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The Art of Drinking at a Bachelor Party

Maybe this shouldn’t be called an “art,” since “art” suggests the creation of something pretty, which bachelor party drinking never is. It’s more like a delicate balancing act, between the inevitable over-drinking and the over-drinking that ends in humiliation, organ failure, and everything else that happened to you in college on a weekly basis. Some say there’s no real difference between a bachelor party and a frat party. But the fact is: you’re older now and you’re expected to get wasted a little more gracefully. Nobody, not even a stripper, likes a messy drunk.

Some ground rules.

You’re in it for the long haul, so pace yourself.  If your face goes slack and your speech slurs before you’re halfway through dinner, you’re drinking too fast.  

Other than embarrassing yourself, the big worry about over-drinking is the colossal hangover it will leave in the morning. We know the symptoms – nausea, head/body ache, light sensitivity, hot liquid eruptions from both ends – but the science on what causes all this is still sketchy. Hormone disruption, dehydration, fermentation, sugar level something-or-other? Nonetheless, there are tried-and-true strategies, not to prevent a hangover – it’s a bachelor party, after all – but to minimize one.

Before drinking: it can’t hurt to apply a fancy “hangover patch,” which infuses a host of b-complex vitamins that alcohol depletes, right into your skin. A packet of Emergen-C works wonders, too.  And get some food in your stomach, fast. Absorbent stuff like rice, bread, pasta is best: imagine that sopping up the booze in your gut.

You can try to limit yourself to just one kind of booze, but this is a bachelor party so good luck with that. Clear booze, as in vodka, is better than the dark stuff, like Scotch, unless you start in on that sugary flavored crap.  Go for the top-shelf, stuff, since that’s allegedly less headache-y than the well.

If there’s one thing to remember, it’s this: hydrate, copiously, start to finish. Chug gallons of water (no bubbles) before drinking. During the party, go one glass of water for one drink, all night. Order “water backs, all around,” and take note of the server’s appreciative nod. Wrap up the party with another massive hydration, and more every time you wake up to piss. Think of your brain getting moister, spongier, maybe even smarter!

Another sure-fire anti-hangover tactic is to slow down the intake. Betrayal of your brothers? Not necessarily.  At the group’s peak-drunk, try the following expert tricks and see who notices (hint: no one). Grab the shot, make like you’re downing it with everybody else, but hurl it over your shoulder. Pour your drink into another guy’s glass, on the ground, or into the urinal.  Wherever you go, leave your drink behind. Rest assured, this will not affect your good time.

Seeking medicinal relief? Avoid any product containing acetamenophin (i.e. Tylenol) like the plague. Picture your stomach bleeding.

And what “guide to bachelor party boozing” would be complete without addressing the “hair of the dog”?  Curing a hangover by drinking with a morning cocktail. Here, the science is pretty clear: you might be numbing the problem, but you’re just delaying it (and probably making it worse).  But if you’re in for a full weekend, the question becomes: who really cares? Stave off the hangover until it’s all over, by any means necessary. 

Cheers,
Will

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