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astro
03-20-2004, 01:31 PM
Per this note in Modern Drunkard re accomplishment number 3. Other than the obvious dangers of drinking and driving etc., would it be physically hazardous (ie just the physical effects of alcohol consumption by itself) for a light social drinking, non-alcoholic, average sized adult, to drink a fifth of spirits in a single afternoon to evening?


Modern Drunkard's 40 things every drunkard should do before he dies (http://moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/01-04/01-04-40-things.htm)

3. Drink a fifth of hard liquor, by yourself, in one day.
For some this is a typical evening, the rest will have to try harder. Unplug the phone, donít answer the door and get down with your bad self. Stock up on ice, gather mixers if you need them, crack the seal and, inch by inch, take that proud bottle down. Take your own sweet time. Near the bottom you will discover a rich inner landscape you thought a barren desert. Explore it

Futile Gesture
03-20-2004, 01:34 PM
A fifth of what?

No, not a pedantic question, I don't know what it means.

GorillaMan
03-20-2004, 01:38 PM
What's a fifth? :confused:

Eleusis
03-20-2004, 01:38 PM
A fifth of hard liquor. As in a fifth of a gallon, or 750ml, of 80-100 proof distilled spirits.


I'd say that yes, it can be dangerous, espcially if you are an inexperienced drinker, and chug the whole thing at once.

I've downed a fifth or more over several hours on many an occasion with no noticable adverse effects, save for a nasty hangover.

edwino
03-20-2004, 01:41 PM
I believe it is a fifth of a gallon, or around 750 mls. I could be wrong.

For most people, drinking a fifth could lead to alcohol poisoning, depending on the rate of consumption, tolerance, body size, etc. This can be life threatening.

If you are not most people, and your tolerance is of the level that drinking a fifth is no big deal, then you probably have other issues.

Sandlegs
03-20-2004, 02:06 PM
i would say drinking a fifth is dangerous. i drank a fifth of jack daniel's in high school in one night, that was the only time i've ever blacked out, and i think blacking out is bad the last time i heard.......(i also awoke from my blackout on the toilet instead of peeing my pants.......good job subconsious mind)

ultrafilter
03-20-2004, 05:14 PM
In one day?

Are we talking a night, eight hours, sixteen hours, or twenty-four hours?

Qadgop the Mercotan
03-20-2004, 05:24 PM
Definitely dangerous. For someone unaccustomed to alcohol, it has been fatal. Especially since generally it's not consumed over 24 hours, but more likely over a much shorter time period, as judgement gets more and more clouded. It's not uncommon to have people die on their 21st birthday, when they celebrate their "legal status" by trying the above feat. I was present at the (failed) resuscitation attempts at more than a few of these cases over the years.

For chronic alcohol consumers, the risk of acute death is reduced somewhat, but still present. This is because not only are the chronic drinkers more tolerant of elevated blood alcohol levels, but their liver enzyme systems are induced to detox the alcohol just a bit faster than the occasional drinker. Even so, impaired consciousness combined with the vomit reflex often results in aspiration, which can lead to Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and a long time in the local ICU, if not the morgue.

The chronic problems with regularly consuming a 5th of EtOH are also well documented.

QtM, MD

adirondack_mike
03-20-2004, 06:13 PM
Definitely not for amateurs.

Dylan Thomas (a professional drinker - and poet BTW) died after drinking a fifth of whiskey - He boasted "I've had 18 straight whiskies, I think that's the record."

I can't find the cite but IIRC the autopsy report said he died of "an alcoholic insult to the brain." (he died "of acute alcoholic encephalopathy damage to the brain by alcohol" cite (http://bbc.co.uk/wales/dylanthomas/biography/pages/death.shtml) which in layman's terms is an alcoholic insult to the brain.)

pulykamell
03-21-2004, 12:50 AM
Hmmm...interesting to know. I've done this a couple of times with Bushmill's over a period of about five or six hours without blacking out and still retaining enough hand-eye coordination to write a grammatically and spelling perfect email (as evidenced by a copy being saved to my Sent folder.) Most I've done is 30 shots of vodka in 12 hours, eating constantly throughout. No vomiting, felt fine in the morning. I'm 185, 5'11", for the record, and drink about twice a week.

It's odd, because I've puked after three beers before, and have gotten buzzed off one, depending on my food intake earlier in the day. But after reading Qadgop's warnings, I think I'll reconsider this in the future.

astro
03-21-2004, 08:39 AM
QtM makes a good point. I'd better stick to milk, or maybe chocolate milk for a special taste treat! (http://thesneeze.com/)

mouthbreather
03-21-2004, 09:24 AM
Back in my younger days (20-24) I could put down a fifth of Jack Daniels in an evening. I probably did this 10 or 15 teams.

Keep in mind that I had quite a tolerence built to alcohol and that I was much bigger than your average Joe (was then about 6'3" 275#s) -- A fifth of JD in an evening would turn me into a borderline blackout, crazy stupid drunk.

These days I'm very sure I couldn't do it anymore, nor would I want to.

gluteus maximus
03-21-2004, 11:56 AM
Back on New Year's Eve, 1983, I put away a fifth of Jameson in a little under a half an hour (I am NOT bragging.) because I "wanted to stop thinking". :rolleyes:

It worked. Am I wishing I hadn't posted this? Not yet...


For approximately 15 to 20 hours, I guess, I stopped thinking.


Luckily, I didn't die. Had a three-day hangover from Hell, though. Never did that again.

dancefan
03-21-2004, 12:38 PM
Ask George Clooney. It's probably a daily habit for him.

Cyberhwk
03-21-2004, 12:46 PM
For approximately 15 to 20 hours,
Word. I put down ALMOST a full fifth of 100 proof Southern Comfort, and was still kinda drunk going to class the next morning. I'm a big guy, but I don't consider myself a real big drinker though.

My guess would be it would not be any more dangerous than other forms a binge drinking.

St_Ides
03-21-2004, 11:09 PM
So a fifth is only 750ml? AKA a 26er?

Geez.... I polished off a 26er in about 6 hours on my third time drinking. I've taken down over half of one in 15 minutes.


Guess I'm up to about 20 on that list.

Flying_Monk
03-22-2004, 02:01 AM
I'm with Futile: a fifth of what?

A buddy of mine drinks a fifth of Yukon Jack every single day, with no adverse affects, or even the appearance of intoxication. I wouldn't be able to do the same.

R. P. McMurphy
03-22-2004, 07:32 AM
Before attempting the stunt you should have the foresight to clean and disinfect your toilet. Most likely, before the fifth is finished, or shortly thereafter (unless you have developed a high tolerance), you will find your head inside the bowl.

Sami41
03-22-2004, 07:49 AM
Astro, you said you're a social drinker, but who's to say exactly what that entails for the individual drinker. You know enough about what you drink, however often, and how it effects you. This might help.

1 ounce of 80 proof alcohol is roughly equivilant to a 12 ounce beer or a 6 oz glass of wine. A fifth is, if memory serves, 28 ounces, could be 32 ounces, let's call it 30 ounces. In what amount of time could you drink 30 beers? or 30 glasses of wine? Keep in mind that a beer takes longer to drink (for most of us) than a Jack and Coke would. So if you can polish off a 30 pack in 10 hours and be OK, than you can probably handle a fifth as well--if you pace yourself and distribute the bottle over the same 10 hours.

I wouldn't suggest it though, especially if you're not a big drinker. And I certainly wouldn't do it alone, as suggested. If something does go wrong, you'll want someone to roll you over before you're unconsious choking on your own vomit.

mogiaw
03-22-2004, 04:04 PM
I regularly drink a fifth of whiskey (JD or Paddy etc.) or vodka (smirnoff) before going out for the night. I can handle it grand but i'm a very big guy over 300lbs methinks. Sometimes i'm relatively sober after a bottle, sometimes i'm bananas drunk depends on what i've eaten, where i am etc. I have on occasion drunk 2 fifths of whiskey or vodka but that tends to either put me into a very deep sleep or make me go crazy.
mogiaw

gvnthenoose
09-12-2017, 11:58 PM
This may be old. But I joined to educated any whole happen upon this page.

Will you die from consuming a fifth of hard alcohol by itself? Maybe. Will it damage your organs? Maybe. There is a lot unknown when it comes to alcohol consumption. The main organ to be concerned with is the liver. It has to break down all that poison you put in your body. The second, is the brain. These are by far the most important mechanisms of the human body. Woo. Now that that's over. If you are able to drink 750 ml's of anything without a response from your body you're probably okay. I read that it only takes one night of heavy binge drinking to induce fatty liver disease. Though it only takes 3 days for your liver to recover from it. Cirrhosis, the big scare, takes years. I would say--If you are able to put down that much alcohol without passing out (save the morons that chug a gallon of 80 proof to look cool) you'll be fine. Just rest up before your next bout. A side note, alcohol is a poison. A terrible tasty poison. I myself suffer from alcoholism. By my own choice. Drink smart. No one gets out alive, but you can't enjoy your time if you're sick.

TSBG
09-13-2017, 01:43 AM
I know this is a zombie, but perhaps alcohol is a preservative.

I'm the kind of person who's had weekend beach houses and (more often) spent time at the beach houses of friends. A typical Saturday often begins with bloody Marys or mimosas, continues with beer or wine at lunch, cocktails in the late afternoon, plenty of wine at dinner, and more cocktails late.

Physically hazardous? Not in an immediate sense, not in my experience. Long term? We'll, I've seen and done it many times. Is it going to shorten anyone's life? Results so far inconclusive.

Xema
09-13-2017, 07:45 AM
A typical Saturday often begins with bloody Marys or mimosas, continues with beer or wine at lunch, cocktails in the late afternoon, plenty of wine at dinner, and more cocktails late.
A fifth contains around 17.2 "standard" servings of alcohol (44ml). To reach that in the 5 sessions you describe requires consuming around 3.5 servings at each. Seems like hard work.

LSLGuy
09-13-2017, 09:15 AM
Speeding the zombie right along ...

But spread over the 18+ hour "drinking day" from beachfront wake-up to beachfront bed-time it's less than one standard serving per hour.

Pacing my dear boy; pacing. Plus near continuous noshing to blunt the spikes. If you were careful / lucky / experienced you might never even break the legal driving limit for BAC. For sure at very best you'd be skirting right along it.

Not that it'd be smart to drink that much more than a couple times per lifetime.


aside: I was amazed to see that 13 years ago a lot of 'Merkin people had no idea the standard unit of sales for hard liquor in the USA was/is a "fifth". To me that's about like not knowing beer is commonly sold in "six-packs." Whether one drinks the stuff or not is almost immaterial; it seems to me like pretty basic universal cultural knowledge. Apparently I was wrong in that. Live and learn.

pulykamell
09-13-2017, 09:21 AM
aside: I was amazed to see that 13 years ago a lot of 'Merkin people had no idea the standard unit of sales for hard liquor in the USA was/is a "fifth". To me that's about like not knowing beer is commonly sold in "six-packs." Whether one drinks the stuff or not is almost immaterial; it seems to me like pretty basic universal cultural knowledge. Apparently I was wrong in that. Live and learn.

The people I see in this thread asking what a fifth is are from outside the US, so far as I can tell (I see three people who don't know what it is. The first two are from the UK [second and third post] and I presume the one comparing it to a 26er is a Canadian.)

aruvqan
09-13-2017, 09:35 AM
Before attempting the stunt you should have the foresight to clean and disinfect your toilet. Most likely, before the fifth is finished, or shortly thereafter (unless you have developed a high tolerance), you will find your head inside the bowl.
Excellent advice!

I had been pregnant 3 times [no kids resulting] complete with hyperemesis [I came away with the odd ability after that to vomit on demand. Yuck.] and have nausea and vomit issues that are medication related and I can definitely agree, a clean bleach smelling toilet is way more pleasant to vomit into than something with residual 'organic' smells. Sometimes the smell of bleach will short circuit the nausea and stop the hurl.

Back in my misspent youth I did do a fair amount of drinking, I had a run in with 16 margueritas - I drank 15 just fine, but was about 4 sips into the 16th but when I brought it to my nose and smelled the tequila I just *knew* that if I took the sip I would vomit. Haven't been able to abide the smell or taste of tequila since. [it was over the course of about 6 hours] My normal 'bar trick' was to identify by taste and smell the common 5 gins carried [mid 70s to mid 80s] and my normal drinking habit was probably 5 shots of vodka interspersed with variously bloody marys, amaretto sours, mai tais, and an occasional mudslide over 6-8 hours. Oddly, I have never actually had a hangover, I tend to stay buzzed well into the next day. I rarely drink now, other than an occasional Mike's Hard Lemonaid or sangria though I did have a glass of asti spumante for New Years, and did a shot for my brothers 1 year wake.

Being diabetic, I can't process the booze and carbs, so I prefer to eat. If marijuana became legal recreationally I would shift to using an occasional vape for relaxation. As I am on a pain control contract, I don't risk anything in case of a random piss test.

Joey P
09-13-2017, 09:40 AM
I always think of 'a fifth' as an older term that just doesn't get used anymore. I think the only time I've ever heard it is in movies that take place in the 30's-50's. Usually an already half drunk person stumbling into a bar and saying 'barkeep, gimme a fifth of rye'. While it may very well be an American term, I also think it's just not very common. Nowadays you hear 750 (or just 'bottle'), for that size.

Sparky812
09-13-2017, 09:48 AM
Ha ha! I was thinking the same thing ... although in Canada we refer to them as a 26er, eh?

As to the OP, is it dangerous? For an average non-drinker, yes.
For a moderate to regular drinker, it would depend on the overall time span, body mass, metabolism, food consumption, health, tolerance, etc..
For a heavy drinker, it's not immediately dangerous but will eventually kill them if they keep it up.

That said, 18 shots is not an overwhelming amount of alcohol over time especially if you're mixing your own, diluting it with ice, etc..

FYI, something like a Long Island Iced Tea contains 4 shots, you'd only have to have 4-5 to get to the equivalent of a fifth.

DPRK
09-13-2017, 09:53 AM
I was amazed to see that 13 years ago a lot of 'Merkin people had no idea the standard unit of sales for hard liquor in the USA was/is a "fifth". To me that's about like not knowing beer is commonly sold in "six-packs." Whether one drinks the stuff or not is almost immaterial; it seems to me like pretty basic universal cultural knowledge. Apparently I was wrong in that. Live and learn.

As has been pointed out, it depends who is doing the bottling and where (regulations will differ in Scotland versus Kentucky). Imports and exports also mix things up. Just don't try the drinking game with the ever-popular 100 cl bottle!

pulykamell
09-13-2017, 10:08 AM
I always think of 'a fifth' as an older term that just doesn't get used anymore. I think the only time I've ever heard it is in movies that take place in the 30's-50's. Usually an already half drunk person stumbling into a bar and saying 'barkeep, gimme a fifth of rye'. While it may very well be an American term, I also think it's just not very common. Nowadays you hear 750 (or just 'bottle'), for that size.

I've never heard 750 here in Chicago. "Bottle," yes. But it's: handle (1.75L), fifth (750mL), Pint (375mL), half-pint (200mL). "Fifth" is definitely still used around here, although, yes, "bottle" will be more common.

Icarus
09-13-2017, 10:14 AM
aside: I was amazed to see that 13 years ago a lot of 'Merkin people had no idea the standard unit of sales for hard liquor in the USA was/is a "fifth". To me that's about like not knowing beer is commonly sold in "six-packs." Whether one drinks the stuff or not is almost immaterial; it seems to me like pretty basic universal cultural knowledge. Apparently I was wrong in that. Live and learn.

Just to add, I interpreted a few of the "a fifth of what?" posts to be asking "which alcohol in particular?" rather than a mis-understanding of the term "a fifth". The implication being that different alcohols have different impacts, concentration of alcohol (proof) being one factor.

Little Nemo
09-13-2017, 10:28 AM
The people I see in this thread asking what a fifth is are from outside the US, so far as I can tell (I see three people who don't know what it is. The first two are from the UK [second and third post] and I presume the one comparing it to a 26er is a Canadian.)
I've heard the size originated due to government regulations. Some laws applied to alcohol sold in quantities of a quarter gallon or more. So manufacturers began using a fifth of a gallon as the new standard size bottle to avoid these regulations. Later, manufacturers embraced the metric system because a fifth of a gallon is 757 ml and they could save seven milliliters by selling 750 ml bottles.

Is this true? I have no idea.

gazpacho
09-13-2017, 10:50 AM
aside: I was amazed to see that 13 years ago a lot of 'Merkin people had no idea the standard unit of sales for hard liquor in the USA was/is a "fifth". To me that's about like not knowing beer is commonly sold in "six-packs." Whether one drinks the stuff or not is almost immaterial; it seems to me like pretty basic universal cultural knowledge. Apparently I was wrong in that. Live and learn.I am almost 50 and have lived in America my whole life. I don't think that I have ever seen a fifth of liquor in the store. They are always 750ml bottles labeled as 750ml no mention of non metric units. My dad had some old bottles which were 1/5th a gallon without metric labels. Even when I was a kid "a fifth" sounded like something grampa would say.

HMS Irruncible
09-13-2017, 11:04 AM
No doubt this would kill a lightweight drinker. As a former heavy drinker I have consumed a fifth in an evening before. Even as an alcoholic it felt like an enormous effort and a big risk, and I regretted it bitterly the day after. I felt I'd crossed a very dangerous line and only did it on 6-10 more occasions after that.

I find it sad that anyone would portray this as a macho accomplishment. You don't get a prize, chicks don't dig it, it won't win you respect or esteem from anybody. In fact, most likely nobody will remember it. It's what people do when habitual alcohol consumption has made them reckless, stupid, and self-destructive.

Sparky812
09-13-2017, 11:24 AM
No doubt this would kill a lightweight drinker. As a former heavy drinker I have consumed a fifth in an evening before. Even as an alcoholic it felt like an enormous effort and a big risk, and I regretted it bitterly the day after. I felt I'd crossed a very dangerous line and only did it on 6-10 more occasions after that.

I find it sad that anyone would portray this as a macho accomplishment. You don't get a prize, chicks don't dig it, it won't win you respect or esteem from anybody. In fact, most likely nobody will remember it. It's what people do when habitual alcohol consumption has made them reckless, stupid, and self-destructive.

I'd agree. I'm a reformed alcoholic as well. It was entirely possible to drink a fifth of rye or S.C. in an evening along with a couple of beers. The morning after(s) were tough but not a deterrent enough, I guess.

I had to give up the hard stuff eventually as I found it was making me erratic, angry, and combative. I stuck to a beer only regiment for many years after that, I'd frequent the pub almost daily consuming maybe 5-6 20oz. pints on average. On weekends, drinking 18-24+ bottles in a prolonged evening was not uncommon.

It wasn't until I was married and had my first boy that I finally decided that I had better things to do and shut it down.

pulykamell
09-13-2017, 11:32 AM
I am almost 50 and have lived in America my whole life. I don't think that I have ever seen a fifth of liquor in the store. They are always 750ml bottles labeled as 750ml no mention of non metric units. My dad had some old bottles which were 1/5th a gallon without metric labels. Even when I was a kid "a fifth" sounded like something grampa would say.

Really? Well, it's all regional, I guess. I'm 42, and I grew up hearing and using "fifth." It refers to the 750 mL bottles, not an actual bottle that is 1/5 of a gallon. I don't ever remember seeing an actual 1/5 gallon bottle, but they're still called "fifths" around here, just like "pint" and "half-pint" are still the terms used for the smaller liquor bottles, even though they have little to do with the actual metric units (375 and 200 mL respectively.)

watchwolf49
09-13-2017, 11:34 AM
I regularly drink a fifth of whiskey (JD or Paddy etc.) or vodka (smirnoff) before going out for the night. I can handle it grand but i'm a very big guy over 300lbs methinks. Sometimes i'm relatively sober after a bottle, sometimes i'm bananas drunk depends on what i've eaten, where i am etc. I have on occasion drunk 2 fifths of whiskey or vodka but that tends to either put me into a very deep sleep or make me go crazy.
mogiaw

Note that this was mogiaw's very last post here ... I don't want to jump to conclusions or anything but perhaps regularly drinking a fifth of whiskey isn't a good idea ...

DPRK
09-13-2017, 11:39 AM
Called a fifth, sure, but outside the USA (i.e., in Britain) that size counts as a sixth at most, so the label would actually say 75 cl and not refer to gallons. So your and gazpacho's experiences are not necessarily inconsistent.

Tom Tildrum
09-13-2017, 12:09 PM
The Fourth-Year Fifth remains a minor tradition at the University of Virginia. The idea is that on the morning of the last home football game, you are supposed to start drinking a fifth of alcohol from the time you wake up and finish it before the opening kickoff. Few people attempt it, and I suspect that most of those get too sick or pass out before they finish.

pulykamell
09-13-2017, 12:22 PM
Called a fifth, sure, but outside the USA (i.e., in Britain) that size counts as a sixth at most, so the label would actually say 75 cl and not refer to gallons. So your and gazpacho's experiences are not necessarily inconsistent.

We're both American, so we're talking about intra-US dialectal differences here. Of course I don't expect anyone in the UK to call it a fifth. Was there ever a history of "fifths" there (actual curiosity. I don't know, but I've always assumed it was a US term, since I believe that size has to do with US taxes or something like that.) And, yes, they are marked as 750mL everywhere here, to my knowledge. I've never seen a fifth marked in imperial units. Unless I'm misunderstanding, it seems like gazpacho is not just saying he's never seen an actual fifth of a gallon of liquor in the store, but also that the term is old fuddy-duddy. I'm younger than him and in my part of the US, it's still well understood among people my age and at least ten years younger, from what I can tell. I'm a little surprised as Joey P is not all that far from me, but he reports that it's not a usual term up there.

LSLGuy
09-13-2017, 12:23 PM
At age 59 I agree "fifth" is now sorta archaic sounding. It was totally the term I heard my parents use while growing up in the 60s and 70s. So that's what I called them when I began my drinking career. But not with whole bottles at a time :).

I suppose that nowadays I'd probably just say "we need a bottle of gin", without specifying a bottle size at all. But with the implicit understanding we'd buy the 1/5th gallon ~= modern 750ml size. Sorta like a how a "six-pack of beer" is implicitly made up of 12 oz. containers even though beer is also sold in multipacks of other size containers.


Knowing the age demographics of Dopers it seemed odd to me that folks would question the usage even if it wasn't the one they'd probably use today. Seeing that some posters were non-US, others were younger, and some were really asking what flavor of booze were all factors I'd not considered. Another minor oops on me, but it seems we've had a fun digression off the central topic of premeditated liver assault with intent to kill.

pulykamell
09-13-2017, 12:30 PM
ETA: I'm looking at newspaper archives since the 2000s, and finding plenty of reference to fifths of booze in there, so it can't be that old-timey a term, at least in Chicago.

LSLGuy
09-13-2017, 12:32 PM
Late edit:
I don't interpret that modern use of "bottle" to imply that "bottle" stands for or equals 750ml. IMO a "bottle" of whatever, from beer to booze to ketchup simply means "the default size". Which for booze happens to be "fifth" in US customary units and "750ml" in US quasi-metric units.

Czarcasm
09-13-2017, 12:33 PM
The first (and last) time I polished off a fifth in a single evening was at my going-away party when I left the U.S.A.F. back in '80. Straight shots of raki until the bottle was empty...followed by 2 hours in the bathroom until I was empty.

Wesley Clark
09-13-2017, 12:34 PM
As others have said it depends on multiple factors.

Your amount of fat free mass (alcohol doesn't dissolve in fatty tissue)

How long it takes to drink it (chug all at once vs drink over 8-16 hours).

How well your body breaks down alcohol

How you respond to certain BAC levels.

Etc.

A 300 lb bodybuilder drinking a fifth over the course of a day is not the same as a 90 lb woman chugging it in a minute. For the football player he will only have a buzz, the woman will have alcohol poisoning.

I've done it, but there is a point where alcohol goes from euphoric to dysphoric and you just want to sleep off the alcohol. It's not really fun at that point.

DrCube
09-13-2017, 12:50 PM
I always think of 'a fifth' as an older term that just doesn't get used anymore. I think the only time I've ever heard it is in movies that take place in the 30's-50's. Usually an already half drunk person stumbling into a bar and saying 'barkeep, gimme a fifth of rye'. While it may very well be an American term, I also think it's just not very common. Nowadays you hear 750 (or just 'bottle'), for that size.

Must be regional, because it's a widely used term where I'm from and not old fashioned at all. "Bottle" is used, too, but it's a little ambiguous. If you want to be precise, you say "fifth", "pint", "handle", etc. True, 750ml is even more precise, but nobody I know has ever said "I have a 750 milliliter bottle of scotch, let's get drunk!"

Or maybe it's not regional so much as a drunkard's lingo? I am not an alcoholic myself, but I come from a long line of them, so maybe I'm just more familiar with the jargon? I would think even casual drinkers would know what a fifth is, though.

And bartenders don't sell fifths. They buy fifths (or handles) and resell them to patrons one shot at a time.

kayaker
09-13-2017, 01:16 PM
At a wedding I was drinking scotch/rocks and was very happy with the brand. I went up for a refill and the bartender told me he only brought one fifth and it was gone. I asked who drank it all and he laughed and told me I was his only scotch drinker. I was surprised. I have polished off a fifth of tequila in an evening (a long evening), and several times I've finished off a fifth of vodka.

Those here who polished off 750 ml of Southern Comfort in a sitting shock me. I'd have trouble finishing a shot-glass of the stuff.

LSLGuy
09-13-2017, 01:49 PM
Yeah. The key to "successful" drinking is stay away from cheap stuff, sweet stuff, or worst of all, cheap sweet stuff. I was never a heavy drinker, but those are hard-earned words of wisdom. :D

HMS Irruncible
09-13-2017, 03:34 PM
At age 59 I agree "fifth" is now sorta archaic sounding. It was totally the term I heard my parents use while growing up in the 60s and 70s. So that's what I called them when I began my drinking career. But not with whole bottles at a time :).
In the US, when you go to the liquor store for hard liquor, you get a pint, fifth, liter, or a handle (half gallon, which comes with a built-in glass handle for conveniently handling the bulk). Of course "a fifth" isn't what people usually ask for... it's a unit you use later when you tot up how badly you've gone awry. To wit: I drank an entire fifth last night, but at least it wasn't a handle.

Wesley Clark
09-13-2017, 05:01 PM
Yeah. The key to "successful" drinking is stay away from cheap stuff, sweet stuff, or worst of all, cheap sweet stuff. I was never a heavy drinker, but those are hard-earned words of wisdom. :D

The cheap stuff isn't always bad. Old Crow whiskey is better than many whiskeys that are many times more expensive ounce per ounce in my experience. A $15 handle of Old Crow tastes better than most whiskeys I've tried that cost $40 for a fifth.

Also Smirnoff vodka isn't bad at $17 for a 1.75L handle. However most cheap vodkas taste like hand sanitizer. Smirnoff is at least passable.

College was educational both inside and outside the classroom.

Guinastasia
09-13-2017, 06:28 PM
Just a tip -- if you're planning on getting balls out drunk, NEVER consume ginger ale in the same time period. Ginger ale tastes horrible the second time around. (Also, it's true what they say about bacon sandwiches and hangovers)

pulykamell
09-13-2017, 07:13 PM
Ok, I'll play. What do they say about bacon sandwiches (is this a normal thing?) and hangovers?

Mahaloth
09-13-2017, 09:02 PM
I know a doctor who told me he had a patient who drank a fifth of Jack Daniels every single day for years.

Did I mishear that or is that possible? I have no idea how heavy the guy was.

I thought Lemmy from Machinehead did the same.

Sparky812
09-13-2017, 09:03 PM
In the US, when you go to the liquor store for hard liquor, you get a pint, fifth, liter, or a handle...

In Canada, they are commonly referred to as a "mickey" (13 fl. oz.), a "26er", (26 fl. oz.) a "40" or "40 pounder"(40 fl. oz.), a "66er" (66 fl. oz.) and the legendary "Texas Mickey" (106 fl. oz.)

With the change to metric, the sizes are slightly smaller and are in mL but the old nicknames remain.

Wesley Clark
09-13-2017, 09:09 PM
I know a doctor who told me he had a patient who drank a fifth of Jack Daniels every single day for years.

Did I mishear that or is that possible? I have no idea how heavy the guy was.

I thought Lemmy from Machinehead did the same.

Not only is that possible, its not even that much by some alcoholic standards.

I've heard stories of people drinking half a gallon of vodka a day. I've even heard some stories of people drinking an entire gallon of hard liquor a day, which is five fifths a day (guess where that name came from).

Sparky812
09-13-2017, 09:11 PM
I know a doctor who told me he had a patient who drank a fifth of Jack Daniels every single day for years.

Did I mishear that or is that possible? I have no idea how heavy the guy was.

I thought Lemmy from Machinehead did the same.


That's Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead, but yes he claimed to drink a bottle of JD every day for almost 40 years.

Not only is that possible, its not even that much by some alcoholic standards.

I've heard stories of people drinking half a gallon of vodka a day. I've even heard some stories of people drinking an entire gallon of hard liquor a day, which is five fifths a day (guess where that name came from).


Yep, Vodka tends to be the drink of choice for closet alcoholics because it's cheap, it mixes well, and it's odour can be masked easily. It also is relatively low in sugar which reduces hangover effects.

user_hostile
09-14-2017, 12:58 AM
I know a doctor who told me he had a patient who drank a fifth of Jack Daniels every single day for years.

Did I mishear that or is that possible? I have no idea how heavy the guy was.

I thought Lemmy from Machinehead did the same.

I would have poohed-poohed this, until I my ex talked about her father who fought in WWII and Vietnam.

My FIL came home from his last tour of duty in Vietnam (1967). He was a big guy, 6' 3" and 250 pounds lean. For about a year, he would come home from work and open the bottle of JD, chug it, and put the bottle down empty. And work on his skills to be an everlasting mean nasty drunk toward his family. As for his tempo, my ex thought the Great Santini was an accurate rendition of her father at the time (he seemed pretty mellow to me).

Up till then, I didn't think that it was even possible to this unless you wanted to die, or were Andre the Giant (http://drunkard.com/10_06_andre_giant/)

He quit after a bout of bacterial cerebral spinal meningitis which left him in a coma and it was assumed he would die, but he pulled through rather suddenly. Guess he figured that if he didn't bottom out at six feet under, he might as well go sober.

He lasted 90 years, so whatever genes he had must have been certified for use with vast quantities of ethanol.

Northern Piper
09-14-2017, 01:59 AM
At age 59 I agree "fifth" is now sorta archaic sounding. It was totally the term I heard my parents use while growing up in the 60s and 70s. So that's what I called them when I began my drinking career. But not with whole bottles at a time :).

I suppose that nowadays I'd probably just say "we need a bottle of gin", without specifying a bottle size at all. But with the implicit understanding we'd buy the 1/5th gallon ~= modern 750ml size. Sorta like a how a "six-pack of beer" is implicitly made up of 12 oz. containers even though beer is also sold in multipacks of other size containers.


Knowing the age demographics of Dopers it seemed odd to me that folks would question the usage even if it wasn't the one they'd probably use today. Seeing that some posters were non-US, others were younger, and some were really asking what flavor of booze were all factors I'd not considered. Another minor oops on me, but it seems we've had a fun digression off the central topic of premeditated liver assault with intent to kill.

Interesting - I always thought a fifth was the equivalent to a mickey (a hip flask size bottle). Had no idea it was the 26 equivalent.

I remember once when I was studying in the States and we were drinking in the dorm. I mentioned a mickey and got blank stares from everyone, both Americans and other foreign students. I'd never realized it was a Canadianism.

Oly
09-14-2017, 08:15 AM
Rule of thumb is that "average" people metabolize ethanol at the rate of about one standard drink per hour. As for spirits (40% ethanol) a standard drink is 1.5 ounces. There are 128 ounces in a gallon. A fifth of 128 is 25.6. 25.6 divided 1.5 equals about 17.

So if an average person drank a fifth over 17 hours, at an actual rate near 1 drink per hour, their metabolism would keep pace with consumption, they would cop only a marginal buzz and emerge, all else equal, unscathed. If you drank it in half that time, you would be done in about 8-9 hours, and will have accumulated about 8-9 standard drinks. How drunk would you be? One standard drink raises your blood alcohol level about 0.02%. So with 8-9 drinks, you'd be at about 0.16-0.18%. Pretty well lit, but "harmful", in any lasting sense? Probably not for the "average" person, once they recover from their epic hangover.

bobot
09-14-2017, 08:36 AM
I've never heard 750 here in Chicago. "Bottle," yes. But it's: handle (1.75L), fifth (750mL), Pint (375mL), half-pint (200mL). ...

And airplane bottle. :)
When I was drinking whiskey I used to get The One With The Handle, the 1.75, and around here I do hear people reference a fifth aka the smaller one, the one without the handle.

bobot
09-14-2017, 08:41 AM
... Lemmy from Machinehead ...

I sentence you to sing Orgasmatron at your local karoke place.

pulykamell
09-14-2017, 09:21 AM
Interesting - I always thought a fifth was the equivalent to a mickey (a hip flask size bottle). Had no idea it was the 26 equivalent.

I remember once when I was studying in the States and we were drinking in the dorm. I mentioned a mickey and got blank stares from everyone, both Americans and other foreign students. I'd never realized it was a Canadianism.

Yeah, here "mickey" means something else, but it's pretty old timey (like film noir) slang to me, as in the phrase "slip him a mickey." Here's the definition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Finn_(drugs)). I didn't know this, but apparently it's named after Mickey Finn, a bartender here in Chicago. I didn't realize the local connection.

LSLGuy
09-14-2017, 09:36 AM
There's also a nasty malt liquor called "Mickey's": https://bing.com/images/search?q=mickey's+big+mouth

The bottle is distinctive with the large opening that facilitates chugging.

If I heard some young US person talking about "drinking a mickey" I'd assume he/she meant some of these.

pulykamell
09-14-2017, 09:43 AM
There's also a nasty malt liquor called "Mickey's": https://bing.com/images/search?q=mickey's+big+mouth

The bottle is distinctive with the large opening that facilitates chugging.

If I heard some young US person talking about "drinking a mickey" I'd assume he/she meant some of these.

Ah, yes, of course! Forgot about those. Never had one of those down-market malt liquor drinks. Always been kind of curious, but never curious enough to actually buy it, or any of the "bum wine" like Wild Irish Rose.

LSLGuy
09-14-2017, 09:52 AM
IIRC from my college & USAF days of yore Mickey's tastes a lot like any other generic American lager. Think slightly stronger-flavored Budweiser. The incremental alcohol never seemed significant to me.

IOW, pretty meh. Nothing much wrong with it but also nothing much to recommend it except low price. At least back then. For all I know it's more expensive than ordinary beer these days.

kayaker
09-14-2017, 10:18 AM
There's also a nasty malt liquor called "Mickey's": https://bing.com/images/search?q=mickey's+big+mouth

The bottle is distinctive with the large opening that facilitates chugging.

If I heard some young US person talking about "drinking a mickey" I'd assume he/she meant some of these.

In my circle, having a six or case of Mickey's at a party is something we do ironically. And at the end of the night they are all gone, although everyone complains while drinking it.

markn+
09-14-2017, 10:40 AM
I can definitely agree, a clean bleach smelling toilet is way more pleasant to vomit into than something with residual 'organic' smells.

Even better than a clean toilet is an emesis bag. You can get them for less than 50 cents apiece. It's a lot nicer to be sitting in a comfortable chair or in your bed rather than crouching on the bathroom floor, no matter how clean it is in there.

Czarcasm
09-14-2017, 10:44 AM
What's this about it not being so bad if you down that fifth mixed-drink style instead of straight shots? You are still drinking as much alcohol...but now you have a lot more fluid to upchuck, don't you?

aruvqan
09-14-2017, 11:07 AM
Just a tip -- if you're planning on getting balls out drunk, NEVER consume ginger ale in the same time period. Ginger ale tastes horrible the second time around. (Also, it's true what they say about bacon sandwiches and hangovers)
Really? I find that fruit salad (https://webstaurantstore.com/tropical-fruit-salad-10-can/99907831.html) and ginger ale taste the same going down and back up. Common combo to get in hospital.

aruvqan
09-14-2017, 11:10 AM
Even better than a clean toilet is an emesis bag. You can get them for less than 50 cents apiece. It's a lot nicer to be sitting in a comfortable chair or in your bed rather than crouching on the bathroom floor, no matter how clean it is in there.
I use the family tradition of a 1 gallon past a pot. Big enough to hold anything you can hurl at it [snicker] and easy to clean - keep it by the bedside for those ninja vomits that hit before you can get up and run to the bathroom. I found out my EVE Online corp were wusses - couple times I didn't manage to mute my mic on teamspeak when a vombomb happened [medication driven nausea, sucktastic when you are physically handicapped and can't get up and run to the bathroom ...] Line the pot with a puppy pee pad or diaper to eliminate random splash and bob's your uncle :p

Hector_St_Clare
09-14-2017, 11:13 AM
Rule of thumb is that "average" people metabolize ethanol at the rate of about one standard drink per hour. As for spirits (40% ethanol) a standard drink is 1.5 ounces. There are 128 ounces in a gallon. A fifth of 128 is 25.6. 25.6 divided 1.5 equals about 17.

So if an average person drank a fifth over 17 hours, at an actual rate near 1 drink per hour, their metabolism would keep pace with consumption, they would cop only a marginal buzz and emerge, all else equal, unscathed. If you drank it in half that time, you would be done in about 8-9 hours, and will have accumulated about 8-9 standard drinks. How drunk would you be? One standard drink raises your blood alcohol level about 0.02%. So with 8-9 drinks, you'd be at about 0.16-0.18%. Pretty well lit, but "harmful", in any lasting sense? Probably not for the "average" person, once they recover from their epic hangover.

Depends on your weight- for me it would take more like an hour and a half, not an hour.

bobot
09-14-2017, 12:59 PM
I use the family tradition of a 1 gallon past a pot. Big enough to hold anything you can hurl at it [snicker] and easy to clean - keep it by the bedside for those ninja vomits that hit before you can get up and run to the bathroom. ... Line the pot with a puppy pee pad or diaper to eliminate random splash and bob's your uncle :p

I made some chili, would you like to try it?
Oh, no. Not hungry. Really. No, not hungry at all.

Guinastasia
09-14-2017, 01:44 PM
Ok, I'll play. What do they say about bacon sandwiches (is this a normal thing?) and hangovers?

The best thing for a hangover is a bacon sandwich. The last time I had a killer one, I went out to lunch with my mother and got a nice juicy BLT and some greasy fries. Killed that fucker dead.


Really? I find that fruit salad (https://webstaurantstore.com/tropical-fruit-salad-10-can/99907831.html) and ginger ale taste the same going down and back up. Common combo to get in hospital.

It DOES taste the same, which is what makes it so vile. Ginger ale does NOT mix well with stomach acid. The only thing I've ever found that doesn't really bother me coming back up is grape kool-aid.

pulykamell
09-14-2017, 01:53 PM
For me, it's pickle juice, but bacon sandwiches I'm sure sounds better to most people. :) Actually, anything sour and salty will do, like sauerkraut soup or menudo with a good squeeze or two of lime in it.

I didn't even know bacon sandwiches was a thing. Is it just bacon between two pieces of bread, or does anything else go on it? Mayo? Mustard?

DPRK
09-14-2017, 02:19 PM
I didn't even know bacon sandwiches was a thing. Is it just bacon between two pieces of bread, or does anything else go on it? Mayo? Mustard?

I am familiar with the BLTA sandwich (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLT) which consists of bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes between two pieces of bread. Avocado, mayo, and mustard are optional.

I was not aware that such a sandwich is considered a hangover cure, moreso than any other greasy breakfast. I have heard of the "hair of the dog", that is, more alcohol, but that is unrelated.

Randolph
09-14-2017, 03:25 PM
Whoa, let's not get all LGBTQ on the BLT, OK? Avocado gets no billing here.

MichaelEmouse
09-14-2017, 03:54 PM
For those curious about the effect, here's a blood alcohol calculator: http://educalcool.qc.ca/en/facts-tips-and-tools/tools/blood-alcohol-calculator/#.WbrpyMh96Hs
You can use 5 glasses for 3 time periods and select "Cocktail 40% 50ml" to get 750ml of 40% alcohol

and the wiki page on the effects of various BACs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content#Effects_by_blood_alcohol_content

Consumed over about an hour, that would give a 170lbs man a BAC of about 400mg/100ml of blood which is the point at which the human central nervous system starts to behave like Windows ME and you might end up with the Big Blue Screen.

09-14-2017, 04:05 PM
Astro, you said you're a social drinker, but who's to say exactly what that entails for the individual drinker.In my experience, it usually means 'an alcoholic'. Just one who hasn't recognized or won't admit it yet. People who actually are social drinkers don't need to go around proclaiming that.

MichaelEmouse
09-14-2017, 04:09 PM
ETA: I read the OP from way back and correcting for consuming the alcohol over about 12 hours, that still gives a 250-300 BAC which is still drunk enough to induce loss of consciousness.


I remember drinking about 13 ounces of Southern Comfort in fruit juice over an evening. I made sure to space out each alcoholic drink with a glass of water. I was coherent during the evening and had no hangover the next morning even though I had little to no tolerance for alcohol. So, I guess if you pace yourself and hydrate, you might be fine.

HoneyBadgerDC
09-14-2017, 04:11 PM
I know a lot of folks who drink about a fifth a day and have for years. When I was drinking heavy I still hadn't quite reached that as my daily intake but was approaching it fast and on occasions would exceed it.

Saintly Loser
09-14-2017, 04:29 PM
I am almost 50 and have lived in America my whole life. I don't think that I have ever seen a fifth of liquor in the store. They are always 750ml bottles labeled as 750ml no mention of non metric units. My dad had some old bottles which were 1/5th a gallon without metric labels. Even when I was a kid "a fifth" sounded like something grampa would say.

57 years old, and I've lived in the US all my life. I still hear "fifth" used to denote the 750ml bottle all the time, and I use it myself. But, like you, I've never seen an actual "fifth" (at least not since liquor went metric, which would be sometime after I was old enough to buy booze) -- just the 750ml bottle. I don't think anyone bottles liquor in the old units anymore.

Guinastasia
09-14-2017, 08:01 PM
I'd also advise if you're going to try this, don't do it on an empty stomach.

For me, it's pickle juice, but bacon sandwiches I'm sure sounds better to most people. :) Actually, anything sour and salty will do, like sauerkraut soup or menudo with a good squeeze or two of lime in it.

I didn't even know bacon sandwiches was a thing. Is it just bacon between two pieces of bread, or does anything else go on it? Mayo? Mustard?

Put whatever you want on it -- if all you want is bacon and bread, go for it.

kayaker
09-14-2017, 08:26 PM
For me, it's pickle juice, but bacon sandwiches I'm sure sounds better to most people.

Ever do a pickle-back? A shot of crap whiskey, followed with a shot of pickle juice. It's freaky. You do not taste the whiskey at all. :cool:

LSLGuy
09-14-2017, 08:58 PM
Those are surprisingly better than they ought to be. They also set up shooting at a rate guaranteed to overshoot your tolerance. Leading to incoherence, unconsciousness, or worse.

kayaker
09-15-2017, 06:00 AM
By "worse", I assume you mean pickle-breath.

aruvqan
09-16-2017, 08:34 AM
I made some chili, would you like to try it?
Oh, no. Not hungry. Really. No, not hungry at all.
ANd if you never knew that the pot had been used to hurl into, you would have no issues at all. Sheesh. I also would bath my younger goddaughters in the kitchen sink when they had a particularly bad diaper poo blowup [sprayer is wonderful for hosing off little butts] It isn't like I didn't clean thoroughly afterwards. Stainless steel + comet cleanser = pretty damned sterile.

pulykamell
09-16-2017, 09:34 AM
Ever do a pickle-back? A shot of crap whiskey, followed with a shot of pickle juice. It's freaky. You do not taste the whiskey at all. :cool:

But I like the taste of whiskey, and don't drink crap whiskey! :)

I've never been anywhere that I knew this was on offer. I think in theory I have heard of it before, but not in practice. Closest I've come is chasing vodka with pickled herring.

Bijou Drains
09-16-2017, 09:56 AM
a former GF told me her previous BF drank about a bottle a day of whiskey. I guess he was drinking cheap stuff since that could add up fast.

JustinC
09-17-2017, 12:52 PM
Of course it's dangerous! I would certainly classify drinking a fifth of alcohol in one day as a high-risk activity, not just from the obvious health point of view either. You could fall and hurt yourself, if drinking with others someone could turn violent, you might say something out of turn at the Women's Institute, you could crash the plane, or shout 'PIG!' at a policeman and be shot on sight.

Tom Tildrum
09-17-2017, 07:22 PM
I just remembered that the protagonist of Larry Niven's "Inferno" dies (in the first chapter; it's not a spoiler) from chugging a fifth of rum. Of course, he's sitting on a window ledge at the time, and it's the fall that kills him.

Guinastasia
09-17-2017, 07:32 PM
Also, here's a website (http://getsmellout.com/) on how to get the vomit smell out of stuff.

Damuri Ajashi
09-18-2017, 07:10 AM
I don't drink as much as I used to but I can go through half a fifth of scotch without skipping a beat. If I had the whole bottle these days, I would likely black out but there was a time, when I was in my prime when I could really throw it down.

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