Sorry, mom and dad, I have a confession: I drank in high school. Not often. But still more often than I was technically (read: legally) supposed to. I wasn't going to those crazy keg parties like the ones you see in the movies. Instead, a few girlfriends and I would go to one of our friend's older sister's nearby apartment and have a sleepover. While we were there, for some reason, we'd drink peach schnapps.
We'd also drink Mad Dog and Zima (with Jolly Ranchers, of course). Once, we even had all three in one night. We never made a mixed a drink. We never had beer. And we never had real wine. We'd drink these super-sweet elixirs and we'd almost always have some killer hangovers in the morning. It was actually pretty gross and I don't think any of us particularly enjoyed it.
Of course, this was a long time ago; I was young and didn't know any better. I thought these were the things that people drank! My parents didn't really imbibe at home, so I hadn't heard of the wonders of a glass of Pinot and I didn't know anything about beer. (Or coffee, for that matter!) And it's not like craft/bespoke/artisan cocktails were much of a thing some 16 years ago.
I remember thinking one morning when I felt like absolute dog doo: If this is what drinking is, I really don't get what all the fuss is about. The stuff didn't even taste good, and although we were small with almost no tolerance, we'd still have to drink a stomachache-inducing amount to begin to feel the effects, which is what we were most curious about at that too-young age. I shiver just thinking about it.
When I went away to college, I drank what other college kids drink: beer. Cheap beer. And once in a while, wine. (Also of the cheap the variety.) And even the most budget-friendly choices of those two alcoholic options were always better than drinking peach schnapps out of a bottle. That's not to say I never overdid it in college or got hungover on wine or beer (I have and still do from time to time. Oops.) but I never have that sugary-sweet stomach ache and that what-did-we-do-to-ourselves feeling in the morning.
I haven't had peach schnapps since high school. Not even a drop in a Sex on the Beach or a Fuzzy Navel. Both are drinks that I'm sure I'd enjoy — in moderation, one at a hotel pool bar while on vacation — I just can't bring myself to get near anything schnapps-related.
Many of you are probably thinking, "Serves you right for drinking underage." And you wouldn't be wrong! My friends and I were dumb and uneducated at the time. While I'm no professional mixologist now, I'm a little wiser. I know that wine trumps sweetened, fruit-flavored liqueurs when enjoyed straight out of the bottle. I know that teens make dumb decisions. And I know that anything — especially peach schnapps — is gross if you drink it to excess.
On a related note: How Drinking with My Family Has Made Me a Responsible Drinker
Did you drink before you were 21? What was it?