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Article: 5 Greatest Drunks in History: A Cautionary Tale


5 Greatest Drunks in History: A Cautionary Tale

5 Greatest Drunks in History: A Cautionary Tale

Think you can handle your booze? Think again. The five drunkards listed below could out-drink, outperform and out-produce you any day of the week. Alcohol consumption is't their hobby or social activity, it's an everyday fix. So without further ado, here there are the top 5 greatest drunks of all time, from least to greatest:

#5. Frank Sinatra

Best line: “I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.” The Chairman of the Board remains one of America’s iconic crooners… and boozers. He would routinely down multiple whiskey glasses of the Jack and/or polish off an entire bottle of Jack Daniels before going bed, then wake up to do it all over again. And in between, he made gold records. His biographers called Sinatra a true “functioning alcoholic”. But no one… no one… was a more functional alcoholic than…

#4. Winston Churchill

Best line: “Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” Britain’s leader weathered the storm of World War II with a cigar in one hand and snifter glass in the other. He would often wake early, and work for a few hours from bed (usually with a whiskey soda in hand). Then at 1PM he’d join his family for a three course lunch, served with Champagne, ports and brandy. After another whiskey soda he’d take a nap, then prepare for a full dinner (and several drinks). This routine rarely changed, and helped him steer Britain through the worst of World War II. This makes him the most productive drunkard in history.

Related: Whiskey Decanters

#3. Ernest Hemingway

Best line: “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” The literary legend is a testament to drinking. The man ate drunk, loved drunk, hunted drunk, and even wrote drunk. The secret to his literary success? In Hemingway’s own words: “Write drunk. Edit sober.”

Related: Cocktail Glasses

#2. The Czech Republic

According to the WHO, the Czech Republic drinks more per capita than any country in the world. And that’s just the start. They also rank second in overall per capita beer consumption (behind the small island of Palau) and are known to drink over 8.5 litres of beer each year. Keep in mind that number includes 97 year old women, people on life support and abstainers. Impressive, huh? Now surely no one man who can rise above a nation with such spirit? As a matter of fact, there is…

#1. Andre the Giant

No one in recorded history could drink as much as Andre. The pro wrestler – who stood 7'5" and weighed over 500 pounds – routinely shocked friends and spectators with his insane tolerance for alcohol.

Don’t believe us? Consider the following:

  • Andre the Giant consumed, on average, 7,000 calories of alcohol a day.
  • He would routinely drink a 12 pack of beer before a wrestling match.
  • On road trips to wrestling matches, Andre would average a case of beer every 90 minutes. In one case, Andre consumed sixteen bottles of plum wine before wrestling three matches shortly thereafter. The wine showed no discernable effect whatsoever.
  • Andre rarely drank enough to pass out. One of the few times he did was after consuming 119 beers in six hours. That’s roughly one beer every three minutes… nonstop… for six hours straight. Incredible.
  • When asked how much it took him to get drunk, Andre replied “It usually takes two liters of vodka just to feel warm inside.” For the record, that’s over 50% more alcohol than what killed John Bonham (which he drank over a 24 hours period).

I shudder to think about the day that Andre the Giant drinking records get broken. If they ever do, it's going to be a truly freakish individual that has a talent for alcohol consumption.

Related: Best Beer Glasses

Honorable mention: Kobayashi

OK, so he’s not a drinker… but… the man has the potential to be one of the greats. After all, this eating champion has held Guinness World Records for eating hot dogs, meatballs, hamburgers, and pasta…just imagine if he put his skills to the bottle?

While we can only hope for now, watch him blow through a gallon of milk in just 18 seconds.

Want to know more about drinking? Checkout this CNN report on the world's 10 top drinking nations.

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