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Manly Skills

The Gentleman’s Quick Cocktail Guide

Happy New Year gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, this post will really only be helpful for those who are 21 or older, so to any of you who might still be in high school, please forgive me and don’t say I didn’t warn you. And to some older gents reading this, I thought this would be helpful if people start ordering drinks at a bar or with dinner at a restaurant. So today, I’ve compiled a list of some common and/or popular cocktails, along with a couple of my favorites, some info and history about the drink in general, what they’re made of, and possibly some popular dishes that they’re served with (though I don’t have much knowledge in that last area yet). Hopefully this will help you older gents figure out what to order with your next meal or on your next night out. With that in mind, let’s start the list! Almost all my info on the cocktail ingredients and recipes are from liquor.com, and if you’d like more info about other drinks I didn’t mention, I’ll leave a link. Also, there will be some drinks on this list that I haven’t personally tried, so my info on some of these drinks may be a bit limited. My word is not law.

1. Gin & Tonic

Gin and Tonic

Ingredients: 2 oz of gin, 3-4 oz of tonic water, 1-3 lime wedges (proportions may vary based on taste)

I wanted to start with probably the simplest cocktail on this list to make. First made in the 1700s, this drink was made after the discovery of quinine. Quinine was used as a cure for malaria at a time when British soldiers began invading and colonizing India and Africa. The quinine was infused with tonic water for the soldiers to drink, but most soldiers found it unbearably bitter. In order to remedy this, soldiers started mixing the tonic with certain rations they had on hand, that being gin, limes, and sugar, and thus, the gin and tonic was born! Nowadays, since the threat of malaria is significantly lower now than it was then, the gin and tonic makes for a very refreshing drink for just about any social occasion. My parents even have a tradition of making a gin and tonic for themselves every Friday night after a long day at work (their choice of ingredients is Tanquerey gin and Schweppes tonic water). So if you’re looking for a refreshing drink that’s easy to make, and works with just about any occasion, the gin and tonic may be your best option!

2. Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule.png

Ingredients: 2 oz of vodka, 3 oz of ginger beer, juice of half a lime, garnish with lime slice or wedge

Born in the 1950s, the heydey of vodka, the Moscow Mule is one of the quintessential vodka-based cocktails, as well as one of my personal favorites. Though traditionally served in a copper mug, as shown above, it can also be served in a highball glass. Just as refreshing as the gin and tonic, it is also applies very well to many different social situations. Also, there is a variation on this drink: the Kentucky Mule, which replaces the vodka with bourbon. Whatever you preferences, whatever the occasion, this drink is the perfect flavorful refresher!

3. Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre

Ingredients: 1 oz of rum  (usually Bacardi Gold, as shown above), 3 oz of Coca-Cola, garnish with a lime wedge

Another very simple cocktail to make, the Cuba Libre, or Rum and Coke, is a refreshing delight enjoyed by many. There’s not much else to say. If you like soda and would like a bit more of a kick from your Coke, give it a try!

4. Mimosa

Mimosa

Ingredients: 2 oz orange juice, sparkling wine or champagne

Believed to have been invented in 1925 at the Hotel Ritz Paris, the mimosa is a staple of Sunday brunch. It’s pretty much impossible to see someone (who’s at least 21) having brunch without a mimosa in hand. Sure, it’s often associated with twenty-something white women, but the idea that a certain gender should only be able to enjoy certain drinks is pure nonsense. If you have a drink and you enjoy it, enjoy it! No one should be able to stop you!

5. Margarita

Margarita

Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz of tequila, 3/4 oz of lime juice, 1 oz Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur), kosher salt (optional)

Served at many a Mexican restaurant and on every Cinco de Mayo, the margarita is a famous and universally loved cocktail that can actually be very easy to make. Sure, the ingredients listed above make the cocktail more authentic, but if you’re hosting a party and can’t find all the ingredients in time, you can just find some margarita mix at any supermarket or liquor store. Sure it won’t be as authentic and have a bit too much sugar, but it will work just as well!

6. Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan.png

Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz of citrus vodka, 1 oz of Cointreau, 1/2 of lime juice, dash of cranberry juice, garnish with lemon twist

Invented in Manhattan in 1975, the cosmopolitan is more commonly associated with more high-end affairs (hence the name of the drink), but nonetheless is a wonderful social cocktail to be enjoyed by all. As a guy who loves more sweet and fruity drinks, this is something that I will definitely be interested in trying eventually!

7. Martini

Image result for martini recipe

Ingredients: 2 1/2 oz. of gin (or vodka depending on your tastes), 1/2 of dry vermouth, dash of orange bitters, garnish with green olives (usually three (3) on a toothpick)

We all know 007’s drink of choice. “Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred.” Though, similar to the cosmopolitan, this is also more associated with high-end affairs. But, maybe you have such an affair coming up, and you’ll want to get yourself a drink. If so, this drink will be perfect for just about any social occasion. Plus it may add a little bit of appeal if you’re trying to impress that certain lady

So that’s just seven (7) of the most popular and universally enjoyed cocktails that you can enjoy for whatever party social occasion you have coming up. There are dozens more that I didn’t list here, so if you’re interested, check out liquor.com! They have plenty of other recipes for cocktails that I didn’t mention here, and I’m sure they have just the drink you’re looking for. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guideon Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time, and of course, drink responsibly!

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Manly Skills

The Gentleman’s Guide to the Perfect Handshake

Morning gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! I am so sorry for the lack of posts on the blog all through October, school has been murder. But I am not going to let that stop me, and I should be back to my regular post schedule starting now! So jumping right back onto the train, I’m here to give you a guide to a perfect handshake. Giving a perfect handshake can make a good impression on everyone you meet, so it’s important to know how to properly give a handshake like a true gentleman. Thankfully, the Art of Manliness provided this a handy diagram that I’ll post in a little bit, and I’ll also put up a few other tips as well as different forms of handshakes in case you come across a situation where you’ll have to use them.

Handshake Post 2

So the diagram seems to be pretty perfect. Look the other person in the eye, smile, don’t let your hand go limp, but also don’t try to crush the other person’s hand. With this in mind, there is one big tip I would like to add on: don’t let the handshake go to long! If any of you have seen the film Captain America: Civil War, you know that there’s a scene where Scott Lang (Ant-Man) first meets Steve Rogers (Captain America) and shakes his hand. Lang is overall very awkward in the scene and even acknowledges that he shakes Steve’s hand for too long. This is perfect advice for a good handshake. If you let it go on for too long, it can be incredibly awkward for both involved in the shake. While the length of the shake can be hard to gauge, it shouldn’t go any longer than about five (5) seconds. With this in mind, let’s go into the two (2) most common handshake variations so you know how to identify them and what they mean.

1. The Scout Handshake

Unless you’re a Boy Scout, it’s unlikely that you’ll come across this very often, but I use it quite a bit with people I know. The Scout handshake is basically the same thing as a normal handshake, just with the left hand instead of the right. The reason the Boy Scouts use the Scout handshake is because it’s a symbol of friendship, respect, and courage. The tradition of shaking with the left hand came from the Ashanti warriors who were present in Africa in the late 19th Century. According to the Ashanti chiefs, “In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and our protection.”

2. The Two-Handed Handshake

You see this one a lot among politicians (I also get it quite a bit during the Sign of Peace while in church). This is pretty simple, after initiating the regular handshake, one or both participants will put their other hand on the other person’s right hand. This one is meant to show warmth, friendship, and trust. It’s meant to be a sincere handshake, to be shared between close friends, family, and colleagues.

So there it is! I’m sorry that this post wasn’t very long or in depth, the act of a proper handshake is just rather simple to learn and understand. Hopefully you found this post helpful to you and that you gents reading this are able to give great handshakes in the future. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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Manly Skills

The Art of a Haircut: How to Communicate with your Barber

Afternoon gents! It’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here, coming at you with some helpful info about one of the most important aspects of men’s lifestyle: a visit to the barber! It’s been said several times that one of the most important people in a man’s life is his barber, and I’m inclined to agree to an extent. While people tend to stereotype women as the ones who obsess over their hair care, men also tend put a lot of emphasis on keeping their locks neat and clean. That’s why so many men go to barber shops today. With this in mind, I’m going to give you four (4) steps to make your next haircut easier and all the more satisfying. (Also, disclaimer, most of what I have in this post comes from this video from the Art of Manliness, so I’m not about to claim credit for any of this.)

1. Use precise measurements

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when going to a barber shop is telling the barber they want “a little bit off the top”, which every barber will interpret that differently. As in the AoM video, “one man’s trim is another man’s close shave.” So in order to make your cut more precise, or suited to your terms, tell them a specific measurement you want cut. Say something “two inches off the top”, or if you aren’t sure about how much you want cut, just let your barber know. He’ll just clip a little bit off, ask you if you like it, and if you don’t, he’ll clip off some more, simple as that.

2. Know some general styles

Obviously, with a haircut, there are a lot of different styles you can go for. With so many out there, just telling the barber a general you want a trim can be a bit confusing to them. Telling the barber you want a specific hairstyle can help ease that confusion. To give you an idea, I’ll give you a few visuals of the most popular men’s hairstyles. (And yes, I’ll be using a few celebrity pictures, bear with me.)

Crew Cut
Crew Cut (my typical cut)
High and Tight
High and Tight
Buzz Cut.png
Buzz Cut
Flat Top
Flat Top (think military haircut)

Also, keep in mind that these can come in various lengths, or you can even ask for a hybrid of styles. But just keep these in mind when talking to your barber. He’ll know what you’re talking about.

3. Show them a picture

This is honestly pretty simple. If you show your barber a picture of the haircut you want, they’ll be able to replicate it based on the picture. This worked very well for my last haircut. I just showed the barber a picture of my cousin who had gotten a similar haircut, and it turned out perfectly. There’s really not much else to say here.

4. Let your barber do his job

Now yes, you may have an idea of what you may want your hair to look like, but remember who the expert is: the barber. He will know what type of cut will work best with your head shape, neck thickness, etc. Plus, certain cuts will also look different depending hair or skin color. So, even if the barber may have different suggestions than what you might prefer, just hear him out and let him do his job. He’ll know what to do.

So there it is! Follow these steps, and your hair will be looking as spiffy as ever! Also, honorable mention here, keep going to the same barber. If you keep going to the same barber, he’ll get to know what style you usually like to get, a general idea of you head shape, and other details of the cut. Also, this post only covered the bare minimum of a haircut. The Art of Manliness video goes into much more detail about other aspects of the cut, so I would highly recommend watching that video too.  In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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Manly Skills

A Gentleman’s Guide to Prom Night

Afternoon gents! I know I said this in my last post, but I want to sincerely apologize for the lack of posts on the blog lately. I have been completely inundated with school work and music stuff (and possible Overwatch marathons) that I haven’t been able to do much of anything! However, I do intend to do a complete overhaul on the blog now, so starting next week, expect TWO (2) posts on the blog every week, one on Monday and one on Friday. If I have enough time in the coming weeks, I may add one more post on Wednesdays, add a new admin for the blog, and possibly bring periodic updates to the YouTube channel! And to all those who have been regularly viewing and reading my content, I would like to say a sincere “thank you.” So with that out of the way, let’s move on to the topic of today’s post before this turns into a novel!

So, for those of you who are unaware, the target audience for my blog and YouTube channel are young men either in or just coming out of high school. That’s around the time when I started reading content from Art of Manliness, and I feel that it’s a vulnerable time in any young man’s life where they could really benefit from the tips and pointers I offer. With that in mind, today I’m going to speak specifically to those young gents still in high school, giving you all the pointers you’ll need for a fun and successful prom night!

Remember that you don’t have to go

The first thing to remember is that you don’t even have to go to prom if you don’t want to! While your classmates may pressure you into thinking you have to go, it’s perfectly ok if you don’t want to go. And it can be for any reason. Whether you want to save money, you don’t have a date, or just simply don’t care, it is completely fine if you don’t want to go. Your classmates may pressure you a lot to go to prom, but at the end of the day, no one will care!

You don’t need a date

If you do decide to go prom, remember that you do not need a date. While it is highly encouraged, it is of course not necessary. During my junior and senior years of high school, my school even offered singles tickets for those students that either couldn’t find a date or didn’t want one. A lot of other schools are starting to do this too, but even if your school doesn’t, you could simply purchase a couple’s ticket for you and a buddy, if he also doesn’t have a date. So unless your school officials have been set back sixty years and think that a gay couple going to prom (which might not even be the case) is a problem, you should be set for prom even if you don’t have a date.

Coordinate your outfit with your date’s

If you don’t have a date, I suppose you can just stop here. But for those of you who have found a lovely lady (or gentleman if you’re gay, I don’t discriminate!) to spend your prom night with, pay attention! Now, it’s traditional that you and your date wear outfits with similar color schemes. For those of you who haven’t read my guide to the perfect suit or tuxedo, that could really come in handy for this, so I’ll include a link right here The Gentleman’s Guide to the Perfect Suit/Tuxedo

Now, with this in mind, just tell the tailor what colored accents you want to match your dates dress. Those accents will usually apply to your tie, vest, and pocket square. Sometimes, the color of the jacket and pants may also have to change from the traditional black. When I went to my senior ball, my date wore a navy blue dress, which both me and the tailor agreed didn’t blend well together with the traditional black, so we worked it out that the tux would be gray with navy blue accents to match her dress, and it looked great! It would be smart to show your tailor a picture of your date’s dress to give them an idea. So, be sure to coordinate with your date and your tailor to get yourself looking perfectly spiffy for your prom night!

Remember it’s a social event!

Now, all of my tips up to this point have applied before prom night even happens, but my last and possibly most important pointer applies to prom night itself. Now, yes, most of you will have a date and you’ll obviously want to spend a lot of your night with them. There’s no debate there, it’s just simple logic. But this doesn’t mean that 100% of your time at prom should be spent making lovey-dovey time with your date (especially if it’s a significant other). It’s meant to be a social event, spent between friends and classmates. The whole point of prom night is just to have fun, celebrate being young, and forget about the stresses of high school for a little bit. And while we’re on the subject, do not interpret an acceptance to prom as an acceptance to sex! I can’t believe I have to say this, but I’ve heard stories of students renting a room if prom was at a hotel, and girls being deflowered on prom night. That is not the point of prom at all. Just keep it in your pants, guys, as much as it pains me to have to say that.

 

So there we have it! Follow these tips and you’ll have a great prom night! If there happen to be any ladies reading this and would also like some help with prep for prom, my friend Sara has a tutorial on her YouTube channel, showing how you can get a great look with cheap drugstore makeup, which I put a link to right here https://youtu.be/CUy8aMXzL7w

If there are any other prom tips that I missed, please be sure to leave your comments down below, and also be sure to share the post and follow the blog! Be sure to suggest topics for future posts either in the comments, or send an email to the blog which can be found on the homepage! Have fun at prom gents, and until next time, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s guide! 🙂

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Manly Skills

How to Shuffle a Deck of Cards

Afternoon gents! I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts as of late. Things have been incredibly hectic with the start of a new semester. Hopefully, now that I’ve settled into a new semester, I should be having new posts up once a week. With that out of the way, let’s move on to the topic of today’s post.

Now, it’s probably happened to a lot of us. You’re having a poker (or any other card game) night with the guys, and it’s your turn to deal. And obviously, if you’re dealing the cards, you should know how to shuffle the deck. With this in mind, there is a simple step-by-step process in how to do it. Let’s get started!

The first thing you want to do is take half of the deck in each hand. Then, hold one end of the half-deck with each thumb, curve each index finger inward and press it into the center of each half-deck, holding the other side of the deck in the remaining three fingers. Refer to the image below if you need a visual.

more-cards

With your cards in hand, you’ll want to bend the cards by pulling up your thumbs. Before releasing the cards, bring your hands as close together as you can without having the cards touch. Keep pulling your thumbs up until the cards are let loose. You should let them loose slowly, one card at a time, so as not to bunch up the cards. When done properly, your cards should be properly randomized after a few shuffles. And with that, your cards would be ready to deal! This probably will not go perfectly the first time, and will require quite a bit of practice. But with enough practice, you’ll have it down in no time!

So there you have it! Follow these steps, and you’re on your way to being the best card dealer around! I hope all who are reading this have found it helpful, and if you did, please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever you see fit! If you’d like to submit suggestions for what The Young Gentleman’s Guide to post, be sure to send an e-mail to younggentlemansguide@gmail.com. Until next time, this is The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and we’ll see you next time!