The World's 5 Worst Ways To Get Drunk

We had a sense that some readers may have been put off by The Most Expensive Spirits In The World. We realize now that there are many people who are only willing to spend a few pennies to get drunk, even if it means massive organ damage or death. For those people, Cracked has assembled a list of The World’s 5 Worst Ways To Get Drunk. The list, inside…

5. Tharra
This spirit native to India boasts a 90% alcohol content and is made by fermenting the mash of sugar cane pulp in ceramic containers. One unfortunate characteristic of the stuff is if you let it sit long enough it turns toxic. Tharra kills hundreds of people per year.

4. Russian Aftershave
Many poor Russians have turned to “surrogate” alcohol, which is basically any product with a high alcohol content. Russian aftershaves are a popular item since some have a 97% alcohol content.

3. Thunderbird
It is a “fortified wine” and typically contains 17.5% alcohol. Thunderbird was introduced by Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery after the end of prohibition. It was marketed to low income drinkers in America. Their radio ads featured these lyrics: “What’s the word / Thunderbird / How’s it sold? / Good and cold / What’s the jive? / Bird’s alive / What’s the price? / Thirty twice.” Despite its yellow color, Thunderbird turns your lips and tongue black when consumed in large quantities.

2. Pruno
Pruno is a famous jailhouse drink which is typically made from different available fruits, sugar, ketchup and bread for its yeast. Basically the ingredients are put into a Ziploc bag, heated occasionally, strained and served. It is legendary for its foul taste.

1. Changaa
Changaa is an illegal drink which is popular in Kenya. It is a libation made from distilled grains such as maize and sorghum. Changaa is usually controlled by the criminal gangs who often spike batches with jet fuel, battery acid or formalin. Obviously, this stuff kills many people every year.

Nectar of the Broke: The World’s 5 Worst Ways To Get Drunk [Cracked]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Noiddog says:

    Nothing sets off a good buzz like old fashioned jet fuel!!!

  2. Used to sell quite a bit of Thunderbird to the local whinos when I worked in a slummy grocery store. Also, lots of Mad Dog.

    Two worst personal drinking ideas in college:

    1 – jello shots with everclear
    2- drinking a whole bottle of Cisco.

  3. Oface says:

    What? No Boone’s farm? No Schlitz?

  4. mtarget says:

    No Night Train or MD 50/50?
    Maybe they should consider a Top 50 or 100 list.

  5. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: Agreed. Jell-O shots with Everclear is utterly nasty.

  6. pileofmonkeycrap says:

    My personal worst way:

    Everclear in Hawaiian punch.

  7. OletheaEurystheus says:

    worst thing I EVER did to myself in college was jell-o and everclear.
    I cant actually remember the party I was at where I did like 8 of
    them, 3 beers, and took stacker 3.

  8. redragon104 says:

    slow news day?

    anyway, read the whole article, i love cracked articles, one of the funniest sites on the web.

  9. dizzie386 says:

    @pileofmonkeycrap: haha :) Add a little triple sec and bacardi superior to that and it’s a party!

  10. amodlin says:

    No Colt-45? Homeless people and college students everywhere share a sigh of relief.

  11. am84 says:

    I love Arbor Mist. It makes me feel poor, but at least it hasn’t killed me (yet).

  12. LetMeGetTheManager says:


    Give me six Schlitzeses…

    No Schlitz…

    Whatever’s free…

  13. friendlynerd says:

    Hmmm I could go for some Blackberry Merlot

  14. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:


    WTF?! Isn’t the point of cutting an illegal prodcut with other products to make a smaller batch go further, thereby increasing your profit margins?

    How can any of those (esp. jet fuel) bea cheaper than distilled grains?

  15. silver-spork says:

    Red Bull + vodka = bad

  16. DashTheHand says:

    Jack Daniels and Gatorade Frost OR Fruit Punch.

    Blackout + Hangover city.

  17. EdWedig says:

    “I used to fly that Thunderbird, but now I’ve crashed and burned…” – Michael Longcor, “I Can’t Party (as Hearty as I Partied when I Partied at 21)”

  18. aloe vera says:

    Yeah. Everclear punch and Cisco were fixtures in my college dorm room. Loved that cheap booze!

  19. Manok says:

    youre welcome.

  20. evslin says:

    Everclear + kool-aid powder + Sprite = tasty, but deadly.

  21. I feel a little more relieved that nothing I regularly drink is on that list

  22. MayorBee says:

    I used to really love some St. Ides. That malt liquor tasted just like kool-aid! Then I graduated to Arbor Mist.

  23. Dennis says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: but was it Cisco Red?

  24. NoFlopScott says:

    God I miss Phil Hartman

  25. Kurtz says:

    What, no Purple Drank?

  26. NoFlopScott says:
  27. NoFlopScott says:

  28. NoFlopScott says:

    @peacelover222: sorry, I F5’d twice and it was not there

  29. djanes1 says:

    @Kurtz: Yeah, shouldn’t cough syrup make this list?

  30. Nev-in-NYC says:

    Oddly enough Night-Train tastes just like Manishevitz. Guess that means that us Jews have been drinking bum wine for generations without even knowing it!

  31. @Dead Wrestlers Society: I think the worst idea I had was to attempt to make flaming doctor peppers using Inca Pisco & Everclear in place of amerreto and 151. And then not bothering to light it to burn off any of it’s drunkening power.

    I was actually usually pretty good after a bottle of cisco or MD 20/20 though. Those were the “smuggle into concerts” drink(s) of choice…

  32. savvy9999 says:

    St Ides, OE, Colt45, Red Bull (the malt liquor, not the ‘energy drink’).

    In a pinch, regionally here in the northeast, we could also count on Golden Anniversary, Natty Bo, Carling Black Label, and Mickey’s Big Mouth to get us through the night.

    I am also proud that not a drop of the aforementioned draughts has touched my lips in decades. Ugh, it’s nice to be old and well-paid.

  33. Angryrider says:

    Where’s Uncle Jemima’s Malt Whiskey? You get twice as drunk for half the price!

  34. Gopher bond says:

    Ever do Edward-40-Hands?

    Pre-game in college was everyone had to bring 2 40’s of some crappy malt liquor. You then have to duct tape them to your hands. Can’t take them off until your St. Ides or Colt 45 Power Horse are empty.

  35. Gopher bond says:

    @Angryrider: What you swattin at?

  36. Cervantes3773 says:

    I drank most of a bottle of Southern Comfort one night, it was sweet and delicious, can you blame me? I definitely blamed myself the next day with my horrid hangover… the worst was the two-day stomach ache.

    All you kids from Texas,
    you grow so big and tall.
    All of them kids from Texas
    they grow so big and tall.
    All of them like to roam
    in that T-Bird hall.
    Get hi-hi-high.
    Really makes you feel so fine,
    really goes down so smooth,
    really puts you in the groove.
    Have you heard? What’s the word?
    It’s Thunderbird.

    /ZZ Top FTW!

  37. plasticredtophat says:

    ergh, that’s all so disgusting! I just wouldnt drink at all, if I had those 5 choices.

  38. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    Jenkem: fermented shit

    /ok, so it’s actually for getting high, not drunk, but still worth a mention.

  39. MrDo says:

    Bumwines for the ultimate discovery of cheap liquor.

    I recall having copious amounts of Tusker Lager in Kenya. Rumor has it, they used formaldehyde to keep it ‘fresh’. Possibly the worst hangover of my life.

  40. Dervish says:

    How about methanol? Gets you drunk, gets you blind…I’d say that’s pretty bad. Worse than Russian aftershave, at least.

  41. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    What about alcohol-based soap?

  42. sn1per420 says:

    @silver-spork: red bull + anything = bad. Amp + Vodka, on the other hand = pure win.

    Also, why isn’t Popov on that list? $10 for a handle, comes in a plastic bottle, and smells vile.

  43. mac-phisto says:

    @testsicles: ahh, edward foty hands. played that many times. nothing good ever came from that game.

  44. MonkeyMonk says:

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just spike the Changaa with more Changaa?

  45. induscreed says:

    tharra tastes and smells like crap

  46. Gopher bond says:

    @MonkeyMonk: Sounds like they basically add whatever they can find that laying around at the moment. I doubt they buy jet fuel and battery acid and formaldehyde for the specific purposes of spiking the drink. More like, take a look in the trucks and find something we looted this week that we can toss in the Changaa.

  47. shockwaver says:

    Round table meeting of Kenyan drug lords:

    Bob: Ok gang, our product tastes like ass, but it doesn’t have the.. punch that we need. Any ideas?
    *a few moments of silence*
    Jim: We could.. hmm.. add jet fuel? It makes planes go, so it should give it the kick we need!
    Bob: Good idea! Any others?
    Todd: How about battery acid? I don’t think jet fuel will give us the mortality rate we are looking for.
    Bob: Lets do both! Changaa – It’ll give you a jolt, and send you over the moon! (Warning, possible side effects may include death, and in some rare cases, resurrection from death)

  48. i just came back from africa and always drink the local changaa when i’m there. it makes you blind. i kind of want it as a daiquiri flavour.

  49. Jabberkaty says:

    What? No Allen’s Coffee Brandy? Champagne of Maine.

  50. DrJimmy says:

    Ah, college days.
    Knox unflavored gelatin + Busch (cheap) beer = Beer Jello.

  51. 00exmachina says:

    @WiglyWorm: It’s not about profit. It’s about hurting people.

  52. Mike8813 says:

    The first time I ever got drunk was drinking Night Train and Thunderbird… Terrible memory…

  53. HOP says:

    when i was a lad, the drunks (we called them smokehounds) in our neighborhood would drink sterno canned heat….they would wring the alcohol out through a stocking….it was called “pink lady”….and ,before you ask, our neighborhood had quite a few smokehounds…..another treat was mennen’s after shave lotion…they used to say that mennen’s goeth down sweetly…..when i first joined the af, there were guys in basic that would also drink the aftershave…..

  54. P_Smith says:

    “Thunderbird! Ah, but it’s a good week, though!”

    – Robin Williams, from “Reality, What A Concept” (1978)

    What also makes for a nasty drink are Chinese cooking wines, usually available in import stores or Chinatown shops. While it adds to the taste of food when used properly, that stuff is usually 70% proof and smells like lighter fluid. The few times I ever tasted it out of curiosity, it was abominable.

  55. HeartBurnKid says:

    Man, my grandfather once tried to drink aftershave while in court-ordered detox.

    This was in America.

    American aftershaves use wood alcohol.

    I’m surprised he survived that, quite frankly.

  56. OrlanthaLeda says:

    Agreed on the Chinese cooking wine. $3 for a seizure on the first sip
    ain’t bad.

    Knew some people who had some moonshine. They used it as antifreeze for
    the toilet of their deer hunting cabin.

    Bottoms up!

  57. Alex Chasick says:

    I’d like to suggest a sixth way: peppermint schnapps and whipped cream. Ah, college.

  58. Gann says:

    6. Jamaican Overproof Rum

    They call it the poor man’s drink, because it’ll get you fucked up cheap. Most households also have a bottle around as a cleaner, disinfectant, painkiller, etc. Sometimes called doubleproof rum, many are 160 proof, although there are brands that go higher. It’s irie.

  59. Smaugster says:

    Everclear:1qt, Gallon jug with 2/3 rd’s apple juice.
    add cinnamon and shake. Drink. be in a stupor for three days. Who can resist? The only good thing about it is when you fall and hurt yourself and go to the hospital, they will fix ya up! Where’s my cane and dark glasses?

  60. am84 says:

    @Angryrider: PANCAKES IS READY!

  61. BrianU says:

    Filipino Red Horse beer. Tastes a little like shampoo; possible formaldehyde content?
    Just one large bottle makes you break out in a chilling sweat and gives you a poisoned feeling. I never saw any American make it past drinking just one, no matter how much alcohol they usually consumed.

  62. carolott says:

    Cold Duck. Nastiest shit ever, and the worst hangover too.

  63. cronomorph says:


    WHAT? Andre Cold Duck was awesome back when I first moved to Atlanta a buddy of mine would come over and we’d split a bottle and play Soul Calibur 2 for hours. (I think he needed to decompress from long hours of studying at GA Tech).

    I actually had to go hunt for that stuff not too long ago, it disappeared and then reappeared and was not as good as I had remembered. Adding pomegranet juice made it real tasty.

    My fiancee insists on slightly better quality for those rare occassions when we have a glass, so I doubt I’ll ever buy Cold Duck again.

  64. Burgandy says:

    @Mike8813: How do you even have a memory of that? *shudder*

  65. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    What? No Listerene? The generic of this mouth wash is very popular with the bums in Boston. We call them Listo bums.

  66. high_and_dry says:

    Wow – reading about Pruno made me dry heave!

    Glad I don’t expect to be hauled off to prison anytime soon.

  67. high_and_dry says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: Along with the worst college drinking ideas:

    grape juice and gin
    grape juice rum
    grape juice and vodka
    (all the grape juice as mixer – I don’t have any idea why we went there.)

    The most painful and lengthy hangover: shots of tequila followed by shots of peppermint schnapps.

    Ahh college – no wonder I can’t remember much!

  68. high_and_dry says:


    “Jack Daniels and Gatorade Frost OR Fruit Punch.”

    Ouch ouch baby!

  69. lauy says:

    At the drugstore I worked at in college, Thunderbird was the libation of choice among the local homeless set…many a police report originating from that store listed Thunderbird under the property stolen…

  70. FattyMatty says: also not to be missed.

  71. Mr_Human says:

    In college, we used to call Schlitz that had been allowed to get warm, “extra Schlitzy.”

  72. Marsupial says:

    They should have mentioned that the proper way to ferment Pruno is in the toilet. I think I remember a joke too: how do you get your date drunk in prison? Soak your hand in pruno!

  73. NinjaMarion says:

    @Marsupial: “Prison’s not so bad, you can make Sangria in the Terlit…of course it’s shank or be shanked.”

  74. battra92 says:

    How about “Oh be Joyful” that the soldiers drank during the Civil War.


  75. 17-A says:

    @Jabberkaty: Just had to say… my dad was a cop in Maine for about 25 years. Drunk and disorderly people fueled by coffee brandy were the bane of his existance. Suffice to say, I’ve never touched the stuff myself.

    Though I did try mixing Powerade with gin once. That’s an oral nightmare to rival root canal.

  76. loueloui says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society:

    Ahhh, Cisco. I once drank a big Cisco, and a 6 pack of Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull. I was so stumbling drunk a cop handcuffed me around a tree with a friend of mine, also piss drunk. Amazingly, after about 30 minutes, he let us go!

    Man, those were the days.

  77. jodles says:

    one word: RAKI. had it in turkey and it’s potent and burns a whole lot.

    more bad college drinking ideas:
    -using a funnel/beer bong for tequila instead of beer.
    -playing kings with shots of 151.
    -adding an entire bottle of both 99 berries and 99 bananas to punch meant for like 10 people.
    -doing a power hour with strongbow (although in any other context strongbow is amazing).

  78. Jones91 says:

    this is all quite funny to be honest.

  79. madanthony says:

    All Thunderbird is is Gallo’s sweet white port cut with citric acid to make it less sweet. Evidently, back in the day winos used to mix lemon juice with white port and drink it, to the point that ghetto liquor stores would sell lemon juice to mix with it. Gallo noticed this and decided to cash in by making a premixed version.

  80. Marsupial says:

    Back in the day (that day being around 1989), I used to work in an AM/PM mini-market. Every Saturday morning, around 8am, an old(er) gentleman would come in, buy two bottles of T-Bird, and ask for them in separate bottle bags. He would then sit in his car, slam one down, smash the bottle against the side of the building, and drive off with the other in his lap. I don’t really have a point here — it’s just fun to tell weird booze stories.

  81. battra92 says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: IIRC you’d throw up before you’d get drunk.

    My dad once told a story about when he was a kid a drunk was caught drinking Vanilla extract in the local grocery store.

    Boy am I glad I’m a teetotaler.

  82. luz says:

    Poor Russian street kids also enjoy vint, which is one part gasoline to three parts cheap vodka.

  83. jcoltrane says:

    Golden Grain…
    I once started doing shots of it at a party. Can’t remember much after that, but I woke up the next morning laying in a rowboat with no oars floating in the middle of a lake.

    Ahh… college. Good times…

  84. trustsatan says:

    “Banana Red” Mad Dog has to be the worst alcoholic drink I’ve ever tried. Banana. Wine. Mmmmm.

  85. riverstyxxx says:

    No way, try a Camo Black Ice High Gravity Lager. The stuff is 10.5% alcohol and tastes like battery acid mixed with donkey jizz. The only good part is a 24 ounce can costs about $1.50 and will hammer anyone.

  86. Parting says:

    Information is a bit old.

    Aftershave isn’t used in Russia for drinking since Communist government fell. Now people just brew their own booze.

  87. swags says:

    @Cervantes3773: My friend drank a 750 of SoCo in the time it take to get to Mr. Sandman in Punchout without losing a fight. About an hour later he was wandering around outside, locked out, in his just his boxers and socks.

  88. HungryGrrl says:

    My worst college-era combo was certainly: 101 proof Wild Turkey and OJ!

    I don’t know why I went there… I think I had recently had a bad vodka experience, and everyone else was drinking Screwdrivers… some kind person produced half a bottle of Wild Turkey. Put me off OJ forever.

    In highschool I had friends who used to drink vanilla extract. I luckily never had to stoop to that level, as my parents had an ancient bottle of 7 Crown in the back of their liquor cabinet that I would dip into…

  89. Nev-in-NYC says:

    @HungryGrrl: Forget the OJ, just bring on that Wild Turkey 101 and some ice cubes. Not the smoothest going down but it certainly does the trick and I’d take it over beer any day…