Beer on Whiskey Rather Risky; Whiskey on Beer, Never Fear

Different people react to alcohol in different ways. The only hard-and-fast rule is that drinking gets you drunk.

The “beer on whiskey” ditty would put the hearty Boilermaker out of business, just as the adage “never mix, never worry” would doom Long Island iced tea. There are also myths about the drinking order of wine and liquor (“grain and grape” versus “grape and grain”), scotch not affecting some people, carbonation in beer and champagne forcing alcohol into your bloodstream faster, and brandy giving the sloppiest hangover.

REALITY CHECK

Saltpeter as a Sexual Suppressant

“Don’;t eat the eggs,” one soldier whispers to another over breakfast in the mess hall. “They spike them with saltpeter.”

Saltpeter (potassium nitrate, KNO3) is legendary as a sexual suppressant. It is a tasteless substance that is secretly mixed with food served to soldiers, submarine crews, Boy Scouts, college athletes, and any group of males who “they” want to keep from getting too randy before a big event (war, jamboree, homecoming, etc.). As with Spanish fly, there is no such thing. Saltpeter has some medical use as a diuretic to increase the flow of fluid from the body. Unfortunately, the fluid happens to be urine.

P.S. “They” also don’;t put Ex-Lax in chocolate pudding.

Several years ago, liquor manufacturers caught flack for introducing a line of milkshake-like cocktail products that seemed geared toward introducing young people to alcohol. Indeed, cocktails such as the Sombrero, Grasshopper, and White Russian seem to have been designed for people who hate to drink but want to get drunk.

Sugar, preservatives, additives, or impurities may cause differences between one kind of inebriation and another, and contribute to the lore of drinking. As with the effects of any alteration of body chemistry, the determining factor is the person, not the poison.

Read More Old Wives’ Tales, or Bad Advice from Well Meaning Relatives
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