Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

1125 Serving Alcoholic Drinks

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1,125 – Serving Alcoholic Drinks.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1,125. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles California.

Visit our website at ESLPod.com, or become a member of ESL Podcast. If you do, you can download our eight- to ten-page Learning Guide that contains a complete transcript of everything we say, plus a complete glossary with definitions and sample sentences, cultural notes, and a whole lot more.

This episode is a dialogue between Bethany and Nathan about giving someone something alcoholic to drink. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Bethany: Where is everybody?

Nathan: While you were in the bathroom, the other guys left.

Bethany: In that case, I should go, too. It’s getting late.

Nathan: The night is young. Let me get you a refill.

Bethany: No, I really shouldn’t have another drink. I had a neat drink after dinner and I’m still feeling the effects. I’m a lightweight and I’m not normally a drinker.

Nathan: What’s the harm? Have one for the road. I’ll serve this one straight up and with a twist of lemon. It’s my specialty. I could also mix you a cocktail, if you prefer. Consider it a nightcap.

Bethany: No, I really shouldn’t.

Nathan: All right, I’ll just top off that drink in your hand.

Bethany: No, it’s late, I’m tired, and I have to go.

Nathan: Don’t rush off. You wouldn’t want to get a reputation for being a spoilsport, would you?

Bethany: I prefer that to the alternative!

[end of dialogue]

Bethany starts the dialogue by saying, “Where is everybody?” Nathan replies, “While you were in the bathroom, the other guys left” – the other people who were here. Remember that the word “guy” (guy) in American English can mean a man – a male – but it can also just mean a group of men and women, or boys and girls, I suppose. Bethany says, “In that case, I should go, too. It’s getting late.” Bethany is saying that she should go home because it is getting late and everyone else has left also.

But Nathan doesn’t want her to go. He says, “The night is young.” That expression “The night is young” is used when you don’t want to go home after going to a party or doing something else. It’s used to encourage someone else to stay out later with you, to perhaps go to a bar or go dancing. “The night is young” – that means it’s early in the evening. We wouldn’t say this during the day, of course. It would have to be after, say, six o’clock p.m.

Bethany wants to go home, but Nathan wants her to stay. He says, “Let me get you a refill.” The verb “to refill” (refill) means to put more liquid in someone’s glass – in this case, to serve someone another alcoholic drink. The noun “refill” refers to that liquid which goes into your glass. Bethany says, “No, I really shouldn’t have another drink. I had a neat drink after dinner and I’m still feeling the effects.”

This phrase or term “a neat (neat) drink” is one used mostly by what we would call “bartenders” – people who work behind a bar serving you alcohol in a bar or a pub. A “neat drink” is a drink that is only made of one kind of alcohol. It’s not mixed with anything. It’s not mixed with water or juice or ice or anything else. So, for example, if you wanted just whisky, you could get the bartender to give you a small glass of whisky. If it were a “neat drink,” it wouldn’t have any ice in it.

Now, I don’t go to bars very much anymore, and to be honest, I had never heard of this term “neat drink” before today. There’s a similar term that I think most Americans would be familiar with, which is “straight up.” A drink served “straight up” is also one in which there is no ice or other liquids. However, the bartender makes the drink cold first by putting ice into it and then taking it out, basically. So, that’s the difference between a “neat drink” and a drink “straight up.”

Bethany says she had a neat drink after dinner and she’s still “feeling the effects.” She says, “I’m a lightweight and I’m not normally a drinker.” If someone says they’re a “lightweight” (lightweight) – one word – he means he can’t drink very much alcohol without it affecting him, that even a little bit of alcohol will make him a little dizzy or will get him, what we would call, “drunk” (drunk), which is when you drink in so much alcohol you begin to lose your ability to function normally.

Bethany says she is a lightweight and “not normally a drinker” – that is, a person who drinks a lot of alcohol, such as beer or wine or whiskey or vodka or whatever one likes to drink. Nathan says, “What’s the harm?” What bad could happen from doing it? He says, “Have one for the road.” The expression “one for the road” refers to one last drink before you leave. That’s not, of course, a very good idea – to be drinking if you are going to have to drive afterwards. I guess if you’re taking a taxi, it’s okay.

Nathan wants to give Bethany “one for the road.” He says, “I’ll serve this one straight up and with a twist of lemon.” Remember, we said “straight up” means that the drink has just one kind of alcohol, but is made cold first by putting ice in it and then taking the ice out. I’m not quite sure why you would have a drink straight up with a twist of lemon; if there were a twist of lemon, it wouldn’t be a drink straight up, I don’t think. But then again, I don’t drink very much.

Well, what is a “twist (twist) of lemon”? A twist of lemon is a small amount of the fruit – lemon – that is squeezed into the drink. Often they will put the little piece of lemon – a little, what we would call, “slice” (slice) of lemon – into the drink after it has been squeezed into the drink. Nathan says, “It’s my specialty.” Your “specialty” is what you are very good at doing.

He continues, “I could also mix you a cocktail if you prefer.” A “cocktail” (cocktail) is a drink that contains two or more ingredients. It could be two different kinds of alcohol. It could be alcohol and water, or alcohol and juice, or alcohol and soda. “To mix” means to combine these two ingredients together – the two kinds of alcohol or the two kinds of liquid that are in the drink.

Nathan says, “Consider it a nightcap.” A “nightcap” (nightcap) is an alcoholic drink that you drink right before going to bed to help you fall asleep. Bethany says, “No, I really shouldn’t.” This is a very polite way of telling someone that you don’t want to do what that person wants you to do. Bethany doesn’t want to have another drink. Nathan keeps insisting. So Bethany says, “No, I really shouldn’t.”

Nathan finally says, “All right, I’ll just top off that drink in your hand.” “To top off” is a two-word phrasal verb meaning to put more liquid into your glass of the same type when you haven’t finished drinking what’s already in your glass. So, for example, if you have a cocktail of, I don’t know, whiskey and soda. Someone says, “Let me top off your drink.” The person is offering to put more whisky and soda into your glass until your glass is full again.

Bethany however, says, “No, it’s late. I’m tired and I have to go.” So, she’s very direct now with Nathan, telling Nathan no, she doesn’t want to have another drink. But Nathan says, “Don’t rush off.” “To rush (rush) off” is a two-word phrasal verb meaning to leave suddenly or to leave in a hurry, to leave quickly. Nathan says, “You wouldn’t want to get a reputation for being a spoilsport, would you? A “reputation” here refers to how other people perceive you, what you are known for. You can have a good reputation or you can have a bad reputation.

A “spoilsport” (spoilsport) – one word – is a person who ruins other people’s fun, who behaves in a way that makes something less enjoyable than it should be. If you’re at a party and everyone wants to play a game and you say, “Ah, no, I don’t want to play,” someone may call you a “spoilsport.” You are spoiling or ruining the game or the situation for everyone else. Nathan is telling Bethany that if she leaves now, she’ll get the reputation for being a spoilsport.

Bethany, however, says, “I prefer that to the alternative.” An “alternative” (alternative) is another possibility, another option, another thing you can do if one thing doesn’t work or is not successful. Here what Bethany means is that she would rather have the reputation for being a spoilsport than being the kind of person who keeps drinking as the night goes on – at least, I think that’s what she means.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Bethany: Where is everybody?

Nathan: While you were in the bathroom, the other guys left.

Bethany: In that case, I should go, too. It’s getting late.

Nathan: The night is young. Let me get you a refill.

Bethany: No, I really shouldn’t have another drink. I had a neat drink after dinner and I’m still feeling the effects. I’m a lightweight and I’m not normally a drinker.

Nathan: What’s the harm? Have one for the road. I’ll serve this one straight up and with a twist of lemon. It’s my specialty. I could also mix you a cocktail, if you prefer. Consider it a nightcap.

Bethany: No, I really shouldn’t.

Nathan: All right, I’ll just top off that drink in your hand.

Bethany: No, it’s late, I’m tired, and I have to go.

Nathan: Don’t rush off. You wouldn’t want to get a reputation for being a spoilsport, would you?

Bethany: I prefer that to the alternative!

[end of dialogue]

Dr. Lucy Tse has the reputation for being one of the best, if not the best, scriptwriter on the Internet. Thank you, Lucy.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
the night is young – it’s early; a phrase meaning that it is too early to leave a party, go home, or go to bed, used to encourage others to stay out later

* Why would you want to go home so early? The night is young!

to refill – the act of filling a drink or container again, after it was previously full and then partially or completely emptied

* How often do you have to refill the gas tank of your truck?

neat – an alcoholic drink that is purely one type of beverage, without being mixed with water, ice, juice, or other types of alcohol and served at room temperature (not cold or hot)

* Give me some of your best whiskey, neat.

lightweight – a person who is easily affected by alcohol and cannot drink very much; a person who becomes drunk very quickly after consuming little alcohol

* Lisa is such a lightweight that she started dancing on the tables after just one cocktail, and fell asleep after two.

drinker – a person who drinks alcoholic beverages, especially very frequently

* What’s the difference between a social drinker and an alcoholic?

one for the road – one last drink before leaving, or a drink while leaving

* I should go home, but give me one for the road first.

straight up – referring to an alcoholic drink that is made cold, but served without ice or anything else

* Do you want your vodka straight up, or should I mix it with some cranberry juice?

twist – a slice of lime or lemon, squeezed into the drink and placed on the edge of the cup

* These drinks would taste so much better with a twist of lime.

specialty – what one is very good at doing and what one is known for; specialization

* Roasted duck with an orange sauce is the chef’s specialty.

to mix – to combine and stir two or more things together

* Mix the dry ingredients before you add them to the wet ingredients.

cocktail – a drink that contains two or more ingredients, at least one of which is alcoholic

* Her favorite cocktail is a sea breeze, which contains vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice.

nightcap – an alcoholic drink consumed before bedtime, especially to help one relax and fall asleep

* Occasionally, Rogelio drinks rum in the evening as a nightcap.

to top off – to add to the liquid that is already in a glass so that it becomes full

* The waiter offered to top off our water glasses throughout the meal.

to rush off – to leave quickly; to leave in a hurry

* I’m sorry I can’t stay longer, but I have to rush off for a 2:00 dentist appointment.

reputation – how one is perceived by others; what one is known for

* Dynee has a reputation for being good at math, but she prefers history and plans to study Asian history at the university.

spoilsport – a person who ruins other people’s fun, or who behaves in a way that make something less enjoyable for other people

* Greg is such a spoilsport, always complaining about work when everyone else just wants to dance and have fun.

alternative – the other option; the other possible outcome; what one can do if something else does not work out or is not successful

* Do you have any alternative locations for the event, in case it’s raining that day?

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these drinks would be easiest to make?
a) A neat drink.
b) A cocktail.
c) A nightcap.

2. What does Nathan mean when he says, “You wouldn’t want to get a reputation for being a spoilsport, would you?”
a) He’s reminding Bethany that she isn’t very athletic.
b) He’s warning Bethany that people might become angry with her.
c) He’s informing Bethany that she’s making the evening less fun for others.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
neat

The word “neat,” in this podcast, refers to an alcoholic drink that is purely one type of beverage, without being mixed with water, ice, juice, or other types of alcohol: “Drinking that tequila neat made my throat burn.” The word “neat” also means tidy, cleaned up, put away, and organized: “Why can’t the kids keep their bedroom neat?” A “neat freak” is a person who is obsessed with keeping things clean and organized: “Mary is a neat freak. She stayed up until 2:00 a.m. cleaning and organizing the refrigerator!” The word “neat” can be used to mean cool or interesting: “Oh, that stamp collection is really neat!” And sometimes, the word “neat” means clever: “That’s a neat idea!” Or, “Hopefully someone will find a neat solution to the problem.”

to top off

In this podcast, the phrase “to top off” means to add to the liquid that is already in a glass so that it becomes full: “Would you like me to top off your soda, or have you had enough?” The phrase “to top an offer” means to make a better offer or to offer more money than other people have offered: “When the first bidder offered $1,000, we knew nobody else would be able to top the offer.” The phrase “to be topped with (something)” means for a food to have something else placed on top: “I’d like a bowl of ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and chopped peanuts, please.” Finally, the phrase “to top out” means to reach the maximum amount: “The car’s speedometer tops out at 150 miles per hour.”

Culture Note
American Cocktails

In the United States, “bartenders” (people who work in a bar, serving drinks to customers) have to be familiar with many types of cocktails. Some of the most popular cocktails have a “rich” (interesting, with many details) history.

A “Mai Tai” is a sweet drink often served on beaches. It is typically made with rum, Curacao “liqueur” (liquor; hard alcohol), and lime juice, and often a small paper umbrella is used to decorate the glass. The name of the drink is “derived” (taken and adapted) from the Tahitian word for “good.” Apparently the Mai Tai was invented by a man in San Francisco, who made the drink for some friends, one of whom was Tahitian and said, “It is very good!”

A “Long Island Iced Tea” looks like a glass of iced tea, but it “has a punch” (has a lot of alcohol). It is made by mixing several types of alcohol, such as tequila, vodka, rum, triple sec, and gin, and usually served with a twist of lemon. There are “competing claims” (more than one person who claims to have done something) to the invention of the drink. A man claimed to have created the drink in Long Island, New York in 1970. But other people say that is was created earlier, in the 1920s in Tennessee. However, there are many “variations” (different recipes) of the drink, so it’s hard to say where it “originated” (started).

The “Bloody Mary” is a “complex” (with many flavors) cocktail made with vodka, tomato juice, and many spices and other flavorings, including “celery” (long, green vegetable), olives, “cayenne pepper” (hot red pepper), lemon juice, and salt. The drink may have been created in Paris, New York, or London, depending on whom one believes.

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - c