A Beginner’s Guide To Drinking Downtown

Hooray! Cheers! You’ve turned 21 and you finally get to experience the magic of San Luis Obispo’s bumpin downtown after 10 p.m. But hold on, there’s no menu to order from? Beer before liquor does what again? Don’t worry, we’ve collected all the best tips that your friends and family have been telling you in preparation for your big night and turned it into a beginner’s guide to drinking downtown.

1. Eat A Hearty Meal With Lots Of Starches And Grains Before Drinking

Having a hearty meal in your tummy will soak up the alcohol you drink later on which will slow down the rate the alcohol gets absorbed into your bloodstream. You’ll feel a nice buzz throughout the night instead of getting hit straight on and you’ll be less likely to have a raging hangover when you wake up the next morning. Pasta, bread and meals with rice are all good options, but avoid salad and soups because they'll be digested too quickly to aid in your night adventures.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water During Your Night Out

Hangovers are the result of dehydration due to the alcohol. Keeping hydrated in between drinks will help you pace yourself as well as lessen the effects of a hangover. A good rule to abide by is to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. 


3. Scratch the “Liquor Before Beer, You’re In The Clear” rule

With different variations, you might have heard this one quite a bit from well-intended friends and family. But let it go and never repeat the chant again because that myth has been debunked. According to The New York Times , the order in which you drink different types of alcohol has no effect on your morning after, just how much alcohol you drink and how fast you drink it.

4. Thursdays Are The Cheapest Days

On Thursdays, you can get into almost any bar without paying a cover fee as long as you have your student ID. Thursdays are also buy-one-get-one-free at almost every bar. But if you have Friday classes, this deal may not be worth the hangover you'll have to deal with while taking notes. 


5. Know Bartender Body Language

If you decide to pay with a card and don’t want to open a tab, which you most likely don’t, tell your bartender to cut the tab by making a “cut it out” motion in front of your neck without the funny face. The bartender won’t be able to hear you above the bar noise but they will understand your hand gesture. Having both your hands or forearms on top of the bar and making eye contact with the bartender will signal that you’d like to order a drink.

6. Don’t know what to order? Here are a couple basics to get you started!

Ordering drinks on your first time out can be intimidating, especially when there’s no menu for you to order off of. Here are some suggestions of basic drinks that people get at SLO bars:

Drinks With Only One Type Of Alcohol

Gin and Tonic – Gin mixed with tonic water

Seven and Seven – Seagram’s Seven Crown Whiskey mixed with 7-Up

Jack and Coke – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Coca Cola

Screwdriver – Vodka and orange juice

Vodka Cranberry – Vodka mixed with cranberry juice

Mixed drinks can be more fun and colorful, but can also be deceiving and get you drunk faster than you planned.

Margarita – One of the most basic and timeless drinks, this one is a good, sugary starter

Gummy Bear Shot – Just like the name, it tastes like a gummy bear!

Scooby Snack – A yummy, creamy melon flavored shot

AMF: Be careful of this one! AMF stands for Adios Mother F**ker, and as its name suggests, it’s designed to get you drunk real fast with multiple types of alcohol.

Long Island – Alcoholic ice tea, what could be better? But don’t be fooled - this drink has basically the same amount of alcohol as an AMF.

Irish Car Bomb – A fun drink consisting of a shot of Irish cream and whiskey that you drop into a glass of stout.

Drink responsibly and happy drinking!