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What to Drink When Playing Pool

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Drinking is a common pastime when playing a casual game of billiards. It’s important to remember, however, not to lose your head. If you want to play effectively, it’s important to be able to remain focused. When you drink beer, for example, do you tend to sip it slowly, or gulp it down? If you choose a drink that you can sip and enjoy over time, it can help prevent you from losing your competitive edge.

Conversely, it can’t really be considered cheating if your opponents consume quite a bit before the game has even started. Serving delicious, easy-drinking cocktails when guests first arrive — and having refills readily available — can give you an advantage once the game has started.

Here are some drinks we enjoy when playing pool. You may want to give them a try:

guiness black lagerGuinness Black Lager

Forget everything you know about Guinness. Guinness Black Lager may be as black and opaque as a cup of coffee, but the taste is far lighter than your typical Guinness, and drinks like a traditional lager. Best served cold and from the bottle, the light flavor and dark color may seem at odds with each other, but in the end the taste is delicious.

American Whiskey

For a good value, consider an American whiskey, such as Evan Williams Single Barrel 2002, which can be found for $30 a bottle. Big Bottom Port Cask Finished Whiskey is another American whiskey that’s big on taste, but soft on the budget.

Manhattan Cocktail

With two ounces of bourbon, one ounce of sweet vermouth, a dash of Angostura bitters, and garnished with a Maraschino cherry, the Manhattan Cocktail is another that should be stirred, not shaken. The bitters should not be overlooked, as they’re a critical part of the cocktail — without them, you just have a glass of bourbon and vermouth. If preferred, the Maraschino cherry can be substituted with a brandy-soaked fresh cherry.

Margarita

With it’s cool, refreshing taste, the Margarita continues to enjoy enduring popularity. While there seem to be endless variations on the recipe, the classic combines one and a half ounces of tequila with half an ounce of triple sec, a dash of lemon or lime juice, three ounces of sour mix, and a lime wedge for a garnish. Salt is traditionally added to the rim of the glass.

vesper martiniVesper Martini

Although inspired by the classic James Bond novel, Casino Royale, this cocktail is actually best prepared stirred, not shaken. Composed of gin and vodka in a 3:1 ratio, with added Kina Lillet and garnished with a lemon peel, the Vesper Martini is a great drink for adding a touch of playful sophistication to the evening.

Old-Fashioned

With a style and taste reminiscent of the late nineteenth century, the Old-Fashioned is a great way to help get in the mood for a spirited game. This cocktail combines a sugar cube with three dashes of Angostura bitters, two ounces of rye whiskey, and a splash of club soda.

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  • Ben Grant
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