Man is a naturally inquisitive creature, an explorer of the fringes of possibility if you will, and so it makes sense that when it comes to getting drunk, man has a habit of developing increasingly more potent ways to make that happen. After all, no matter what anyone says about various national pastimes, the one true worldwide pastime isn’t baseball or soccer, but getting completely and totally bombed. But, as it was with the atomic bomb, man’s insatiable quest for the biggest and the baddest has created a plethora of drinks of mass destruction, drinks which will destroy your liver and cause all your unborn babies to be born mutants. Yes, in all his curiosity and lack of wisdom, man has created these, eight of the most dangerous drinks in the world.
8. Tokyo Iced Tea
The Long Island Iced Tea is popular amongst sorority girls who want to get bombed without having to actually go through all the manly wincing and dry-heaving that comes with forcing shots down your throat. That’s because it’s got a shitload of liquor mixed with cola, sour mix or actual iced tea, depending on how you make it. The Tokyo Iced Tea, though, says to hell with your pansy non-alcoholic mixes and substitutes the delightful Midori, which due to its fruity taste still lets the drink go down smooth, only with the added complication of alcohol poisoning. Add it all together, and one Tokyo Iced Tea can be worth 8 or 9 shots of liquor – liquor that you can barely even taste. Just drink it in the back of an ambulance. It will be easier that way.
7. Four Loko
As far as pure alcohol content goes, Four Loko isn’t anything all that special – only 8-12% – but Four Loko’s insidious and twisted genius lies in its caffeine – about the equivalent of five cups of coffee. That means that you can keep on drinking without feeling the full effects of the alcohol, which is always a dangerous proposition, and you end up pouring so much caffeine into your system that the hamster powering your heart is soon found plastered against the wall of his little wheel cage like he’s riding the Gravitron at the carnival. It’s basically the liquid equivalent of the infamous speedball (heroin and cocaine all rolled together in one delicious package) and it’s pretty much a race to see whether you end up in the emergency room due to alcohol poisoning or a heart attack. Good times!
6. The Four Horsemen
You may be familiar with the Three Wise Men, which combines a shot of Johnnie Walker, a shot of Jim Beam and a shot of Jack Daniel’s into one drunkard’s paradise of a drink. But the Three Wise Men abandon their gifts for the baby Jesus and turn to apocalyptic terror when their friend Jose Cuervo decides to stop by and join the fun. Then the Four Horsemen ride all over your liver, bringing pestilence and death and blackouts. This is what happens when you let three nice, sweet, impressionable boys from Tennessee hang out with a bandito.
5. Liquid Cocaine
Look, it’s called “liquid cocaine” so right away you know it’s not fucking around. You start with some Bacardi 151 – which means you’re already in trouble – and then add some Goldschlager before mixing that together with your good friend Jagermeister. Just reading that should be enough to make you stumble headfirst through a plate glass window. Actually drinking it will cause the plate glass window to actually gain sentience and then fall through you.
The Headhunter just overwhelms you with sheer numbers. It’s not particularly fancy, it’s just brutally effective. At its heart, the Headhunter contains about four ounces of spiced rum, which is enough for Captain Morgan to pirate your sobriety, but then the good Captain completely loses control of the action when his crew mutinies to the tune of three more ounces of Bacardi 151. By this point, your sobriety ship is completely in flames and there are people puking off of the decks. And then just for the hell of it, four more ounces of beer come along just to hang out and dance in the ashes.
Anytime there’s a chance that what you’re drinking will cause you to go blind, it’s gonna end up on this list. Moonshine is dangerous because nobody but the redneck who distilled it in his barn or in his bathtub knows what really went into it. You could be drinking turpentine mixed with drain cleaner. You just don’t know. Sure, Farmer Fred might swear to you that this will get you fucked up, but by that he probably means that you’ll end up flat on your back in a hospital bed or on a slab in the morgue, especially since his wife just came storming out of the house screaming at him about where all her nail-polish remover and Clorox went.
2. New Orleans Hand Grenade
The New Orleans Hand Grenade doesn’t seem that different from dozens of other strong cocktails – it has shots of vodka, gin, rum and melon liqueur, which will get you drunk, but isn’t particularly dangerous. But what sets the New Orleans Hand Grenade apart is that its final ingredient is listed simply as “grain alcohol.” Bad things start happening when you start dealing with grain alcohol. At that point, you’re pretty much drinking pure ethanol. Just check out the many uses of ethanol if you want to understand why this is so ridiculous. Among them: as an antiseptic, a solvent, as a fuel additive (!) and finally, as rocket fuel (!!!). Uh, good luck.
Speaking of grain alcohol and ethanol, we bring you the scourge known as Everclear, a 190 proof (95% alcohol) monstrosity that will send your dumbass to the emergency room – if you make it there at all. Incredibly, while Everclear can be found in small doses in drinks like the aforementioned New Orleans Hand Grenade, brave and dumb Darwin Award candidates will actually do straight shots of Everclear to prove their manhood or some such nonsense. Some real talk: I had a friend who spilled a bottle of Everclear on his kitchen floor at a party – a party with people smoking. Yeah, you can see where this is headed, right? Naturally, the floor went up in flames. That’s how dangerous Everclear is – it won’t just destroy your body, it will burn your home to the ground. There’s a reason it’s illegal in 14 states.
Firebreather image: Jazz Guy, Flickr
Four Loko image: Rasmus Knutsson, Flickr
Headhunter image: tbiley, Flickr
Everclear image: Getsutora, Wikimedia Commons
(Previously published on September 10, 2013.)