It’s well into your freshers’ week and you’ve probably grasped that your liver won’t be leaving this experience unscathed (unless you don’t drink, in which case, strong effort). Your biochemical balance may be fucked but your taste buds don’t need to be. Now, let’s ditch the beer goggles and distinguish our top and bottom picks for pre-drinks.

5th best: Like finding a £5 note on an empty street.

Supermarket own brand cider (2L) mixed with blackcurrant squash takes this spot. This is a cheap option that comes in handy when you’re running low on cash but can’t bear making eye contact with some of the worse options in this list.

5th worst: Like finding dog shit on the bottom of your nice trainers.

The Jäger pint fills 5th worst. All I have to say, really, is that bars won’t officially admit to having this drink on offer! It’s the option that has literally made me feel like my organs are liquidised. It’s made me fall down countless staircases but it’s not so terrible that I won’t occasionally come back for more.

4th best: Like cleansing your system with a masterful tactical chunder, filling you with renewed vitality.

Reasonably cheap white wine is a reliable choice when you’re too lazy to mix and when you’re not a fan of lager or cider. It’s convenient because a typical 70 cl bottle of wine is enough to keep me tipsy during the night and I’ve never been a drooling slurring mess from it… That’s a result of extra drinks once in the club.

4th worst: Akin to the realisation that you’ve drank so much that no amount of chundering can save your poor forsaken soul.

Whiskey with anything for 4th worst feels like an appropriate rank because, while I don’t mind the taste and I usually have a good night while drinking it, the hangovers are unforgivably bad! I’m talking about the kind of hangovers that wake you up early in the morning to remind you of your idiocy then remain for the entire day and maybe even the next. No hangover cure will save you.

3rd best: You acted like a complete tit last night but everyone was so drunk that only you remember and can move on with your life.

Subjective to me, lager takes this spot. I quite like my beer, I’m much more of a craft guy than a lager drinker but I know which of the two will have my back for a night out. It’s fairly cheap, it tastes fine and unlike Kopparberg, lager isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. That means that I can drink plenty and not feel nauseated.

3rd worst: Finding out that everyone is actually pretending not to remember. You now have the reputation of “that prick” in your hall.

I honestly don’t understand why anyone would drink red wine preceding a night out. Red wine is far too heavy! You can’t drink more than a few glasses without feeling weighed down and sleepy; if YOU can, then you must have a stomach lining that is 5 inches thick.

Yes, okay, it’s less messy than the holders of number 4 and 5 but it’s not pleasant to drink so much red before a night out. Red wine is more appropriate for a night in – have it with your dinner or pour yourself a glass while watching a film. Please don’t drink a bottle before a night out (or do, I don’t care that much).

2nd best: Getting with the cute guy/girl that you’ve had your eye on since predrinks.

Controversial choice incoming: rum, rum with anything or even on its own (if it’s a decent bottle). Rum appeals to a side of me that has always wanted to be a pirate, it coaxes me into a happy drunken state and in my opinion it tastes fucking great. No more needs be said.

2nd worst: Waking up to find 500 insane texts from the person you got with last night to whom you gave your number, dumbass.

Frosty Jacks Cider, the absolute last resort and if you have any self-respect you’d probably try and steal ethanol from the chemistry labs; methanol poisoning be damned. This extreme opinion comes from the fact that I’ve been sick from it so many times that I can’t smell the stuff without feeling nauseated and ashamed. The only reason the frosty jackhammer-to-the-guts isn’t my first worst is because the first is almost literally suicide.

1st best: Finding out you got a first in all of your submitted coursework on the morning you woke up beside the most beautiful person you’ve ever met.

Vodka lemon and lime has to be my first pick, my crème de la crème, for a few reasons. I hate the taste of vodka; even good vodka makes me cringe, but vodka is cheap enough to (sort of) make up for it.

So thankfully there’s a drink that practically gets rid of the nail varnish remover taste but in itself is still cheap as chips. So drinkable that it is almost dangerous, looking at your new 70 cl bottle that is now laying on its side, empty. Realising that tonight can only go one of two ways: incredible for all the right reasons or incredible for all the wrong reasons.

1st worst: Getting curb stomped by the brick-shit-house bouncer you challenged to “have a go” while your friends pretend not to know you.

The king cup, dirty pint etc. If you aren’t familiar with the game: ring of fire. You soon shall be and if you are the unlucky soul, forsaken by all gods from all religions simultaneously, to be nailed with the king cup at the end then I pity you.

Everyone’s done it, everyone’s had to be courageous and throw back the concoction of corrupt cocktail and woken up covered in mysterious stains, fully clothed with no memory (but with a lingering sense of shame) and a sudden urge to be sick. And you just know that this will be the morning that fucking fire alarm will go off at 6 in the morning.

Jake Tenn

Featured Image from Jake Tenn

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