Ah, D-Day. Heralding in a wonderful time of year where the birds sing, the grass grows, the sun shines and it’s perfectly appropriate to take a rum and coke in a travel mug into the shower at 8:30 a.m. Not that I’d know.

D-Day, or Dandelion Day, has been a UR tradition for many, many years. However, many of those years didn’t involve drunken revelry.

As a senior, I have survived three years of D-Days, through thunderstorms and driving rain, to perfectly sunny, breezy Saturdays. I’ve seen it all.

What I’ve seen in spades is people that went too big, too early. To be a true UR student, you need to survive through the day to celebrate at night. So, in order to minimize the number of people I have to step over who are shamefully passed out drunk at 11 a.m., I’m going to give you a handy guide for surviving this year’s D-Day festivities. So, let’s begin. Welcome to The Glass Half Full’s D-Day Drinking Derby Directory.

OK, so everyone knows the saying ‘beer before liquor,” etc. This is especially important if you’re hell-bent (as you should be) on literally partying the day away as well as far into the night. You really want to stick with clear spirits throughout the day. Brown spirits have icky things in them called ‘congeners” that lead to that nasty, ‘what-the-hell-did-I-do” hangover in the morning.

You know those mornings. You’re missing shoes, you’re coated in gravy with Sharpie eyebrows and you’re hanging on a coat hook in someone’s closet.
A closet not on campus. No? Really? Evidentially you’re not doing college right then. Normally I am a man of steadfast adherence to the ‘no mixing” regime, but for D-Day it’s a must.

Start off with mixed drinks using clear spirits, such as gin and tonics (handy because the Corner Store carries tonic), light rum and coke and vodka and tonics or soda. If you really want to go for brown spirits, be careful.

Don’t go for super dark drinks like heavily aged or dark rums, bourbon or scotch. Stay clear from liqueurs too. They may taste good now but no one wants sticky patches in the grass outside after your stomach has hit its limit. That’s just uncouth.
Once you have a solid buzz going on, you’ll want to switch to beer. If you’re not a beer drinker, try cider. If you’re going ‘bang for your buck”, I’d go Labatt.
My favorite easily available cheap beer, it’s light and crisp and doesn’t taste like what I’d imagine is left in a urinal at Penn Station.
Pilsners are always a good idea, with pale ales and hefeweizens coming in close behind. If you get pilsners and are in the mood for something exotic, you can make what’s known as a shandy half lager and half lemonade. It sounds disgusting but I really like it, so I’d recommend trying it at least once.

If you’re going the cider route, I’d go for Woodchuck cider or Harpoon cider. They don’t have a lot of added sugar to them so you won’t feel terrible later.
And, as always, moderation is key. Please take full advantage of the huge vats of water littered around campus and keep hydrated. As I said before, don’t go too big too fast. No one wants to have to deal with the guy that’s hammered so early in the day it’s embarrassing. Pace yourself and keep on truckin’ as the sun slowly sets and the night blossoms. Then you can pass out at will. Just don’t let UR Security know I said that.

Well, readers, this is a bittersweet moment for me. It has been my great pleasure to continue writing this column throughout the year. Unfortunately, as a graduating senior, I will be retiring from this prestigious position henceforth. I do hope someone fills my overly large, hobbit-sized shoes and takes over the alcohol column. Hopefully one day you too will drink a beverage I created as, come next September, I will be tenured at the Heriot-Watt University’s Brewing and Distilling Program in Edinburgh, Scotland.

As always, questions, comments, concerns and witty but crude comments are welcome. You can reach me at the e-mail below, or sspolv@yahoo.com if you still feel like chatting after I blow this popsicle stand. But I mean popsicle stand in the most fond way, of course.

Spolverino is a member of the class of 2010.
Scott’s e-mail address is scott.spolverino@rochester.edu.
He reviews beer and wine for www.inwithbacchus.com.

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