Thanks to the wallet-draining costs of alcohol these days, many have taken to the widespread ritual of pre-drinking. Which is, of course, the act of gathering your drinking cohorts to a predestined location (usually someone’s home) to collectively partake in some beverages that have been purchased not from a bar, but from your local liquor store.
If done right, pre-drinkers will flock to the bar or event that night with a decent buzz that requires just a few more expensive drinks over the remainder of the evening, topped off with some street meat for the ride home. Others get carried away and puke before they even make it to the cab.
According to data from the Global Drugs Survey, 85 percent of drinkers worldwide pre-game before a night out. Using this data, which sampled 65,126 people, researchers were then curious to discover which nation would be crowned the noble honor of the world’s foremost pre-drinkers.
Now, if you were to guess which country would come first in regards to this ritual, what would you say? Is it Ireland? Because you’re correct.
Unsurprisingly, the nation responsible for the world’s favourite beer-centered holiday beat out 25 other countries in their proclivity to pre-drink, with 85.4 percent of Irish survey respondents admitting they booze before heading out. The Irish were so proud of this announcement, in fact, that this revelation was featured on the front page of the Irish Examiner Wednesday morning.
Coming in a close second with 80 percent was Norway, followed by New Zealand and Denmark, with 79 and 76 percent respectively. The UK comes in fifth place, 75 percent of which copped to indulging in some liquid confidence before calling a cab. The Greeks came in dead last, with just 18 percent of citizens electing to pre-game. But where do we reside? It turns out Americans fall within the international average of 65 percent, while our neighbours to the north reside around 80 percent.
“Since pre-drinking implies going out after pre-drinking, the lower prevalence in the US might reflect the fact that young adults go out to a lesser extent that youth in Canada because the difference in legal drinking age,” lead researcher Florian Labhart tells Playboy. “But that’s only a hypothesis.”
In search for what determines the likelihood of drinking at home, researchers concluded that the number of current and heavy drinkers in the nation combined with the price of alcohol is what largely determined its percentage of pre-drinkers. Of their results, the study states, “The higher the prevalence of current drinkers, the higher the percentage of pre-drinkers […] In countries with a low price ratio, the higher the prevalence of heavy drinkers, the higher the percentage of pre-drinkers. The opposite effect was observed in countries with high price ratios.”
Considering these two prominent variables, research published in Alcohol in America: Taking Action to Prevent Abuse has found that the price of distilled liquors in the US has been reduced by half since 1967 due to inflation. Beer and wine have dropped as well, by a quarter and a fifth, respectively. “Soft drinks and beer now sell at roughly the same price,” says Dan Beauchamp, a researcher at the University of North Carolina. “This was not true 15 years ago. The cost of nonalcoholic beverages has more than tripled in the same period that the cost of alcoholic beverages has less than doubled, and we now see price convergence of the two.”
So considering the costs for alcohol are lower than that of other countries, the reason America falls into the average can only be attributed to the prevalence of current and heavy drinkers in the country, which we presumably have less of.
Regardless, we can seek solace in the fact that pre-drinking has officially become an international affair committed by the majority of our world’s inhabitants. Cheers to that.