Best Of Grizzard: Drink Type Personalities

  • Tuesday, January 31, 2023
  • Jerry Summers

Since Lewis Grizzard’s (LG) death in 1994 the drinking habits of Americans have changed substantially as to the type of alcoholic beverages consumed by the public.

In his 1985 book “Shoot Low Boys – They’re Ridin Shetland Ponies” (Ballantine Books) LG gave his interpretation as to the personalities of individuals as determined by their beverage of choice:

1) Whiskey sour drinker – “A drink for a man (?) whose mother made him practice piano a lot when he was a child;”

2) Scotch drinkers – “They order like they’re Charles Bronson trying to have a quick shot before returning to the subway to kill a few punks and thugs;”

3) Vodka or gin drinkers – “Anybody who drinks see-through whiskey will get crazy. They are the type who leave the house to get a loaf of bread, drop by the bar for just one, and return home six weeks later;”

4) Bourbon drinkers – “They never grow up. Eight out of ten started drinking bourbon with coke in school and still have a pair of saddle oxfords (shoes) in the closet. Bourbon drinkers don’t think that they’ve had a good time unless they get sick and pass out under a coffee table;”

5) White wine drinkers – “Never get involved in any way with them. They either want to get married, sell you a piece of real estate or redecorate your house;” and

6) Beer drinkers (LG’s preference) – “We’re usually honest straight forward people. We are also usually kind and quite sentimental and will get cryin’-about-our-daddies drunk with one another. That just before we destroy the establishment in which we’re drinking because somebody made an offhand remark about Richard Petty or the memory of Patsy Cline!”

Memories of a 25 cent Carlings Black Label or Pabst Blue Ribbon brews are well beyond knowledge of the new immigrants to the Gig City from California, New York, etc. Few surviving Hamilton Countians can recall the existence of the Wagon Wheel on Signal Mountain Boulevard, Cascades near Powell’s Crossroads (except for an anonymous federal judge) and Fontaines on the Alabama Highway near the proposed 5000 new homes atop Aetna Mountain.

(The only survivor of these establishments of the beer guzzling past is a former “men only” spot just a few miles south of the Rhea County line.)

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You can reach Jerry Summers at

Jerry Summers
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