Octane on the Rocks
Filling up your car with ethanol at the gas station or fueling a top fuel drag car are the only logical reasons for combining alcohol and driving. Other than that, NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE! That being said, the other night I was at home enjoying Miller time when a random thought ran through my head. It could have been the Southern Comfort or the Johnny Walker I was drinking, but my dazed mind started shuffling through my memory bank to find a silly online quiz that I had come across years ago. The online quiz is designed to find out what style of drink you are based off your personality. It gave me an idea. Based off their personalities, what style of drinks would cars be? I’m not saying one particular brand of whiskey to one specific Ford model; I mean a general overview of our favorite group of cars compared to popular alcoholic beverages. Here is the list of automotive groups:
Muscle & Hot Rods
Low Riders & Kustoms
Hybrids & Electric
Hot-hatch & Tuned import
MUSCLE & HOTRODS: Dark Beer
Muscle and hot rods would be classified as dark beer. Why? Because, although these cars are a crowd favorite, not everyone can live with them on a daily bases. Shiner Bock, Samuel Adams, and Guinness all have different variations of their beer, which is no different than the endless variations of hopped up 1932 Fords or option combinations on a 1968 Chevelle SS. This means that if you’re a fan of either one, you are bound to find one fitted to your specific needs. The stronger taste and higher alcohol content also means that they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. These cars (in general) are not fuel efficient or practical, and dark beers (in general) are not cheap or healthy, but diehard fans won’t settle for anything less.
TRUCKS: Light Beer
In America, a pickup truck with empty beer cans in the bed is as iconic as apple pie and baseball; anyone can drive a truck whether they’re eight years old or eighty. You have the big three: Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. Then you have the other big three Bud, Coors and Miller. I picked light beer for trucks because they just seem to always be together: tailgate parties, camping trips, cook outs, country bars and any blue collar neighborhood after five pm. If Chevrolet and Budlight could feature each other’s product in their commercials without getting in legal trouble for advocating drinking and driving, you can bet they would jump at the chance during their summer ad campaigns.
ANTIQUE CARS (pre 1959): Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch.
The drinks your father or grandfather used to have: high balls, whiskey neat, scotch on the rocks; drinks that go back to a time when everything was built to last and men wore a suit every day. When having a factory job was the equivalent to hard labor and men, and women, needed a double shot of whiskey to wash the day away. Just picture a glass of Johnny Walker black label sitting comfortably on a freshly vanished bar top as a black 1937 Packard Twelve coupe roadster waits outside the bar and slow jazz playing in the background. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect combination? I matched whiskey, bourbon and scotch with antique cars because they are liquors that hold a certain level of class, history and strength much like the cars of that era.
LUXURY: Martinis, Old fashions, Champagne, Wine.
The sounds of a Rolls Royce starting up and champagne glasses chiming seem to go as well together as an Aston Martin idling while a martini is being shaken, not stirred. Maybe you’re enjoying an old fashion during a power lunch while your driver waits outside in the Benz, or popping a bottle of bubbly in the back of the limo to celebrate another killing at the stock market and enjoy being a member of the 1%. Drinks of high society and luxury cars are both the premiums in their respective worlds the best money can buy, so that’s why they match.
SPORTS: Margaritas, Tequila sunrise, Pina colada.
What better fit than sports cars than drinks full of color and multiple versions of themselves? They are as tasty to drink as they are fun to pronounce. Sports cars are no different in that they are built to have fun and not be taken too seriously like their older brothers, the exotics, or their bully cousins, the muscle cars. It is the same with these kinds of drinks which are best enjoyed while sitting on a beach or anywhere else that is not work related. A sports car is best when you do not have a care in the world except for the curvy road ahead of you.
LOW RIDERS & KUSTOMS: Moonshine.
This might not sound like a correct match but just hear me out. Low riders and Kustoms are built, not bought, and are a very family oriented car culture. Moonshiners are also family oriented in that they pass along their recipes for shine from generation to generation. Any respectable moonshiner will make their own still to brew their own shine. Low riders and customs are definitely not on many people’s must own list just as many people are scared to drink moonshine because of its high alcohol content. Both are extremes in their respective worlds and that is why they match.
VANS: Spiked punch, Swamp juice.
For those that do not know, spiked punch is adding vodka (or liquor of your choice) to a bowl of fruit punch at a party. Swamp juice (goes by different names) is usually created when you are running low on alcohol at a party so you grab the alcohol you have left and pour it into a bowl of juice of your choosing, adding in some fruit or berries for texture. The Van culture is considered to be the black sheep of the automotive world, because it is taking something that shouldn’t be cool and forcing it to be everything at once. A van is built to carry stuff from point A to point B. Shag carpets, disco balls, wall to wall TV’s, paint jobs, or hot engines are added and turned into Good times machines. Fruit punch is not supposed to get you drunk, but adding a whole bunch of different liquors to it will have you thinking it was 1978 all over again.
Both are things we think we can handle and usually bite off more than we can chew. You always see a guy at a bar thinking he can take five back-to-back Jagermeister shots and then see him singing a very sloppy version of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing before going into the bathroom to drop his phone into the urinal. It is the same type of guy that will think he can handle a brand new Lamborghini and will end up wrapping it around a tree while trying to go around a corner. Both are the ultimate examples in their respective worlds and both are underestimated until they leave us with a bad headache as a result of a hangover or an airbag.
HOT HATCH & IMPORTS: Vodka & Redbull, FourLoko, Jager bombs, Saki Bombs.
Golf GTi, Honda Si, Focus ST, etc., are all cars that were simple econoboxes at one point that were modified by their manufactures into weight reduced, carbon fiber infused, paddle shifting, pocket rockets. Nissan GTR, Honda NSX, and Toyota Supra are their older siblings born to compete with the exotics and muscle. The drinks I paired them with are mixed drinks that contain caffeine or both beer and liquor in them because these cars are built to do it all while still being very exciting: cars that can be raced on Sunday and then take the kids to school on Monday, all while getting reasonable gas mileage.
HYBRIDS & ELECTRIC: Virgin drinks.
These cars were built with the responsibility of caring for the environment. They look and feel like the other cars, but lack the excitement of their gas burning cousins. Advances in technology will someday make these cars fun to drive as the others, but until then, these cars are the designated drivers of the automotive world.
Remember, this article is for fun and should not influence your decision the next time you are at a bar or dealership. Remember to NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE! Real Gearheads would rather walk than risk wrecking their rides, so always designate a driver or call a taxi.