There are some things that all of us go through at one point or another. Having your heart broken is definitely one of them. Almost everyone can relate to this experience. Whether you are the dumper or dumpee, or even if the decision was mutual, breakups are almost always difficult (am I hitting a nerve here?). More often than not, you turn to your friends for support in these trying times. And there is another friend whom you seek when your heart has just been shattered: booze.

There are several reasons why the brokenhearted turn to alcohol. The most common reason is to numb the pain. But that doesn’t mean that the quality and taste of your chosen beverage should decline just because you’re suffering. We imbibers still have standards, after all, heartbroken or not.

Drinking copious amounts of booze is sure to cushion the blow of suddenly being single, albeit temporarily (sometimes, that’s all a brokenhearted person can hope for). This is one of those times when efficiency is in order, to get you buzzed quickly (when one is in the throes of despair, light cocktails just won’t cut it). One of the drinks that is guaranteed to do just that is the deceptively named Long Island Iced Tea. A cocktail that has at least five kinds of spirits (make sure to use top shelf liquor), this definitely packs a punch, and hopefully gives you a bit of reprieve from the crushing agony.

Long Island Iced Tea better
Long Island Iced Tea

Another reason why people drink after a breakup is to reflect their feelings through their drinks. Kind of a take on the term “eating your feelings.” This time, it’s more of “drinking your feelings.” Heartbreak can leave you bitter. Thankfully there are drinks that have a bitter flavor profile that can match that feeling in your chest with a bitter (but yummy) taste in your mouth. A great cocktail to have when you’re feeling like this is the Negroni. It is strong, bitter, and straightforward (just like the roiling despair in your chest), this gin-based drink has some floral notes (to remind you of the good times), a bitterness of the palate (to snap you out of thinking of the past), and a long, lingering finish.

Negroni
Negroni

Personally, when I go through troubles of the heart (sounds like one of those teen romance novels we used to read back in high school), what I want is something that can unlock the emotions deep inside that no amount of talking to friends or binge-watching sappy movies can bring out. You know what I’m talking about. There are some drinks that can make you dance, or think you can dance (I’m looking at you, tequila). And there are some drinks that excavate all the deep-seated feelings you have and bring them to the surface. Like exorcising demons of some sort (though maybe not the best imagery to use), doing this makes me feel better after. The drink that does this for me might surprise you. It’s not a carefully crafted cocktail or an expensive spirit. My go-to heartbreak drink is Red Horse. This strong beer from the biggest brewery in the country is the drink that I can count on. Ice-cold and consistently dependable, Red Horse has been there for me through some tough times.

Red Horse
Red Horse

I know that when the heartbreak is fresh, it seems like it will never end. But like the worst hangover you’ve ever had (and trust me, as you get older, they will get worse), it will eventually subside.

Restaurateur, expert drinker, creative proprietor of steam punk bar Hooch, SMITH Butcher and Grill Room, Ebeneezers, Poulet Manille, and Ampersand. She wrote The Standard newspaper’s Tipple Tales cocktail and spirits column and co-hosted the Manila episode of the Travel Channel show Booze Traveler with cocktail connoisseur Jack Maxwell. She is DrinkManila’s resident mixology expert.

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