For those of us that have been in this type of free candy storm, we have a leg up on the competition. Here's a few quick things to keep in mind when taking the plunge into the open bar. A lot of this should be pretty self explanatory but here it is anyway:
If you've made it to an open bar opportunity then chances are it's not your first time drinking- if it is then stay out of my fucking way. But realize that you have a natural tendency in most other places to take a bit more of a leisurely stroll into drunkenness because there is no urgency whatsoever to slam drinks into your face. Ten shots within the first 20 minutes sounds great in theory but will probably end up steering you into a non-functional tailspin as your struggle to not to sound too drunk or stumble by hour number two. Short bursts and a steady jogging pace will prove to get you the furthers.
There's a reason all you can eat Brazilian steak houses have really nice salad bars... Find out what you can choose from. If you have options ranging from top to bottom, don't fill up on rail drinks or piss beer. That stuff not only gives you the heavier hangover but it also doesn't make sense if you're someone who seldom splurges for the higher end stuff- if it's there, try it. I don't drink alcohol for the taste, but if I am choosing between Old crow and Jameson, it's no contest.
Is this a Dive / College Bar? If yes, then drink like an animal and don't look back because even if you shit your pants and drink somebody else's puke while having an emotional breakdown, you're still not going to be the most embarrassed person there by the end of the night. Place yourself in a place that your not going to be surrounded by idiots at all times. Meet strangers, talk about things you don't understand, and enjoy
Is it an office Christmas party or a place that oozes with judgement that can effect you politically or professionally? Then have two drinks and find a way to say hello briefly to everyone that matters and the few that don't so people know you came. All the people who were there know they saw you at some point and you're free to make an Irish goodbye at anytime. Most people don't know how to drink with co-workers much less their upper management. If you feel that it's in poor form to leave early then at least act like you know how to handle the sauce. If none of the people can effect you personally or financially, fuck it. Get as drunk as possible until the second person has asked you to leave.
Know how to work the Venue/Bartender. If you're in the drink like an animal type of place and you see they're being cheap with pours, then be-friend the bartender to get faster service. Tip heavy early and set yourself up in place where you can get quick access to the bar. DO NOT insult the bartender- even if they're a fucking chimp with tits. If it takes 20 minutes to get a drink then grab two or more at a time thus you can hold onto one and continue to drink when you're ready to go back for another. Places sometimes do an hour open bar and it's done so that you can't reach the bar often enough to fill up more than twice. Getting your money's worth in a situation that is designed to shaft you via firm deadlines can be tricky. Proper positioning is key and make sure to go to the same bartender that seems to be giving out the most drinks. If you don't care about how much drinks are going to weigh on your wallet, then fuck you.