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Leave Your Days of Acting Like a Drunken Fool Behind You

All of us have been 21-year-olds. It’s a precious era of life when you’re able to hit shots hard, yell too loud, procrastinate on the tasks or assignments you need to do, and stay out until the wee hours of the morning. Sadly, your early twenties don’t last forever and the lifestyle you became accustomed to at 21 may no longer be as “cute”. Chances are, over time, you’ll have graduated from college, be working in a real career, and swapped out your t-shirts and sweats for a blazer and button-up. You’ll have entered the age where it’s time to straighten up, carry yourself with some swagger, and learn to drink like an adult. Read on to learn how you can accomplish this last goal.

Get Yourself a Signature Cocktail

There will be hundreds of situations in your adult life when you’ll be asked what your drink preferences are. Prepare yourself for these moments by getting your act together and deciding what you like. It’s one thing to try new things when you’re in a casual setting, but for a business dinner, work trip, or company party, you should have a dependable go-to that keeps you from being indecisive, grabbing for the menu, or asking a million questions to the bartender to narrow down your drink of choice. A solid signature drink ought to be something universal—all bartenders should know it and it should be fairly simple to make—and easy for you to drink. That way it’ll go down smooth and allow you to keep cool and know what to expect on that first sip.

Learn How to Order Like a Boss

One of the biggest frustrations bartenders have is time wasted by indecisive or uneducated customers…especially on a Saturday night when their bar is packed. When you walk up to the bar, you should already know what you’re going to order and have a credit card ready to go for your tab. Don’t waste the bartender’s or other customers’ time when you approach the bar—holding up others does not showcase swagger.

Another frustration that haunts bartenders is crappy tippers. A $1 tip per drink is a good minimum to stick to, but feel free to be more generous and pay your tip in cash when you receive your first drink of the night. Being a generous tipper will work favorably for you in the long run—your bartender may be more responsive to you, and you might even occasionally find that you weren’t charged for all of the drinks you ordered.

Set Up a Functioning Home Bar

Young people have raves. Grownups have dinner parties. Make your next dinner party an event to look forward to by having a bar setup that invites your guests to feel at home and stay awhile. Your home bar should be visible, well-stocked, and inviting enough that your guests feel comfortable serving themselves. However, for the first round of drinks or for guests that you’re still becoming familiar with, it’s a good idea to serve your guests yourself.

If you want to kick your home bar up a notch, keep an alphabetical cocktail guide handy and you’ll always look like you know what the f*** you’re doing should your guests request a drink you’ve never made. Other basics for a great home bar include: a classy way to display your spirits, glasses, a decent barware set, ice, a few mixers, and a good liquor selection—gin, vodka, bourbon whiskey, scotch whiskey, tequila, and rum should all be available. Don’t feel compelled to buy multiple bottles of each of type of liquor or only top-shelf drinks. Feel free to stock to respectable, classic, mid-grade brands in each type and you’ll be able to make a huge variety of cocktails for your guests. With a few easy essentials, you’ll be amazed how quickly you go from looking like a frat boy to a James Bond-level gentleman.

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