The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

No, I Do Not Have a Hangover

Sorry for the infrequent posting lately. Been busy and failing at task management, and, oh, I AM MOVING ON SATURDAY, OH CRAP, I've packed like 30% of my stuff so far. Wish me luck.

What horrors does this cup hold?

"Are you ready for round four?" asked Raphael.

"...Yeaah. While I can still put it on Serious Eats' tab."

lets get bowling

On Tuesday night, Serious Eats had its first holiday party at The Gutter, a bowling alley in Williamsburg with a Bring Your Own Grub policy. Erin wrote about the Fornino pizza, but I'm just here to talk about the booze. And the bowling. And maybe a bit about the food.

To bring you up to speed, I'm known for not drinking. It's not a moral issue; it's a taste issue. "But people never start off liking the taste," is what I'm frequently told. Ohhh no, no, no, if those people can get over the taste issue, they're definitely not tasting what I'm tasting. The day I take a liking to alcohol is the day my taste buds die. It's just bad—the sharp, eye-tearing sting of multifaceted bitterness piercing the inside of my mouth and burning the back of my throat. Why am I supposed to drink this liquid—an expensive liquid at that?

Well, there's that "getting drunk" thing. Not that that's the reason responsible drinkers drink. Not that anyone wants to see me drunk off my ass. ...Actually, most people would like to see that, to test if I were actually a normal human being.

Part of the goal of party night from the perspective of the Serious Eats gang was to pump me full of cocktails, a seemingly acceptable way to introduce alcohol into my bloodstream. (By the way, I was all up for the idea; no one would have made me drink cocktails if they thought I really didn't want to.) I've never drank a full cocktail before—I've only had sips of them from other people's glasses and in the Beverages class I took during college. A sip—or more specifically, a few milliliters—is generally the maximum volume that I'm willing to drink. But as I trust my Serious Eats cohorts, I gave them full rein to bring me cocktails they thought I might like, or at least not spew out.

"You have to try a White Russian," insisted Michele, one of Serious Eats' interns and overall food-loving extraordinaire. "You'll love it. It's sweet and milky."

And this is what happened.

ssiiipp eeuhh yeeuhh
I'm hamming it up a bit.

The first sip. The swallow. The intensely squinty, open-mouthed face of disgust. That's usually how it goes.

But the White Russian, made with vodka, Kahlua, and milk, wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Not to say it filled me with a bubbly, new found love of cocktails—I would've liked it more without the alcohol—but I knew I could finish the drink without gagging. And I did.


...In between bites of way too much pizza from Fornino and burgers and fries from WIlliamsburger. I tried Williamsburger once before (didn't get to write about it) and I found it disappointing, but it was better this time even thought it must have suffered a bit from being delivered. Although my lack of willpower when faced with mountains of fries resulted in a bloated whale-esque feeling, padding my belly with carbs and fat was probably a good idea considering the drinks to come.

sex on the beach
No more milky.

Next up was a Sex on the Beach, made of vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Because of the bitterness from the alcohol, I thought it tasted just like grapefruit juice. But with added alcohol. It was alright.

Time to bowl.

In between drinks, I bowled. Poorly. My coworkers and friends didn't shoot cocktails at me in a rapid fire-fashion.

amaretto sour
Smells like cherries.

Amaretto sour was next on the list. If I forgot there was alcohol in it, this could've been an enjoyable dessert drink. Amaretto almond liquer and sweet and sour mix make for a very sweet, slightly sour beverage. Not that I'd ever choose to drink it.

I think the drinks kept getting weaker.

Last up was a Malibu, coconut rum and pineapple juice, as far as I know. It reminded me of the tropical-flavored candies I half heartedly ate as a kid only because they were mixed in with the other candies—the temperate-flavored cherries, grapes, strawberries—I actually wanted to eat. Not too alcohol-laden. Kind of boring. I finished it anyway.

"Do you feel okay, 'Boppy? Gonna come to work late tomorrow from a MASSIVE HANGOVER?" A few people said something along those lines to me. For better or worse, I felt totally fine; I think the couple potatoes' worth of french fries soaked up the alcohol, besides that the culmulative alcohol content of those four drinks was probably too weaksauce to do any damage. The next morning there was no sign of alcohol-induced poisoning, aside from the intense lethargy that comes with getting less than five hours of sleep (a path that I'm on now seeing as it's nearing 2:30 a.m.). Never again will I have to say, "No, I don't have a hangover," so many times in one day.

...Unless anyone else want to challenge me to a succession of cocktails. You're paying.

Related: Post-Fried Chicken: Pizza and Gelato (And Alcohol)


The Gutter
200 N 14th St
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Jane H. / December 18, 2008 2:50 AM

I get a similar expression when I drink soju..
Have you tried soju? People expect me to drink it
really well because I'm Korean but in reality, not
so much...

jesi / December 18, 2008 3:06 AM

while i like all the things in it, white russians are always mixed too strongly for me. next time you are pressured to drink alcohol, you should get a mudslide somewhere that makes big fancy drinks. its like a vaguely alcoholic milkshake! mm. all booze should come with whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top. or like, hot chocolate with white chocolate liqueur in it... yum. winter coctails are the best.

SuperChomp / December 18, 2008 7:30 AM

On the whole, I don't drink either. I do love when my friends go for cocktails though; I get a sip of each without buying a single one. It's amazing how willing people are to give you alcohol when you don't drink. But yeah, I totally know where you're coming from when you wonder why anyone would want to develop such an expensive hobby as drinking.

Kate / December 18, 2008 10:52 AM

No has taken me a looong time to find anything alcohol wise I enjoy. And, I still don't like a lot of things. I mostly prefer the girly drinks that don't taste like booze. Schmirnoff Ice in the bottle is decent, and it lacks an alcoholy taste...

Haha, I understand exactly what you mean though. It is like people make it their personal goal to get you wasted. Why? I have no idea.

Steph / December 18, 2008 11:02 AM

You would totally, absolutely, most definitely HATE me if I was your bartender.Being that I work in a restaurant with many older customers who have been spoiled over the years with overly powerful drinks (a reward for their loyalty, I guess)-- I get complaints if I don't "pour them high" (read: lots and lots of liquor and minimal mixers). Thus, my proportions are really, really off when mixing... but at least I get good tips..... :P

- S

roboppy / December 18, 2008 11:03 AM

Jane: I haven't had soju yet, but I saw Tristan get totally drunk-sick on it once. ..Which doesn't make it look very appealing. :P

Jesi: But I'd rather drink a non-alcoholic milkshake! Haha. ...Well I could say I'd rather drink a non-alcoholic anything. Hell I'd just eat a cup of whipped cream and chocolate syrup.. :)

Marvo: Gorge myself, I will.

SuperChomp: HAHA, it's so true, people fling alcohol at you when you don't drink. Hm. Sometimes I ask for a sip just so I can say I've tried it, but my palate has yet to adjust.

Kate: People want to see DRUNK BOPPY!

Steph: OH GOD, never make me a cocktail.. ;)

Julie / December 18, 2008 11:12 AM

Oh jeesh--does it bug you when people tease you about drinking and try to pour drinks down your throat? Either way, you were a good sport for at least trying the drinks!

Lauren / December 18, 2008 11:27 AM

Wow you really are a good sport for drinking all those cocktails! I am much less gracious than you. In fact I would be annoyed if people pushed drinks on me (even though I do drink sometimes). Now I'm in the mood for a (non-alcoholic) milkshake...

Honey / December 18, 2008 12:29 PM

I can't believe there was no love for the amaretto sour! Ugh, my favorite drink...but admittedly, very girly. You could kick it into a higher gear by getting a whiskey sour. Tres yum. And I think someone told me once that Asians don't get hangovers, unless it's an extreme case. I've never been close to I haven't been able to test that theory...Looks like you had fun at the bowling alley though!

wonders / December 18, 2008 2:59 PM

I like amaretto and milk. I'm not much of an alcohol drinker either...but amaretto and milk tastes like almond milk...super yummy!

roboppy / December 18, 2008 3:37 PM

Julie and Lauren: I just added a note to say that no one really FORCED me to drink; I willingly acted as a guinea pig. :) I trust my fellow fooders, hehe.

Honey: Well, it didn't taste terrible, but..still..alcohol! NOOO!! It had the most interesting flavor, I'll admit. Can I have an alcohol-less version? :)

OH GOD I will stay away from the whiskey. :)

I've been tipsy two or three times in my life. Not close to hungover though; just woooozy.

wonders: I love almond milk! JUST GIMME ALMOND MILK!

Amy / December 18, 2008 5:33 PM

I love amaretto sours! they were my drink of choice Senior Year.

future drinks you might want to try if you ever do this experiment again:

Tequila sunrise: grenadine (a sweet syrup) + orange juice + tequila

dessert wine like Reisling

emi / December 18, 2008 5:37 PM

A white russian is, as you said, vodka + kahlua + milk/cream. I think they're good, but I do always taste the vodka.

Kahlua + milk, no vodka, however, is like choclately milk of yum, with no discernible alcohol taste (to me - you'd probably taste it, but you'd probably not mind it.) Of course, Kahlua has very little alcohol, but still, delicious!

[sorry if this posts twice, my computer is being weird right now]

Angeline / December 18, 2008 6:20 PM

Did you turn red after all those drinks Robyn (heh heh "Red Robyn"). I turn red at the mere sight of alcohol. Asian curse I'm told.

Tomorrow's my office party, we're going to a steak house, wish me luck.

Su-Lin / December 18, 2008 7:49 PM

I hate when there's pressure to drink, however subtle or if it's like teasing. I just don't like the taste of alcohol either. I thought it's just me but I've since met a handful of others like me.

Huicheol / December 18, 2008 7:56 PM

I'm the same way when it comes to alcohol. :( People never seem to understand that it doesn't matter what you mix with it (or what brand it is), it's the alcohol itself that tastes bad. Same with coffee (I can't even eat coffee cake! lol).

I can deal with fruity drinks but I still don't see the appeal. Maybe it's because I've never gotten smashed. lol

Marcela / December 18, 2008 10:21 PM

“It's not a moral issue; it's a taste issue.” Absolutely agreed! I don’t know why people pay so much attention to the persons who doesn’t drink.

I’m not much of a drinker either. I’d try several times to drink more alcohol or try different cocktails, but at then end I just realized that I’m not into it, and besides it’s expensive D: I rather spend my money in a nice dinner,lol.

Good luck with the moving!

Christina / December 18, 2008 10:48 PM

LOL, that was pretty funny! I think they were all probably shocked that the alcohol didn't really have much of an effect on you. I like the "I would have liked this drink if I had forgotten there was alcohol in it"! I don't drink, either, so I just stick with the non-alcoholic versions, though I do think that fruit sorbets with wines in it taste good.

Good luck with the moving!

Julie / December 18, 2008 10:49 PM

Oh no, I know no one forced you. But speaking from my perspective, sometimes I feel like the latest party game with the goal being to get my to drink, just because I consciously choose not to. I mean, no one's ever mean or pushy about it, but they almost don't believe I truly don't enjoy it anymore or that they have a drink that I'll love so much, that I just have to try it. I did more than my share of drinking, so it's sometimes a pain when any of my current friends can't just let it go. It reminds me a little of meat eaters who try to get their vegetarian friends to try meat (or food made with meat broth, or dairy if someone's a vegan, etc.). Few and far between, but people like that are out there.

roboppy / December 19, 2008 8:56 AM

Amy: I've had dessert wines before and they stilll taste like buuuuuuh. Overall I can drink white easier than red, not that I necessarily like it.

Emi: Mm, I like chocolate milk! I would just drink chocolate milk. Heh.

Angeline: No red for me, as far as I knew!


Huicheol: I don't like coffee either, but I'm okay with coffee sweets, like those of the ice cream and cake sort. ;)

Marcela: They pay attention because WE ARE SUCH AN ANOMALY! Like, how did we get through college without drinking? Hm..

Christina: Oh nooo, I cannot eat sorbets with wine in em. Then they taste :[

Julie: I kinda don't mind the, "ROBYN, TRY THIS DRINK, YOU WILL LIKE IT!" thing because then I can say, "HELL NO I DO NOT LIKE IT" and prove it to them. As long as I'm not paying for the drinks or anything. But people don't seem to realize how much I've tried already; it's not like I'm a complete n00b, haha. Just that everything tastes similar: like ALCOHOL. I too have some friends who just can't let it go. Eh.

Kristen / December 21, 2008 1:18 AM

Yay! There's someone else like me! That face pretty much is a perfect recreation of me with every wine I try...and most mixed drinks. The taste of alcohol is just bad to me, so it gets to be, "Why am I paying for this when I hate it?"

My friends are good at understanding that I don't really drink, but they're also helpful at trying to come up with drinks that I might like. So far, things I've actually liked have been:

Sangria made with red wine and brandy and then I diluted it further with the fruit punch that was also at the party (this whole combination was actually utterly fabulous)
A drink that the bartender invented but we can't remember the name of but it had Malibu, grapefruit, orange and pineapple juice.

Basically, if I can't taste that there's alcohol in it, it's good :)

Bonnie / December 21, 2008 6:10 PM

Wow, that looks like a fun party. We're going to two Chanukah parties and a Christmas caroling party but I'd trade them for a bowling party in Williamsburg and great cocktails. About the taste, I do know what you mean, but you probably have a heightened sense of taste, being such a fine food reviewer. No reason to drink, just stick to what you enjoy most. I love cocktails but only certain ones, and I do get ill if I overindulge or drink on an empty stomach.

Merry Christmas and hope your move goes smoothly!

roboppy / December 22, 2008 12:51 AM

Kristen: "Basically, if I can't taste that there's alcohol in it, it's good :)"

Haha, same here. I would add, "and if it's free." Has to fulfill both.

Bonnie: I'll stick with my delicious OATMEAL SHAKE!! :)

The move went well! Alas, still have a few boxes to unpack. So lazyyy.

Sue / December 29, 2008 9:27 PM

Haha, I recently went bowling with a couple of drinks, too. And I usually never drink, I would only try sips 'cause I don't like the taste of alcohol either. Seems like you were sober, I got super hyper^^;;

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