Posts Tagged ‘Sobieski’

It doesn’t take a lot to get driven to drinking in this culture. All it takes really is taking a cold and hard look at the world in which we live in and listening to the news about the economy, the gas prices, corruption in federal and local state politics, joblessness, the foreclosures and the utter lack of hope, and the tables get set for a dance with the drunken devils pretty quickly. Either that or your team has been losing all season.

And to throw one more variable of Murphy’s Law into the equation, we’ve just had the first of the month this week, so chances are that there are probably legitimate reasons why you don’t have money at this minute too. You paid important bills. Alimony is always a bitch. It could be because the paycheck didn’t clear yet, or hell, it could be because you haven’t seen a paycheck in a few months.

Let’s face it, excuses such as “I spent it on whores down on Manheim Road” can only take you so far. Also, losing bets on sports teams that had no chance in fucking hell aren’t good either.

But the fact remains that you want to get a bit tipsy tonight and that “Money doesn’t grow on trees” phrase doesn’t do shit for you at this point in the game. Truth be told, something had snapped in your head during the day, be it your boss riding you like he was recreating Pulaski’s last cavalry ride, your girlfriend JUST got on the rag and the rent was due and you lied to the landlord AGAIN about one of your relatives being sick. You need a drink. And not one beer, either, because, who the fuck drinks just one beer?

We’ve all been broke to the point when you search through all of the pockets of clothes that you haven’t worn since prom. Sometimes you don’t find shit except expired condoms, broken cigarettes, USED condoms, receipts from four years ago, one lonely Advil pill, and chewing gum that has hardened more than stale semen on an ugly pair of tits.

What I’m saying is that there are plenty ways of getting loaded on a budget. Or at least filling you up with something until that check does clear the next day, or you finally succumb to blowing people for a living. Don’t knock it until you try it. Sucking dick has helped many downtrodden people get Comcast in order to watch Neil Funk call the game. Or so I’ve heard.

And since people start drinking when the tough gets going, this is the perfect time to start drinking. Now I’m not talking about drinking what the bums drink to get you through your rough patch, but this will be pretty close. Don’t worry, I once took a “Bum Wine Challenge” in college, I know what I’m talking about.

My go to stand by is of course the six-pack of tall boys if you do find $5. It doesn’t really matter which one, since you will be drinking macro brews anyway and options are usually limited at your local convenience store. The trick usually is to go a pretty independent convenience store and not a 7-Eleven and that’s where the hunt for the evening’s libations usually begins. I say begins, because once you have a six-pack of tall boys in you, chances are that you are still thirsty and WILL do something stupid. Be warned. Don’t drive. Don’t sniff airplane glue either. And definitely don’t go looking for “those girls on Manheim Road.”

Remember, if she is too good looking to be a prostitute, she’s probably a cop. Also, as comedian Dave Attell says, “If it feels like more than two fingers, it’s probably a dick.”

A friend of mine, who used to be on his own but is married and has a kid now, once told me that “Those tall boys will save your life.” It was a drunken conversation to be sure, but his logic was sound. If you’re broke and have an affinity for the drink, those tall boys will save your life, figuratively speaking. It’s kind of ironic what drunks think is important in their lives. “Those tall boys will save your life.”  Yeah, you know what will save my life? A fucking doctor when I’m having a heart attack years later.

So I usually go with PBR if it is available. PBR to semi-poor people is a fucking God’s gift to the downtrodden. Not because it is what the fucking hipsters drink, but because you can usually get a sixer of those big boys for $5 a pop. You can get Miller High Life or Old Style, but in those cases you are going above the simple fin. And unless the guy at the register lets you slide with being short 60 cents, you’re stuck with PBR. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

And not like it’s a bad brew. It does what it is supposed to do and it supports union jobs. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, the next time some hipster starts waxing poetic about anti-establishment politely remind him that he is supporting American jobs and the current culture by drinking union made beer. And then order him a Zima.

So yeah, I have drank a small river of PBR in my day. But since this is supposed to provide some sort of review of the el cheapo-o drinks, here’s the low down.

Pabst Blue Ribbon. The six-pack of tall boys of PBR are to a poor college student what Mad Dog 20/20 wine is to a homeless guy. It’s the best of the worst shit that he can get. PBR’s have for some odd reason been spoiled by the likes of hipsters because they think it is cool to drink low priced beer. That is total horseshit. Whenever I feel bad about drinking PBR, I think of the late great Dennis Hopper in “Blue Velvet.”

“Heineken?!’ Fuck that shit. Pabst Blue Ribbon!” Then again, I’m not in college anymore.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sm8JM-K1dc]

Miller High Life. Tall boys of High Life’s are pretty much on par with PBR’s. They might give you a milder drunk, which is strange because they are both at 5 percent ABV, but it just seems that way. Also, High Life might taste better but costs 50 cents more. “Come on, cough up a buck.”

High Life was cool when they just let the “Girl on the Moon” do the advertising. When they brought in that big black fat guy…well then shit got that much cooler, did it not? “You must be outta your mind.” Take the beer away.

That would be an awesome thing to do with people. You see someone drinking something outlandish and overpriced, commenting on the game without a clue in the world, and a van pulls up and two guys hog tie him in front of his date and carry him off. Union guys too. And leave the overpriced drink to someone who gives a fuck.

Old Style. I’m not a fan of Old Style even though I should be because I’m a Cubs fan. But just because they sell it at Wrigley doesn’t mean it’s a great beer. Again, a sixer of this shit might get you buzzed, but it’s the feeling of buying locally brewed beer that should be the selling point.

Sure some people love Old Style. It’s not my beer of choice, but some people swear by it. Which is fine. Old Style has the name Heileman’s on it, which also brews Special Export, which is dirt cheap. I believe that Old Style is brewed by PBR these days.

Speaking of Special Export. Just drink it cold and shut up. There’s a sail boat on the logo. Nothing great here. Just the cool sail boat. Nothing special. Nothing exported. Just a fucking sail boat. Don’t drink it when it’s warm. You will swear off beer for a week.

Sure, some people will drink anything if it’s cheap, but years on the circuit have taught me that if you can add an extra $1 or $2 to your el-cheapo brews, the better. Come on cough up a buck.

There are many nightmares stories people have of Busch nights, Icehouse, Milwaukee’s Best and other swill.

But the Natural Ice is the king of bad decisions.

Natural Ice. Oh God. This is for serious drunks without any futures. I’ve drank many of these too. You can tell, I’m sure. Always regretted it the next morning, but if you have $4 in your pocket and want to feel like you are driving an 18-wheeler in the middle of the night and forgot the cargo at the last rest stop, then this beer is for you.

Don’t do it unless you have to. They call it the Beast for a reason. At 5.9 or something alcohol, these are designed for getting drunk and getting drunk only. If you have to I mean. This category also includes 40 ounces of anything with an animal on it, or the best forty out there, the Olde English, if you can get your hands on it from some questionable establishment that sells it.

However, most serious drinkers who have gone way past doing themselves favors, end up spending that $5 or $10 on things that are far more potent. And like George Carlin once said, “I sense that some of you want hi-tech.”

There is nothing more liberating that getting drunk on cheap, cheap booze. This is when the really evil nightmares begin that I do not recommend. We’re talking all the good classics here, Dmitri Vodka, Skol, something simply labeled “Whiskey.” I’ve mentioned the “Bum Wine Challenge.”

You see in college, back before reason was something that was valued, I stumbled upon a Web site at bumwine.com.  It’s a site that celebrates the wonderful world of wines that homeless people tend to drink. There’s a bevy of examples on the site of wines that are popular with homeless folks and masochists.

The challenge was that you needed to actually try some of the wines that were featured on the site. These were awful wines. And of course I started with the classic. The MD 20/20. I found some dirty convenience store that actually carried the stuff and bought two bottles of some neon blue shit that would look fine if it was featured in the movie “The Fifth Element.”

I don’t remember much from that night, except that by the time I got to a pint of bottle two, I woke up the next morning, filled with guilt and self-loathing, and a vow to never take a bum wine challenge. These so called “wines” WILL turn you homeless and shivering at the side of the road. People told me that I looked like I’ve died last night. And in a way I did. What died was my curiosity for doing something as stupid as drinking bum wine.

But to the brave folks who do have $5 or $10 to spend, I say buy in bulk. Sobieski Vodka is $9.99. It is great vodka that can last. If you have $5, go with the PBR. Or the others in that price range. After all, you aren’t really drinking a six-pack. You’re technically drinking eight beers if you do the math. Count the ounces.

I’ll see you when the check clears and we start drinking the good stuff.

Wild Turkey 101 here we go.

Snow : precipitation in the form of small white ice crystals formed directly from the water vapor of the air at a temperature of less than 32°F (0°C) – Merriam-Webster.

Snow last year.

It comes every year, sometimes sooner and sometimes later, but every year many denizens of this city react to a “minor” snowfall as if they’ve just found out Vader was Luke’s father. Mom drops a pan of casserole on the kitchen floor, dad almost chokes on his beer, sister decides to make the weekend out of it with her boyfriend, a car screeches to a halt in the middle of traffic in the distance and a fairy falls dead when they all hear the news about the inches of snow that are scheduled to fall down on the city.

“Six to eight inches!? Holly fuck! What will we do?” someone will say. What indeed? Ya know, six to eight inches is not that impressive. In fact it’s about average. Just ask any woman about six inches and see what they have to say about that. Shit, ask a man if that’s your thing. Or if you’re brave enough, ask a black guy.

Man, that ain't shit.

Me, I don’t deal with the Chicago winter the way some people do out there. I don’t get frightened. I don’t panic. I don’t make it ruin my day. I listen to the news and I accept the fact that snow will fall and then I go on about my day.

Sure, I participate in the whole ordeal like I’ve done every winter. I’m careful on the road, I take it slow and easy and I do not hurry. I obey the rules of the road, I give the other drivers the benefit of the doubt, and certainly, I do not make hasty decisions. I let it be and I let the usual winter mode of driving carry me home safely.

However, I always hope that that ONE prick driver, be it male or female, who is doing 35 miles per hour or more next to me in the snowstorm finds a ditch somewhere soon just because they are proud that they have an all-wheel drive.

And they usually do find a ditch or a problem of some kind a few streets down the road. You slowly get to the stop light that they were rushing to and you find the same car spun out of control with the emergency lights on and the driver outside in the snow is talking on the phone. I’d like to be the witness to that conversation.

“What happened?”

“I was doing 40 miles per hour and then my car slid and I hit this fire hydrant.”

“In the snowstorm?”

“Yeah.”

“Why were you driving so fast and rushing in the snowstorm? Didn’t you listen to the news?”

“I wanted to selfishly skip ahead in front of ALL of these people who were essentially feeling the same way I was, except that they didn’t act on it like I did. Plus the ‘Bachelor’ was on at 7 p.m. I can’t miss the ‘Bachelor.’”

Here’s what you do in a snowstorm.

After you brush off the snow, warm up your car and get near the vicinity of your home, find a liquor store, stop there and buy what you need for the night. When I was a teenager I would make stupid decisions during a snowstorm. I always wanted to drive somewhere with my friend, like an idiot, to make money shoveling other people’s driveways. Yeah that was the 1990s.  You could make some cool money back then working your ass off in the worst weather.

And you know what we replaced those poor door-to-door kids with shovels with? Those industrial snow throwing machines that always come out when one inch of snow falls on the ground and some dude wants to get the most bang out of it because he paid $500 for it 10 years ago. He needs to fucking use it. And you see those guys out there and they will do the whole block if they have to. “Just being a good neighbor.” “Don’t worry Sam, I got it.” Granted, this year’s storm is nothing compared to last year because those throwers were really useful. But still. “I had some gas left in it and I thought I would use it.”

So find your liquor store, dig out that parking spot and shut the door. Things will all be better in the morning.

Here’s what you should be drinking during a snowstorm, but feel free to improvise. Who am I to tell you what to drink?

  1. Not Beer. I know that some men entertain some fantasy that colder is better and that the Coors Light Silver Bullet train rolls into town when there is a snowstorm, but it doesn’t. In fact, getting a buzz of beer during a snowstorm is like getting a hand job during an orgy where EVERYBODY is fucking except you.
  2. Alright, you can’t let the beer thing go and I get it. So try what the Germans do. Warm up some brew in a pot to desired warmth, put some sugar in it and enjoy. It tastes wonderful. It’s great for colds too. But yeah, warm beer is un-American so forget I mentioned it.
  3. Not hot chocolate. This is Chicago, A Drinking Town with a Sports Problem. And in some instances drinking is a sport. So put your tampons away.
  4. Brandy. Some people can’t handle it, some don’t like the taste of it or some have nightmare experiences after it. I like to look at it like Samuel Johnson did. “Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.” Also, it warms you up. What do you think those giant St. Bernard dogs have in those barrels around their collar in the cold countries? (For the record, I’m skeptical if actual St. Bernard rescue dogs ever carried barrels of brandy to warm up skiers who were dug up in the snow, but let’s just live in the fantasy that they do or did.) And it’s cheap. Christian Brothers can’t run you more than $12 if you get lucky.
  5. Not rum. I don’t care how much you mix it to make it look like a naval officer’s drink, it shouldn’t be done during a Chicago snowstorm. Rum can be used during a Chicago heat wave if you want to feel like a true pirate who is sailing the high seas, but we’re not there yet skipper.
  6. Definitely not Everclear. I know the Bears didn’t make the post-season and there is no opportunity to paint your chest with a giant “C” on it and go howling in the wind in sub-zero temperatures at Soldier Field, but it just shouldn’t be done. Listen if you have succumbed to drinking grain alcohol, then you don’t have a sports problem, or even a drinking problem. You have a death wish. Go get help. As Mr. Raul Parra of Omegawatt Studios said on here, “Quit drinking like you’re 18.”
  7. Bourbon. Bourbon is good for any occasion. It makes and destroys lives. So it doesn’t really fucking matter when you drink it. Drink it if you want to. Preferably on ice or in shots. And lots of it.
  8. No gin. Ever. Not for me anyway. But yeah, I had some bad experiences with gin. But if you didn’t, then go for it. Gin and tonics are great when done right. Hospital trips if done wrong.
  9. Wine. Wine can be good if you live with a woman and you just got done shoveling the snow and are about to enjoy a nice dinner with the wifey or girlie. Then you can cuddle by the fire or a warm space heater, watch some romantic comedy, stare into each other’s eyes and watch the snow fall, open another bottle of fine wine or two and talk about what you will name your kids one day. I guess that’s okay. Don’t drink a jug of Carlo Rossi Sangria by yourself. You will wake up stupid and won’t be able to read. If you’ve gotten to the point in your sport drinking career that you are drinking MD 20/20 out of the bottle then you’re probably not reading this because you are homeless. And none of this shit about “what a great wine” or “great value” it is. That’s just bullshit.
  10. Scotch. Drink as much as you want. Scotch can be replaced with tequila because tequila is fucking awesome. Drink as much as you want.

Well we’ve come to the end of the list. And I know what you will say. “Hey listen jerk off, I like drinking beer in the winter and fuck you and your list. What are you drinking you faggot?”

Vodka. Ice cold vodka. Shots and many of them. Many Europeans drink this instead of water, I know. But vodka is the perfect drink sometimes when you have a giant driveway to shovel and you don’t have those fancy snow blowers or throwers and your neighbor is a dick and won’t let you borrow it for a bit. Even after you offered to pay him $10. Okay $5. The economy is tough.

Vodka is a winter’s drink. It comes from Europe. Many theories have been floated around as to who actually invented it. Was it the Russians, or the Poles or the Swedes, or some people in Finland? But where ever its true origin is, you know it has been made with winter in mind. How do you think the fucking Russians outlasted the Germans during WWII? Vodka. My dad actually told me that they would feed the Russian soldiers a few shots of the stuff before going into battle. The Polaks swear by it. It kills germs in your body.

In Chicago, the snobs will tell you to drink the most expensive shit which I won’t name here. But what I will name is a good Polish vodka that has been making the rounds in the United States. Bruce Willis is the face behind the vodka when it comes to marketing. But fuck Bruce Willis. He might be a face to sell the product, but guess what, the price sells itself. Sobieski Vodka is $9.99 for 750 ml. and $15 for a liter. If you see other prices you are getting fucked there. And it’s good. Svedka Vodka used to be $9.99 but they got too big and decided to charge $12.99. Get your hands on Sobieski before even those Poles raise their prices. Word from the grape-vine is that things will be changing in March with Sobieski so stock up while the prices are low. Some changes in the company are coming.

I am the face of Sobieski Vodka

But I raise my shot glass to all Chicagoans who don’t bitch about the snow falling, to the ones who get through it like they do every year with their balls in their hands and the shovels in their teeth, and to those who are proud that winter doesn’t mean shit to us. It’s Chicago. This is what it is. That’s the main reason most of those California fucks don’t live here “because the winters are so bad.” Good. Fuck ‘em.

And Fuck Bruce Willis too. (I don’t even know why I say that, I like Bruce Willis.)

"Whatchu talking about Willis?"

Listen I don’t care what your drink is. You know what your drink is. I don’t care how you drive in the snow. You know how you drive in the snow. I just want to get home in one piece, shovel the fucking parking spot and drink my drink in peace and watch the Wheel of Fortune. Maybe a Bulls game. It’s just snow.

If you got a better list, feel free to share.