means a gin & tonic you’d get at the bar is already more than a serving.
Vodka Tonic: 3 – 4 drinks
Similarly, when it comes to vodka tonic, three to four is the maximum recommendation. This comes as a shock seeing as I’ve been slamming back about ten of these a weekends for the past eight months, but my skin says otherwise. (Glossier’s ‘bounce’ serum is great for hangover skin.)
“Depending on a person’s unique tolerance, a good night usually means around three mixed drinks” Elena explained, and Dan agreed for the most part, adding that with things like wine and beer, people can usually handle a good bit more.
With about two ounces of Skyy vodka and four ounces tonic water, one of these is more than a technical serving as well.
Margaritas: 3 drinks
“Basically if someone has less than three drinks they aren’t here to get drunk,” Zoe explains, “They’re going home because they have shit to do the next day.” But when it comes to margs, there’s often have a higher liquor ratio, and they can become dangerous if you’re drinking without eating.
Rosé: 4 drinks
Wine is a tricky game depending on the kind, but about four glasses is enough to get any person good for the night, without sending them home.
Corona: 4-8 drinks
With a notably lower alcohol content, under five percent, when it comes to a beer like Corona you’ll see someone having to drink more to get tipsy. “If someone’s getting beer on a night out, I see anywhere from four to eight just depending on the person and how long they’ve been out,” Zoe explains, with Dan agreeing that six is somewhere in the middle.
Elena explained, for people with a lower tolerance two is the average, and Dan said “three for people who are a bit bigger, or are just better at handling their liquor.” Zoe agreed, saying for people who really, really know what they’re doing, “four can be normal.”
Mimosa: 5 drinks
Mimosas usually mean day drinking, and day drinking means spreading things out, so five over a few hours is pretty average according to the pros.
Bloody Mary: 4 drinks
The same goes for bloodies, except they are usually a bit boozier.
Their overall rules of thumb
“Think of it this way,” Elena continues, “usually two of anything is when you start to feel that warm and fuzzy buzz, and three is when you start to feel genuinely drunk.”
While Zoe only handles beer and liquor, she said her rule of thumb is: “Well drinks is somewhere around four (depending on tolerance). Shots if it’s a mixed or drop shot three to four, and with straight liquor shots three to five since there’s no mixer in there.”
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