Not satisfied with the traditional way of getting drunk — that is to say, drinking — kids and alcoholics alike have spent years inventing new methods. Some of these are totally harmless, others are innovative, but most of them are pretty dangerous. While sticking to boring old traditional binge-drinking is still your best bet, here now are 13 ways people are getting drunk without actually drinking. Below, alcohol on your eyeballs, up your nose, in your tampons, in your cupcakes, in your gummy bears, and on your pizzas. Don't try this at home, questionable youth.
Somewhere between the vodka-eyeballing craze and butt-chugging fraternity takeover came the revelation that America's youth are soaking tampons in vodka and, well, inserting them. And, no, it's not just ladies who are using their resources to engage in the long-standing tradition of vodka enemas.
2. Butt Chugging
The less dainty relative of alcohol enemas, butt-chugging gained fame when a University of Tennessee frat member was rumored to have landed in the hospital after imbibing wine through a funnel into his rectum. Though an attorney has denied the allegations, this is still a completely possible and horribly dangerous way in which to get drunk.
3. AWOL Machines
Sort of the older brother of inhalable alcohol sprays is the AWOL machine, which turns alcohol into a mist. According to an MSNBC report from 2004, the manufacturers claim it can reduce carb intake and hangovers. These things are maybe not all true, but it doesn't really matter since these are pretty widely banned in America.
4. Alcohol Spray
[Photo: Franck Fife / AFP]
For those who are looking to get drunk quickly and only for a short period of time, designer Phillipe Starck and scientist David Edwards teamed up to create an alcohol spray named Wahh Quantum Sensations. The spray delivers 0.075 millileters of alcohol per spritz, which its website explains tastes like "a flash of vodka or hot peppery spice." This spray is available only in Europe.
5. Vodka Eyeballing
Vodka eyeballing emerged a couple of years ago as a new method of getting wasted — simply pour a shot of vodka into one's eyeballs and, presto, you are both drunk and in serious pain. This may or may not have been a real thing in the US and UK, but either way it inspired Stephen Colbert to warn that it might be a gateway to "Scotch nostriling, tequila nippling, and before you know it, you're Jager-tainting."
6. Snorting Alcohol
Well, maybe Stephen Colbert wasn't too far off with his Scotch nostriling prediction because there is such a thing as snorting booze. UK bar owners told the BBC several years ago about the rising trend of students snorting vodka through straws. Some of these kids "reacted so quickly they were seen falling to the floor as a result" and the official word from the Alcohol Problems Advisory Service is that, yes, it will damage your nose.
7. Hand Sanitizer
[Screenshot: Colbert Nation]
Okay, sure, technically one has to ingest hand sanitizer in the traditional way known as "drinking," but it is not traditional alcohol and therefore totally counts. Parents starting freaking out about their kids getting drunk off hand sanitizer earlier this year when some Los Angeles-area teens turned up in the hospital and the LA Times declared it a trend. Some of these kids had used salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer.
8. Alcoholic Gummy Bears
[Screenshot: CBS 47]
Vodka-soaked gummy bears is the drinking trend that appears to be friendly to kids of all ages if it weren't for that whole alcohol part. In the fall of 2011, parents, local television stations and police departments were freaking out over this menace as children everywhere were giving their gummy bears vodka baths and maybe sneaking them into schools under the guise of mere candy.
9. Alcoholic Cupcakes
Cuptails [Photo: PS 7's Restaurant]
Why drink cupcake vodka when you can just eat a delicious cupcake filled with vodka? Washington, DC, has embraced this particular trend wholeheartedly, first with alcohol-infused Crunkcakes, then with cuptails (cupcakes + cocktails) and finally cupcakes made with craft beer.
10. Alcoholic Whipped Cream
As with gummy bears and cupcakes, what could be more innocent than whipped cream? Certainly not the alcohol-infused version, also known as whipahol, which has been fake-sweeping the nation. Whipped Lightning offers flavors such as Tropical Passion and Strawberry Colada for somewhere between $10 and $13 a can. Rather than just slightly booze-ifying their ice cream sundaes, though, kids are totally just drinking these canisters, each one an equivalent of three or four beers.
11. Alcoholic Pizza
Given all the possibilities when it comes to pizza toppings, why not just add booze? Mini-chain Salvatore's unleashed adult-only pizzas upon the Boston area earlier this year, involving toppings such as dried cherries soaked in raspberry vodka, Kahlua-marinated braised pork and rum-infused peaches. The kids can't get to this one, fortunately, as diners have to flash an ID to get one of these pies.
12. Alcoholic Popsicles
Arnold Palmer at King of Pops [Photo: Facebook]
Atlanta's King of Pops offers an extensive lineup of intriguing popsicle flavors, but this year they introduced a whole new creation: cocktail-infused popsicles known as "poptails." Combinations include bourbon and orange juice, a strawberry margarita and a "Loaded Arnold Palmer" with vodka, sweet tea and lemonade. Yes, they card.
13. Molecular Cocktails
A carbonated mojito sphere. [Photo: StarChefs.com]
Thanks to the wizardry of molecular gastronomy techniques, mixologists are creating all sorts of ways to drink cocktails without technically drinking anything at all. There are liquid-filled spheres such as the mojito at the former incarnation of José Andrés' minibar, Eben Freeman's solid creations like the gin fizz marshmallow and White Russian Breakfast Cereal, and gelatinous cocktails like Grant Achatz's Sazerac and Heston Blumenthal's whiskey gums. Blumenthal has also recently embarked upon creating alcoholic edible snow.