Life is terrible. Life is terrible in America, in Asia, in Europe and probably even more terrible in Antarctica. Fortunately, booze exists and makes life, if not less terrible, more enjoyable. Alcohol has the magical ability to make us sit down, observe our surroundings and be social in ways we never normally would. Whether studying in London or Thailand, there is great booze to be had at a bar nearby.
Despite the interminable rain and the constant references to “proper football,” London can be the most welcoming place in the world. Start this welcome with the Snakebite, a mix of Guinness and hard cider that tastes like a multilayered candy. It’s also a great way to start off any night on the cheap side, especially at the right bars. There are also fabulous alternative Snakebites, made with Carling instead of Guinness, and with a splash of grenadine, which turns the drink pink. Good enough to suck through a straw.
Whether studying in Austria, Switzerland or Holland, beer provides the baseline for any night out. But for the serious “bier trinker,” venture to a small hill outside of Munich to the Weihenstephaner brewery, the oldest brewery still in existence. Weihesntephaner brews their beer according to German purity laws—barely, malt, hops, water and nothing else—and still makes the finest heffeweizen on any side of the Rhein. For the more casual guzzler, Heineken on tap in Amsterdam is worth a punt. If the Dutch beer in the States has been underwhelming, try it in its native habitat — it’s a whole new animal.
A tropical drink is no doubt in order here. A Mai Tai for breakfast, lunch or dinner isn’t a faux pas in the slightest. But for something that packs a little more punch, adventure seekers will need to take a dip in a Thai “Swimming Pool.” This cocktail is comprised of vodka, rum, coconut, fruit juice and the blue curacao liqueur, which gives it its distinctive blue look. If anything, it offers an alternative to skunked beer and contaminated water.
Story by Dane Watkins
Photo by Lily Voss