You know what’s a lot of fun? Getting pissed to block out the pain. It’s one of Britain’s oldest traditions, along with queuing and tutting.
These days, I tend to stick to hipster gin and nice wine, because I am a twat. Back in the day, though, the world of alcohol was a wonderful and mysterious one. Adults would get together to drink these brightly coloured potions that transformed them from sad to happy to sad again, only more sad than before. Also they smoked ciggies and talked about “Alan who did you-know-what with the Avon lady”.
Meanwhile, the kids would be banished to the corner of the room, with our She Ra figures and our Panda Pops, trying to hear the adults’ conversation because you knew they were going to say ‘willy’ at some point, because that’s what adults say.
I’m getting a bit off topic here. The point is that there was some interesting booze knocking about when I was younger. Granted, these days we have ‘hand-pissed violet and beef gin’, but does that have Lorraine Chase advertising it? It does not.
Let’s begin with a classic – one of the first alcopops, which meant 13 (cough I mean 18) year olds like me didn’t have to drink stuff that tasted like Chanel No. 5.
“It’s lemonade! But it’s also booze!” That was probably their slogan. I can’t remember, I was drunk.
You can still buy Hooch now, but I think a lot of the appeal is lost on the modern teenage consumer, what with Heroin Cheerios being a thing in Morrisons.
Moving on to something classier, Babycham was the drink of choice at Christmas. Why this was the case has never been established – I didn’t particularly like the stuff, but teenage me would receive a 4-pack every year. I think my parents must have seen the word ‘baby’, and gone “Oh look Ann, it’s booze for kids!”
These days, there is as much alcohol in my piss as there is in a bottle of Babycham.
Let’s not beat around the bush here – these two must be mentioned together, like fish ‘n’ chips, or Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. I think they were the same drink but different, which means they were not the same. The main difference is that no one has ever had Mirage, while most people have had Taboo once, when their friend found it in the back of a cupboard one Tuesday evening.
The advert is a thing of beauty, like the old P&O adverts, which I am also in love with.
A fortified beer that’s as strong as red wine. Not much is known about this quaint tipple, except that my grandma got hammered on it one new year’s eve and started yelling about Max Bygraves.
Another staple of my teenage years out in Retford, Smirnoff Mule was a Moscow Mule in a bottle – vodka and ginger beer. It was OK. Don’t drink 9 of them when you’re 13 though. I mean 18. Otherwise you’ll end up kissing a guy with curtains, like I did.
No one I knew ever drank Skol, but to be fair I didn’t know many 40 year old pit workers when I was 5. Anyway, it has to be on this list for its brilliant advert:
“Skol Skol Skol Skol Skol Skol Skol…” I think that’s a message we can all get behind.
And while we’re on the subject of ‘beers of my childhood’, this sign seemed to adorn every pub in Yorkshire back in the day:
I’m not going to spend long writing about this because I can’t spell it properly. All you need to know is that it’s a staple ingredient of cocktails at caravan park cabaret clubs. Along with grenadine and midori. Even now I can’t pass the ‘weird cocktail supplies’ bit in the supermarket without getting an urge for bingo, and watching a man sing Tom Jones hits while an indifferent crowd looks on.
5p a litre. Stinks of farts. Causes this:
Beloved drink of local chavs in the park, who will later have sex in the kids’ play area and shit on the swings. Best avoided.
I’ve never had Cinzano, but I made that Lorraine Chase reference earlier, and not including this wouldn’t have made any sense. I could have gone back and deleted that bit, but shut up, you’re not the boss of me.
Turns out the advert was actually Joan Collins and not Lorraine Chase. Lorraine Chase advertised Campari, so just replace Cinzano with Campari when you’re reading this. I haven’t had either.
I’m so unhappy.
Sick and bleach in a variety of colours. Red, blue, and other. Aftershock single-handedly transformed “Do you fancy a nightcap?” into “Do you fancy a trip to A&E?”
To prove this, I asked my followers on Twatter:
At the time of writing, 53% of my followers are serial killers.
Hands up who has ever had Metz, ever? No one ever drank Metz, because we were all too terrified of the Judderman:
I think Metz was a kind of shnapps, I have no idea.
Of course, nowadays I am not afraid of the Judderman, I am afraid of normal things like idents and the menopause. Checkmate, Judderman.
Having done a lot of research (nothing) I can confirm that Reef was probably vodka and fruit juice. It was definitely fruit juice anyway. I swear to God they used to do a blue/turquoise version of Reef, which I used to drink like it was going out of fashion. However, I can’t find any record of this now. Does anyone else remember it?
Anyway, Reef was a posh drink because it wasn’t fizzy. Or something.
Interestingly, this site is selling an unopened bottle of Reef. It looks like it’s seen better days:
No, not Lambrini, you giant tit. Lambrusco was around for sad women before you were even a glint in your sad mother’s eye… Look, I don’t know where I’m going with this. Stop oppressing me.
Lambrusco was the original shit wine of choice for single women. Several large ladies of my acquaintance used to yell about “Getting on the Lambrusco!” before collapsing into floods of tears. This was a thing long before they did the exact same thing with Lambrini.
I have been told that Lambrusco is actually a ‘perry’, and not a wine, but I can’t be arsed to look into that, and anyway I don’t care. People drink it because they’re single women sticking it to the men by getting hammered and crying.
Trust me, I know this.
And here ends our museum of shit booze.
Sharing this would be nice. Or if you’d like to buy my book about shit hippies, that would also be nice.