I strongly advise that you guys who like to throw the first punch (or execute the first throw or other physical conduct) in response to offensive statements or even physical conduct that does not objectively create a reasonable apprehension of harm (the OP story is a good example) always carry with you the phone number of an excellent criminal defense attorney. You will need it - and, BTW, when the drunk frat boy dies after hitting his head on the edge of bar on the way down after your throw, you are looking at some lengthy prison time. Seriously, macho shit is fun and satisfying but its cost to you and society is potentially huge. We'll be in court with our nicely tailored suits, mtm shirts, 7-fold ties, and handmade shoes. But seriously, I've gotten into countless fights are bars and clubs. In this situation, I would usually just deck the guy, probably would want to lay him out. From there a million things can happen which include him or one of his friends retaliating and someone gets fucked up or you get arrested and charged with assault and battery. Getting fucked up is something you accept can happen going into any fight but getting arrested and catching a charge sucks. And you'll learn your lesson when you have to spend a night in jail, pay that retainer fee to your lawyer, and go through a year of two of court dates. Trust me it's a pain in the ass.