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An incredibly potent drink made by the monks of Buckfast Abbey. Said lads must have a wicked sense of humour to produce a drink such as this and have the cheek to call it a Tonic.

The drink itself is billed on the bottle as being "A blend of the finest French wines." In reality it's a mix of wine with some serious amounts of chemicals including enough caffeine to make Jolt Cola look like a tranquilizer and some bits and pieces of others that I'm quite convinced are the constituent parts of the monks' toenails.

It's consumed for the most part in Scotland and Northern Ireland, particularly in Glasgow and Armagh respectively. I've often thought that the reason it doesn't travel around the globe is probably related to some health and safety guidelines that other countries have wisely instituted.

As to the drinking of it, the overall effect is one of being so blind drunk as to make you fall over in a catatonic state yet being so high on the chemicals that you are completely unable to sleep. This is where it gets dangerous. It's very easy at this point to decide to carry on drinking the stuff. In fact, it's very difficult to stop. The real danger though is that everything that seems like a good idea at the time when you're this drunk on any other alcohol, but is normally unachievable because you can't move, is now feasible. You can walk and talk (or rather run and shout) and appear to be quite normal in most respects. You also have a level of confidence in yourself that most cocaine users could only dream of. Problem is, you simply have no mental capacity to stop yourself doing things that are, to more sober people, obviously suicidal and/or completely insane. Waking up with serious bruising or in bed with someone you don't know the name of is the only memory you will probably have of the night. Actually waking up in bed is a good sign. Heavy drinkers have been known to wake up in back alleys, often in other continents/hemispheres from the one they started off in.

A side effect seems also to be, though I hate to say it lest it encourage others, a great deal of sexual stamina. A common weegie expression is "Buckfast makes you fuckfast." The problem for the male being that you have no problem getting an erection but a great deal of time is required to achieve orgasm. For the female it generally just makes every male seem attractive and sex seem like an absolute must-have. Couple this with a drunken loss of inhibition and your chances of getting laid are good if all involved have partaken of the stuff. Your chances of making a serious relationship blunder are also sky high. Beware of waking in your own bed to find that the person beside you is neither your significant other nor your normal gender preference.

Some tips on drinking it:

  1. It tastes awful at first; try not to smell it whilst taking a sip. It just enhances the problem. After a few swigs it will dissolve your taste buds and the whole issue of taste will go away.
  2. It is traditional to drink directly from the green bottle it is sold in. This is a tradition for a reason. You really don't want to know what it looks like. The fact that it's supposed to be red wine but is actually brown is neither here nor there. The grainy bits floating around in it like some sort of strained sewage in a watery soup are the real put-off.
  3. Keep the bottle top. Get into the habit of putting it back on between swigs. If this stuff spills it will permanently brown stain anything it does not disintegrate. And the smell is not removable, like for weeks.
  4. Go out. Leave your home, especially if there are others in your home drinking the stuff and you happen to treasure any parts of your abode. It's also a lot more fun outside, trashing other people's things or other people.
  5. Don't. Just don't. Its better to stay sober, sane, in control of your sexuality and out of prison.

Benjamin Franklin once said "Alcohol is God's way of letting us know how much he loves us." It should then come as no surprise that it was a gang of monks that were inspired with the concocting of Buckfast. The stuff is magic.

It is true that the initiate must handle Buckfast with care, but once in the fold you will find that you never wish to return. Buckfast is drank to get drunk. It should be made clear that this is not the kind of stuff that one has a glass of with a nice steak. Prepare for a taste sensation comparable to cough medicine mixed with vodka. Takes a small bit of getting used to, but the accustomisation process is worth every bit of it.

The Buckfast drunk is potent and high octane. You are likely to perform rather bizarre acts in a perfectly controlled and reasonable way. It promotes good conversation, but care must be taken that gushing doesn't begin towards the end of the bottle. It provides an excellent partner to marijuana, with both offsetting each other wonderfully. Drunk, yet with it, yet crazy drunk. Strange?

Buckfast is also consumed enthusiastically in parts of West Ireland, notably Galway, where teenagers are executed if they have not imbibed their assigned quota before the legal drinking age. Best drank outside. Ideal scenario... summer evening, park bench by a river, some ducks, good company, twenty cigarettes... nice.

There are a few golden rules.

  1. Never drink more than one bottle in a night. This rule can be broken for special occasions, but it's not recommended. You can rule out sleeping and you'll feel like someone who lives next door the following day.
  2. Drink from the bottle. There are a few rogue glass users who can never hope to garner the respect of the Buckfast community.
  3. Cracking sequence:
    • Twist paper bag snugly around bottle.
    • Open lid. (Screw top - convenient... nice)
    • Clink. (Very important, all parties must be involved). You may feel free to add your 'signature' here, be it 'Cheers', 'Health', 'Get it down ya' or whatever you feel comfortable with.
    • First slug.
    • Exchange concerned glances with colleagues.
    • Smile.

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