By James Madeiros
We all probably think we’ve already learned everything there is to know about alcohol, or at least all the important stuff. It’s good, it’s bad, it comes in a variety of flavors and can make social gatherings more enjoyable – what else is there to know?
Well, that’s definitely the gist of it, but here are a few fun facts that may color your view of alcohol, or at least give you something snappy to say at parties.
1. Firewater Flare-up: It’s alcohol vapor that burns, not the liquid itself. Spirits with higher alcohol content give off more vapor, and it’s the vapor that catches fire.
2. Cork-tastrophe: A cork from a champagne bottle, when released under typical pressure, can travel up to 42 feet with speeds approaching 50 mph – which means it can hit your eye in less than 0.05 seconds.
3. Bourbon Street, Literally: Sources quibble, but the U.S. city that tops most lists for the most bars is New Orleans, with 8.6 bars per 10,000 households.
4. Beer Bash: Not to be outdone, New Hampshire ranks first in per-capita consumption at 43 gallons a year for every person on the state’s rolls, although many suspect it’s because of tax-dodging beer buyers making booze runs from Vermont and Massachusetts.
5. Legendary Lush: It has been widely reported by friends, fellow performers and many a surly boss that Andre the Giant would consume 7,000 calories of booze every day – the equivalent of 35 200-calorie beers, if he was just drinking beers.
6. BAC Attack: A ship-faced Bulgarian man currently holds the top spot for having the highest recorded blood alcohol content that didn’t result in a fatality (even though he was hit by a truck just prior to testing) – at .914%.
7. Brew Master: Armageddon, the world’s strongest beer at 65% ABV, is crafted by UK’s Brewmeister brewery and can be purchased for the modest price of $82 per 330ml beer (not including shipping).
8. Old-Timer: The oldest bottle of wine that’s still sealed is 1,650 years young and has been on display at the Pfalz Historical Museum in Speyer, Germany, for more than 100 years – where it can still be viewed today.
9. DUI OMG: Arrest statistics aside, North Dakota takes the rum cake for how many people were willing to fess up to impaired driving, with 988 out of 1,000 residents saying they’ve swigged and steered.
10. Liquor Leader: Jinro soju, a Korean liquor you’ve never heard of, is the highest-selling liquor in the world at around 61.38 million cases in 2011, compared to, say, Bacardi rum (5th place), which sold 19.56 million cases in the same year.
Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).