Bar Belle: The tumultuous 21

Taylor Swift joins the party

Look who’s joining the party. Taylor Swift turned 21 on Monday, and I was hoping to buy her first shot — chilled Southern Comfort, of course. But I bet she’s going straight for the tequila, or perhaps the Jager. Rookie mistakes. Twenty-one is a year of exploration with no guidebook. How much is too much? You’ll either find out during the spins or in the morning. What goes well together and is something you can sip on all night? I can tell you it’s not Goldschlager and Red Bull. I’d love to take Swift swiftly under my wing and show her the ropes. It’s a rough life ahead for your liver, no sense in dragging it through the barroom floor sludge before your 30s.

Perhaps she’ll update her song “Fifteen” to this: Cause when you’re 21 and/Somebody tells you there’s free beer tomorrow/You’re gonna believe them./When you’re 21 and your first makeout session with the bartender/Makes your head spin ’round but/In your life you’ll do things greater/Than dating the boy behind the bar./But I didn’t know it at 21.

Obviously Swift is an avid LEO reader, so here are some tips to keep her upright and out of the tabloids.

Learn to love beer — it will hold your hair back in the morning.

Keg stands garner respect — do it any chance you get.

Don’t do Irish Car Bombs on a full stomach.

The following drinks are good, but in moderation (meaning you should switch to beer after one): White Russians, Bloody Marys, Strawberry Daiquiris (unless you’re in Key West), Long Island Iced Teas, Margaritas (OK, go on and have two) and any drink the bartender lights on fire.

Don’t bob for fruit in the hooch, use the scooper.

When you get the spins, plant both feet firmly on the ground and hold onto the coffee table for dear life.

Never say you’re never going to drink again.

Never turn down a free shot.

Don’t discuss politics, religion or the merits of “Brokeback Mountain” in a bar.

Always tip the bartender or waitress — if you don’t have enough money, you should go write another crappy pop song.

Hold off on the first pee as long as possible.

Smile during your walks of shame — no regrets, I’m sure you learned a new position.

If you’re drinking wine, dance with the one who brought you — that shit’s expensive.

Leave the tears, the drama and the anger at the door — unless you see your ex with another woman, then go for it.

Get kicked out of a bar or cut off once.

Stay sober and observe how crazy your friends act when they’re drunk once.


Cumberland in bed with Red Hot Roasters

If you asked me where in town you could go for a quick, cheap buzz, I’d, of course, say the Back Door. But if it’s beer you seek, I’d send you directly to Cumberland Brews, 1576 Bardstown Road. I never leave that place without a fine, firm buzz — and all it takes is two beers, no matter what kind you pick. I believe there’s a little magic in every pint glass, and it’s a great place to escape from the daily grind.

Now, if you asked me who has the strongest coffee in town, I’d say, hands down, Red Hot Roasters, the local drive-thru grindhouse at 1401 Lexington Road. I’ll swing by there on the way to work, but I can’t even think about taking a sip until I’m securely in a building with a functioning toilet. TMI? Sure. But is it true? Definitely.

Where am I going with this? Well, the two strongest beverage makers in town are shacking up, and they’ve made a baby! The offspring is named Red Hot Roasters Redeye Stout, and it’s available all month long at Cumberland Brews. I got a chance to try brewmaster Cameron Finnis’ creation last week, and it is truly a sip to behold. I felt like I could run around the block and pass out at the same time. Alcohol and caffeine did a waltz with my liver in two-part harmony. I was awake and buzzed — it was breakfast and happy hour all rolled into one.


Drunk Texts of the Week

• Sandhill crane tastes like bald eagle

• Feeln like a brass band … all horny

• Lville just has MaybeStopLights

• Im feeling texty in this drunken outfit!

Check out my daily reasons to drink at