It is said that drinking alcohol through a straw gets you drunk faster. For example, The Drunk Pirate

I have absolutely no scientific explanation for why drinking alcohol through a straw gets you drunk so fast. It just does. Now granted there’s no way in hell to look cool drinking out of a straw. But if you go to a bar and order a Jack and Coke, ask for a straw. Not the little red stirring straw that comes in in the drink, a big honkin’ McDonalds straw. Start sucking your drinks up through one of those things and you’ll be invisible in about half an hour.

I've tried it and I feel like it works, but it could just be a placebo.

  • 1
    does a straw make you drink faster in general?
    – Jodrell
    May 12, 2011 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


The theory behind this is that

  1. Ethanol resorption can occur in the mouth (which is true)
  2. Orally absorbed ethanol doesn't pass first through the liver, yielding a higher bioavailability (which is at least to be expected considering the anatomy of the local blood vessels)
  3. Drinking with a straw is supposedly slower, allowing the ethanol a longer contact time with the oral mucosa (which at best sounds plausible but hardly evident).

However, studies appear to contradict this. According to the book "Alkohol und Alkoholfolgekrankheiten" by Singer/Teyssen (in German, sorry), studies during wine degustations (where ethanol is brought in contact with the oral mucosa but not swallowed), there was no relevant rise in blood alcohol levels, unless contact was for more than one hour (and then only to a BAC of 0.015).

They conclude that a stronger buzz after drinking ethanol through a straw has never been scientifically observed.

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