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Why is drinking alcohol so popular?

(247 Posts)
ElderlyPerson Sat 19-Jun-21 16:08:34

I am male. When I was younger, in my 20s, there was often social pressure to drink alcohol.

I have never smoked, always avoided it, but I have tried beer, uh, I thought it tasted horrible, so no. I have tried sherry, why the fuss about it? I had some wine once, well, didn't seem anything worth drinking to me. I know, out of step with most people, I am wondering what they all see in it. I get offers from a well-known supermarket for bottles of wine for ONLY £4.99, which seems a lot of money to me. I think that it is a good job that I don't drink alcohol, I don't think I could afford to!

I think that the most recent time I drank alcohol was over forty years ago at a cousin's wedding, and then only a sip from a glass of champagne so as not to appear rude.

I always had a soft drink at events in a pub or staff parties and the like. Certainly I would not drink and drive anyway, but saying 'no thank you, I'm driving' when offered alcohol was a convenient get out.

Yet drinking alcohol seems very popular. I think I saw somewhere that a lot of young adults these days do not drink alcohol and that is now mainstream culturally widely accepted, whereas years ago, the bemused attitude to someone male who did not have a 'proper' drink was widespread.

I think that some people reading this who like an alcoholic drink may wonder in amazement at why I just don't understand why, but I am really don't understand why drinking alcohol is so popular and supplying it is such a major industry, though recognising from my limited experience of going in pubs that they always seemed to have a small selection of soft drinks available, though some seemed to be dual purpose, such as either a soft drink or as a mixer to make some sort of cocktail.

NotSpaghetti Mon 21-Jun-21 23:03:10

Of course yogurt and breads contain alcohol too in small amounts- and so do fruits and fruit juices
I know the alcohol levels are higher as the fruit ripens but I think it also “grows” as you store fruit juice.

MaggieTulliver Mon 21-Jun-21 23:21:58

Because it’s a mind-altering drug and since the beginning of time people have wanted to get off their heads

Ali08 Tue 22-Jun-21 05:09:21

I think the soft drinks depend on the pub you go into. Some do offer tea and coffee!
I drink alcohol but can quite easily go for a soft drink instead. Champagne is just overpriced sparkling wine, I can't say I've come across a wine I'd keep in the house, just in case I'd fancy a glass or 2. But I am partial to a bit of gin, mixed of course!
Beer/lager, well I prefer Carlsberg or Carling but too much of either makes my stomach bad (I have a pre-existing condition that is exacerbated by it).
I'm quite partial to rum, too, but like it mixed with coke & a squeezed lime (cuban).
I'm a social drinker but will drink in my house with SO on occasion.
I hate people to be told "Go on, have a drink. One won't hurt you!" when they've declined alcohol. Who's to say it won't hurt them? If they've declined and prefer soft drinks, then let them have soft drinks!!
You do not have to drink alcohol to be sociable!
I can oy answer for myself and that answer being that I quite like the taste of some alcohol, and a drink can help me relax and wind down at times!!

Missingmoominmama Tue 22-Jun-21 06:51:53

I love wine, rich smooth red, pale dry rosé, crisp white. My stomach just can’t handle it anymore though.

Chewbacca- your friends sound like real idiots!

Amalegra Tue 22-Jun-21 07:45:57

I think that like many things, moderation is the key! I say that as someone who has certainly enjoyed a few glasses in her time! Unfortunately, as with much in today’s society, excess is not only tolerated but celebrated and encouraged. Alcohol and its consumption is woven firmly into the fabric of society akin to the endless tv programmes, advertisements, magazine articles etc etc about food. So we are a nation heading towards an obesity crisis as well as one where guidelines re alcohol consumption are routinely flouted. Alcohol would be a Class A drug and banned if it were new on the market today, after all! I no longer drink (sadly!) for health reasons but I think enjoying a drink is one of life’s pleasures as long as it’s viewed as ‘a good servant but a bad master’.

TwinLolly Tue 22-Jun-21 08:29:15

My parents had the occasional drink - dad his beer or shandy, and mum a bit of wine or sherry. But when I was growing up us children were not allowed to drink - we weren't even given a taste.

Dad said to us that when we could afford to buy our own alcohol - we could then drink.

My sisters have liked a small glass of wine now and then but I've never liked the stuff. I have tried different wines over the years - a small sip of my husband's, or a small sip of cider ... nope, my taste buds haven't changed.

It is cringing to see people get hammered and sometimes their personalities change with it to almost an embarrassing stage.

MawBe Tue 22-Jun-21 09:48:41

Looks as if you 've had more than one too many and slumped on to your keyboard
That’s rather rude Rufus - why am I not surmised? Try this instead, but skip the 3 second and preceding it
OoRoo (ing)

MawBe Tue 22-Jun-21 09:49:58

Autocorrect “3 second ad “

MawBe Tue 22-Jun-21 09:50:51

And even better “surprised” - this iPad clearly has a mind of its own 🙄

Rufus2 Tue 22-Jun-21 13:03:50

Why am I not surmised
^Surmise meaning · To make a judgment about (something)
without sufficient evidence
Maw I thought you'd meant to say "surprised" but being an MA I presumed you knew what you're talking about! grin
Now I see it was all your iPad's fault! Must have had something spilled on it!
Happened to mine once! sad

MawBe Tue 22-Jun-21 13:08:46

Hope you enjoyed the vid clip Rufus as you clearly speak the same language !

GillT57 Tue 22-Jun-21 15:43:01

I am minded of the late great June Whifield in a scene from a Carry On film, in a bar.

Waiter: would madam like a drink?
JW: No thank you, I tried it once and didn't like it
Waiter; can I get you a cigarette perhaps?
JW: No thank you, I tried it once and didn't like it
Waiter: That's a lovely bracelet madam, was it a gift?
JW: Yes, my daughter bought it for me

Waiter: An only child I take it?


ElderlyPerson Tue 22-Jun-21 18:31:17

June Whitfield was in this too.

Rufus2 Wed 23-Jun-21 11:46:46

Hope you enjoyed the vid clip Rufus as you clearly speak the^ same language
Maw Thank you for that! smile
Now you've taken "Grandads, the hounding of" to a whole new level!
Of course we understand each other; when I said "Sit!" they sat.
So you can call them off now! Please! grin
Good Howling.

Rufus2 Wed 23-Jun-21 11:56:04

June Whitfield was in this too.
So was Tony Hancock! I'm surprised you kept that clip seeing as how he was an alcoholic, dead at 44, but in a way, that might have been the reason he became such a great comedian!

lemongrove Wed 23-Jun-21 14:43:11


A simple answer, because it tastes good so you chose your tipple depending on your taste preference. Also because it makes your feel happy and relaxed, so long as you don’t overdo it. So maybe beer and Sherry weren’t to your taste, maybe if you’d tried the myriad of other options you would have found one that was, maybe not! However I’m sure it hasn’t affected your life in any negative way, so not worth thinking about. X

That’s exactly the answer that I was going to give the OP.
We are all different and enjoy different things.I have never been drunk ( don’t see any fun in that) but alcohol used wisely can have beneficial effects.

Greeneyedgirl Wed 23-Jun-21 16:51:10

Unfortunately lemongrove the benefits are far outweighed by the harm to society, even if measured in monetary terms alone comes to an estimate of billions. I say this as a drinker myself, but do not downplay the negatives.

GillT57 Wed 23-Jun-21 18:15:43


Unfortunately lemongrove the benefits are far outweighed by the harm to society, even if measured in monetary terms alone comes to an estimate of billions. I say this as a drinker myself, but do not downplay the negatives.

I don't agree. The vast majority of people are able to enjoy a glass of wine or a nice crisp G&T without drinking themselves into oblivion. I have a decent selection of gins in the house, this does not mean I am going to drain ever single one of them until empty. Cars can be driven safely, they can be driven idiotically, we do not stop people from driving because some drive dangerously. I appreciate my attitude may have been different if I had experience of alcoholism within my family, but I do get slightly irritated when people announce in a po faced, disapproving way that they don't drink alcohol. Well, fine, that's your choice, and a glass of wine with dinner occasionally is mine. Frankly, a crisp white wine complements fish for example, far better than a glass of sickly sweet orange juice! wine

Shropshirelass Tue 29-Jun-21 09:31:32

We don’t drink at all now. We used to have a glass of wine or two but stopped when we realised how much sugar we were consuming. I think it is very much a habit and of course sugar addiction. You don’t need to drink to have a good time, my tipple is now sparkling water with ice and a slice.

M0nica Tue 29-Jun-21 20:23:05

I think the problem is, there seem to be only two attitudes to drink, either cannot see the problem or demonise it.

In moderation a nice glass of red wine with a good meal, a pint with a pub lunch or the occasional glass of champers, or a tincture before you go to bed, are very pleasant, but none on their own intoxicating. Too much of anything is not good for you - and remember people have died from drinking too much water.

wood99 Thu 16-Sep-21 13:23:28

Alcoholism begins with "Pour one more glass" or" just one glass, and that's it !!" and red is it. The internet bombards us with confusing messages about alcohol and alcoholism. We are told about the benefits of antioxidants in wine and how beer is "liquid bread"- a carbohydrate gift for our cholesterol already increased by diet and stress. But the reality is different. I had an addiction until I found out about and I followed the treatment very hard. I went over the phase to stop drinking alcohol because the body demanded it.