I don’t drink like a man. I drink like a boss.
For when you want to get buzzed quickly.
Life as a non-drinking Aussie isn’t easy. In fact, I’d liken it to trying to remain a virgin in a whore house. Now we all know there’s usually someone keen who’s trying to bed the virgin, right? Well, being a non-drinker when everyone else is drinking can be much the same.
It doesn’t matter what the occasion either. Family gatherings, barbecues, festivals, sporting events – it’s normal Aussie behaviour to have a drink in your hand.
I even ended up at a baptist church picnic and the conversion began. Not the religious variety which I had anticipated either. I went along expecting a dry event and reprieve from the relentless onslaught. Yet out came the bottle of bubbly and wham-o! As I passed my plastic picnic glass along the familiar conversation about my abnormality began.
Now if I wasn’t safe among the God fearing Christians…actually strike that. The monks have always had a hankering for mead. Plus they do drink wine in church. Add the fact they were Australian and thinking back I was being totally naive. What was I thinking?
I should have known that if there’s an excuse to crack a can or pop a cork Aussie’s will generally support it. Look at Australia Day? Even though most people need to return to work the next day it’s no deterrent. Our culture dictates we all want to have fun but it also encourages that we should be drinking to do it.
I recent heard a survey on the radio that stated something like 60% of Victorians don’t drink alcohol to get drunk. So I’m not a total alien after all but that does mean that the remaining 40% are out to have a damn good time! Maybe that’s the populations percentage I’m surrounded by?
Now I’m not against having a drink or dozen if that’s what you wana do. It’s just that I’ve been there done that and don’t feel like drinking anymore. The thing I just don’ get is why a non-drinking Aussie has the capacity to make the drinkers so uncomfortable?
Is it because they’re worried their drunken escapades will end up on social media? From what I’ve witnessed I reckon they’re more than capable of doing that themselves. Isn’t it a fact that some drunken Aussie invented the selfie? Probably not but it shoulda been.
As a sober Aussie among the drinkers I can and do join in the fun but sometimes the different wave lengths are a little annoying. Quite often drunk Aussies aren’t nearly as funny as they think they are. It’s amazing what this lot will laugh at and consider funny.
Thankfully the term designated driver is now a valid excuse for choosing coffee over champaz. I would have hated to be a non-drinking Aussie twenty plus years ago though. Driving wasn’t accepted as a valid excuse to remaining sober. They’re weren’t designated drivers. They just had those who weren’t as wasted as the others and they were thrown the car keys! Imagine the peer pressure back then?
Yeah, life as a sober Aussie isn’t for the faint hearted. For many the more times they say no to a drink the more times it’s offered. (That’s a tip for anyone wanting free alcohol BTW) Mind you us teetotalers do come in handy. Which Aussie on a mission wouldn’t want a willing allocated driver for those occasions hey? Come to think of it I do get invited to a lot of outings. Umm, maybe being a non-drinking Aussie isn’t such a bad thing after all?!
Image via theleader.com.au
Keeping track of how much alcohol you are drinking can be a bit tricky when you are out and about having a good time. Pubs and clubs have measured serves which makes things a bit easier, but what about home made cocktails like the recipes we regularly supply our readers?
A good rule of thumb is that the body absorbs 7-12 ml of alcohol per hour. A standard drink in Australia is considered to be 10 gms or about 12.5mls of alcohol. So, depending on various factors a standard drink per hour should keep you relatively sober. Please be aware though, that the more alcohol you consume the harder it is for your body to absorb. The first drink you have should be absorbed into your body in about an hour, but the second will take longer. It’s all science related and not an exact science at that!
Now, the type of factors which affect alcohol absorption include the following:
- How fast you drink
- The amount of food in your stomach
- Your weight
- Amount of fat or muscle your body consists of
- Other medications and drugs in your body
- Other chemicals in the drink. eg: Jäger Bombs
- Foods consumed
- Your drinking history and tolerance
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Current emotional state
With all these variables it’s impossible to know how the alcohol is reacting within your body. Cocktails can be especially tricky, particularly if they are created without a measure. They also consist of a mixture and some have chemical ingredients like caffeine. Since caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, the two can have different side effects. This is what makes them so potent and care should be taken when consuming them. The caffeine itself doesn’t have an alcohol content, but it can affect the alcohol being consumed.
Having gotten through that, I’ll fill you in on an easy way to work out how much alcohol you’re consuming in your cocktails as well as giving you a couple of easy examples to follow.
First look at the percentage of alcohol on the bottle used to make the cocktail. Most have at least 1 regular spirit which is usually 40% alcohol. Next, you need the serving size of the alcohol only, not the serving size of the entire drink. A full nip is usually 30 ml so multiply this with the alcohol percentage. Remember when you multiply a percentage it is not a whole number so you multiply the serving size by the decimal point (0.4). To work out the standard drink size, divide it by the Australian standard of 12.5 ml. Viola!
Here’s a couple of examples:
- Full nip (30ml) of 40% alcohol bourbon = 30 x 0.40 = 12.00ml alcohol
12.00ml / 12.50ml = 0.96 standard drinks.
- 150ml glass of 11.5% alcohol wine = 180 x 0.115 = 17.25ml alcohol
17.25ml/12.50ml = 1.38 standard drinks
You can use this formula to work out the alcohol content in every drink you consume. The final thing I want to mention which will help you with all this is the oz to ml conversion. You don’t need exact figures so, if you remember 1 oz = 30 ml, you’ll be right!
Now you have all the tools you need to keep track of how much alcohol you are consuming in your cocktails. A final tip is to do calculations before you start drinking for obvious reasons.
Image via mymoonbargumbet.com