If you’re heading out for a big celebration or a night on the town, you might want to keep tabs on how many drinks you have. While you may be expecting to get hammered by the time the day is over, if the festivities involve a wedding, family reunion, or work function, you don’t want to be “that dude” who passed out before dinner. In fact, you may have learned the hard way that, if you start cracking beers too early and you don’t pace yourself, the good times can quickly turn bad.
Or, if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, then keeping a record of how many cocktails you’ve had is a smart idea. Unfortunately, alcoholic drinks tend to be packed with calories as well as flavor, so knowing how many beverages you’ve had is important if you’re trying to lose weight. The good news is that, with a little preparation and discipline, there are several great ways to keep track of the drinks you’ve had throughout the night.
What if I make a “mental note?”
If drinking isn’t at all your thing, and you’ve been called a “party pooper” or “wet blanket” numerous times, then chances are you usually have just two or three drink anyway. If this is you―just be honest―then you probably won’t have much trouble keeping track. If you can’t remember whether it was one or two drinks, who cares anyway?
If, on the other hand, you’re more like “Frank the Tank” from the movie “Old School”, and tend to turn into a party animal after you’ve had two beers, then this approach is not for you. By the time you’ve finished your second cocktail you’ll probably be mapping out which drinking game to start, rather than trying to remember how many you’ve had.
Party folks like this usually end up getting completely wasted, or buzzed at a minimum, so remembering “what happened last night” will be a challenge, never mind how many drinks they downed.
Should I ask my buddies?
If your pals quickly switch to water for the night after ordering a second round of drinks, then this could conceivably work. For most people, however, this is another bad idea.
If you have trouble keeping track of how many drinks you’ve had, then why would anyone else who’s also having mind-numbing beverages be good at it? In addition, if you’re out at a pub or someone else’s house, your friends probably have more important things to do―you know, like socialize―then watch your every move.
If there is anyone who may be able to keep tabs on how many beers or highballs you’ve downed, maybe, just maybe, it would the designated driver. Who knows? They may be so bored they’ll take on the chore just for something to do.
What about the bartender or server?
While a bartender or server might politely smile and say “sure thing” if you ask them to keep track of your drinks, that doesn’t mean they give a damn about actually doing it right. First off, they’re there to make money, so making sure you cut yourself off after three beers might not be first on their priority list.
There’s also the fact that they’re probably pretty busy, and don’t have time to watch over you and remind you when you’ve had that fifth cocktail. If you’ve ever worked in a busy restaurant or bar, you know that worrying about getting drink orders right and out to the customers takes precedence over everything else. Assuming they care about their job, of course. They’re not there to be your babysitter.
One way a bartender or server can be a big help though, is to run you your own tab so that only your drinks are on that bill. Once you’ve had a few beers, tell them you would like to clear up so that you can see how many you’ve had. The key to this, of course, is to remember to ask for the bill sooner rather than later.
What about writing it down?
If you’re more of a “do it yourself” kind of person, then bring a pen and some paper and make a note every time you have a drink. This way you don’t need to rely on anybody else and you’ll also have a record to refer to if your memory gets hazy.
If you think it might look weird busting out a notebook or piece of paper every time you get a drink, then try making a mark on your hand or wrist. Just try not to wash it off when you to go the washroom or by spilling beer all over yourself.
Could I use my phone?
Since everyone else will likely be checking their phone every thirty seconds or so, using yours to make a note of every drink will likely go unnoticed and you won’t have to worry about it getting erased. Assuming you don’t lose your phone or drop it after you’ve had a few.
Most smart phones have a function to record notes, and there are even a few apps specifically designed to help you keep track of your drinks. See, there really is an app for everything!
Of course, you could just bring your wife or girlfriend with you when you go out drinking. No doubt, she’ll gladly keep track of your drinks, whether you ask her to or not.