Food & Drink / Bar Wars

For years the world has been dogged by the question as to which alcoholic beverage is superior – lager or spirits? Alison Lee and Killian Woods investigate.MANY PEOPLE HAPPILY waste hours slouched on a stool at the local, sipping their pint of watery lager as Man Utd slaughter Liverpool on the plasma screen. Brainwashed by those dreadful Dublin Pub radio ads, they earnestly tell you that the atmosphere is fantastic.But in reality most people go out for pints because firstly, beer is marginally cheaper than other alcoholic beverages, and secondly, it’s what everyone else does.Spirits, however, are significantly more interesting. Even the most boring tourist-trap of a Dublin bar has at least half a dozen varieties of whiskey, rum or gin you’ve never sampled before. Go somewhere fancy and you’ll be astounded by the variety of random things that someone out there thought would be a good idea to ferment and distil. Potatoes, almonds, apricots... The list is long and stomach-churning.The main grudge people hold against spirits is down to the unpleasant effects they have on their brains, intestines and social skills. Everyone has a story – the kind that begin with “We were at a music festival in the Czech Republic and we bought six litres of absinthe” and invariably ends with the words “and that’s why I’ll never drink that stuff again”.It’s a shame, because there can be nothing more pleasurable than slowly savouring the flavour of an aged, single-malt whiskey and if you just want to get completely, utterly wasted, spirits will invariably do the job faster than beer, at a significantly lower price too.Alison Lee#IN RECENT YEARS, people have wandered from their true ‘lager’ roots. There are now grown men sipping Appletinis and ordering sparklers in their Cosmopolitans. What happened to just being satisfied with a good old pint?Can we blame this new metrosexual lifestyle or is it a Celtic Tiger phenomenon? Whatever the reason, cocktails and spirits have both soared in popularity. This is not the Irish culture I know and it is definitely not how the drinking Gods intended us to spend our hard-earned cash.The main advantage of drinking lager is the fact it goes through your system quicker. Due to the drink passing through your body, it doesn’t get stuck in your stomach. This lessens the likelihood that you will get sick.However, if you have a variety of cocktails in the space of a few hours, the mixtures will sit in your stomach and eventually, all the colours of the rainbow will be flying up your oesophagus.Lager may not beat most spirits for taste, but it does keep the costs low. An Appletini will set you back up to €8 while a pint with promotions can be as low as €2. Do the maths.Lager is the drink that we grew up on. When teenagers ask you to buy them drink, they don’t ask for a bottle of Cointreau or Mickey Finns. They are happy with the basics – 75 cans of Dutch gold and a few bottles of cider. Take a page from their book and wise up bud.Killian Woods We at O-Two urge you to enjoy alcohol responsibly!