Drinking during a hurricane is understandable, but getting drunk while Sandy rages is a really, really stupid idea.
Alcohol affects your judgment. Are you safe where you are? Should you leave? If you leave then what do you take, where do you go, and how do you get there?
They’re tough questions to answer when you’re sober and impossible with a buzz.
Driving while intoxicated is still a crime during a hurricane and even more dangerous. You’ll wreck and add to the mess and maybe block an evacuation route.
Alcohol also disinhibits you. Huddled in the safest part of your home, this is the time to keep your opinions about politics, religion, and others’ hygiene to yourself.
That’s in your home. If you move to a shelter, you can’t bring alcohol.
However, cold beer or wine in your refrigerator can help to preserve your food if the power goes out, as long as your drinks are cold before you lose electricity.
Water needs a lot of energy to change its temperature so cold beer or wine, in a refrigerator with good cold air circulation, will act like a battery, will act like an ice cube in a drink. It will prolong the freshness of your food.
If you are in safe place and you’re inclined to toast Sandy responsibly, here are three green, electricity-free options.
Ales are fermented at warmer temperatures than lagers, and temperature changes won’t hurt the flavor of ale. Ales are generally intended for consumption at “cellar temperature” (45-55 degrees) and a cellar is a good place to weather a hurricane.
Some common types of ale are IPA, pale ale, stout, and porter. Though some drinkers claim that ale is always dark or strong, that is not correct. Bock beer, for example, is a lager, and pumpkin ale is, as you might have guessed, an ale. Only the brewer knows how the beer was made but the style should tell you if this is an ale or lager.
Port is a sweet red wine that has been fortified with neutral grape spirits, so it has an alcohol content that is higher than a typical wine, around 18-20%. Port is intended for drinking at room temperature.
If you are inclined to distilled spirits then you might toast Sandy with a liqueur, instead. There are many types and most have a lower alcohol content (15-30%) than a typical distilled spirit. They’re usually sweet and tasty and don’t need to be cut with ice or water, which you might not have and will want to conserve anyway.
Whatever you do, please do it safely and in moderation.