Britain is known for its prowess in a couple of areas. Queuing for public transport, artery-clogging breakfasts, football hooliganism, National Trust properties (and the subsequent queuing required for entry), discussion of practically nonexistent meteorological activity, complaining about the length of aforementioned queues while quietly enjoying the excuse to tut at Spanish tourists and their lackadaisical approach to orderly line formation.
We're also good at getting on the sauce, as you'd expect for a country that sees little wrong with drinking wine bought for a quid and until the early 1970s, was totally cool with its navy being pissed on the job.
While official binge drinking stats and the legions of crying girls that populate suburban town centres on a Friday night are a good indicator that the country may have higher-than-average alcohol intake, a new survey has found further evidence to confirm Britain's booze hound status on an international level.
Surveying 6,500 people across the UK, Germany, Australia, America, and China, media agency for the drinks industry Maxus found that Britons were more likely to binge drink, go to the pub, and drink at home than their international counterparts.
So, pretty much any kind of drinking then?
Sixty-six percent of Brits were found to drink at least twice a week, compared to 63 percent of Chinese people surveyed and 62 percent of Australians. The rate for Americans was even lower, with 55 percent saying that they drank this often and—surprisingly for a country with such a supply of beer maidens and oversized tankards—Germany came in at 57 percent.
Britons were also found to be more likely to binge drink compared to other countries. Fifteen percent said they had at least one "high energy" night of drinking per week, which sounds worryingly like some sort of Monster-Red-Bull-three-shots-of-rum-fueled bender (and for some of those binge drinkers, it probably is.)
Unsurprisingly for a guy working in the drinks industry, author of the Maxus report Nick Vale seems pretty chill about the survey's results, saying: "From the Malmsey wine of the 14th century to the craft gin producers of today, we Brits have a long and distinguished heritage of creating, sourcing, and enjoying the best drink in the world. Why? Because we British are a hugely sociable nation, we love to chat, and booze facilitates that. The pub gives us somewhere to meet and alcohol helps lubricate our conversation."
While Vale may be all for that third beer that lets you bond with the randomers you met in the toilet queue, for the NHS, currently spending £21 billion in England per year on alcohol-related costs, the survey's results are probably not so welcome.
It may not all be bad news, though. As The Times reports, due to the small amount of countries surveyed, it's likely that another country with higher rates of alcohol-related death, such as Russia, tops the list.
Yes, but can those Russians sink five double G&Ts and still be coherent enough to order a fried chicken bargain box on the way home?