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Buckfast Tonic Wine
February 4, 2010 1:18 PM   Subscribe

One person’s helpful mood improver, though, is another’s worryingly effective stimulant. "The drink is 15 percent alcohol by volume, a bit stronger than most wines. Also, each 750 milliliter bottle contains as much caffeine as eight cans of Coke." Scottish authorities are trying to reduce alcoholism in the country, but consumers still love their Buckfast, which has been linked to violent behavior by some, and dismissed as merely a scapegoat by others.

"'It goes straight to your head,' he said, 'but it’s not my cup of tea.' (Mr. Rooney noted that his cup of tea is half a bottle of vodka a night.)"
posted by snottydick (97 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Buckfast - gets you fucked fast! *chanting*
posted by yoHighness at 1:20 PM on February 4, 2010


oh dear.
posted by yoHighness at 1:20 PM on February 4, 2010


Cops in Maine mill towns, where Allen's Coffee Brandy and whole milk is the drink of choice, will tell you that caffeine and alcohol are a terrible mix.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:25 PM on February 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


A few years back when I still drank there was a big thing for Red Bull and vodka. A lot of bars and nightclubs in Chicago stopped serving it because they were having problems with people getting into more fist fights than usual. Just my bit of anecdata. I can't speak for Buckfast or Scotland but there was a reason they started referring to Red Bull and vodka as liquid crack and not serving it. High alcohol content plus high caffeine seems to put a match to some folks' fuses.

IMHO the demographic that was really excited about having the trendy thing to drink had as much to do with the problem as the cocktail itself.
posted by Babblesort at 1:26 PM on February 4, 2010


Even if they ban stuff like this retailers will just move the Red Bull closer to the vodka in the store.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:28 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Economist article over the wine.
posted by zabuni at 1:28 PM on February 4, 2010


Too bad they don't make Vin Mariani anymore. I bet that stuff was a lot of fun.
posted by dortmunder at 1:28 PM on February 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


If it's a scapegoat, it sounds like it's a scapegoat for the same classist reasons that malt liquor is demonized in the US.
posted by box at 1:30 PM on February 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


'Liquid crack,' huh? They don't call it 'liquid cocaine' or 'liquid freebase.'
posted by box at 1:31 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a bottle would be good to keep around in case of, you know, acute cerebrovascular attack.
posted by Auden at 1:32 PM on February 4, 2010


Back in the stupid old college days, just before the Cretaceous Period, my friends and I used to drink rye and Jolt Cola while eating chocolate covered coffee beans.

I assume this is similar.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:34 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The American version.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:37 PM on February 4, 2010


Being really drunk and really high on caffeine is unpleasant; you want to sleep, but all you can do is lie there, twitching.

A cup of coffee with a splash of liqueur or cup of tea with milk, honey and whisky, on the other hand, is good for the soul, when not overdone.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:38 PM on February 4, 2010


"Eight cans of coke" = 8x30= 240mg of caffeine. So one energy drink or Americano.

This basically overproof alcoholic Rockstar. Or a bottle of Kahlua with less sugar.
posted by mek at 1:38 PM on February 4, 2010


I thought the Scottish were already banned.
posted by srboisvert at 1:38 PM on February 4, 2010


And speaking of Red Bull with vodka, my favorite quote on the subject comes from coolgeek in AskMe.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


All I want to know is where this is available for purchase in the U.S.

For, um, scientific research, of course.
posted by PunkSoTawny at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Basic psychological math (at least what I took at college): disabling of judgement cortex + excitement of the brain = poor judgement on the fly.

Who woulda' thunk it?
posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2010


That "others" link is the wettest Guardian link I've read in a while. Why, yes, people are doing ill-advised things. But given that they're going to do them anyway, and some may even do it fully understanding the ramifications, wouldn't it be better if the first drink to hand wasn't a caffeine-loaded head-exploding disaster?

(That said, if you just like experimenting on the odd end of booze, I'm told that Buckfast, soda water & crushed ice stirred in a half pint glass tastes like liquid cola cubes and blows your head off.)

Babblesort: Red Bull and vodka's already a staple here -- it's probably only in the middle of our spectrum of head-wasting alcoholic drinks.

I assume this is similar.
Yes and no: it's similar in that it's drunk because it's a cheap way to explode your head. It's different for the sort of classist reasons box mentions: poor people drink it because it's cheap, and then do stupid things with bad overall consequences and can't afford to fix them. There aren't easy answers to the problems caused by a disenfranchised underclass, so people pick on the drink instead.
posted by bonaldi at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm not sure what you're getting at box. It sounds to me like you are suggesting that the name liquid crack came with some racist or classist intent. Since it was mostly young white frat type guys that were into it I don't think that was really the case.
posted by Babblesort at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2010


A major fact that is totally absent from this article is the relative cost of the wine. The arithmetic to calculate what is the cheapest way of getting drunk is not out of reach of even the most hardcore alcoholic, and this product's popularity indicates to me that it fills that niche.
posted by mek at 1:41 PM on February 4, 2010


The buzz is supposedly worth paying for, but people enjoy coffee at the end of a hospitable dinner party too. Caffeine and alcohol in moderation do not cause violence.

Erm...one teeeny tiny little part left out there.

A night of sipping Chateau Lafite followed by an espresso before piling into the Bentley and trundling off to the estate isn't quite the same as filling a poor, disgruntled, unemployed 17-year old football hooligan in inner-city Glasgow with a beverage that is, in his words, "like drinking a bottle of wine and...3-4 cans of Red Bull."

Anyone who hasn't seen the average pack of British youths lately really needs to wake the fuck up about how violent their youth culture has become. Alcohol is a huge part of it.

Shatterproof beer glasses unveiled in U.K.

87,000 (!!!) incidents in 2009 in England and Wales.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:44 PM on February 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


IANAD, but this sounds to me like it would cause House-level medical craziness if you drank this swill.

In fact, I imagine it'll be part of a diagnosis if House does an episode in the UK.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:51 PM on February 4, 2010


What's the word?

Thunderbird!

How's it sold?

Good and cold!

What's the jive?

Bird's alive!

What's the price?

Thirty twice!

How d'you feel?

IMMA MURDER YOU YOU SUMBITCH GRAAAAARRRR
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:53 PM on February 4, 2010 [38 favorites]


Cops in Maine mill towns, where Allen's Coffee Brandy and whole milk is the drink of choice, will tell you that caffeine and alcohol are a terrible mix.
posted by the painkiller at 1:55 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Feh! Kids today! No appreciation for the classics, like valium or heroin.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:55 PM on February 4, 2010


All you need to do is google "The Saracen's Head" in Glasgow to see why Buckfast is so popular.
posted by TheSarryHeed at 1:55 PM on February 4, 2010


This was bar none the funniest News Quiz I'd ever heard.
posted by boo_radley at 1:56 PM on February 4, 2010


Who'd have thought, another thread in which I can post a link to NEDS Kru ft. The Wee Man.

The bottle he's holding through most of the video is Buckfast.

The relevant lyric at 0:50 is:

"I going down the town to see if I get lucky, if I cannot get a bird I'll drink some more bucky"

(I'm not even going to try and transcribe the actual words as spoken)
posted by psolo at 1:57 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's funny; I like my beer and wine, I depend heavily on my caffeine, but I don't have any particular desire to combine the two, even though I've tried things like Sparks. Maybe it's the tales of misery from Red Bull & vodka drinkers, which I was reminded of recently when someone in one of my RPG groups came to a game with a severe Joose hangover; it literally hurt my own head to look at him.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2010


From the shatter proof glass article: "it highlights what most people don't think of, and that is that you can actually obliterate the chances for people to inflict violence on each other in the first place. It's like giving someone a rubber baseball bat"

While I understand the point, I'd add this: I'm pretty confident that in my youth certain associates could do quite a bit of damage with a rubber bat.
posted by oddman at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2010


Shatterproof beer glasses unveiled in U.K.

I wonder if they were tested on animals. There was a recent and somewhat counterintuitive finding that getting smashed in the head with an empty beer bottle is more dangerous than a full one (the contents cause the glass to explode outward, with some pieces propelled away from the head.)
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:01 PM on February 4, 2010


Sparks...Joose...

Good lord that stuff sounds deadly.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:01 PM on February 4, 2010


Metafilter: a caffeine-loaded head-exploding disaster
posted by vibrotronica at 2:01 PM on February 4, 2010


And then there's this.

For the connoisseur .
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:02 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


On average, Scots age 16 and older drank the equivalent of 12.5 quarts of pure alcohol each in 2007, the eighth highest rate in the world(...)

In case anyone's as curious about the question that inspires as I am, Wikipedia puts the UK in general at #8 for per capita alcohol consumption, beaten out by (in order) Luxembourg, Ireland, Hungary, Moldova, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Germany.

...Luxembourg? Moldova?
posted by Shepherd at 2:02 PM on February 4, 2010


Blaming a chemical substance for poor human behavior is a juvenile cop-out and ignores the fact that a conscious decision was made by the human to ingest the substance, probably with the full intent of engaging in poor behavior down the road (even if they need to drink to satisfy their own need for a scapegoat).

I like getting blackout drunk. I also like drugs. Over the counter, under the counter, off the corner, whatever I can get. I don't, however, engage in violent or destructive behavior when I do so. When I have, it was never due to whatever I had decided to dull (or enhance) my senses with.

Anyone familiar with the way some sXe crews act at hardcore shows in the US should be aware that a predilection towards violent behavior is just something that arises amongst certain young men, sober or otherwise.

Thugs looking to bust heads don't really need a drink to get down with it.
posted by snottydick at 2:04 PM on February 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Search youtube for "Buckfast challenge." That's 75ml at 15% with 8 cans of coke in it to boot. It's no wonder people are getting chibbed.
posted by fire&wings at 2:06 PM on February 4, 2010


Wonder what would happen if next week they made pot readily available and legal
in Scotland.
posted by Postroad at 2:06 PM on February 4, 2010


Did anybody else see this on NYT and know it was headed straight to metafilter? I thought about doing it myself, but I'm glad you did, snottydick. The one thing I would have added: a link to the Benedictine monastery that brews the stuff and their pained defense of themselves for financing the contemplative life through sales of caffeinated Night Train.
posted by sy at 2:11 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's well-appreciated that caffeine will not sober up a drinker, just make for a more awake drunk. What caffeine will do, is reduce the memory blackouts that alcohol induces. I'm not sure if recall of the previous nights grim exploits will be a disincentive or not.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:16 PM on February 4, 2010


Thugs looking to bust heads don't really need a drink to get down with it.

Cite, please.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:17 PM on February 4, 2010


The awesome Ted Leo performing "A Bottle of Buckie" on The Sound of Young America.
posted by haveanicesummer at 2:24 PM on February 4, 2010


Cite, please.

Are you new to our planet?
posted by snottydick at 2:24 PM on February 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Cite, please.

Exhibit X
posted by Burhanistan at 2:26 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


the drink had been mentioned in 5,638 crime reports between 2006 and 2009.

Which is a useless statistic without telling us how many actual crimes were reported to Strathclyde police between 2006 and 2009. I imagine it's significantly more than 1880 per year.
posted by IanMorr at 2:29 PM on February 4, 2010


Too bad they don't make Vin Mariani anymore. I bet that stuff was a lot of fun.

But folks in the US were doing it to the max:
The ethanol in the wine acted as a solvent and extracted the cocaine from the coca leaves, altering the drink’s effect. It originally contained 6 mg of cocaine per fluid ounce of wine, but Vin Mariani which was to be exported contained 7.2 mg per ounce in order to compete with the higher cocaine content of similar drinks in the United States.
If we're going to get "happy," we're going to get really "happy."

'Liquid crack,' huh? They don't call it 'liquid cocaine' or 'liquid freebase.'

'Liquid crack' flows of the tongue (though 'liquid cocain' has a certain ring to it).

Shatterproof beer glasses unveiled in U.K.

Sounds like you're balancing the good of fewer lacerations with more broken bones. If the glass won't break, something else probably will. Go the way of fratty bars, and serve plastic cups in high-traffic times.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:31 PM on February 4, 2010


What is the horrible stink from Red Bull? I can smell it half way across a crowded pub and it makes my stomach turn. I'm sure it's similar to the way some people just hate the taste of cucumbers, but what is it that makes it smell like a rancid plastic lunchbox?
posted by Elmore at 2:35 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Which is a useless statistic without telling us how many actual crimes were reported to Strathclyde police between 2006 and 2009. I imagine it's significantly more than 1880 per year.

In fact, don't worry New York Times, I'll go look it up myself. I guess putting it in context wouldn't have served your article.

2006/07 - 193,669 crimes
2007/08 - 182,454 crimes

So Buckfast is mentioned in <1% of all crimes recorded in Stratchclyde. I guess I'm in the scapegoat camp. Buckfast didn't create the social problems in that area. It didn't destroy the manufacturing and heavy industries and it isn't responsible for doing nothing to replace them since.
posted by IanMorr at 2:39 PM on February 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


Exhibit X

Right, militant straight edgers - a minor threat to a largely peaceful, and positive, movement. That's a stupid citation - actually, it's beyond stupid.
posted by Elmore at 2:51 PM on February 4, 2010


That's a stupid citation - actually, it's beyond stupid.

It was a joke, dude. Straight Edgers were known for liking to start fights, and they were, you know, sober. Sheesh.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:55 PM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wanna fight about it?
posted by Elmore at 2:59 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was a joke, dude.

My fault. When I clicked through the way I read it was along the lines of "Feminism is bad because the militants wanna chop my dick off", "Veganism is bad because the militants refuse to eat my dick", etc. I got it wrong, probably because I am too sober right now.

posted by Elmore at 3:04 PM on February 4, 2010


You bring the boombox with the Minor Threat cassette, I'll bring the brass knuckles.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:04 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The awesome Ted Leo performing "A Bottle of Buckie " on The Sound of Young America.

Love that song -- now I finally know what the heck it's about. Thanks!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:06 PM on February 4, 2010


People who are somehow afraid of particular mixed drinks are insane. Anyone can drink some wine and pop a caffine pill. Or drink a red bull, whatever.
posted by delmoi at 3:07 PM on February 4, 2010


Can only find 13 songs.
posted by Elmore at 3:07 PM on February 4, 2010


Some true jakies of my former acquaintance used to swear by checking out the number on the bottle. Each one has a number from 1 to perhaps 16, and one end of that scale was from the stronger end of the barrel.
posted by imperium at 3:15 PM on February 4, 2010


All that stuff needs is a little THC in the mix and it would be the perfect fun drug.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:18 PM on February 4, 2010


Jager-bombs, 13 stitches. Never again.
posted by PuppyCat at 3:20 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


My only experience of Buckfast was when I went to Glasgow and a group of wee lads chucked an empty bottle of it through the back window of a bus I was on. Apparantly it's also very good for tarring roads.
posted by fight or flight at 3:21 PM on February 4, 2010


"'It’s always wise to remember that Jesus turned water into wine,' the [J. Chandler & Company] spokesman, Jim Wilson, said in an interview."

Zing!
posted by ericb at 3:27 PM on February 4, 2010


Jager-bombs, 13 stitches. Never again.

The smell of Jägermeister and/or Red Bull makes me retch. Never again. Never again. "Please God, I promise I'll never drink again."
posted by ericb at 3:29 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


So instead of drinking a whiskey drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink, and a cider drink you could just drink a Bucky?

Anyone who hasn't seen the average pack of British youths lately really needs to wake the fuck up about how violent their youth culture has become.

Is that new?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:31 PM on February 4, 2010


So instead of drinking a whiskey drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink, and a cider drink you could just drink a Bucky?

"I get knocked down, but I get up again."
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this FPP. Now, every time one of my asshole coworkers gives me that "Decaf? [smug sniff] How can you drink decaf? I must have my coffee" shit, I shall smile beatifically as I daydream of dumping a fifth of Everclear into the breakroom caffeinated pot and sitting back to watch the mayhem.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:34 PM on February 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


You bring the boombox with the Minor Threat cassette, I'll bring the brass knuckles.

Henry Rollins will referee the fight, and by "referee the fight" I mean "knock your heads together", and by that I don't mean figuratively.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:35 PM on February 4, 2010


Responding to something a long ways up: I think there's a classist/racist element to the way that crack is demonized while other forms of cocaine are not. If you call something 'liquid crack,' and you don't mean it as a compliment, I think it's fair to say that some of that crack baggage comes with the description.
posted by box at 3:39 PM on February 4, 2010


Henry Rollins will referee the fight

I don't want to have to listen to Henry Rollins banging on about how awesome he is for three hours, so let's assume that we have made peace. Which we have. Agreed?
posted by Elmore at 3:46 PM on February 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Definitely. I walked out of one of Rollins' spoken word gigs because it was literally boring a hole in my brain, so I don't need any more head trauma from the man.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:08 PM on February 4, 2010


Perhaps it is its special caffeine-and-sweet-wine recipe, which allows overly enthusiastic consumers to be tipsy and bouncy at the same time

HOW DO I GET SOME
posted by litleozy at 4:12 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


People who are somehow afraid of particular mixed drinks are insane. Anyone can drink some wine and pop a caffine pill. Or drink a red bull, whatever.

Poor people looking to spend the absolute minimum in order to get hosingly drunk won't, though: red bull is expensive and caffeine pills are extraneous. Buckfast just happens to have it all included at no extra cost.
posted by bonaldi at 4:12 PM on February 4, 2010


kirkaracha! Good call on the Among The Thugs reference.

As an ignorant Yank who is bored to tears by watching other people play "association" football, that book was quite the revelation for me. Endlessly entertaining, just so long as I'm not the hapless loser who gets trampled underfoot.
posted by snottydick at 4:15 PM on February 4, 2010


Anyone who hasn't seen the average pack of British youths lately really needs to wake the fuck up about how violent their youth culture has become. Alcohol is a huge part of it.

It should be banned then.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:16 PM on February 4, 2010


Free speech is a big part of hateful, violent behavior of white supremacists. Should we ban it then?
posted by oddman at 4:27 PM on February 4, 2010


Thugs looking to bust heads don't really need a drink to get down with it.

I think the problem isn't the thugs who will get into a fight no matter what, it's those lads who are going out of a laugh, and end up in a fight without being too sure why but they're too fired up to back down.

Alcohol is a catalyst for aggressive behaviour. BUT

Buckfast didn't create the social problems in that area. It didn't destroy the manufacturing and heavy industries and it isn't responsible for doing nothing to replace them since.

This. Very very much so this. There is a binge culture in the UK (coming from France to the UK was something of a shock in this regard) and while it can get rowdy, it gets regularly violent only when there's a mix of frustration and boredom.
posted by litleozy at 4:32 PM on February 4, 2010


Hey, what's up with UK getting Vanillin in their Buckfast and Ireland getting more caffeine and sulfites instead. That's cold. You'd figure monks wouldn't do that.
posted by drowsy at 4:53 PM on February 4, 2010


Metafilter: while it can get rowdy, it gets regularly violent only when there's a mix of frustration and boredom.
posted by jquinby at 4:56 PM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


For the first time ever I saw the Scotch in their natural habitat, and it weren’t pretty. I’d seen them huddling in stations before, being loud but… this time I was surrounded. Everywhere I went it felt like they were watching me; fish-white flesh puckered by the Highland breeze; tight eyes peering out for fresh meat; screechy, booze-soaked voices hollering out for a taxi to take ‘em halfway up the road to the next all-night watering hole. A shatter of glass; a round of applause; a sixteen-year-old mother of three vomiting in an open sewer, bairns looking on, chewing on potato cakes. I ain’t never going back… not never. via Garth Marenghi's Dark Place
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 5:02 PM on February 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Link got cut off but here is the youtube clip.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 5:10 PM on February 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


In England, from what I see, the tipple of choice for the 'financially astute street drinker' is extra strong cider. I'd guess an average person would be close to soiling themselves, and the pavement, after 3 litres: most of them are 7.5% alcohol.

3 Litre bottles sell for around £3 or so ($4.50), my local shop sells 500ml cans starting at 69p.

White Lightning is my favourite.
posted by selton at 5:13 PM on February 4, 2010


I've been to places that people have described as 'scary' in North America: East St Louis, the rough bits of south-west Baltimore, some ill-advised areas of Chicago, Jane & Finch [!]. Know what? None of them have the raw menace of walking under a bridge in Glasgow and finding a small pack of bevvied-up teens spoiling for kicks.
posted by scruss at 6:05 PM on February 4, 2010


The pub I worked in twenty-odd years ago had changed to glasses that did that car windscreen type of shattering so we got no dangerous shards. We weren't exactly at the forefront of adopting new technology either, so can only presume they've been available for even longer. Wonder what's supposed to be new about the ones in that article?
posted by Abiezer at 7:31 PM on February 4, 2010


I've got no idea how to link to it, but on Youtube, "Buckfast- the Music Video" is urgent, throbbing and relevant.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 11:00 PM on February 4, 2010


StickyCarpet, I'd guess the shatterproof glasses are more to prevent the more brutal "glassing" attacks, where the top of the glass is smashed off against the bar, then the (now with a sharp jagged top) glass is pressed into the face of a brawl opponent or annoying bystander and twisted.
posted by vsync at 11:30 PM on February 4, 2010


the more brutal "glassing" attacks, where the top of the glass is smashed off against the bar, then the (now with a sharp jagged top) glass is pressed into the face of a brawl opponent or annoying bystander and twisted.

Damn, am I ever glad that I do my drinking in Tokyo, where the worst thing that might happen is that a wasted salaryman or 20-something university student will puke on you in the train on the way home.
posted by armage at 11:41 PM on February 4, 2010


...it highlights what most people don't think of, and that is that you can actually obliterate the chances for people to inflict violence on each other in the first place. It's like giving someone a rubber baseball bat...


I'm pretty sure that I could obliterate someone with a rubber baseball bat if I tried hard enough. Have you ever been hit with a rubber truncheon?
posted by Splunge at 3:58 AM on February 5, 2010


Postroad: As it happens the only guy I knew who drank Buckie religiously (i.e. by choice, even when other stuff was available) was also rather fond of the wacky backy. Suspect it could be quite a good combination if you're into getting buzzed, bouncy, and pleasantly otherwise, then listening to to Freebird on repeat--long into the night--and finding it even more awesome on every listening.

Personally I could never manage more than a half bottle or so of the stuff, just too damn sweet.
posted by titus-g at 5:12 AM on February 5, 2010


From the article: Britain as a whole has finally accepted that it has a drinking problem that goes beyond fears about binge drinking. It is also realizing that the measure enacted in 2005 to address it — allowing pubs to remain open 24 hours a day, to avoid the last-minute rush — has failed.

24 hrs a day? Wait, what?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:42 AM on February 5, 2010


We tried to squeeze 25 in but could never quite swing it.
posted by Abiezer at 8:07 AM on February 5, 2010


This stuff sounds fun. Can you get it in the US?
posted by jonmc at 8:07 AM on February 5, 2010


Sparks is a malt-liquor/energy drink combo. Never tasted it myself...
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:10 AM on February 5, 2010


24 hrs a day? Wait, what?
One of the big problems, especially in England, is that the pubs all shut at 11pm each evening. This resulted in people binging something fierce in the last hour, in an attempt to get very drunk before the tap was shut off. Then, at 11pm, every pub in town emptied all these now-hammered people onto the streets all at once.

Result: lots of drunken people all barging into each other, fighting and puking everywhere. Grim as hell.

The thinking behind allowing 24-hour opening (which was actually taken up by very few pubs) was that relaxing that firm you-shut-now deadline would ease the nightmare on the streets at chucking-out time.
posted by bonaldi at 8:12 AM on February 5, 2010


Sparks is a malt-liquor/energy drink combo. Never tasted it myself...
posted by Jimmy Havok


Sparks tastes like a Jolly Rancher (but not in a good way). Also the can is made to look like you are DRINKING OUT OF AN OPEN BATTERY.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:51 AM on February 5, 2010


On average, Scots age 16 and older drank the equivalent of 12.5 quarts of pure alcohol each in 2007, the eighth highest rate in the world(...)
In case anyone's as curious about the question that inspires as I am, Wikipedia puts the UK in general at #8 for per capita alcohol consumption, beaten out by (in order) Luxembourg, Ireland, Hungary, Moldova, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Germany.

...Luxembourg? Moldova?
I'm late to the party here, but yeah, Moldova. A good friend of mine who spent a few years there described it as the Appalachia of Eastern Europe: it's isolated, landlocked, rural, cash poor, very hard to get around, and it has a long and cherished history of bootlegging.

Making hard liquor makes good economic sense under those conditions. It's valuable, it's portable, it will keep forever and you can make it your own damn self. But poverty, isolation and a cellar full of 120-proof ţuică does lead to an awful lot of drinking.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:32 AM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Scots age 16 and older drank the equivalent of 12.5 quarts of pure alcohol each

That explains my in-laws.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:17 PM on February 5, 2010


Meh, not strong enough, why not enjoy a Bucks Cassidy? 3 Parts Buckfast Tonic Wine, 1 Part Crème de Cassis
posted by gallagho at 6:20 AM on February 18, 2010


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