How to avoid being led astray by liquor
By The Editors

Liquor is not an aphrodisiac nor is it a stimulant.  It is  a depressant that may induce significant vapidity and a consequent lowering of inhibitions and common sense. A serious drinking problem can ruin a good shirt.

How to avoid being led astray by liquor


Everybody's an expert when it comes to drinking...

especially a man with a plan to drink until closing time.

LIQUOR is not an aphrodisiac nor is it a stimulant.  It is  a depressant that may induce significant vapidity and a consequent lowering of inhibitions and common sense.

It is, in the words of one writer, “liquid idiot.”  Among alcohol’s impressive list of dreadful side effects is the likelihood that severe drunkenness will impair your ability  to achieve an erection, while prolonged periods of alcohol abuse will reduce the amount of testosterone, the male sex hormone, resulting in a loss of body hair, added girth around your ass, increased flabbiness in the tits and a sudden compulsive desire to subscribe to Esquire.


Once upon a time, the alcohol content of a solution was tested by an old method of soaking gunpowder with the stuff and then attempting to ignite it; if it lit, the alcohol was said to have “withstood the proof.” Now we just shoot the damn bottle. And plead self-defense.

There is no international standard for proofing, so different countries enforce different measures.  Basically, however, all proof spirits contain about 57 percent alcohol.  That is, a bottle of 100 proof spirit contains about 57 percent alcohol; 80 proof contains approximately 45 percent, and so on.

Here’s a handy chart. Print it out and hand it to the officer when he asks you how much you had to drink.

Alcoholic Beverage Percentage Table

Liquor Percentage of alcohol
Spirits (including rum, whisky, brandy, gin and vodka) 40 to 50 percent
Liqueurs 15 to 50 percent
Port, sherry, Madeira, vermouth 15 to 30 percent
Table wines 9 to 10 percent
Ales 8 percent
Beers 2 to 3 percent
Cider 2 to 3 percent


The old tale is true:  you really can drink more (and lessen the impact of a potential hangover) if you eat first.  When the pyloric valve, which is the avenue between your stomach and your small intestine, is closed, the alcohol must slowly pass through the walls of the stomach.  Before a big binge, eat either a big slab of beef or a dairy product. Or burritos, whichever comes up first.

Yoghurt, especially that thick Greek stuff, is ideal for coating the stomach and slowing the absorption of alcohol.  If you’re doing your drinking at an after-work cocktail party, perhaps in a valiant effort to end your so-called “career,” scarf up on whatever hors d’oeuvres are handy. A 16-oz ribeye’s good.

If you then feel the need to entertain your co-workers, here’s a charming poem by Mason Williams:

How about them hor-doovers? Ain’t they sweet?
Little piece of cheese, little piece of meat.

Make sure you scream this from the top of the table while holding a little cracker covered in goop so they don’t miss a word. They will thank you later. Now read the next section.


              are a voluntary illness – like a sign, a message left for you while you were out, that drinking too much alcohol is actually bad for you.  After a night on the bottle, your insides are dehydrated, your stomach’s cooked, your liver’s working overtime, your nervous system has been blasted and you’ve been executing brain cells by the million, yet you’ve been offering brilliant insights to strangers for six straight hours.

While there is no cure for a hangover, there are some ameliorating steps you can take.  Carbonated drinks (cola is particularly good) will help your stomach, caffeine will stimulate your nervous system and water will help rehydrate your dried-up body cells.  Protein will give you some staying power and carbohydrates will give your stomach something to do besides get mad at you.  Eat as much as you can if you are suffering from a hangover.  But don’t fall for the “hair of the dog” gambit.  Drinking a shot of alcohol to cure a  hangover will often do more harm than good and may make you puke.

Prevention is the best remedy.  Eat first (see above) and you’ll reduce the chance of getting a hangover.  A more certain prophylaxis is water – one eight-ounce glass before bed for every drink you consumed. Can you remember that? This is not easy, but it works, especially if you eat a slice of  bread while you’re downing the water, and it works even better if you double the amount of water and consume it at a more leisurely pace before retiring.  Not only will the water help you combat dehydration, it will assist in flushing out your system and give you some help in riding a bucking bed or worshipping the white porcelain god. In a pinch you can also halve the amount of alcohol.

If you’re certain you aren’t going to puke, take some multi-vitamins; B-complex is particularly helpful.

The hangover hierarchy: Liquors vary in their ability to cause hangovers  according to their chemistry.  As a rule, the darker the liquor, the more profound the hangover.

In descending order of danger:  Brandy, whiskey, beer, red wine, tequila, gin, white wine, vodka.  Mixers (soda, tonic and the rest) make no difference.


              Most spirits contain a large amount of sugar.  Adding even more sugar to your drink may get you drunk quicker, but it may get you sick quicker, too. As a rule, girls like sweet drinks more than guys do.


              will not make you drunker or sicker.  Your limit is your limit, no matter how you get there.  As predicted, this observation drew

A dissent:  Drinking the same spirit all night will not make you as sick as when you mix wine, brandy, vodka and the rest.