The glass that we choose to drink out of when we have guests over, or the glasses that we are given to drink out of when we go to a bar or to a friend’s house, is something we often do not think about. However, when it is brought to our attention, we probably would not have second thoughts on whether or not to drink from a straight sided glass or a curved glass, anyway. Some may choose the curved glass on purpose with the intention of consuming more alcohol, and some may choose the straight sided glass with the intention of consuming less.
A lot of people will say that these small differences in the shape of the glass really do not matter, but studies report evidence that may have those apathetic toward this topic changing their tune. Researchers at the University of Bristol conducted an experiment. 150 men and women with no history of alcohol problems were taken to three pubs over two weekends to see how the shape of their glasses changed their drinking habits. the results of this experiment lead to the pubs reporting nearly 25% less consumption from the straight glasses than the curved. Clearly, this is a significant difference. If you do not believe it, put it this way. How many times have you been out to a pub and drank from a curved glass which ended in a rather unattractive night? there is a good chance that you probably do not know the answer to this, because you probably too drunk to remember what kind of glass you were drinking out of during that night. If you are in this group of people, then put it this way. How many nights can you remember that would have resulted in a better ending had you drank nearly 25% less alcohol? this question is probably much easier to answer.
Another experiment was conducted by the same group of researchers. what they did this time was have two groups with drinks in curved glasses. One group had a regular curved glass, whereas the other group had exact measurements on their glasses, so they knew where the quarter, halfway, and three-quarter points were all marked. If the everyday person can really tell how much they are drinking from a curved glass, then the results of this experiment should show that both groups drank their drinks in the same amount of time, since the everyday person can look at a glass and tell when they are half way or three-quarters of the way through a drink. However, The results of this experiment resulted in the group with unmarked glasses drinking their drinks 1.2 minutes faster.
You may be sitting here reading this and thinking “Well, 1.2 minutes is not that much faster, so the difference does not really matter.” When one looks at one drink and one drink only, this is somewhat true. However, the significance comes in numbers. The biggest example is with the teenage and young adult population, who may have in excess of 10 drinks in one night. The danger only increases as they put more hard liquor such as Vodka, Rum or Gin in their drinks, or if they go out to an establishment with a special such as “$3 drinks” for example. When one has 10 drinks or more, each 1.2 minutes faster than they would have if the glasses were measured, they have now consumed a certain amount of alcohol a whole 12 minutes faster. Some still may consider 12 minutes to be an insignificant time, but this next point may make them reconsider. Those 12 minutes, or even the 1.2 minutes, could be the difference between a night ending very badly for someone, or the difference between making the decision to slow down, or even the difference between making the choice to have another drink.
In the end, if you know you are someone who enjoys their alcohol on a Friday, Saturday, or even a random Wednesday every now and then, beware of the shape of the apparatus you choose to drink it out of. It could very well save you from something you might not know is coming.