Pre-drinking, pre-gaming, pre-loading—whatever you want to call it, we all do it. A few warm bus tinnies on the way into town. Vinegary Merlot poured into mugs to get you in the mood for a "big night out." A hastily mixed bottle of rum and Coke swigged en-route to a house party.
And now, scientists have spent valuable time and money to answer the burning question: which country loves pre-drinking the most?
Would it be the beer-swilling Germans? The French with their vin rouge? Buckfast-happy Scots?
Out of the 25 countries and 65,126 people studied using data from the Global Drugs Survey, researchers from universities around the world have crowned Ireland top of the table for drinking before a night out. The results, which were published last week in the Drug and Alcohol Review journal, found that 85.4 percent of the 1,883 Irish survey respondents said they drank alcohol in a private setting before heading out.
A close second was Norway, with 80 percent admitting to pre-gaming. New Zealand and Denmark clocked in at 78.7 percent and 76.2 percent respectively, and the UK clinched fifth place with three-quarters of those surveyed saying they pre-drank. At the other end of the boozy spectrum, the survey found that Greece had the lowest amount of pre-drinkers—just 17.7 percent said they hit the bottle before heading out. The researchers were hoping to determine what increases the likelihood of drinking at home. They concluded that while pre-drinking was a worldwide phenomenon (no kidding), the number of current and heavy drinkers in a country, as well as the price of alcohol determined its percentage of pre-drinkers. The study said: "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."
So, when the Blossom Hill is on offer, you're basically powerless to not drink.