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Was it normal that I threw up from drinking Vodka?
February 13, 2014 10:00 AM   Subscribe

What surprises me is that I didn't drink too much, I only drank 2 glasses. It was my first time drinking Vodka, so my question is : Is it normal that I threw up and had the spins? Does that mean that I have a very low tolerance for it? I mixed the second glass with some orange juice. Not sure if that's relevant.
posted by Attozes to Food & Drink (65 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
When you say glasses do you mean 2oz? 8? 16?
posted by Carillon at 10:02 AM on February 13 [12 favorites]


How big were the glasses? Had you eaten before (or with) drinking the vodka? Had you drunk any other alcohol before or after the vodka? Any or all of these are factors in whether you throw up while drinking
posted by darsh at 10:03 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


You threw up; that's not "normal" - I mean, people get drunk and vomit all the time, but it's a sign that you basically poisoned yourself and your stomach acted accordingly.
posted by gyusan at 10:04 AM on February 13 [7 favorites]


Sure the orange juice is relevant. I always blame bad mixer when I used to puke from drinking.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:05 AM on February 13 [11 favorites]


Throwing up and having the spins is called "being really drunk," and yes, that is a usual consequence of drinking alcohol.

2 glasses? 2 shots? 2 decent pours over ice?

2 glasses of vodka, as in 2 cocktail-sized servings, for an inexperienced drinker is a LOT. Hell, I'm a seasoned drinker and that would leave me pretty shnockered, though probably not spins and vomiting shnockered.

Plus and also, the sugar and acidity in the orange juice can upset your stomach.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:06 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


What you just described, assuming that by "a glass" you mean 8 ounces or more, would definitely make me throw up.

Two normal cocktails, where each drink might have around two ounces of vodka, would leave me pretty buzzed.
posted by bunderful at 10:09 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


This was the bottle.


The volume is 70 cl. I'd say that a friend and I drank half of it so 35 cl. I drank 3/4 of what he drank so 26 cl or so. Altogether I'd say I drank 8 oz of Vodka, and mixed it up with some orange juice afterwards.

I had a pizza for lunch and a Mcdonald's Royal Cheese menu for dinner.
posted by Attozes at 10:10 AM on February 13


Yep, that's enough to make anyone who isn't used to being stinkin' drunk all the time puke and cry. Please drink responsibly.
posted by carsonb at 10:11 AM on February 13 [31 favorites]


26 cl is 8.8 fluid ounces. A typical drink is 1.5 oz of liquor. So, you drank the equivalent of 6 or so "standard" drinks. That's probably within the "expect to vomit" range.
posted by Dimpy at 10:13 AM on February 13 [10 favorites]


That's a shitload of hard liquor. I drink regularly and that much alcohol would definitely make me drunk, give me the spins, and probably throw up. Especially if it was consumed in a relatively short period of time.
posted by rtha at 10:13 AM on February 13 [11 favorites]


To clarify, the alcohol volume alone is enough to 'schnocker' most anyone. But drop in a slice of pizza and a Royal w/ Cheese and some OJ, mix with stomach acid, and that there is a cocktail recipe for gutter puke.
posted by carsonb at 10:13 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


That's a cup of vodka. I would be lying down for the entire next day.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:14 AM on February 13 [14 favorites]


What do you normally drink? Your basic vodka generally has a high percentage of alcohol compared to stuff like Malibu and other flavoured alcohol. Look at the percentage of alcohol on the bottle of vodka and then compare it to what you normally drink. I'll bet that there will be a big difference.

Regardless, 8 oz of vodka is nothing to sniff at. I'm a seasoned drinker and if I drank 8 oz of vodka over a couple hours that could be enough to get me smammered, depending on how quickly I drank it.



I also want to say "What do you mean you only mixed the SECOND glass with orange juice?". Did you drink the first drink just straight vodka?? If so, duuuuuuude.... In my world that is a baaaaad idea. You need to dilute hard liquor, not only because it makes it easier/tastier to drink, but also because it takes LONGER to drink so you don't drink a shit ton in no time flat (which is a recipe for barfing).
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:14 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


If together you drank a total of 35cl, and you drank 3/4 as much as he drank, you drank 15cl and he drank 20cl. That'd be 5 ounces, which is still a fair amount to drink in a short amount of time.
posted by aubilenon at 10:14 AM on February 13


@PuppetMcSockerson : I've never drunk Vodka before. I only drank rarely beverages like champagne and red wine.

@aubilenon : I guess I wasn't clear. What I meant was that I drank 3/4 of what we both drank, so 26 ounces or so.
posted by Attozes at 10:18 AM on February 13


A shot is the standard way of measuring liquor- you basically had 4-6 shots of vodka straight, plus a little orange juice. That's enough to make someone with a low tolerance (speaking from experience) drunk over the course of an evening, and it doesn't surprise me that it made you sick if you drank it straight in a short period of time.

It sounds like you need to familiarize yourself with concepts like proof, standard drinks, the importance of spacing drinks, etc. so you can drink in a controlled way and not face surprises like this again.
posted by MadamM at 10:18 AM on February 13 [20 favorites]


Yeah, that's a ton a vodka. FWIW, vodka kicks my ass like no other liquor.
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:20 AM on February 13


What everyone said. Not surprising that you puked.

Intoxication of course depends on your body mass and metabolism, but that's the equivalent of drinking more than 5 shots. Most vodka sold in the US ranges from 35-40% alcohol by volume, (common domestic beers, by comparison, are usually ~4-5% abv).

Just read your most recent comment, do you mean you drank 26cL or 26 US fluid oz of vodka? Because that's like >17 shots and would virtually guarantee vomiting, and potentially a need for urgent medical attention.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:21 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


250ml of straight wine is VERY different from 250ml of straight vodka in terms of alcohol concentration. Of COURSE that is going to knock you on your ass, especially if you aren't used to drinking. This has nothing to do with vodka and everything to do with the fact that you downed a HUGE volume of hard liquor.

I agree with MadamM that you really need to learn more about alcohol, understand what the different proofs and percentages mean, before you drink again. Alcohol poisoning happens and isn't a joke. If you drank as much as you say you did then you were absolutely tempting fate. That is a scary and dangerous amount of liquor you drank (in my opinion) and I have to think you're lucky that all you suffered was barfing and the spins.

If you are going to drink, fine, but do it smartly and safely.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:21 AM on February 13 [9 favorites]


For what it's worth, don't feel too ashamed, because many people do this once before they learn that hard liquor is a lot stronger per volume than wine or beer. In the future, drink your vodka in 25-50 mL increments and wait an hour or two after each of those. Same goes for any other 80 proof liquor (gin, whiskey, rum, etc).

As a rule of thumb, one glass of vodka is equivalent to about four glasses of wine.
posted by theodolite at 10:23 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Not only is that a great deal of vodka indeed, but judging by your posting history, you ain't a heavyweight.

In context, I am 6'1", about 190lbs, and a beverage enthusiast. I have been drinking longer than you have been alive.

The amount of vodka you consumed would surely 1) make me vomit like a firehose, and 2) give me a hangover of mythological proportions.

For your health, please don't drink that much hard liquor again. Take care of yourself.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:23 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


For a good summary of how to compare different types of alcoholic drinks see the NIAAA website: What's a "standard" drink?
posted by Wretch729 at 10:24 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it sounds to me like you don't understand that different drinks have different amounts of alcohol in them. A 6 oz glass of wine is not the same as a 6 ounce glass of vodka!!!!

This list of drink equivalences might help.
posted by kestrel251 at 10:24 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


You drank a lot. 8.8 ounces is a lot of vodka. "Two drinks" in a bar would be more like 3 ounces of liquor total; you drank almost three times that. Totally unsurprising that you would throw up from that much booze.
posted by bedhead at 10:28 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Omg you drank vodka like it was wine and kind of crappy vodka at that and you aren't used to drinking hard liquor.

Yeah that'll do ya. I mean someone with a decent tolerance drinking 6 vodka sodas with good vodka probably wouldn't throw up, but they'd be drunk and hung over the next day.

Wow that takes me back to college. Not the good part of college, but still college.

Here's a pro tip: 1 shot of vodka or even half a shot (measure it don't just pour) in a pint glass add some ice and the rest juice or soda. When you have drank half of it refill with juice and soda. Only have another after you've refilled with a mixer only once and have drank it all. This way at the max you'll be drinking one drink an hour and probably not even that. You can do the same thing with wine and soda water. Not the classiest thing in the world but it allows you to drink steadily without overdoing it.
posted by whoaali at 10:34 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


Or, if you prefer the French Ministry of Health rather than the US NIAAA then look here.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:35 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I just want to repeat what gyusan said since I think it is really important.

Vomiting from drinking alcohol is a sign that you drank way too much. Dangerous amounts. That is your body basically trying to get the alcohol OUT because it is poisoning you. That should never be the norm. Yes, it is common and happens to most people, but it is a "Danger Will Robinson!" sign from your body and warrants a bit of thought the next day.


And you can die from alcohol poisoning. It happened to a kid during frosh week at a local university a year or so ago. So drink intelligently.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:41 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


Most people do not pour a full glass of vodka. It's too easy to get drunk, as you just learned. There are a number of conventional ways to drink vodka and other hard liquors safely. Here are a few you might want to try:

1. Take a shot. Pour vodka into a shot glass (1 - 1.5 oz) and drink it all at once, undiluted. Shots hit you harder than any other kind of drink, so if you don't usually drink much, you should never have two shots in a row, and you should limit the number of shots you drink over one evening to, say, four or less, as a general beginner's guideline.

2. Make a casual mixed drink. Pour vodka into your shot glass, and then transfer that into a highball or drinking glass. Fill the glass with your mixer of choice--maybe orange juice, or grapefruit juice, or cranberry, or some kind of soda. You should have at least 4 oz of mixer per shot of vodka; and since you don't usually drink much, you might want to use a higher ratio than that. Since mixed drinks are greater in volume and will take you more time to consume, you will not be at such a high risk for over-drinking. But you should still keep track of how many drinks you have had and try to keep it around one per hour.

3. Make a fancy cocktail. You can find a lot of cocktail recipes online, and they range from simple to extremely complex. They are usually lower in liquid volume than mixed drinks. Cocktails can be strong or weak, so you need to assess your drinking speed based on exactly what's in your glass. No more than one per hour is still a good guideline to start with.

You can think of one shot of vodka as similar to one glass of wine; don't drink more shots of vodka than you would drink glasses of wine. (For more equivalencies, look up "standard drink" as referred to above.)
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:42 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


I rarely drink. And when I do, I avoid vodka like the plague. Why? I can barely taste it, so any drink I have with it in it, I'm going to guzzle down like a soda or non alcohol orange juice.

I actually prefer really strong tasting hard alcohols, like a good Scotch. A shot of that in a snifter I can enjoy for an hour to two, and just get a mellow buzz effect from it. OTOH, the last time I had a shot or two of vodka was in some OJ, I drank it within 20 minutes, and learned that wow - people who are really drunk really do weave down the sidewalk when trying to walk.

Never. Again.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:43 AM on February 13


[comment removed - we don't call people trolls here.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:00 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


The percent of alcohol is arguably the most important thing for you to pay attention to. Beer is usually 3-5%. Wine is 8-15%. Hard liquor can be upwards of 50% but generally kick around the 30-50% mark. (These are very rough estimates) Higher the percent, the LESS volume you drink. Just look at the billion drink equivalents online to get a sense of things.

general rule of thumb:
1 BEER = 1 glass (which is 3/4 of cup) of WINE = 1 SHOT (which is 45ml, seriously not a lot) of hard liquor

Hard liquor is stuff like:
Rum
Vodka
Whiskey
Gin
Rye

Buy a shot glass. Actually use the shot glass to measure out amounts if you drink hard liquor. Don't let other people call you a wuss for using a shot glass.


Your friend sounds like a bit of a schmuck and it sounds like he is full of shit isn't well educated on liquor either. Anyone who knows anything about liquor would know that what you drank was a dangerous amount. If he knew but didn't say anything then he was potentially risking your life and maybe not someone you should be drinking with.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:05 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


You need to be aware of both alcohol by volume, and the total volume of the drink, the total time over which you're ingesting alcohol, the food currently in your stomach, and your own tolerance / body weight. Also, if you're on any medications, or donated blood recently. I.E. a 2 liter of something that's 10% alcohol will also knock you under the table). And if you haven't eaten in a few hours and weigh 140 lbs, you're looking to get knocked on your ass. Remember that a drink's "proof" is it's alcohol percentage by volume multiplied by 2. 80 Proof is 40% alcohol. I once saw a 220 lb hard drinker make himself puke by trying to drink 8oz in under a minute.

There are alcohols above 50% concentration; I don't think they're technically vodka. In my college days, some people would come back from trips to mexica with bottles of "Canita" , a 97% (?) alcohol. It was about as likely to be used to blowing fire balls, as for drinking of any sort. 151 proof (75%) rum isn't uncommon.

During my drinking to get drunk days, at ~200 lbs I'd use a 6oz flask with 40% vodka or rum, and that would get me nicely drunk, but not enough for me to hurl. I'd drink that over 1-3 hours. (edited to note that I only did this 1-2 nights a week, so my tolerance was higher than yours, but I definitely wasn't a hard drinker)
posted by nobeagle at 11:06 AM on February 13


If you are at all unsure, and if you are looking to continue to try drinking alcohol, consider sticking to bottled/pre-mixed drinks. Beer and coolers are conveniently pre-packaged in to individual "drinks" so you can better keep track of how many you are drinking. That also creates the ability to limit the amount of liquor you drink for the night. (ie. if you only bought 8 coolers than you only drink 8 drinks that night). There are a ton of flavours and varieties to choose from, you could no doubt find SOMETHING that you liked.

But avoid Revs. Man, that shit is the devil. Not only do they taste awful, they are a guaranteed hangover. Ugh. Hate those things.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:19 AM on February 13


The volume is 70 cl. I'd say that a friend and I drank half of it so 35 cl. I drank 3/4 of what he drank so 26 cl or so. Altogether I'd say I drank 8 oz of Vodka, and mixed it up with some orange juice afterwards.

I had a pizza for lunch and a Mcdonald's Royal Cheese menu for dinner.


I don't know which paragraph makes me want to throw up more. But if this is a standard 700ml bottle:

You and your friend drank 350ml.
Your friend drank 4 parts of that; you drank 3.

So you drank 150ml of Vodka...which is about 5oz...a little over 3 standard shots (in the US).

So you had the equivalent of 3 shots...and threw up.

I don't know what you mean by "normal". But throwing up after 3 shots of a liquor that is new to you doesn't sound unusual. Especially if you drank it fast, were already feeling not so good from dinner or you just don't do well with liquor.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:20 AM on February 13


@hal_c_on : Sorry I was wrong, I wanted to say I had 75% of what we both drank i.e. I drank more than he did.
posted by Attozes at 11:22 AM on February 13


Also, your vodka was probably between 80 and 90 proof, which means that 40-45%(divide proof by 2) of the 150ml you drank was straight ethanol.

So the total amount of nasties you had was 60ml-72ml of alcohol. You should remember that magic number. Its the number that made you throw up.

Also, you had 3 shots. You didn't have 10 or 15 or even 21. This sounds like a reasonable amount to drink in one night. I don't think it even qualifies as binge drinking
posted by hal_c_on at 11:26 AM on February 13


@hal_c_on : Sorry I was wrong, I wanted to say I had 75% of what we both drank i.e. I drank more than he did.

Oh shit. That changes stuff...so lets get back to the calculations:

You and your friend drank 350ml.
Your friend drank 4 parts of that; you drank 3.
Your friend drank 1 part, and you drank 3 (which would make your take 75%).

So you drank 150ml of Vodka...which is about 5oz...a little over 3 standard shots (in the US).

So you drank 262.5ml of vodka.

So you had the equivalent of 3 shots...and threw up.

So you had the equivalent of almost 6 shots and threw up.


Yeah. Thats going to happen. Use my calculation above to find out how much makes you throw up, and go below that next time. Also...drink over long periods rather than quick drinking.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:30 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


My first and last experience with lime vodka was probably about three shots' worth in fairly short order coupled with some extremely ill-advised fatty food. This was years ago, when I was young and in my prime, and I too threw up.

Did you have to drink this for some reason? (Work culture that prizes drinking, for example? Hospitality in a hard-drinking part of the world?)

If you didn't, I would suggest focusing on drinking things you definitely enjoy and drinking them more slowly. (Did you drink this relatively quickly? Three shots over an hour is very different from three shots over five hours.)

Also, your "tolerance" for any given drink is going to be situational, based on your general drinking habits, general health, body size and the other things you consumed that day. I hope you're not making "tolerance" some kind of proof of something, since that is utter bullshit.
posted by Frowner at 11:31 AM on February 13


@Frowner : The only reason was to try something new, I have never tasted Vodka before that.

I drank it quickly indeed, I waited at most 15-20 minutes between two shots.

What drinks do you recommend that would probably taste good? I loathe the taste of beer and I detested the taste of Vodka that I had to mix it up later with OJ.
posted by Attozes at 11:36 AM on February 13


Most people do not pour a full glass of vodka. It's too easy to get drunk, as you just learned. There are a number of conventional ways to drink vodka and other hard liquors safely. Here are a few you might want to try

Also note: count the alcohol in each drink, not how much liquids you ingested all-together. In other words, if you drank that much vodka and a gallon of orange juice, you still drank a LOT of vodka. Dilution does not decrease the amount of alcohol you consume, but it may work to temper some of the effects, by giving your body something to digest that isn't alcohol.

Still: keep track of how much you drink, even if it is delicious (I say this as someone who is was a sucker for sugary alcoholic drinks).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:38 AM on February 13


I wouldn't say that's a ton of vodka but I'm British ;) Drinking that much, that fast - yeah getting dizzy and puking is definitely within the scope of normal - expected even, if you're not used to drinking.
posted by missmagenta at 11:40 AM on February 13


What drinks do you recommend that would probably taste good?

Vodka, at least better quality vodka, has limited flavor, so it is often selected to mix drinks because you don't need such strong flavors to mask the alcohol.

Find something that includes a lot of tasty flavors, and if those sound good, while the amount of total alcohol is low, you'll probably like it.

Why do you want to drink alcohol if you think it tastes bad? I, like you, didn't enjoy the taste of beer, and found other alcohols worse. Sugary drinks made me happy and tipsy, and that was fun, but I was content being sober. Now I like the taste of some beers, and enjoy sampling beers and wines, plus I like the buzz.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:41 AM on February 13


Why do you want to drink alcohol if you think it tastes bad?

I generally think it tastes bad but I liked the taste of some wines. Drinking to unwind and have fun is the main reason though.
posted by Attozes at 11:46 AM on February 13


To put things in perspective for you given that your prior drinking experience is with wine, 26 cl of vodka is roughly as much as alcohol as you would get in a whole 75 cl botle of wine. Imagine what would happen if you pounded a bottle of wine in 20 minutes - probably something pretty similar. So now you know from experience why not to do that again when you're drinking hard liquor.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:52 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


I don't get why you can't just stick to wine if that is what you like. I had a friend who exclusively drank wine, even when we went out the bars. Everyone would be drinking beer and rum etc. and she had wine. When we had house parties she would brink a couple bottles of wine rather than a case of beer. She had lots of fun and the wine sure helped her unwind. ha ha
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:54 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Also, alcohol is a diuretic, so you should definitely have water with it regardless. Dehydration is an issue and a major contributing factor to hangovers.

What drinks do you recommend that would probably taste good? I loathe the taste of beer and I detested the taste of Vodka that I had to mix it up later with OJ.

Try other liquors instead. Vodka tastes like alcohol and water. Cheap vodka tastes like alcohol and water and industrial crud. You might find you like rum or tequila or bourbon or something. (Important: These are all the same strength as vodka.) Try smelling them first, and see what, if anything, is attractive. It's hard to say without knowing your tastes in non-alcoholic drinks.

If you don't like the taste of any hard liquor, don't drink any of it. If you like "some wines", you likely have a wine store nearby with someone who can point you in the direction of other wines you'd like.
posted by mrgoat at 11:55 AM on February 13


What drinks do you recommend that would probably taste good? I loathe the taste of beer and I detested the taste of Vodka that I had to mix it up later with OJ.

It's a little girly, but I really like some wine coolers. Other malt liquors (Mikes Hard Lemonade, etc.) are also OK. You get the benefits of a beer - low(ish) ABV and discrete, countable, amounts. (also, if you drink in bars, they are harder to tamper with - though still not tamperproof so always watch the service).

Personally, I would advise you to try a few different beers - saying you dislike Mt. Dew doesn't mean you won't like Coke - and there are a wide variety of beers available.

For me - I used to drink a lot of vodka and mixed drinks. It's far easier for me to moderate my drinking now that I drink beer almost exclusively. The trouble with mixed drinks is that as you get drunker, you mix less well, and .... pretty soon you wake up in Vegas with a stolen car.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:03 PM on February 13


What drinks do you recommend that would probably taste good? I loathe the taste of beer and I detested the taste of Vodka that I had to mix it up later with OJ.

My non-vodka, non-wine go-to is an amaretto sour. But I mean, if you don't like hard liquor, you might as well just stick with wine. I find it's easier to moderate my consumption with wine than with anything else, because I drink it slowly and have a good sense of how much alcohol is in one serving.
posted by yasaman at 12:08 PM on February 13


Don't feel too sheepish about this. You definitely drank too much. The first time I ever drank was at a party when I was 18. Someone gave me a handle of vodka and I poured a pint glass full of it and drank it. I passed out for 4 hours and woke up feeling great. It definitely made me wonder why anyone would ever drink, since it seemed not fun at all.

This is kind of why I think parents ought to teach their kids more about drinking responsibly.
posted by MonsieurBon at 12:10 PM on February 13


I drank it quickly indeed, I waited at most 15-20 minutes between two shots.

Oh wow, that sounds like a hilariously bad idea! But at least we know why you were sick.

I personally don't drink much, and very seldom drink hard liquor - I don't like most of it, it mostly tastes too sweet to me.

I like dry red wines in general, especially from Spain. (Dry being less sweet.)

If I ever need to drink a drink with hard liquor, I drink a rum and coke. I've had some Irish coffee kinds of drinks that are okay too. I've tried higher-end hard liquor and don't like that much either, so it's not a quality/classiness issue.

Despite their relative sweetness, I do like cider (pear cider in particular) and kristallweizen-style german beers. And champagne. And mimosas. The only times I really drink anymore are mimosas on New Year's and at a particular annual party, plus a glass of wine here and there.

Watch out for hard lemonade - it's easy to drink too much of if you are a person who doesn't like booze.

A lot of people like cider even if they're really not into beer.

Personally, I would try drinking more wine - even if you don't have a fancy liquor store around, you should still be able to get a variety. If you have friends who drink a lot, don't be afraid to break out the box wine - it's not exactly a gourmet experience, but any cheap red that isn't too sweet is going to be at least drinkable, and honestly I have some very happy memories of various gatherings with everyone drinking box wine out of mugs because we had more people than proper glasses.
posted by Frowner at 12:11 PM on February 13


Oh you might also like Caipirinha, which is made with rum. It's a great drink for parties since it's best to make a big pitcher. This is something that a friend used to make for our New Year's Eve party. Since I don't drink much, I'd always just have a half glass, but it was tasty.

Champagne punch is good for parties, too. You don't need fancy champagne.
posted by Frowner at 12:14 PM on February 13


I'm not sure based on your updates whether you drank more or your friend did, and I'm assuming this was last night, so I'll ask anyway: have you checked on your friend today?
posted by CathyG at 12:14 PM on February 13


Attozes @aubilenon : I guess I wasn't clear. What I meant was that I drank 3/4 of what we both drank, so 26 ounces or so.

You drank 3/4 of 26 ounces of Vodka?
posted by mlis at 12:37 PM on February 13


Here is my advice for non-drinkers looking to explore alcohol. I hope it will be helpful for you both in understanding what you may and may not like, as well as pacing yourself so that you don't get sick.
posted by klangklangston at 1:10 PM on February 13


When excessive amounts of hard liquor STOP making you throw up is what to watch out for
posted by thelonius at 1:14 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Look, most people have been there. What you should learn from this experience is that spirits are to be respected. Yes, all alcohol is to be respected, drunk in moderation of course, but spirits can do this to you and worse in a very short amount of time indeed. I've seen experienced drinkers go from sober to drunk very quickly in a way that would take so much longer with wine or beer, so it's not just you. The difference between say, wine and spirits is volume -you'd probably have to drink at a pretty rapid pace to get the equivalent amount of alcohol in your system with wine than with spirits, so you're much more likely to be aware of your drinking.

Next time you drink, be aware of what you're drinking and moderate your drinking behaviour accordingly. If you have a shot and you're not feeling anything, don't make the mistake of having another, give it twenty minutes or so and see how you feel then. And drink water in the meantime.
posted by ob at 1:38 PM on February 13


Is the "friend" that you were with someone who has experience drinking? If so, he should have stopped you and made sure you only did 2-3 shots over the course of the night.

He was not taking care of you or being a good friend, at all.


It sounds like he is either a) also inexperienced, b) an alcoholic and a bad influence, c) potentially trying to get you very drunk and take advantage of you.

Don't assume c) of course! but please be careful.
posted by amaire at 3:16 PM on February 13


I don't get why you can't just stick to wine if that is what you like.

Same reason most people don't just stick to eating the first food they enjoyed, and instead try millions of different kinds of food, even though it means eat something disgusting a couple of times.

For drink recommendations: I believe malt liquor and 'Mikes hard lemonade' are more american drinks, I don't remember seeing them in France. However it should be possible to find pre-mixed spirits, look for brands like 'Bacardi Breezer' and 'Smirnoff Ice' - these are various liquors with mixers (coke, fruit juice) which tend to be very sweet. They are easy to drink (like a soda) so you should pay attention to how many you have, but since they are already mixed for you you can know how much you had just by counting bottles.

To experiment with a couple different kinds of drinks, you really should go to a bar. It will be much cheaper to buy one shot of four different drinks than to buy four bottles and be stuck with them if you don't like them, and the bartender can give you a lot of advice on what kind of things you might like, suggest things to try, and also tell you if you are drinking a lot. Go during a quiet time (not Friday or Saturday night) and tell them you're not a drinker and you're trying to taste things. (Just like any other people, some bartenders are friendlier than others - if the one you find isn't friendly, go somewhere else).
posted by the agents of KAOS at 3:39 PM on February 13


You drank 260ml of vodka. A "drink" of vodka is 45ml, so you had six drinks. The average human body is capable of processing (i.e. rendering inert) about one drink per hour. You say you drank the vodka in the space of about 20 minutes, which means that your body processed basically none of it; you got it all at once. You had a reasonable amount of food that day, and it was pretty heavy in protein and fat which is good in terms of helping buffer the alcohol, but if you ate more than half an hour or so before you started drinking then your pyloric sphincter (the valve between your stomach and your small intestine) was already open so the vodka went straight into your blood as fast as possible.

If you don't have a high alcohol tolerance (i.e. you don't drink multiple drinks a day on average) that's definitely enough to mess you up. If you'd spaced it out you probably could've gotten away with it and just been very drunk, but taking in six drinks basically instantaneously would definitely be enough to make you feel quite unpleasant. Since the alcohol hit your system so quickly, your body probably thought that it had been poisoned and reacted by making you puke. (You can also get this way by drinking more over a longer period of time, but again if you'd spaced your six drinks out over say three or four hours you probably would've been OK.)

The rule of thumb for drinking is that 350ml of beer = 150ml of wine = 45ml of hard liquor. Mixers are unimportant; if you have a 350ml cocktail with 45ml of vodka in it it's the 45ml of vodka that counts. Each of those volumes can be considered one drink of that type of alcoholic beverage. For most beers, wines, and liquors the amount of actual alcohol present is roughly equivalent at those volumes (although there is quite a bit of variation) so they will have roughly the same effect on you.

Also, if you don't want to get more and more drunk over the course of your drinking session you should limit yourself to one drink per hour. It's quite hard to do this when drinking straight liquor; you can sip a beer, glass of wine, or cocktail for quite some time but a shot of liquor goes fast. Doing shots (pouring yourself a 45ml shot glass of liquor and drinking it all at once) will generally get you drunk very quickly. If you don't want to get drunk very quickly, you should avoid doing shots! (What you did the other night was the equivalent of doing six shots in a row, something I have never done because all it will do is get you very drunk right away without the pleasure of enjoying a nice-tasting beverage.) I drink quite a bit and I almost never do shots for this reason; taking that much alcohol all at once makes it very hard to control how drunk you are, because there is a perceptible delay between when you take the shot and when it has its effect, and usually when people do shots they are also drinking beer or cocktails at the same time so it's basically impossible to avoid getting drunker and drunker.

The best thing to do, especially when you're relatively inexperienced at drinking, is to avoid drinking straight liquor, drink slowly (keep in mind that if you wait until you are as drunk as you can comfortably be before stopping you are still going to get drunker because there's going to be some alcohol in your stomach and intestines that hasn't been absorbed into your blood yet) and make sure that you eat some food and drink some non-alcoholic drinks while you're doing it. Many people will alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; they might switch back and forth between beer and water, or cocktails and soda. This helps to slow down the intake of alcohol and provide the body with some extra fluid which helps in processing the alcohol and avoiding a hangover later.

If you want to make vodka cocktails, there are lots of them out there. Vodka in most cultures is rarely taken straight unless it's a shot, but it is an excellent mixing alcohol because it has very little flavor. (Though personally I think the lack of flavor makes vodka a bit of a pointless drink.) It generally goes well in lighter, sweeter drinks like fruit juice, lemonade (both French and American-style lemonade work well), and clear sodas. Orange juice is a classic, but grapefruit juice and cranberry juice are also very popular choices. So are lemon-lime sodas like Sprite and 7-Up. There are also many many liqueur-based cocktails where vodka is added primarily to increase the alcohol content of what would otherwise be a fairly weak drink.
posted by Scientist at 4:07 PM on February 13


Looking at your profile, Attozes, you're 19 or 20 years old. I just wanted to let you know that for an American of that age, drinking too much vodka and puking is a rite of passage! We've *all* been there, maybe with a few exceptions.

If you discussed your adventures last night with American college students instead of AskMe (which skews older), you'd get a simple, "Ha, ha! You got wasted, now you know!" Doesn't mean you should do it every weekend--or even again--but puking the first time you have hard alcohol with a friend is nothing to be ashamed of.
posted by whitewall at 4:23 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


You're in France, so you probably know how you feel after drinking wine. Well, you drank the equivalent of more than an entire bottle (750 ml) of wine in a very short period of time. No wonder you felt ill and emptied your stomach.

As others have said, a "shot" is a standard measure, usually 1.5 oz. or about 45 ml. You had far more than 2 shots.
posted by brianogilvie at 7:22 PM on February 13


I love liquor, and I have only ever tried it straight just experimentally in a sip here and there to see what things taste like. Cocktails are a world away from the experience of drinking straight liquor. Get a shot glass, measure how much is going into each drink, mix with things that are delicious. (I do vodka+cranberry regularly, plus gin+tonic.) Vodka's benefit is that as long as you're mixing it with something else, you don't taste a lot of the vodka. Gin has a taste of its own and so it blends with mixers differently. And then you get into rum and tequila and... well, there's a lot of options. I like precisely zero of them straight, but I have half a shelf in my pantry that's just liquor bottles. Many of them are more than six months old, mind, but I keep a lot of variety on hand because I'm not sure what I'll be in the mood for.

It's more expensive than drinking cheap beer or wine if you're looking to get drunk, but if you're looking to get a little tipsy and feel kind of cultured while you're doing it, cocktails are awesome. But definitely err on the side of going light on the alcohol in each drink until you're absolutely sure that you want more. It's also cheaper that way.
posted by Sequence at 9:17 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


You've gotten a billion comments here, but I do want to say that having 5-6 drinks in one evening (using the standard definition of 1.5 oz or 4.5 cl of hard liquor per drink) is not such a tremendously horribly obscene amount of drinking, unlike what a lot of people are telling you here.

On occasion I will visit a favorite bar I enjoy that uses world-class rums in its cocktails. Every few months when I visit, over the course of a few hours I'll have the equivalent of 5-6 drinks (8 oz of rum, or about 24 cl). It's enough that I clearly reach my limit, but I'm not overly impaired and can enjoy myself with friends, catch a cab home, and feel ok the next day. Plenty of people can enjoy several beverages in a relaxed way like that over the course of a long evening on occasion.

That said, it IS an obscene amount how you did it. It's obscene if you don't space it out at the rate of at least 1-2 drinks per hour, and if you're drinking cheap, poorly made booze. It's also an obscene amount if you drink that every night. Every health organization will tell you that you should average no more than 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day. 5-6 per night, every night could cause very serious health issues.

There is one final important lesson you need to learn. Don't drink to get drunk. That's what you did... you chugged crappy, cheap vodka to get lit up. Most young kids do it and I was no exception (me and Jim Beam were good pals for a while in university, and me and Guinness were even better pals for a year after that). But learn to drink for the company and the flavor. A small amount of good, well-made booze is always better than a large amount of cheap, poorly-made booze. And people who hold their booze and reach the point of contentment before they reach their capacity are adults. People who can't are children.
posted by Old Man McKay at 12:18 AM on February 14


Also, you posted a previous question about your thinness. Your food consumption is both too small and full of "empty" calories, and that will also lead to you to get drunk faster and be more messed up. Eat real food with real protein/carbs/CALORIES and not pizza and McDonald's fake food that's essentially salt and fat.

And then drink slowly with or after a reasonable meal.
posted by miss tea at 3:13 AM on February 14


Yes it is! That's a lot for a person who hasn't had it before.

For social drinking, I'd recommend getting a bunch of different cheap carbonated drinks (lemonade, limeade, plain soda, etc.) and a bunch of cheap cordials (are you in France? Oh, the variety!) and trying them in combination. Get a big glass, put a very small amount of vodka at the bottom, and then try different mixes and ratios of cordial and soda. The nicest combination will probably be something weird!

You want about 95% mixer to get a slight buzz from the drink without getting too drunk. You're drinking to have a good time, so keep the mix weak so it won't sneak up on you with the vomiting and the falling over. Plus, you will be getting plenty of fluids to head off a hangover.
posted by danteGideon at 7:08 AM on February 14


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