Booze. Hooch. Giggle water. Lunatic soup. Oh be joyful. Road soda. John Barleycorn. Alcohol has been a part of human culture since farming was invented—perhaps even before. Since then, the way we drink has evolved. There are thousands of different types of liquor, millions of unique alcoholic beverages, and a number of ways to imbibe them. Cocktails began as a classy and refined way to enjoy the flavor of a particular type of liquor. The introduction of cordials, liqueurs, mixers, and garnishes greatly expanded the liquor connoisseur's palate. However, the nearly infinite combination of ingredients has led some people down potentially dangerous paths. In their quest to create tasty and potent tipples, bartenders and home mixologists have created a number of strange and potentially hazardous beverages. Some of these concoctions include:
The ZombieThis cocktail contains a ton of booze. It's got a shot (typically an ounce and a half) of light rum, a shot of dark rum, a shot of añejo (aged) rum, and various fruit juices and liqueurs. The kicker comes when a further teaspoon (in some cases up to an ounce) of Bacardi 151 is added to the mix. Bacardi 151, in case you didn't know, is 151 proof—75.5% alcohol. Needless to say, the Zombie packs a hefty wallop.
Four LokoThe same danger surrounds this canned beverage as does Red Bull and vodka, or any combination of alcohol and caffeine. Caffeine reduces the outward signs and symptoms of drunkenness and fools the drinker into believing that they're sober, or just "buzzed." This leads them to drink more and can lead to alcohol poisoning. Moreover, the depressant effects of the alcohol and the stimulating effects of the caffeine go to war inside the human body, severely straining the heart and other organs.
Tokyo Iced TeaAgain, we're dealing with a lot of booze here. A single Long Island Iced Tea cocktail contains a shot of vodka, a shot of light rum, a shot of tequila, a shot of gin, a bit of triple sec (orange liqueur), and then splashes of sour mix and cola, or perhaps even real tea. The Tokyo Iced Tea substitutes Midori (melon liqueur) for the sour mix and cola, making this drink 100% alcoholic. It takes the body roughly an hour to process a single "drink" (defined as a 1½-ounce shot of hard liquor, one 12-ounce glass of beer, or one 5-ounce glass of wine). Drinking a Tokyo Iced Tea is like pounding six shots at once—a recipe for drunkenness and alcohol poisoning.
The Four HorsemenThe typical "Three Wise Men" shooter blends Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey, Jim Beam bourbon, and Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky. The Four Horsemen adds either a shot of Jameson Irish whisky or Jose Cuervo tequila into the mix. Drinkers are slamming four different 80-proof liquors in a single drink. The phrase "drink responsibly" doesn't even apply.
The Hurl HurlName says it all, don't it? Swallow one of these and you'll probably see it again soon. The Hurl Hurl cocktail contains equal parts melon liqueur, crème de bananes, raspberry liqueur, peach schnapps, amaretto (almond liqueur), Southern Comfort, Malibu Coconut Rum, triple sec, and cranberry juice. With the exception of the cranberry juice, every single ingredient in this cocktail is alcoholic. That's a recipe for alcohol poisoning, or at least a rather embarrassing night on the town.
Liquid CocaineA shooter with a name like this can't be good news. The first ingredient is Bacardi 151—which, as we've mentioned earlier, is 75.5% straight booze. Add some Goldschläger (Swiss cinnamon schnapps) and Jägermeister (a German digestif, 35% ABV, made with more than 50 herbs and spices), and you've got liquid cocaine. Recommended dosage: one or two drops from a pipette.
MoonshineMoonshine is a high-proof spirit distilled from corn. In the 19th century (and again in the early 20th, to get around Prohibition laws), the stuff was produced illegally and often at night to dodge liquor taxes—hence the name "moonshine." Though moonshine has since become a legitimately manufactured spirit, with legally licensed distilleries bottling and selling it in stores, many people still produce it at home. Homemade moonshine is particularly dangerous because only its maker knows what precisely went into it. There's no standards of safety or sanitization involved, so the unsuspecting drinker might be ingesting drain cleaner, bleach, lead, or any number of other household chemicals or heavy metals.
EverclearWhile "moonshine" is a generic term for homemade and unaged corn liquor, Everclear is a brand name. Everclear is technically a "rectified spirit," meaning that it underwent rectification, a process of repeated distillations. For this reason, the drink is exceedingly pure— 95% alcohol by volume. A single shot of Everclear (1½ ounces) is roughly as alcoholic as 2½ shots (3¾ ounces) of your typical 80-proof liquor. Being essentially pure ethanol, it's also highly flammable and volatile. Ethanol is also used to clean wounds, to dissolve tough stains, and to fuel internal combustion engines. That should give you some idea of what drinking it feels like.
New Orleans Hand GrenadeThere've got to be some masochists out there in the world of mixology. That's the only explanation for this drink. It starts off like any other heavy-but-safe cocktail: shots of melon liqueur, rum, vodka, and gin. Not too bad, right? Not even as boozy as the Tokyo Iced Tea. It's the final ingredient that puts this libation firmly in Crazyland. Remember Everclear and moonshine? Grain alcohol? Ninety-five percent pure ethanol? Yeah. Some of that goes into a New Orleans Hand Grenade on top of the vodka, rum, and gin. Go ahead and have one if you'd prefer to go blind.
VaportiniThe most dangerous thing about this cocktail is that no one knows how dangerous it is. The uncertainty lies in the method by which this drink is ingested. Rather than sipping it, you inhale it. The liquor is heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and then sucked into the lungs through a straw. The vapors are absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the lungs, bypassing the liver and the stomach. Proponents say that vaping a drink puts less stress on the liver and eliminates hangovers, but more prudent voices warn that research needs to be done on the effects of inhaled alcohol on the brain.
Don't kick back with these cocktails and expect to come out unscathed. On the other hand, avoid standing by and watch as someone you love destroys themselves with liquor, either. For more information about the dangers of alcohol or the alcohol addiction treatment process, call (877) 257-7997 today.