« The Midnight Sun Social is approaching | Main | Half-sampling the new fall drinks at B&O American Brasserie »

October 13, 2009

Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: I'll never drink that again.

ouch!Oh man. Owl Meat's guest column brings back some rather nasty memories of bad tequila circa freshman year of college. I was soured on it for years. Here's Owl Meat:

Is there a drink that you over-indulged in years ago that still makes you queasy? Some youthful ill-advised binge splurge whose smell can still turn you green?
For me that blunder was Southern Comfort: peachy seductress, Kentucky succubus. Sweet, fruity, and powerful like a Skittles Crown Vic. In the folly of youth we gravitate toward alcohol that is sweet and strong – a formula for ignominious defeat. SoCo deserves a special place in the Bad Ideas Hall of Fame for me along with, well, you know who you are.
On a trip to the beach with two friends, I bought my first legal liquor after I crossed the border from Pennsylvania to Maryland. I don't recall what else we bought, but I remember dastardly SoCo, the Snidely Smiley Whiplash of liquors.

In my mind it was a macho drink. Oh so wrong ...

More wrong was waking up on the motel bathroom floor with a lattice of tile marks on my face, a belly full of empty regret, and my friends banging on the door. Stooopid.
SoCo, it's some kind of fancy liquor, right?. Electric man-hooch, Kentucky courage, Dixie demon dew, a liquid torrent of antebellum testosterone-y quenchiness. A man's man drink or at least a man-boy's drink. That doesn't sound right.
What's the real dealio with SoCo? Great ghost of Jim Beam, the truth is ugly. Wikipedia declares, "Southern Comfort is a fruit, spice and whiskey flavored neutral grain spirit-based liqueur produced since 1874." Whiskey flavored liqueur? Aaaaaaaaa ... I say, I say, I say, I say, somethin' is afoul in the chicken coup.
Neutral grain spirit-based liqueur? That means that it's a flavored, sugary, diluted vodka ... a liqueur! Oh, the indignity, to be laid low by such a dainty poseur. I do declare, as Foghorn Leghorn might say, I feel defrauded, fraudulated, and enfrauded.
I refuse to believe that the first bottle of Beelzebooze to take me downtown to Tiletown was a girly bourbon imposter. Gimme the bottle, Kyle. Let's have a look see. Established 1874. Seventy proof, well below the norm of 86 proof for bourbon. The bottle claims it is "the New Orleans original" and yet it is, "Produced and bottled by the Southern Comfort Bottling Company, Louisville, Kentucky." It is actually bottled in St. Louis. Sweet sassy molassey, I do declare I have been hornswaggled. I say, I say, I say, ...
My motto since then is, "Yo, no mo SoCo, bro."
As I related this tale of whoa to others at the bar, they chimed in with their own youthful Waterloos, including Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill, liebfraumilch, peppermint schnapps, and an improbable Chartreuse.
So what was your youthful downfall?

(Photo by Getty Images)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (41)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays


Sambuca. I still can't smell licorice without gagging a litle.

powermaster malt liquor. remember that? we got a kick out of the hubbub and had to get our hands on some. fortunately it was forcibly removed from shelves.

Youthful downfall: any vodka that can be purchased in a large quantity in a plastic jug for less than $10. Seemed like a really good deal, but in restrospect it's probably only a good deal if you plan to use it as paint-thinner.

Jager. No elaboration necessary.

Captain Morgain. Me and the cap'n make it happen, and by "it" I mean laying hunkered in the fetal position all night on the bathroom floor. Only pictures can tell the tale of that night, and from what I saw, they tell the tale of a stupid college boy trying to play catchup to a game of Edward 40 Hands by duct taping a fifth of Captain to his hand. At least I was kind enough to myself to fasten a 20 oz of Coke to the other.

Tuaca and Sambuca are the ones that I simply can not drink. I, like alot of other people, have never been a fan of black jelly beans. Why on earth would I drink them in liquid form? And I used to drink Tuaca shots with friends about 10 years ago when we first discovered it but somewhere along the way it became like ipecac to me.

FHT: Like Vons Charcoal Filtered at $8 a handle? Why would a supermarket have its own line of alcohol? And why would I spend two years drinking it?

Ha! I remember back in my early, naive drinking days I too thought Southern Comfort was a "macho drink".

I'd definitely have to say my youthful downfall was MD 20/20. Just looking at a bottle now gives me an uncomfortable queazy, ashamed feeling.

Strawberry Rose MadDog....I got a whiff of a broken bottle of it in the gutter and almost dry heaved a good 5 years after my bad experience with it.

When you're young, you're forced to drink whatever you can get your paws on. But Strawberry Rose MadDog, Clint? Hee hee!

Tequila. In anything.

I was 20, it was a friend's roommate's 21st. I was visiting my friend in SLO from Flagstaff, AZ. The roommate was the first amongst his group of friends to be legal, and he decided he'd procure us all the liquor of our choice. I drank the majority of a bottle of Cuervo. I declared after about two shots of it, that I would drink the whole bottle that night.

About five shots in, I was getting the eye from this girl, and knew where things would go, so I told my friend "don't let me do anything stupid." A little bit late, right?

I ended up making out with her in that, so drunk there are teeth in kind of way. Found out the next morning that she was 16.

I was awakend the next morning by my friend's roommate's parents who were there to pick him up for brunch. I was very cold and soon realized I was completely nude.

I can't even smell margarita flavored Jelly Bellies without throwing up a little bit in my mouth.

Wild Turkey, age nineteen, trip to New York with some friends. An older Southern guy at work told me to never drink Wild Turkey, so I made sure to get a whole bottle for the trip. I spent a whole day in a small New York bathroom with half of my body hanging out in the hallway the other half in a toilet. Now I cringe every time I pour Wild Turkey for somebody.


Nothing like waking up in a stairwell at TU's Residence Tower; very confused with cinnamon emisis whiff all around you.

I drank with 2 other friends (each with their own bottle) and I ended up on the easy end of the spectrum that night.

The less said about them, the better.

Also, being a dumber-than dumb youngbuck drinking a bottle of Kahlua - straight - after taking my SAT's and before going to the HFStival years ago.

Nothing says, "goodbye contents of my stomach!" faster than coffee liqueur and McDonald's fries.

Actually, it's Snidely Whiplash, not Smiley. I hate to see a great line (and hilarious post) ruined by a factual error.

Actually, it's Snidely Whiplash, not Smiley.

Zoinks. Thanks for pointing that out. Of course it's Snidely Whiplash. That's what I wrote originally. Blame that on an over-zealous spell-checker and me having a cold. Drats! Maybe Sam will change it back to Snidely. At least it didn't get changed to Miley Whiplash.

That's a hilarious image KelSo. Capn & Coke hands. Arrrrrr......

Hawaiian Punch.

That's right, I said it, Hawaiian Punch!

Freshman year at college, I watched the upperclassmen pour a bunch of booze in a trash can, topped off with copious amount of Hawaiian Punch. Don't remember anything else about the night...until I woke up in a puddle of ....well...let's just call it recycled Punch.

Had no problem drinking after that, as long as it didn't contain the dreaded sweet red elixir.

The lesson I learned lo these many years ago: don't drink anything mixed in a garbage can!

the term for this in psychological circles ( wherein psychologists circambulate after too much Janis juice)
is The Hollandaise Sauce Effect.

I have two actually.

1.) Screwdrivers, ala not fresh oj, but the "Bartenders Mix" waxy weird tasting one, and cheap Smirnoff Vodka. On my 18th B-day we played a game by seeing how many empty glasses we could line up on the skinny wooden shelf that lined the walls of "No Fish Today".. ugh, now I am dating myself! I swore that the first day I was able to legally drink would be my last. You know how that goes..
2.) Shots of Cuervo Gold. I had a Halloween party, it was the year I dressed up as Wanda from Beetlejuice. Lets just say I remember (an accomplishment in itself) finding myself in line at the Dunkin" Donuts at 3am , I guess trying to get sober, and it failed miserably as I wished i was dead the entire next day, when I had to pull myself togther for to attend a Tom Petty concert that evening. Ever try to go to a concert still hung-over 24 hours after a party? Not a good idea!

Now, other than the occasional -tini something, I stick with Wine !!

I haven't been to a party where the drinks are served from a trash can in a long time. I'm getting so dull. We used to call that blow-lunch punch.

Bombay sapphire also, drank a half a liter once and had a real bad adventure

Thank you, Sam. As one of the few bondage-freak cartoon charactesr, I need to protect my fiendish reputation.

Raspberry Smirinoff Vodka... there was an incident my freshman year at UMD involving the 7th floor communal showers in Cumberland Hall and several girls in bikinis that ended with 12 stitches in my face. Even the smell of Bath & Body Works Raspberry body splash makes me gag a little. If it's mixed in something I'm fine, but the smell by itself or even seeing the bottle is just too much for me.

The best was calling my dad the next day... "Dad, good news is that I got my teatnus shot updated." "And the bad?" "Also needed 12 stitches..."

On my 24th birthday, after drinking all day with my new lady and some friends, I found myself at Kisling's. We went upstairs to see Greg the bartender, who was a regular at my bar. I made the mistake of telling him that it was my birthday and he proceded to fill a pint glass two-thirds of the way up with Grand Marnier. Having beer muscles, I picked it up, toasted, and knocked it back in one fell swoop...then blacked out. I have vague memories of clutching the toilet downstairs with people banging on the door. The new lady very soon became the not-my-lady, and I couldn't even stand to look at a bottle of GM for years.
Because I hate myself so much, I tended bar at One Eyed Mike's for a little over two years surrounded by the syrupy nastiness. Suffice to say, I was forced to get over my aversion.

High school, age 17, New Years and vodka. Clear vodka I had stolen from my parents mixed with Busch Light was a disaster waiting to happen. Spent the ball drop in the bathroom blowing chunks.

Someone tried to feed me water. The water bottle they handed me was in fact the water bottle I had used to stash my stolen vodka in. When I saw the "water" I began chugging. That vodka came up faster than a Yellowstone Geyser. Great teenage New Years.

there was an incident my freshman year at UMD involving the 7th floor communal showers in Cumberland Hall and several girls in bikinis

An incident? Bikinis? Aw, come on, you've got to splain that.

TAFKA CantonKate, that's funny, I lived on the sixth floor of Cumberland my freshman year, from 2001-2002. I wonder if our paths crossed.

What with Dining@Large doing foods to eat when you're sick (lamb chops? really?) and all these tales of woe, this sure is a Barftastic Tuesday. Anybody ever steal just a little bit from every bottle in your parents' liquor cabinet to make one collosally bad booze mashup? Blurg.

My parents caught on to my brother and my liquor cabinet shenanigans. The liquor was just for guests, so my parents didn't monitor it that well, but then my Dad started marking the bottles. My solution was to empty half a bottle of vodka and then fill it back up to the line with water. Little did I know my brother did the same thing. I may have done it twice. Then they had a party and served their guests the most weak screwdriver ever and the jig was up.

You know, Sam, I was wondering if we might have been at UMD at the same time. I swear I remember reading your columns in the Diamondback. My freshman year was 2002-2003, though, so we wouldn't have been in Cumbie at the same time. I was a JOUR major for a bit though, so we probably know a lot of the same people.

As far as the "incident"... there was no AC in the dorm so to cool off we had a "shower party" where we put all the shower curtains up making one big shower and ran around in our bathing suits until I fell and broke my face open. Very G-rated; sorry to disappoint. Legendary start to college anyway.

My (then) Boyfriend and I went to see his older sister. She lived in Fells Point and we went to an old bar called "the Omega." Let's just say that if you ever get the urge to say "Just gimme the bottle"...don't. I woke up the next day on her bathroom floor covered in dog hair and reeking of licorice smelling vomit. 20 years later and I can barely tolerate anything that smells like black licorice.

Except black licorice candy. Go figure.

Ouzo? Oh, good answer Kimmer. I forgot about a particularly ugly incident in Amsterdam and a bottle of absinthe. I don't think you could drink more of that stuff and live and let me state unequivocally that there is no hallucinating, no visions, no artistic inspiration, just a mind-blowing hangover.

My high school BF's panty peeling special was sloe gin and Sprite. It kind of backfired on him when I threw up in his bitchin' Camaro.

Hot gin hidden under a radiator in my parent's house. One swig of that and a clove cigarette and I've never touched either again.

Hot gin hidden under a radiator in my parent's house

Wowee Zowee

Back in my younger days, I did indulge in too much May Wine. Ah, sweet woodruff! Like lying in a meadow of fresh-mown hay...

Camille, what are you, a wood nymph?

In college, right after Jim Jones' purple koolaid massacre. We all drank a purple punch with grain alcohol. Took about three days to recover.

The worst was a tequila-fueled 24-hour regatta. Finished my final lap, jumped off the boat and swam to shore. Stepped on an oyster shell. Stitches in my foot. Hungover as hell, so my foot barely hurt, but that was really the least of my worries. Couldn't smell tequila for years without wanting to hurl.

As a teenage binge drinker I was on the tile-side of many borrowed spirits. I've revisited them all, except Bacardi Limon. I have no desire to drink it these days but I don't think I could if I wanted to. I shudder thinking about it now.

Rumpel Minze...

101 proof minty hell. Sure tasted good going down. Not so much on the return trip.

Ew, 101 proof? I don't think i've ever had it. It's usually in the cooler, so out of sight, out of mind is better than out of your mind. Have wrestled to a draw with Jaeger many times. Goldschlager... goldbarfer.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "y" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected