Perhaps you can say that everybody drinks for slightly different reasons. What i think is important however is to truely consider why you drink, and how that might color what you choose to drink.
Why do we drink?
A simple question, but is there a simple answer?
I am of course talking about the drinking of alcoholic beverages here, but what if we weren't? If I was talking bout plain liquids, would the answer be as simple as "To Quench Our Thirst"? If that were the sole reason, then why would we not just drink water? It's cheap, does the job, and easy to find. So why do we go after flavored sodas, slushies, juices, and the variety of other beverages that we gravitate toward? Think about it. Why do you drink anything other then water?
Now back to alcoholic beverages, do we drink them purely to get drunk?
I'll grant you, that the relaxing, euphoric properties of alcohol are enjoyable, but then the thirst quenching properties of a glass of Coke are also enjoyable, but that's not the reason why I often reach for "The Real Thing". However, if you hang out on some of the "cocktail" related message boards, and read all of the "EverClear RULZ" and "I'm looking for a drink that will mess me up FAST" postings, you'll think that the only reason for drinking beer, wine, or cocktails, is simply to get drunk.
So let's think about it for a moment. Who else do you know that is intent on "Drinking To Get Drunk"?
I don't know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind for me, are chronic alcoholics, and homeless drunks begging for money to buy more Thunderbird. While I have nothing but concern and support for both the alcoholics of the world, as well as the homeless, I definitely don't want to be associated with "drunks", do you?
So what is it then that lies behind the mystic, the allure, the experience, of a great cocktail? Myself, I always relate a cocktail to "fine cuisine". Just as we don't reach for our favorite beverage just to quench our thirst, we also don't head off to our favorite restaurant just to fill our stomach. We go there for the experience. The FULL experience. This includes the service, the personalities, the ambiance, as well as the very Quality of what is laid before us. So why would anybody look for anything different from the "liquid" sustenance that they partake of then they do of the solid sustenance? Myself, I ask no more of a cocktail, then I do of a plate of pate that is placed before me.
So the next time you go out drinking, look at your attitude, your level of appreciation, as well as your expectations of that drink that is set before you. Enjoy the flavor, the quality, and the nuances behind what the bartender has presented to you. And if you simply end up getting drunk out of the deal, how different is that from going to a restaurant and "just" coming away full, without having actually enjoyed the atmosphere as well as the company.