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The Bartender – Issue 5

Picture yourself somewhere in the first half of a Saturday. The climate outside is ideal with cloud to sun ratio bordering on perfection. It’s hot but not too hot, a rather flirty breeze has made sure the pits stay mostly fresh. It would seem the natural world has come together and timed up a weekend flex for the ages, but where are you for all of this?

Oh, you’re at the liquor store, doing that same dance you do every Saturday while pretending you don’t. You’d think after four years straight of alcohol brutality that there’d be some semblance of a plan with your choice of poison. What’s worse is that this library-style liquor store browse is less an isolated incident and more the climax of a much larger routine.


All morning you’ve been trying on clothes, ironing them, mix and matching in hopes of one beautiful fashion epiphany. It’s taken seven outfit swaps, twenty-three selfies and moving the mirror twice to get there, but you’ve achieved style ecstasy. Then of course you brushed your teeth properly for the first time all week. I mean sure you brush good enough Sunday to Friday but Saturday gets the royal treatment, a digital brush, decent floss and even mouthwash. The rest of the day has been rounded out by eating lunch in your undies and a 45-minute shower. 


But to say all this, isn’t to shame your waste of a beautiful day but rather to guide you moving forward so that next Saturday you don’t stare at the vodka section for a full episode of Friends and before you say anything, don’t act like you haven’t been sucked down that blackhole half a dozen times. So here it is, a short and sweet guide on what drinks you should be getting. This list is in no particular order so please don’t read this as some kind of power ranking and also drink whatever you want, choice of beverage is like art – subjective. If you wish to drink a box of Cody’s and piss your pants, that’s allgood.


Purple Pals

The perfect refreshment for anyone who is wanting to jump on the vodka soda wave without it tasting too much like dishwashing detergent. Part-Time Rangers walked so Pals could run and although I don’t know which has fewer calories for our health-conscious problem drinkers I also don’t care. At this point, the canned soda hybrid companies are beefing over which cans look the coolest and that’s why Pals is here.


Long Whites

Although not quite the darling they once were, Long Whites still hold a place on a list like this based on flavour alone. Some of your mates will spit on you depending on the flavour you choose but these are the same people that will vorteke their entire box on Instagram. You could ditch feijoa or just get new mates.



Decent pickup if you want the entire party to know you’re going through a break-up and to

automatically flag that one responsible friend who will need to look after you past 9pm. A very

fitting name, Nitro works a lot like Nitro on Crash Bandicoot, if you touch it, you die.


Red Wine

For the older, more mature post-grad student who prefers a touch of class to pair with their fifth pinger in two weeks. Great for a BYO however a logistical nightmare at house parties but hey, if you want to drink warm insta-stain juice then who cares about carrying around a glass and two bottles and bum fumbling the entire inventory every time you give someone a hug, make that shit happen.


White Wine

See above but you can have it cold so infinitely better. I say this with all offence to our lukewarm liquid consumers and sensible tea enthusiasts. You can send all complaints to



Smirnoff Ice Double Blacks

A really good way to spot the one person at the party you want to avoid. If someone purposely picked up a box of Double Blacks they have absolutely nothing to lose. They are now but a shell of a human being and are either immune to violent sugar crashes and severe heartburn or are punishing themselves.



Perhaps the smartest of the low tier beer options, the Tui questions are a decent ice breaker for every situation. Got to the party far too early? Pop a question. Awkward silence following a

particularly brutal beer pong defeat? Pop a question. Just spewed on your mate’s couch, the closest person screams, the music cuts out and the entire room turns around to look at you? ‘What’s the longest river in North America?’


Pure Blonde

A solid drink for the jock who doesn’t want to let himself go and still thinks you need to drink beer to retain jock status despite his entire friend group being solidly addicted to Vodka Cruisers. Low carbs, low standards.



Mix it with some clean and crisp soda water or strive for something more experimental and fuse it with Mountain Dew, potentially blinding yourself in the process. Therein lies the beauty of Vodka, the incredibly versatile paint thinner lets you decide your fate.


Apple Cider

You too can enjoy the refreshing taste of an ice-cold apple cider and going out for a piss a total of three thousand times throughout the night.


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