Alex DeSpain

IT'S SUNNY OUT! You've got the whole day free. You've even got a small patch of land to roll around in, or you know of a friendly bar with a patio that opens at noon. It's time to day-drink!

Assemble Some Comrades

Nothing is sadder than day-drinking alone, so call up the gang. Just make sure your fellow day-drinkers have all been road tested, as this is no time for amateurs. There's nothing worse than getting a few hours into a day-drink and discovering that your handsome new coworker can't handle his hooch. You don't want your day-drink to end in a fistfight, a breakup, an arrest, or, worst of all, a trip to Vegas.

Pick Your Poison

This is the most crucial element of day-drinking, and will not only define the course of the day, but also the next 48 to 72 hours of your life. Choosing the wrong beverage can wreck you.

The most obvious course of action is beer. Franciscan monks invented beer for the sole purpose of day-drinking. (Check source on that—Ed.) Before Sir Thomas Edison created the Tesla coil and defeated Lord Darkness in the Battle of Illumination, the only kind of drinking was day-drinking, so let's take a cue from our celibate predecessors and stick to god's finest libation, for one obvious reason: You'll likely fill your belly to capacity with beer before it can really ruin you. A cheap lager makes the most sense, but don't shy away from wheat beers as they are renowned for slaking summertime thirst. Get an authentic German-style weissbier or a Belgian-style wit. Also, a stout in the morning can be a goddamn delight.

Don't like beer? You're rolling the dice. If you want to slurp down a hot glass of merlot under the burning summer sun, be my guest, and oh, by the way, your teeth are all red. Whiskey? Okay, hot shot—if you can slowly nurse a half-bottle of bourbon over nine hours, you're a stronger person than I. Tequila? You're playing with fire. Gin? You are the devil incarnate.

Cut the Goods

Unlike night-drinking, where time is of the essence, the whole key to day-drinking is keeping a marathoner's pace. And summertime is the best time for making either a shandy (beer mixed with lemon soda, often) or a radler (beer mixed with grapefruit soda, most commonly). These are crazily refreshing on a hot day, and they won't get you too juiced. Make sure the soda doesn't have too much sugar, as this can lay you out later on. There are ready-made varieties of radlers and shandies that you can buy at the store, but an easy homemade version will be better: Even a High Life mixed with Sanpellegrino Limonata can taste spectacular when the sun's beating down. Or try making your own basic sodas, with freshly squeezed juice and a bit of simple syrup.

Sangria is a similar idea—but again, watch out for sugar. You don't want to crash a couple of hours into your binge. Also, your teeth are all red.

Choose Your Venue

Have a legal restroom close at hand, or at least a bush where you definitely won't get caught. Getting arrested for pissing in public? Yes, it happens.

More importantly, make sure you don't need to drive yourself home. This is the one unbreakable tenet of day-drinking. If you don't understand this, you probably aren't old enough to be reading this or any other newspaper.

Plan Ahead

Make sure your evening plans are established. You want to have a firm course of action dictated beforehand. When last-minute decisions are put in the hands of a group that's been day-drinking since 10 am, disasters happen. This is how you get 86'ed from your favorite strip club, or spend $400 on video poker. Also, you should have at least two substantial meals as part of your day-drinking agenda. Know where you are getting these meals before you start drinking.

Furthermore, unless you're already at the bar, make sure you don't run out of booze. Stock up beforehand; get surplus hooch if you have to. Once you start day-drinking, there's really no stopping until bedtime, and you don't want to be heading out to the store when you're already 13 sheets to the wind. Make sure you have something cheap and light to take you down that slurred, blurry slope of a day-drink's back end. Cracking open that prized bottle of Lagavulin 16 might seem like a good idea after you've already downed a dozen Mickey's. It is not.

Clear the Calendar

It's advisable to have a buffer day after any serious bout of extended boozing. Do you have tomorrow off? Then you're fine: You can laze on the couch and nurse that hangover, which will likely last until nightfall. Get some Advil, a cheesesteak, a pinch of weed, and an HBO Go password. Treat yo'self.

Here are some things you absolutely DON'T want to do the day after your epic binge:

• Run a 4K.

• Move.

• Go to your court date.

• Help somebody else move.

• Go on a first date.

• Attend a child's birthday party.

• Get married.

• Watch someone you know get married.

• Go to your job, unless you are a security guard or the CEO of a tech startup.


More How to Do Summer Articles:

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How to Spike a Watermelon

How to Roast a Whole Damn Pig

How to Have Super-Cold Beer, Super Fast

How to Cook a Rib

How to Take an Ice Cream Road Trip

How to Day-Drink

How to Pair Drinks with Any Summer Activity

How to Find Your Fave Summer Patio