Sunday 1 April 2012

Tight Fist Tip #48: Drinking at Home? Take Shots.

These Girls Are Smarter Than They Look.

In my last post, we explored different beer types and came to one clear conclusion: never drink light beer. But with so many drunkefying options available, is beer really your best choice? When you head out on the town, what's your call? Beer, wine, or hard alcohol? We will again rely on our go-to metric: ounces of alcohol per dollar.

This comparison is less straightforward, as prices vary widely by bar and by type of booze. In this post, we concentrate on supermarket prices, taken from Bevmo. As any good Tight Fister knows, "premium" wine and spirits are nothing more than branding trickery, so we go with low-priced options. (Prices are $2.99 for a bottle of wine, and $15 for a 1.75L handle of Gordon's Vodka.) Here's the breakdown, using USA "standard drink" volumes for easy comparison:

Budweiser, 12oz: $1.10. Avb 5% = .6 oz alcohol; 145 Calories
Ounces of Alcohol/Dollar = .55; Calories/Oz alcohol = 241.67

Vodka, 1.5 oz: $.38. Avb 40% = .6 oz alcohol; 109.5 Calories
Oz Alcohol/Dollar = 1.57; Calories/Oz alcohol = 182.5

Wine, 5oz: $.59. Abv 12% =.6 oz alcohol; 127 Calories
Ounces of Alcohol/Dollar = 1.02; Calories/Oz alcohol = 211.67

The vodka comes out as the winner by a long shot, providing almost 3 times as much alcohol per dollar as a Bud! The astute among you may argue that the purchase of spirits allows more of a scale factor, but we could do the same analysis of if you bought an entire keg of Bud, and it still gets smoked:

Budweiser, 12oz: $.71. Avb 5% = .6 oz alcohol; 145 Calories
Ounces of Alcohol/Dollar = .85; Calories/Oz alcohol = 241.67

And just to be clear, I didn't even pick the super-cheap hangover-inducing homeless person vodka. (Which of course, I do support in theory.) Gordon's is standard well booze.

Moral of the story: get wasted on hard liquor at home. And as an added bonus, it's also the most calorie-efficient option. Of course, if you want to get less drunk and more fat you can waste your money by mixing your booze with sugar water, but even with that you're going to be more efficient than wine or beer.

Also, hard liquor is easy to put in a flask to make your experience at the bar (or ballgame) even more Tight Fist friendly. But what if you've screwed up and end up at a bar without your trusty flask, and are, God forbid, sober? Rest assured Tight Fisters, we will have the bar analysis in the next post. Preview: hard liquor is no longer the winner. Exciting!