Here’s the 23 Trini rules of drinking … now go out like ah World Boss!

Drinking in Trinidad is a national sport, yet it pains me greatly to see so many of us fail, so badly at drinking. Not that I am some bougie connoisseur, that knows everything about drinking – although I do know my shit when it comes to Scotch – not Whiskey, just Scotch! With this in mind, if you’re going to travel and be a representative of T&T in the world – you should at least be able to communicate some Trini rules of drinking.

  1. It’s NOT OK to drink alone in Trinidad. Find a friend or go to your nearest rum shop – there will always be a Singh or a Mohammed there to keep you company.
  2. Drunken thoughts are sober thoughts, if you listen carefully. Remember you have two ears and one mouth, drink in that proportion.
  3. If you try to chop somebody after a nip of Puncheon, don’t blame on the booze or being drunk.
  4. Rum till I die” is the anthem of liver disease not Indian.
  5. If he/she is still ugly after a nip of Puncheon, then you not drinking Puncheon.
  6. You can never buss an all inclusive fete – don’t even try, you will just hurt later in the day
  7. Never turn down a free drink – even a Johnnie Walker and Coconut Water (no one said you had to drink it)
  8. Never complain about the quality of a free drink.
  9. We don’t need to shake hands, if you’re offering a shot of Single Malt Scotch or Angostura 1824 – we’re good. I definitely don’t want to shake your hand, if you offer me a Johnnie Walker and Coconut Water
  10. Carib and Stag are food. Wine goes with food. Martinis and Cocktails demand food.
  11. If you’re drinking, always have a preference, and always claim it. People will remember you that you think Johnnie Walker and Coconut Water is shit and will eventually never offer you one.
  12. Try one new drink each week – seriously. It will not hurt you – and maybe you might forget that Johnnie Walker Black and Coconut Water ever existed.
  13. A rum and coke is a lubricant, it oils up the gears and makes us a little looser, a little funnier, a little more charming, a little more at home. You know what they say about too much lubricant …
  14. Puncheon doesn’t make everyone a poet. Remember that!
  15. The ability to chase Puncheon with Vat 19 or White Oak doesn’t make you more manly
  16. Neither does the ability to chase Puncheon with a Hot Carib or Stag.
  17. Appreciate hangovers – if it was all good times every jackass on the road would be doing it.
  18. Fighting a drunk Lal Beharry when you are sober is always hilarious. Watching two drunk coconut vendors around the Savannah,  cutlass fighting is hilarious until someone loses an arm. You being Lal Beharry is NOT hilarious.
  19. Be a friend, buy drinks, don’t sell them. Ever had a “padna”, who buy someone else a drink on your rounds?
  20. Never walk into a posh bar in Trinidad and ask a bartender “what’s good tonight?”. I’ve actually heard a customer ask this … my response to the bartender at Shakers on the Avenue – yeah Dale … what fresh Scotch did you catch in the sea this morning? Followed by a steups and “Idiot!” to the poseur.
  21. Buying a drink for a Trini woman is smart, buying all her drinks makes you “dotish“, desperate and a free wallet for her.  Here’s the three rules of drink buying …
    1. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she refuses, she does not like you.
    2. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she accepts, she still might not like you.
    3. If she buys you a drink, she likes you
  22. Learn three funny Trini toasts … drinking and toasting are big parts of other drinking cultures – you will get many free drinks for a great Trini toast!
  23. Pass some drinking rules to your children … seriously!

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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