Bar dice and liarâ€™s poker are fanatically popular games in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.Â One game is mainly luck; the other requires some luck and skill.
Oh, you can occasionally find someone who plays in other states (Minnesota has a small culture), but they are really Wisconsin games with legions of devoted fans. Iâ€™m not going to get into it, but you can learn how to play liarâ€™s poker here and how to play bar dice here.
In each game, there is a loser, and in both, the loser buys shots (unless you are playing for the cash in liarâ€™s poker, and thatâ€™s probably illegal in Wisconsin). Since itâ€™s up to the shooter to decide what kind of shots to buy, itâ€™s important to know whatâ€™s the way to go. Are you trying to get everyone drunk or trying to make the evening last?
Well, after decades of playing both games and being on both sides of the winner/loser equation, Iâ€™ve determined the top 10 shots to buy when you lose at either bar dice or liarâ€™s poker. I will say I consulted a couple of people on this â€“ one being Tracy Duggan, the bartender I shook dice with the most in my life. The other one is related to me by blood (hey Alli).
There are shots and booze out there that are in very special categories, but Iâ€™m talking about stuff Iâ€™ve had in bars that had all this on hand. Nobody had to send out a special order for these shots.
Iâ€™ve divided them into two categories: Mixer, that the bartender has to assemble, and Neat, that come straight out of the bottle. One of the things about the Mixer shots is that it takes the bartender a while to make them so you have a chance to catch your breath (a.k.a. sober up) while you wait. Iâ€™ve started with the least lethal Iâ€™ve had and move on to booze that makes you think youâ€™re invisible and bulletproof.
10. Screaming Orgasm (Mixer): It comes with vodka, amaretto, coffee liqueur and I think Irish cream liqueur. Itâ€™s sweet as can be and is kind of like drinking some treat you got from an ice cream truck after it melted. Pretty potent, but no real killer.
9. Tequila (Neat/Mixer): This is a tough one. The mixer version is salt and lemon and all that googly stuff. A man just grabs the shot glass and slams it back. Nobody really likes the taste of tequila. Itâ€™s just kind of a rite of passage thing.
8. Kamikaze (Mixer): This is kind of like New Yearâ€™s Eve: amateur night. A Kamikaze may well be the first shot a lot of people have. Itâ€™s got this mystique about it and a name that suggests a near death experience. But itâ€™s really kind of a wimp shot. You get vodka, orange liqueur, a dash of lime juice and a cute little slice of lime to make it look good and suck on when you are done. See what I mean?
7. Bombay Gin or Kettle One Vodka (Neat): Either one of these clear shots are easy on the eye but tough on the stomach. There is a reason why gin and vodka are most often mixed with something else. Neither one tastes too good all by itself. This is one where I always wonder why the person picking it picks it.
6. Lemon Drop (Mixer): I canâ€™t ever recall a guy ordering this one. Itâ€™s got vodka and sugar and can be very complicated. Some people like it with a shot glass where the rim is dipped in vodka and then sugar. You shake off the loose sugar, put vodka in the glass, slam it down and then bite into the lemon. I get tired just thinking of this one.
5. Jager Bomb (Neat): Everybody who orders this has a baseball hat on backwards, and many of them have the sleeves ripped off their shirts. That goes for both boys and girls. The girls drink this to prove they are one of the guys. You mix Jagermeister with Red Bull energy drink. Slam it down and make a fist and hit yourself in the chest. This is tough.
4. Liquid Cocaine (Neat/Mixer): This is one of those with an intriguing name that doesnâ€™t begin to capture the punch it has or the horrid aftertaste. When you have one of these, you want a cold beer to chase away the bad taste. But if you get hammered enough, you probably wonâ€™t mind this one. Itâ€™s another of the Jagermeister specials which is mixed with both Cinnamon and Peppermint Schnapps. Â
3. Bushmillâ€™s Black (Neat): There is almost nothing like a good Irish whiskey, and this one is the top of the line. You can taste this before it even hits your lips. You may be tempted to smell it a little and then sip it, but just go for it. Youâ€™ll be pleased.
2. Johnnie Walker Black Label (Neat): You need a scotch in your bag of tricks, and Black Label is about as good as it gets in your average neighborhood bar. You could be in a fancy place with a whole bunch of scotch brands that start with the word "Glen," but go with Black Label to keep buying American.
And the number one shot for all around envy from your friends and playing partners and the one that can make your soul swell with pride:Â
Hereâ€™s the thing about a great bourbon like this one: Itâ€™s not just one thing. There is a complexity to Wild Turkey. It can feel smooth and harsh all in the same shot glass. Itâ€™s a manâ€™s drink, but there are lots of women who are into bourbon and this one stands apart.
There you have it. Remember, donâ€™t farm twos, and donâ€™t drink and drive.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published April 30, 2016
Playwright August Wilson is famous for his 10-play cycle examining the experience of black people in the United States, and none of his plays stands as revered as "Fences," which The Rep opened Friday night.
Published April 29, 2016
A play about life in the theater, a life full of ups and downs and in betweens, is sometimes a shaky thing, trying to connect with an audience that may or may not have the inside knowledge that you need to get all the jokes.
Published April 28, 2016
In our lust to keep Milwaukee a happy place for millions of millennials, are we going to get stuck with a bunch of buildings that look like they belong in a Saturday morning cartoon?
Published April 26, 2016
Several Milwaukee theaters - from The Rep to First Stage to Next Act and more - have become crusaders for the world around them, staging productions and activities that try to shed light on a wide variety of social issues.
Published April 23, 2016
Place. Play. Performance. When all three P's are there, a night at the theater can turn into magic, and that's what you get at "Ernest in Love" that opened at In Tandem Theatre Friday night.
Published April 21, 2016
Everybody in Wisconsin was all worked up about the presidential primary races a couple of weeks ago but the race between Sen. Ron Johnson and former Sen. Russ Feingold could have a lasting impact on the balance of power in Washington.
Published April 19, 2016
The recent staging of the touching hit musical "Once" that played a week at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts raised an issue that some people think is important to the quality of a production.
Published April 16, 2016
For a master class on how to put a drunk scene on stage, let me recommend "Fallen Angels," the Noel Coward drawing room comedy that opened Friday night at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
Published April 16, 2016
Hotel rooms are expanding with openings imminent or on the drawing board for the near future. Perhaps the one drawing the most attention is the Klimpton Journeyman Hotel, scheduled to open in the Historic Third Ward in June.
Published April 14, 2016
A hero has to step forward to save the city somewhere around $2 million after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the city in its battle with Silk Exotic over opening a strip club Downtown.