Shoutout Noisy. Shoutout ADJØ. Shoutout Albar.
New Zealand needs to change the way we drink. We drink excessive amounts of alcohol and know no weekend tradition other than binge drinking. This behaviour is extremely dangerous, and it’s projected that if we continue drinking at the rate we currently are, by 2028, half of the population will have died of boredom.
For a country that prides itself on its drinking prowess, we drink like a bunch of fucking losers. Pre-drinks, town, and kick-ons? KGBs, Speight’s Summit, and goon? How utterly boring. If I have to spend another Saturday drinking a box in some guy's living room while we take turns queuing Family Guy clips on YouTube, I may just quit drinking entirely. My suggestion for change isn’t drinking less, it’s drinking differently.
One alternative: Schnapps. Great word, great alcohol, great tradition. Take after our Danish brethren, who undoubtedly have a better drinking culture than our own, and pour out a bottle of vodka over some fruit in a sterilised container, then forget about it in a dark place for a couple of weeks. You will be rewarded with a litre of brightly coloured, uniquely flavoured alcohol and a great reprieve from the monotony of RTDs, beer, and wine. Serve it in fancy little glasses alongside a meal, have it with a biscuit, or use it in a cocktail. You can do whatever the hell you want with it, just know that it’s yours.
Finding somewhere to drink other than your friend's backyard is difficult. You’re not exactly encouraged to walk around town with a box in one hand and a beer in the other. Our forefathers had an answer for this: the flask. Carrying a flask has fallen out of fashion, and while you’re likely to catch some looks pulling one out on a bus, the one place where you won’t turn any heads is at a funeral. Attend any local funeral and get hammered throughout it. You are grieving, showing support, and most importantly, fiending for a drink. It’s the one place where you will be supported for your love of tiny, metal, alcohol-filled containers. “Don’t worry mate, he would have wanted you to drink with him.” That’s a relief, because they really didn’t appreciate it at that Mormon funeral.
If you’re gonna drink all weekend you may as well get something out of it. Learn to cook by only using recipes that demand alcohol. Whatever wine doesn’t end up in your pasta sauce ends up in you. You get a full dinner, you’re culturally enriched, you’ve saved money, and you’re also drunk. It’s a different kind of pre-drinks; most of the world just calls it dinner.
As I come to the end of my university career, I haven’t fallen out of love with alcohol, but I have with the culture that surrounds it. The cyclical binge is fine, but that’s not all there is to drinking. As assignments grow more complex and you can’t handle hangovers like you used to, there’s little shame in slowing down and changing things up. I drink less, but I take more from it.
Tasting notes: Bittersweet.
Chugability: 0/10. Hard to swallow.
Hangover depression level: 0/10. It was worth it.