Hold Your Firewater
Our tips for a cheaper, safer, better tasting and less-filling Crawl
By Laura Marrich
After months of winter hibernation, you're ready to strut your stuff at the Alibi Spring Crawl. In an effort to provide Crawlers with the best spring kick-off ever, we've compiled this handy guide to help you party long into the night. Issues like personal welfare, cop avoidance, cost efficiency and the upcoming swimsuit season all factor into a Crawl we hope will produce the least morning-after remorse.
Decide how many drinks you're going to have before you go out and then bring just enough booze money to cover that amount. Your wallet and your liver will thank you in the morning.
If traveling en masse, democratically elect a sober bro to do the driving. It'll be that person's job to drive you safely to and from the Crawl, and to be the emergency contact in case anything goes awry. All members of your party should have the driver's number on their cell phones' speed dial.
If nobody's willing to stay sober, collect cab money in advance. Fork it over to the most responsible drunk in your party for safekeeping. Then program these numbers in: Albuquerque Cab 883-4888, Checker Cab 243-7777, Yellow Cab 247-8888 and Giant Cab 293-4222. You'll be amazed at how cheap a cab ride can be when split between four or five people.
Or you could always catch a ride downtown on the city bus (call 843-9200 for service times and locations), which will run until about 9:45 p.m. Arrange for a cab or sober friend to pick you up when you want to head home.
Then again, you could probably use a little exercise, so why not walk, skateboard, scooter or show off your low-rider bicycle's new ape-hangers on your way to the Crawl? You'll feel like such a bad-ass.
Get Your Snack On!
Eat something, for chrissake. Because alcohol lowers blood sugar levels, calorie-conscious drinkers looking to fill up on booze instead of food will only get hungrier as the night goes on. In the end, you'll chug down more high-calorie beverages and chase them with a late-night binge at the Frontier. Filling up on fats and proteins for your pre-party meal will slow the alcohol's absorption into your system, preventing you from getting famished and hammered too quickly.
The pullout section of this week's Alibi includes a list of the locations and hours of Downtown spots where you can grab your grub. You should be able to find a place that suits your tastes before you can say "Thanks a million, Weekly Alibi!"
The Skinny at the Bar
While it's true that alcohol contains no fat, it does interfere with your metabolism's ability to burn fat. When you drink, your body switches over to oxidizing the booze instead of stored fat cells, producing the same effect as consuming quantities of fat.
Alcohol is high in calories. One gram of the stuff comes in at seven calories, compared to the four calories found in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. No matter how you slice it, moderation is key if you're watching your waistline.
Some numbers to keep in mind; a 12-ounce "pint" of beer has around 144 calories, whereas light beer has only about 96. A 1.5-ounce shot of gin, rum, vodka, whisky or tequila will run about 95 calories, while just one ounce of coffee liqueur contains a whopping 117 calories.
Cut your cocktail calories in half by asking for a low-calorie mixer. Try a rum and Diet Coke or vodka and soda. You won't be able to tell the difference after you've had a few, anyway.
Do like the sorority girls do and make your wine into a spritzer. How else do you think they stay so svelte while drinking so heavily?
Order drinks "tall but not double." You'll get a bigger drink with only a single shot of alcohol, allowing for a longer drink time with less booze.
Have a Screwdriver or Bloody Mary, both tasty ways to sneak in some good some nutrients with your buzz.
Try a Shandy—a pint glass filled halfway with beer and topped off with iced tea or lemonade. The result is a refreshing low-cal beverage that goes down fabulously this time of year.
Schmoozin' and Boozin'
Sip your drink. Slowly. There's no reason to race to the bottom of your glass if you're having a fine time in good company. Then again, being surrounded by people you don't like in a crappy scene is really no time to get wasted, either. Just take it easy, cowboy.
Try to follow every alcoholic drink with a nonalcoholic one. This will help cut back on booze calories and kill your hangover before it starts. Also, keep in mind that water is exactly what your body craves and it's free, so drink up!
Your body can only metabolize about one drink per hour. It follows that taking shots isn't the best way to stay within the parameters of safe drinking.
Keep track of how many drinks you've had. If you can't remember the exact number then you've already had too many.
Avoid salty foods (yeah, that means beer nuts and pretzels)—they'll just make you thirstier, which you'll probably try to "correct" with more booze.
Dance your pants off! You'll drink less, become more aware of the alcohol's effect on your body and burn off calories as you consume them. At about 35 calories burned for every 10 minutes of moderate dancing, you can shake off your light beer in about half an hour.
Ideally, you should stop drinking about an hour or so before you decide to head out. For most of you, that means half an hour to an hour before last call. When those ugly lights come on, it's your cue to put down the martini, not toss the rest of it back.
While you're waiting to go, chug water like there's no tomorrow. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol makes you pee more because it's a diuretic, not because you're drinking more fluids than usual. Diuretics lead to dehydration, which is the primary reason you feel like a dirty dog butt the next morning.
Don't drive drunk. Our handy chart will give you a general idea of what kind of shape you're in (given that you're still able to perform some basic math functions). If you're not sure whether or not you technically qualify as "drunk," the officer who pulls you over will check for you.
Yes, you most likely will be pulled over because APD checkpoints will be set up over the friggin' place. Don't risk it.
Instead, you might want to hang out and eat a hot dog, call a friend or walk home. There'll also be a "cab stand" set up on Fourth between Central Avenue and Gold Street where you can arrange for a taxi service to whisk you wherever your stomach desires.
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