My relationship with alcohol has always been, let's say, cautious. My family tree has enough alcoholism and addiction in it that it's only prudent to be a little careful with the stuff. Even in college, I generally avoided it until late in my junior year, and after college, I largely limited consumption to parties, family gatherings and vacations. These days it's much the same, though I'll enjoy a few beverages on date nights, too. At the same time, what I'll drink has been reduced. Some years ago, beer started causing me great gastrointestinal distress. I took up cider, but then all of the American varieties started adding tons of sugar, so I shifted to dry white wine (I feel like you can't go wrong with Riesling). I've generally not messed with liquor beyond the mai tai recipe I make for parties once a year, and perhaps a rum and Coke before a show at the theater. The bottom line is that I'm just not much of a drinker.
Then last fall, when Diana and I finally embarked on a no-child cruise, we met this guy, Bonny, a bartender from India, and man could that guy mix a drink. If that weren't enough, his history and knowledge around spirits of all kinds was extraordinary. We learned that his drinks were not for slamming, they were for sipping (unless you wanted the next day to be a little difficult). And you definitely wanted to enjoy them, anyway. Sure, these beverages make you "happy," but they're not for getting drunk.
To that end, I'd like to experiment a bit with trying to recreate some of the things we encountered in the mixology class we took on our last cruise. Not all of them, because liquor is expensive, but I'd like to try two or three of them. For example, he did a drink that was equal parts Malibu, Midori and pineapple juice, with whip cream, shaken over ice and poured. It's crazy delicious.
Mixed drinks can be a fun, social way to spend some time with people, or even a night in.