I can show you world of whiskey, vodka, tequila

Drinking culture is shifting, learn what is relevant today, especially among 21-year-olds



Valhalla bartender and recent WSU graduate Meagan Smiley makes a drink on the spot with two randomly-selected ingredients as she talks about serving fresh 21-year-olds Saturday night at Valhalla Bar and Grill.

CHRIS WEST, Evergreen columnist

There is a word for a king who doesn’t take care of his subjects: tyrant. I am no tyrant, but a kind and benevolent ruler of good times and fine drinks.

I thought it was prudent to go and talk with my subjects and see how things were going. Therefore, I started with my favorite demographic: the newly ordained 21-year-olds.

It was only a few minutes into our con­versation that I was assaulted with horrible misconceptions and naive assumptions. With that being said, I assembled the Ladies in Drinking and went to talk with a newly hatched drinker, Lindsey LaPrath, and provide some sagely advice.

LaPrath, a University of Idaho senior studying political science and philosophy, had questions and we had answers.

The most important piece of advice I can give to all drinkers, both young and old, is that drinking is not a sprint, rather a mara­thon. The pre-game is overrated. Any idiot, or amateur, for that matter, can pregame with shots before a night out, or slam Four Lokos in the car on the way to the club, but honestly, why would you ever do that?

You’re not charming, you’re not impres­sive, and dollars-to-donuts you’re going to be that one guy whose friends have to say, “Dammit, Chad. Why did you have drink that much before we went out? It’s only seven-thirty!” No offense to all the Chads out there, I’m sure most of you are very nice guys.

Additionally, shots are great for celebra­tions and legitimate events. However, they are not great to buy for someone you have a crush on at the end of the bar. You are sadly mistaken if you think a shot, which lasts two seconds, is what a person wants to drink before you come up to lay your best line on them.

Ladies and gentlemen, buy your crush something that they can sip and enjoy that won’t get their inhibitions altered too soon. Then have that thing called a conversation like normal people. Something like a beer, or a drink would do. Or hey, ask them what they want.

Learn to find drinks that are out of your wheelhouse and try new things. I promise you that the vodka cranberry isn’t going anywhere, and there’s more to drinking then just getting drunk.

After becoming content with a night of imparting wisdom to the new generation of alcoholic experts, I went and sparked a conversation from best in the biz, Meagan Smiley. Smiley makes drinks at Valhalla, which is a place where many young Cougs cut their teeth when they turn 21, and I asked her what she had to say about it.

Smiley surprised me and said she loves it when she gets to serve youngins their first drink. She wanted the new drinking masses to ask questions, and not just go for shots of tequila or Jack Daniels.

It’s okay to ask for a recommendation, it’s fun for her to make new things that she thinks you would like. It’s almost like it’s her job or something. If you ever get a chance, ask for an Irish Lemon with a Smile, a perfect drink that can only be made by her hands. It’s a delicious blend of Jameson, muddled lemons, soda and Fresca with a lemonade float. When winter comes, this drink will bring back memories of Summer.

With that being said, know when to call it a night. It’s better to live and drink another day. Stay safe out there, you drunk­en bastards, and bottoms up.