See if you can find what’s wrong with this picture: Twenty people are crowded inside a small, black-lit room with Paris Hilton’s newest single bumping on an iBook’s meager speaker system. On the bed, a guy with a “Jesus is my homeboy” T-shirt puts his arm around an ambiguously legal-looking girl he just met. He hands her a cup of beer, which she declines. He asks the girl why she doesn’t want to drink it. She complains that she doesn’t like the taste of alcohol and instead downs several bottles of wine coolers. She then proceeds to suck his… uh, face. Oh yeah, they’re also cousins.

I’ll be honest, there’s plenty wrong with what I just described, but since we’re all familiar with the countless million-dollar advertisements advocating responsible drinking, I’d like to focus on the bizarre concept of associating flavor with alcohol.

It’s understandable for a person to be concerned about drunk driving, alcohol poisoning or losing their inhibitions. These types of people are called designated drivers. What bothers me are the people at a party complaining about the flavor of their drinks. What exactly are they going for?

Alcohol isn’t supposed to taste good and you should appreciate that. The sting in your mouth is what keeps you from unwittingly drinking yourself to death. It’s also a good rule of thumb to know exactly what you’re drinking, right? Well, a can of beer is still a can of beer and a shot of tequila is still more than most people can handle.

A screwdriver, on the other hand, is orange juice with uncertain amounts of vodka. Since you can no longer taste the alcohol, you can all of a sudden drink more vodka than you normally would straight.

Hard liquor should be taken in shots. If that’s still too strong, take a chaser. The point is that you’re drinking the alcohol for what it is and not because it’s hidden within juice.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t demand quality in your drink. Take beer for instance. The typical beer you’ll get at a party is something cheap, like Natural Ice from a keg. Sure, chugging or taking a beer bong of the stuff will give you a decent buzz, but you’ll probably think all beer tastes the same as that swill.

If you want good beer, go buy your own. Getting the same stuff in a can will taste better than from any party keg, while the bottled version tastes even better than their can-terpart. Interestingly enough, the same beer poured at a bar – which comes from a keg – tastes better than from the bottle. Go figure. I recommend any of the fine beers brewed by Firestone Walker Brewing Company.

So what happens if you stumble across a gem like Southern Comfort or Patr