When it comes to alcohol, we’ve never been so great at moderation. Whether as a teenager, student or (ahem) rather later in life, it’s easy for one drink to lead to another – and don’t even get us started on shots.
To celebrate New Year’s Eve and our inevitable hangovers, we asked people to share the one alcohol they can no longer drink, that nemesis spirit or liquor that brings back all the bad feelings. And then some. Which one is yours?
“The drink I decided to get drunk on for the first time – aged 14 – was Baileys, probably because my then-boyfriend had stolen it from his mum’s Christmas stash. It was so creamy and delicious, I drank the whole bottle with a straw over the course of an evening at a friend’s house party. I then spent the next half of the night throwing it back up. Now, I can’t even smell it without retching.”
“I can no longer smell, be near and certainly not drink cider following an incident on a golf course. We used to hang around on the greens drinking beer, as you do as a bored teen. One summer’s evening I cunningly thought I’d swap my last beer for a friend’s litre bottle of Strongbow, with predictable results. I still can’t smell Strongbow without smelling sick 20 years later. No Strongbow for me or indeed any other cider, ever. A shame with all those lovely craft ciders now.”
“I never really liked Sambuca (even the smell of aniseed makes my stomach turn a little) but the occasion that really sealed the deal was in October 2009. I was at a house party in my freshers year at the University of Sheffield and someone I knew vaguely from my history lectures had tied me to an office chair (yes, the spinning type) with gaffa tape and spun me around forcing me to drink sambuca as I went. I have never been so sick and so violently dizzy. I was in bed by 8.30 and I haven’t touched a drop since. Students, eh.”
[Read More: When Does Social Drinking Become ‘Problem Drinking’?]
“Flashback to first year, first term of university and the endless tap of the hall bar. Single vodka and mixer for £1, double for £2, triple for three. Even an English literature student could manage those maths. But when the vodka in question could strip walls, my downfall was inevitable. The walk back to my cupboard bedroom was all of 50m, but that didn’t stop me cracking my head on the paving stones as I went, being carried the rest of the way and put into PJs by some kindly corridor pals, only to throw up all over ALL of them. For the rest of the year, the faint aroma of vomit would sporadically rise from the carpet as a reminder that vodka might mix with Diet Coke, but it didn’t mix with me.”
“I was 15 and my best friend had got hold of a crate of peach schnapps (okay, so it was probably two bottles, but my teenage self hadn’t had access to that much alcohol before). We invited a couple of mates round then proceeded to shot it in her bedroom. Shot after shot after shot. After about an hour, I stood up, ran to the bathroom and vomited in her sink. I couldn’t even reach the toilet bowl (THE SHAME). Now if I even get a whiff of schnapps, my mind shoots back to my 15-year-old self picking out vomit bits from the sinkhole.”
“I didn’t drink Jack Daniel’s for about six years after I had an epiphany one drunken night that every time I drank it I ended up crying. Sometimes I’d be howling on the night bus, sometimes weeping quietly at home, but for a good few months (well, a bad few months really) it seemed consistent: if I drank that stuff, I ended up ever so sad. However, much like in cheesy films where it’s revealed that the magic baseball glove wasn’t magic after all, and the magic was always inside you, I eventually realised that it wasn’t the Jack Daniel’s that was making me sad, but, uh, my reasonably crap life. I made a few changes to try and be happier, and a year or so later was delightedly guzzling the stuff again, my eyes only tearing up when I vomited. What a happy ending.”