How to Drink, According to Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain may be known best for his rockstar chef skills and gritty, authentic travel expertise, but the man also knows a thing or two about drinking. If you follow his advice, you’ll get the most out your boozing experiences and become a pro drinker in no time. From his foolproof hangover cure to the perfect cocktail to why you shouldn’t be afraid to put an ice cube in your scotch, here are Bourdain’s 15 best drinking quotes.

On the right way to drink scotch:

“In my view, some higher-proof whiskies benefit from a tiny little splash of water just to open them up. But, generally speaking, I prefer to drink my whisky neat—unless i’m just tucking in for the afternoon. If I’m planning on drinking for three hours, then yeah, I think maybe some ice. But maybe just with your lower end whiskies.” — Supercall

“In a perfect world, I’d have a single malt before dinner by the fireplace, sit down to a nice meal, drink some wine with that, and then finish off with another scotch.” — SC

On cocktails:

“I think the Negroni is the perfect cocktail because it is three liquors that I don’t particularly like. I don’t like Campari, and I don’t like sweet vermouth and I don’t particularly love gin. But you put them together with that little bit of orange rind in a perfect setting… It’s just: It sets you up for dinner, in a way it makes you hungry, sands the edges off the afternoon. In an after dinner, it’s settling. It is both aperitif and digestive. It’s a rare drink that can do that.” — Thirsty

“Once you start making mixed drinks with a high-end scotch, it just seems like a terrible waste. You wouldn’t pour a Château Pétrus into a punch or cook with it. It’s utterly pointless.” — SC

On beer:

“My favorite beer is cold beer, served quickly with minimum fuss.” — Refinery29

"There's something wonderful about drinking in the afternoon. A not-too-cold pint, absolutely alone at the bar—even in this fake-ass Irish pub."— excerpted from Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

On hangovers:

“Schedule your hangover. Wake up as soon as you can. A cold Coca-Cola, or Pepsi. Wash down a couple Aspirin. Smoke a joint. And the joint will help you to develop an appetite at which point, have some really spicy food. Some spicy leftovers, like—leftover Kung Pao Chicken would be perfect.” — Men’s Journal

On travel:

"When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out." — from "Parts Unknown (Peru)"

"They're professionals at this in Russia, so no matter how many Jell-O shots or Jäger shooters you might have downed at college mixers, no matter how good a drinker you might think you are, don't forget that the Russians—any Russian—can drink you under the table." — excerpted from A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

“Personally, I'd be perfectly happy to just call it a day and fuck off to the nearest hammock and a frosty boat drink with an umbrella in it." — from No Reservations (Caribbean)

On regrets:

“If I’ve been drinking … any other beverage, and at 11 o’clock at night, someone approaches me with the idea that we should do some tequila shots, this is always an important moment … No good will come of this.” — Refinery29

“My first whiskey-related experience was in college. I had gotten my heart broken and I was miserable—at my wits end. I got a fifth of Jack Daniel’s and polished the whole thing off. Then I spent the next two days in the bathroom with my feet sticking out of the stall, blacking out and waking up and blacking out again. It wasn’t pretty. I did not endear myself to my dorm mates, I can tell you that. I learned a valuable life lesson that day, though.” — SC

On why you don’t need to be a whiskey expert to love whiskey:

“Drink a lot of bad whiskey and you will finally arrive. Take your time, don't take it too seriously and enjoy yourself. Whether it's sushi or whiskey, if you drink a lot of good whiskey and eat a lot of good sushi in your life, then you have a great one, by the time you get the great one, you will be hopefully in a position to understand the vast difference between good and great.” — Harper's Bazaar

“Does it make you happy? Does it surprise you? The same way that you don’t need to know a lot about wine for wine to make you happy. You might find yourself at a table drinking a glass and say, “My god this is really good.” And someone will say, “Well you have very good taste. That’s a very expensive motherfucking wine.” — SC

On the best kind of bar:

“I would rather go into a regular bar or pub whose ambience and atmosphere I like and be fortunate to find a good whiskey that I like, a good scotch and drink—rather than go to a place surrounded by people taking notes. I want to be surrounded by people drinking whiskey, enjoying their lives and listening to good music—not necessarily a party boy, high-fiving atmosphere but a congenial thing. Whiskey should be part of a larger picture. It shouldn't be scholars sitting around taking notes, in my view.” — Harper’s Bazaar