The Kenyan Bar Guy’s Guide to Drinksember

The Kenyan Bar Guy's Guide to Drinksember
Reading Time: 5 minutes

What would the festive season be without a guideline form the Kenyan Bar Guy? Not that I am well-seasoned but I have in a short time seen and learnt a lot. So here is a guide of drinks and dont’s to consider.

  1. Do not drink and drive

This goes without saying. No, the car does not know the way home. Yes, it is very stupid. No, your place is not just here. Yes, you are drunker than you think. No, it does not make you cool. Arrive alive. Remember, speed kills. 

2. Do hydrate

Water, water and more water. This will be your best friend. After every pint have two or more glasses of water. It will pace you, keep you hydrated, make you run to the loo a few times. Basically, you will keep your blood alcohol levels low and have a good time. No, passing out is not a good time.

3. Do not try and keep up

Listen. It is not a race. You have your pace and just because Brayo is on his 6th shot does not mean you have to keep up. Stay in your lane. We all have different tolerance levels. No, it is not embarrassing to take a cider when the guys are having a neat whiskey on the rocks. Yes, they will laugh at you. No, you should not care.

4.Do say NO

When you’ve reached your limit, put it down. Consider point 2 and just chill. The guys will jeer at you. Then there’ll be the obnoxious ones that will try and pour it down your throat. Just say NO! At the end of the day, there will be no hurt feelings. You will wake up feeling alright and your wallet will thank you.

5.Do mind your business when someone says no

Yes, someone said no. That should not make you feel bad. They are not saying not to you they are saying not to the booze. Do not make it a big deal, it is not. They know their limits. They came there to have fun and you are killing their vibe by forcing drinks their way. Look at it this way, if they say no it is ore for you no?

6.Do NOT mix your liquor

Cocktails seem like exceptions but stick to one liquor cocktails. The gin and tonics, old fashions and whiskey sours. If you must do them consider point 2. For the ones taking hard liquor stick to one.  If you start on Vodka maintain it to the end. Parties are deceiving. There’s usually a selection. Choose wisely when you arrive. Also, to the daredevils, ciders and ales are not chasers. Love your livers! Do I need to mention the hangover that comes with it?

7. Do eat

Load on carbs and proteins frequently before, in between and after drinks. They will help absorb the alcohol and slow down the rate at which you are getting drunk. It is particularly good for long nights or day drinking. So when you are stocking up on the booze pick up buns, hotdogs, and burger patties. Personally, these are a favorite because preparation is a breeze. They are good finger foods and are a combination of carbs and proteins. But if you fancy Ugali and some nyama go for it.

8. Do NOT cry

Yes, 2018 has been hard. We have all had emotional trauma and mental strain. But, keep all that away from parties. Guys are just trying to have a good time. You breaking down will kill the buzz. You can always stay away from “fun” gatherings if you feel a dark cloud hanging over you. Call a friend, talk it out.

9.Do not try to be funny

Alcohol makes you think you are the next Kevin Hart. You are not. If you’ve never been funny sober you won’t be funny drunk either. Leve the jokes to the clowns of the group.

10.Do laugh

Just because you are not funny does not mean you should be a wet blanket to those that are. Fist bump, slap hug and snort-laugh to those puns when they are thrown around.

11. Do NOT freeload

Unless the invite says drinks are on the house, carry your M-Pesa balance, wallet and or bank card. We are all having it hard out here. Pay for what you drink and if the gentleman’s agreement is to go Dutch, go Dutch. Otherwise, do not show up. There’s no shame in that.

12. Do PAY your share of your bill

Sometimes going Dutch is unfair. There’s the guys that are sipping Glen’s (not the rock kind) and Black labeled whiskeys. You might have been only having a white cap or three. Do not assume that since they are taking expensive liquor the bill is on them. Pay for your whitecaps when it is time to leave. Insist if you have to. Drunks tend to be overly generous.

13. Do not show up empty-handed

This goes for house parties. It is disrespectful. Carry a bottle of something or a six-pack. Bring food and snacks. Heck even bring lots of water. Maybe ice from the supermarket. Show some appreciation to your host. When you are not sure what to bring, call them and ask what they need. There will always be something. One time I had to get serviettes.

14. Do not overstay

With house parties, it is common to get comfortable and overstay. The host might not have the guts to chase you out. But you will know when you’ve overstayed your welcome. So when you’ve had your food, drinks and maybe helped clear up. Say your goodbyes. They too need to rest. You can meet the boys or the host later if you want to extend the party elsewhere.


If the party starts at 3 PM it is 3 PM not 6. There’s nothing like fashionably late. If you must be late in form the host in advance. These late comers most likely break point.

16. Do NOT go to Mwendas

As the unofficial brand ambassador do not go. I kid. That place is fun. Do go and enjoy a Mogash. Just one though.

17.Do NOT leave drinks unattended

Some people are not there to have a good time. They are working to relive you of your belongings and money. When you go to the bathroom make sure you’ve finished your drink or left it with someone you trust. If you feel that your drink does not taste the same leave it. Alert the bartender. Leave.

18. Do not SHOP drunk

This might seem stupid but if you have been drinking you should not be shopping. You will wake up to random, useless sh*t you do not need like a carrot juicer.

19. Do NOT drunk call

Yes, that last shot of tequila made you miss your ex. Maybe that finger of whiskey gave you the courage to call up your boss and give them hell for not getting a raise. Maybe that gin and tonic went down smooth and you thought it was the best time to hit on your crush. They are all wrong. Put off your phone if you have to. Change the password. Do something but call those guys.

20. Do LET your friends know when you get home

It feels like a task. You might brag about how often you forget. But a simple “Got home” is the peace of mind some people need. It is crazy out here. So many guys are ignoring point 1 and lives are being lost. With the same breath, you say “thank you” when you get a compliment say you got home.

21. Do NOT sleep without taking water

Yes, this is about water again. Drink it before you go to bed. If you have to take a liter or more. Your body will thank you in the morning. Dehydration is the leading cause of hangovers.

22. Do SLEEP

You are not a cyborg. Also, you are not as young as you feel. You will get tired. You will get fatigue. So sleep regularly and get enough of it. There’s always another lit party another day.


After all, it is the holidays!

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