Functioning Alcoholism Can Be Rewarding: 5 Greatest Accomplishments in the History of Drinking

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If you are looking for a reason to raise your glass in sheer, unadulterated admiration to someone who raised their glass(es) in some damn fine ways, you have come to the right place. We have scoured the annals of history to find five examples of such impressive, ridiculous drinking prowess that one can’t help but up their next shot to a double and slam it back twice as fast.
Long and storied indeed is the history of drinking, and far too often tales from the arena of imbibing are ones of woe and lamentation. To that, we say “hell no” and we bring you 5 drinking anecdotes that will make anyone shout out “Prost!”

5 Hunter S. Thompson’s Entire Life

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Yes, that is our #5 greatest accomplishment in the history of drinking. Why? Let the man speak: “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” And he meant it. The fact that that man could write so many books, articles, critiques etc., let alone even stand up and get his shoes tied, is simply amazing and goddamn impressive. He is one of those transcendent figures who over indulges so much that it actually goes past problematic behavior and swings right back into an abstract sense of normalcy, albeit one contained entirely in his addled husk. A brilliant writer and able to stand up most of the time given the quantities he sucked back? An accomplishment indeed.

4 The Pilgrims Make Landfall Because They Needed BEER

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Another legend for number 4… The Pilgrims Make Landfall Because They Needed BEER – Yes, perhaps this tale is dubious, but let’s enjoy the moment. Legend has it that in 1620, the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock were actually hoping to sail much farther south, but made landfall early because they needed to do something important… they needed to make more beer! Yes, beer at the time was less booze-filled and more of a safe alternative to water, but the fact stands that one of the first colonies in America was founded on the need for brew.

3 Mr. Vidiz – The World’s Largest Whiskey Collection

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We’re going with another “world’s largest” for number 3… The World’s Largest Whiskey Collection – In 2008, Brasilian whiskey lover and collector Claive Vidiz transferred his massive collection of rare whiskey (or “whisky,” when referring to Scotches) to Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience museum. The collection numbered 3,384 individual bottles, many priced at over a thousand dollars in value. The actual value of the collection is unknown, but quick estimates point to at least 7 figures. Mr. Vidiz spent 35 years assembling his collection which became, in a word, awesome.

2 Admiral Edward Russell – The Largest Cocktail Ever Made

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Flash forward to the end of the same century for #2, The Largest Cocktail Ever Made – Apparently people in the 17th Century seriously knew how to drink. We should all be ashamed, really. Case in point? A “punch bowl” so large people rode around in boats atop the cocktail within it! The year was 1694 when Admiral Edward Russell, a wealthy aristocrat who apparently really wanted to throw a good party, had “cocktail” made that ended up at over 4,000 liters in volume, most of that from alcoholic beverages, i.e. not a watered down affair made just show – you could get hammered off this massive concoction, and a lot of people did. Bravo, Admiral.

1 Mayor Nusch’s Legendary Wine Guzzle

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In 1613, the German Protestant town of Rothenburg was under threat of sack and pillage by a Catholic army. Legend has it that this razing of the city was staved off largely by the drinking prowess of the town’s mayor, Herr Nusch. The mayor apparently entered into a bet wherein if he could quaff down over 3.5 liters of wine in a single pull, the town would be spared. Apparently the Catholic invaders thought the accomplishment so impossible they readily agreed to the deal. And then they stood back and watched as Mayor Nusch stepped up to the plate, as it were, and slammed back every last drop of that damn wine, saving his town. It may be a mere legend, but it’s an awesome enough legend to grab the top of our list any day. Cheers, Mr. Nusch. You are a hero indeed.

Oh, we know there are many more wonderful examples of drinking achievements out there, friends, and don’t you think they’re not important to us! We just wanted to prime the pump with some varied examples, a few of which we know are true, some of which we certainly hope are, because they’re just such fine goddamn accomplishments! Prost!

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