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“I was celebrating the end of January exams at university and decided to go out with some friends. Post-exam exhaustion meant that I didn’t have a lot of food (or booze) in the fridge and I ended up only having some tomato soup for dinner – not enough sustenance for any night out. This was then exacerbated by the cheap vodka that tasted more like paint stripper, mixed with cranberry juice – my drink of choice at the time. To cut a long story short, I never made it out that night. I was sick everywhere – from my friend’s bathroom to the taxi rank to my own house. Not the night I had planned and not a particularly fun way to celebrate the end of exams. I haven’t been able to drink cranberry juice since, but I learnt my lesson – always eat a proper meal before drinking.”

Drinking Lesson # 1 - Always line your stomach before drinking

“I was in Prague as part of a solo trip around central Europe. I’d made some friends at my hostel earlier that day and we were going out that night to celebrate a birthday. When we heard there was an ‘all you can drink’ hour at the hostel bar we were delighted – what a great way to save money and ensure a fun evening (or so I thought). I was a little overzealous at the happy hour, determined to get my money’s worth. An hour or two later I started to feel the effects but we were a long way from the hostel by then. This was topped off by a few shots of absinthe – called the ‘green fairy’ for reasons which were previously unknown to me. One of the poor hostel staff members (possibly the one who had given me the shots) was tasked with guiding me and a few others back to the hostel which I imagine was like trying to herd cats. What did I learn? Just because something seems like good value, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea – especially if it involves absinthe."

Drinking Lesson #2 - Cheap alcohol doesn't guarantee a good time


“It was my friend’s birthday – right in the middle of an enormous heatwave gripping London. To battle the heat, we decided to stick with outdoor activities, opting for a BBQ followed by pétanque at a local pub, both accompanied by lashings of Aperol and cold beer. The crucial details we missed – staying hydrated and out of the sun. We’d barely even made it to the third round of the game before everyone started to feel ‘a bit dodgy’. Even a sit down and glass of water in the shade didn’t help. The cause (we now know) was a collective case of heat stroke brought on by the baking temperatures and the fact that in our drunken haze, we weren’t taking care in the hot weather. "

Drinking Lesson #3 - Alcohol doesn't treat heatstroke

“It started out in a supermarket in holiday in Spain. We were hiring a boat for the afternoon, and had decided to buy some booze for the trip. Instead of buying some beers, we decided to mix our own drinks on board (a recipe for disaster – no pun intended). The main problem? We didn't speak enough Spanish to be entirely sure what we were mixing. Flash forward to several hours later. Full to the brim with alcohol of unknown origin, we began to feel the effects of the high seas. I've never seen so many people turn green so quickly and the poor ship's captain had never seen anything like it. Suffice to say that I haven't mixed my own cocktails since then - I'll leave it to the pros. “

Drinking Lesson #4 - Leave cocktail making to the pros