Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 03-20-2004, 02:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
Is drinking a fifth of alcohol in one day dangerous?

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

Quote:
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
#2
Old 03-20-2004, 02:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3,362
A fifth of what?

No, not a pedantic question, I don't know what it means.
#3
Old 03-20-2004, 02:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Portman Road
Posts: 17,369
What's a fifth?
#4
Old 03-20-2004, 02:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,919
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.
#5
Old 03-20-2004, 02:41 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 2,811
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.
#6
Old 03-20-2004, 03:06 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Camden, IL, USA
Posts: 200
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)
#7
Old 03-20-2004, 06:14 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2001
Location: In another castle
Posts: 18,988
In one day?

Are we talking a night, eight hours, sixteen hours, or twenty-four hours?
#8
Old 03-20-2004, 06:24 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,753
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
#9
Old 03-20-2004, 07:13 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Often on the Road
Posts: 369
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 which in layman's terms is an alcoholic insult to the brain.)
#10
Old 03-21-2004, 01:50 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,898
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.
#11
Old 03-21-2004, 09:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
QtM makes a good point. I'd better stick to milk, or maybe chocolate milk for a special taste treat!
#12
Old 03-21-2004, 10:24 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 5,116
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.
#13
Old 03-21-2004, 12:56 PM
BANNED
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NNW of Rashomon.
Posts: 925
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".

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.
#14
Old 03-21-2004, 01:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 28
Ask George Clooney. It's probably a daily habit for him.
#15
Old 03-21-2004, 01:46 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 3,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by gluteus maximus
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.
#16
Old 03-22-2004, 12:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Look up, look down.
Posts: 670
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.
#17
Old 03-22-2004, 03:01 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great Blue Yonder
Posts: 307
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.
#18
Old 03-22-2004, 08:32 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 3,879
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.
#19
Old 03-22-2004, 08:49 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 433
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.
#20
Old 03-22-2004, 05:04 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Ireland
Posts: 168
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
__________________
Who'd win in a scrap between Pavlov's dog and Schroedinger's Cat???
#21
Old 09-13-2017, 12:58 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
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.
#22
Old 09-13-2017, 02:43 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,681
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.
#23
Old 09-13-2017, 08:45 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 11,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSBG View Post
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.
#24
Old 09-13-2017, 10:15 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 20,676
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.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 09-13-2017 at 10:17 AM.
#25
Old 09-13-2017, 10:21 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post

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.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-13-2017 at 10:23 AM.
#26
Old 09-13-2017, 10:35 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Eastern Connecticut
Posts: 16,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by R. P. McMurphy View Post
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.
__________________
"Rammstein might not be the most sophisticated band there is, but who doesn't like the smell of napalm in the evening air"
#27
Old 09-13-2017, 10:40 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,585
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.
#28
Old 09-13-2017, 10:48 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Great White North
Posts: 3,999
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.
#29
Old 09-13-2017, 10:53 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
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!
#30
Old 09-13-2017, 11:08 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
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.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-13-2017 at 11:10 AM.
#31
Old 09-13-2017, 11:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In front of my PC, y tu?
Posts: 4,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
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.
__________________
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
- C. Darwin
#32
Old 09-13-2017, 11:28 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
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.
#33
Old 09-13-2017, 11:50 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 5,628
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
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.
#34
Old 09-13-2017, 12:04 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,048
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.
#35
Old 09-13-2017, 12:24 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Great White North
Posts: 3,999
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
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.

Last edited by Sparky812; 09-13-2017 at 12:24 PM.
#36
Old 09-13-2017, 12:32 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by gazpacho View Post
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.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-13-2017 at 12:35 PM.
#37
Old 09-13-2017, 12:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Jefferson
Posts: 7,604
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogiaw View Post
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 ...
#38
Old 09-13-2017, 12:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 881
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.
#39
Old 09-13-2017, 01:09 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 13,296
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.
#40
Old 09-13-2017, 01:22 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
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.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-13-2017 at 01:25 PM.
#41
Old 09-13-2017, 01:23 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 20,676
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.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 09-13-2017 at 01:25 PM.
#42
Old 09-13-2017, 01:30 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 41,898
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.
#43
Old 09-13-2017, 01:32 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 20,676
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.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 09-13-2017 at 01:32 PM.
#44
Old 09-13-2017, 01:33 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 53,284
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.
__________________
This signature is officially certified by the American Signature Society.
#45
Old 09-13-2017, 01:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 18,241
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.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
#46
Old 09-13-2017, 01:50 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Caseyville, IL
Posts: 6,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
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.
#47
Old 09-13-2017, 02:16 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 27,067
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.
#48
Old 09-13-2017, 02:49 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Southeast Florida USA
Posts: 20,676
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.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 09-13-2017 at 02:49 PM.
#49
Old 09-13-2017, 04:34 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
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.
#50
Old 09-13-2017, 06:01 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 18,241
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
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.
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.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 09-13-2017 at 06:03 PM.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:45 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: walmart receipt check elmer fudd fat balderdash refills striped bags airburst nuke define pokey submarines depth hydrostatic transmisson cough drops diarrhea eyeball shaving gregg ruled paper buy methylamine a skosh habanero taste penal code symbol cindy crawford vagina calves itching occlusal adjustment price fabio shirtless tvfool map eggplant slur parking spot bumper galaga pronunciation expos logo midevil mmorpgs songs with accordion :rolleyes: ziper head the primrose path v2 speed magicians levitation pronounce thebes can conjoined twins be different sexes why does it feel weird when i touch my belly button dc road test tips check cash without id difference between welfare and unemployment it was much better than cats john wayne and robert mitchum movies is brown hamburger meat safe to eat does freezing water kill bacteria bottom of foot feels numb window air conditioner water noise normal body temp for cats young i was needed the money i did dog friendly mouse traps determining time of death formula what causes hot spots on human skin how to charge lead acid battery with power supply how to type a squiggly line 18 wheeler front view fire alarm randomly went off is touching lead dangerous foods that begin with the letter e rpm revs up and down while driving door knob coat rack why do patents expire see you later alligator in awhile crocodile poem how to kill a deer with a knife linny tuck and ming ming where are steam games installed what should the temperature of a typical soldering iron be fear factor couples million dollar winners mood disorder vs personality disorder best smart ones meals