Every country seems to have different guidelines as to what people should and should not drink. In the Netherlands last year, 4 out of 10 Dutch people heeded the advice of the Dutch Health Council to not have more than one glass (no idea of the quantity or the unit) of alcohol a day.
Last year some 80.4% of all Dutch adults drank alcohol, with highly educated men drinking the most. Out of the highly educated, 7 out of 10 Dutch people didn’t follow the Health Council advice, while for folks with a lower level of education, it was 5 out of 10. The older Dutch people are, the more they follow the council’s advice.
Dutch men drink more excessively on a regular basis than women: 14 glasses a week for women and 21 for men. Again, no clue how much alcohol is in a glass. Heavy drinking is seen as at least 4 glasses a day for women and 6 glasses a day for men. Four or even six glasses is a night down the pub for me, but then not every day or even every week or month.
According to this illustration, the excessive drinkers are aged 20-24 and 65-74, while the heavy drinkers are 20-24 followed by 18-19. I’m guessing the older ones are retired – good on them.
I drink less than I used to, but I have to say the cheap price of alcohol in general lets me drink more than I did in Canada. You can buy half a litre of beer for € 0,50 and a litre of wine for € 1,50. Granted, it’s not the good stuff.
Tags: age, alcohol, drinking, men, women
Two Dutch men on mopeds in Geldrop, Noord-Brabant were stopped by the police for drunken behaviour and had to blow into a breathalyser – so far so good, or bad.
However, they were so drunk that they broke the breathalyser. In fact, they were so drunk that dismounting their mopeds was a job in itself. The first one had four and a half times the legal allowed amount of alcohol in his system and was ‘breathing alcohol’. It took 45 minutes for the breathalyser to come back to life and for the one drunken man to give it another blow.
And if being a danger to road users including himself wasn’t bad enough, his driving licence was not valid and his ID card was expired. They will both be appearing in front of a judge soon enough.
Tags: alcohol, moped, Noord-Brabant
In an article about gross drinks people order in Dutch bars according to the bartenders who work there, one drink that came up a lot was red wine or white wine with cola. I’m thinking the wine has to be really cheap and used purely to put some alcohol in the cola, but the person ordering it is too cheap or broke to ask for rum, vodka or something else half way decent to go in their cola. Or it’s really great and/or very popular and we’re missing out.
Another questionable combo was alcohol with any kind of dairy: Malibu (coconut flavored liqueur) with chocolate milk or Safari (liqueur flavoured with exotic fruits) with Fristi (Dutch dairy drink with red fruits, usually for kids). Both drinks tell me you’ll still a child, but want alcohol to help you grow up. Unscientifically, since the 1990s more and more young people start drinking alcohol by way of sweet drinks, and as you get older, you move into more normal tasting alcohol.
Last weekend I was in a bar in Amsterdam and a couple from London was trying to ask for a glass of half Amaretto and half brandy. I didn’t mind my own business and asked why they wanted to drink that, if it had a name and what it tasted like. The answer came from the woman: “this is what my grandmother used to drink at Christmas and it reminds me of her”. The drink had no name and she just said, “here, try it” and I did. It’s OK, but the story is much better.
For all the newcomers, if you want to blend into a random Dutch bar, order a ‘kopstoot’ (a head butt): a shot of jenever (aka genever, no, not gin) and a beer (don’t specify any further). If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for ‘zeer oude jenever’ (very old genever) and skip the beer altogether.
Tags: alcohol, bars, booze, genever, jenever
Earlier this year, having a drink at certain types of shops started as an experiment in January and February in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, after which some 40 odd smaller cities joined in. The idea is that you’re not supposed to drink somewhere that doesn’t have the proper license, but in the spirit of getting people to the shops, the rules were temporarily relaxed as a pilot project.
However, in the small city of Doetinchem, Gelderland the ‘blurring’ of the laws on alcohol has led to a questionable situation where booze is being served in a children’s clothing shop, which according to STAP, the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy, claims is crossing the line.
STAP is very much against this ‘blurring’ (the actual word used by the Dutch in English), even more so in a shop meant for kids. I do get the serving a drink at the hair salon and more adult clothing stores, but yeah, I don’t see any real good in serving booze to parents in a children’s clothing store other than getting them to buy more.
Then again, the local government claims that children do not go into the shop in question when alcohol is being served, as it is about evenings for special clients when nobody under 18 years of age can get it, which starts to make more sense.
Regardless, STAP is going to start writing ‘letters on legs’ to borrow a fantastic Dutch expression that means writing serious letters with threats to sue in them.
Tags: alcohol, children, Gelderland
Having a glass of wine at the hair salon and at some clothing shops in Amsterdam started as an experiment in January 2016. Rotterdam started in February and called it ‘Project Blending 010’ (why in English, don’t know – 010 is the area code for Rotterdam) and other places in the country called it ‘blurring’ (why in English, still don’t know) because the law says serving alcohol without a liquor license is illegal. So yes, the whole thing was illegal but tolerated – sound familiar?
The Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) kicked off the experiment, but the Union of Liquor Store Owners (Slijtersunie) recently decided they were done being tolerant and decided to officially report the VNG to the authorities for breaking the law. The VNG is ‘surprised’ because talking it out is usually the Dutch way, but you can imagine there’s a lot more selling of alcohol at salons and shops than there is selling non-alcohol related products at the wine store. The experiment let shops serve and sell alcohol, while establishments that usually sell alcohol could sell shop products.
A lot of us were already having a drink with the lovely people who patiently cut our hair before any of this became a thing. And yes, it would probably help to make any kind of shopping more enjoyable. Maybe it’s time to change the law instead of forcing one group of Dutch businesses to have their turf invaded by another.
Or they could have a drink and talk it out till the cows come home Dutch style, who knows.
(Links: www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl, www.z24.nl, www.telegraaf.nl, Photo of Hair salon by Travel Salem, some rights reserved)
Tags: alcohol, Amsterdam, hair salon, law, wine
Karl Kouki, a 25-year-old Bachelor’s student at the Radboud University in Nijmegen has crossed a pretty cool thing off his bucket list: getting an alcoholic drink with his name on it, called ‘koekie’ (probably pronounced ‘kooky’ rather than ‘cookie’, referring to his last name and his nickname). Kouki even used part of his student loan to finance the whole project, which started as a joke and has now unexpectedly become serious business.
Cut to quaint student café in Nijmegen where Kouki worked as a part-time barman on a shot called ‘koekie’ made up of vodka, caramel liqueur and a bit of butterscotch that become their most popular shot. Kouki says today the bottled version has nothing to do with that combination since he has learned that creating alcohol is not just throwing a few types of liqueur together in a bottle.
It also took him a while to find someone that could bottle small amounts of his shot drink, as well a lab to get the recipe right — after 25 tries koekie finally tasted like the way it was meant to taste. The bottle orders have been pouring in and right now supply can’t meet the demand: you can’t buy any in the West of the country yet. Koekie has an alcohol percentage of 14,7%, which is a bit stronger than wine, but Kouki explains that ’10 minutes later you can still taste it’.
We want some too now.
(Links: munchies.vice.com, www.gelderlander.nl, Photo by Karl Kouki)
Tags: alcohol, Nijmegen, student
This fall Amsterdam opened a Hangover Information Center (HIC) in the Red Light District. Besides being very well lit but not too bright, it actually offers party-goers serious scientific information about how to prevent a hangover.
The HIC also sells RESET drinks at 5 euro a pop.
“After drinking alcohol the body needs additional water and food supplements, including vitamins and amino acids. RESET contains a combination of selected vitamins and amino acids as well as choline, which supports the liver’s clearing activity.”
Parool says the drink tastes bitter and the extra powder that needs to be added tastes salty. As long as you drink the product together with the same amount of water and alternate, it should do the trick. However, it does seem a lot to ask of someone before they go to bed drunk. You could also try and drink less, as the effects of a hangover are your body trying to send you a clear message about what you’re pouring into yourself.
(Link: www.amsterdamredlightdistricttour.com, Photo: Hangover Information Center)
Tags: alcohol, hangover, water
A 45-year-old man from Ootmarsum in the province of Twente lost his driving license yesterday after getting caught Segwaying under the influence.
According to the local police a breathalyser test showed that the man had a blood alcohol level of 995 µg/l, which is far above the legal limit. Segways are considered a special type of moped in the Netherlands. They aren’t allowed to go faster than 25 kilometres per hour and driving them doesn’t require a driving license, but the law says that if you get caught operating any type of motor vehicle while under the influence of a certain amount of alcohol, the police may still take your car driving license.
If the man had been caught while riding a bicycle, the police would simply have sent him walking with his driving license still firmly in his wallet. It will be at least 13 days before his license is returned to him, unless the public prosecutor decides the drunk Segway driver is such a menace to society that he must be brought before a judge. In that case, the public prosecutor gets to hold on to the license a little longer.
(Photo by FaceMePls, some rights reserved)
Tags: alcohol, police, Segway, Segways, Twente
An elementary school in the Achterhoek, a region to the East that extends into Germany, has decided to teach kids in grades 5 and 6 (the oldest kids) the evils of boozing it up in an illegal booze shack (in Dutch, ‘zuipkeet’), which usually attracts underaged drinkers.
However, the school’s plan is to do this by letting the kids set up a drink shack to find out what it is like in order to tell them about group drinking and fire safety. The school claims that the goal is not to show kids how to set up shop, but to teach them how bad drinking is if ever they do set up shop because then they’ll do it safely.
According to the media and public opinion, rural areas apparently have booze shacks, which are at least partially responsible for teenagers learning the fine art of binge drinking. I’ve never seen one, but I’m sure they are more real than unicorns.
Yes, we get that kids should learn about responsible drinking or the effects alcohol has on their growing bodies and all that, but I wonder whether parents will be thrilled about this method.
(Links: www.nieuws.nl, www.omroepgelderland.nl)
Tags: Achterhoek, alcohol, children, drinking
It seems that when young people see their popular friends drink soda instead of alcohol, they are likely to follow suit.
Hanneke Teunissen of the Radboud University in Nijmegen found that “adolescents were more influenced by popular than unpopular peers. Interestingly, the anti-alcohol norms of popular peers seemed most influential in that adolescents were less willing to drink when they were confronted with the anti-alcohol norms of popular peers. Additionally, the adolescents internalized these anti-alcohol norms, which means that they were still less willing to drink when the anti-alcohol norms of these peers were no longer presented to them.”
Earlier studies had already shown the reverse, namely that seeing friends drink alcohol inspires adolescents to also drink alcohol.
Teunissen’s findings will be published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
(Link: Eureka Alert. Photo by Jos Faber, some rights reserved.)
Tags: alcohol, youths