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 Aug. 25, 2016
The ability to talk about race is behind the plan for OnMilwaukee's ongoing series of Milwaukee Talks: honest and frank discussions, unedited and focused on the issues of equality and justice. It's also the time for big dreams for the city.
Published Aug. 23, 2016
The Milwaukee theater season is underway and I've been looking through the schedule. I've found 24 productions I'm really anticipating. There are going to be others, and surprises, but my 24 are the productions I can't wait to see and experience.
Published Aug. 18, 2016
As Milwaukee struggles with the issue of how to deal with racial violence, it's critical to find answers to two key questions. The first question is how did Milwaukee become so racist. The second is how do we fix a culture that loves violence.
Published Aug. 16, 2016
Simon Mustaffa is 18 and lives in the Central City. He's off to UWM with a full scholarship and he has strong views about the violence in Sherman Park. For him, it's not a surprise at all; this explosion was a long time coming.
Published Aug. 16, 2016
All In Productions has a history that can be measured in months, but it has already staged some wonderful plays. It has produced five so far, and the next one is directed by artistic director Robby McGhee, who knows where this company wants to go.
Published Aug. 13, 2016
Under the feathery touch of director Marcella Kearns, Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" takes isolation, desolation and disappointment and stands them on their ear, filling the Cabot Theatre with chuckles, laughters and outright roars of fun
Published Aug. 12, 2016
A sweltering hot August night was the perfect atmosphere for the opening night of "No Exit," Jean Paul Sartre's trip through his particular and peculiar vision of hell. The Dale Gutzman-directed production is a searing journey through the existential mind.
Published Aug. 11, 2016
Election day has come and gone and some of the results in the primary contests are satisfying, but also quite a bit troubling. Leading the satisfaction category is the reelection of District Attorney John Chisholm over Verona Swanigan, 65% to 35%.
Published Aug. 9, 2016
If you are young(ish), headed out on a warm Saturday night and want to go drinking Downtown, you have your choice of four distinctly different areas and crowds to join. As an Uber driver, I spend lots of time in all four places.
Published Aug. 4, 2016
First take a tempest. Then take a teapot.Then put the tempest in the teapot. Here's what you get, according to the dictionary. "A small or unimportant event that is over-reacted to, as if it were of considerably more consequence." We've got them.