How to pre-drink on a shoe-string budget

There’s an art to it

We’ve all been there before, staring doubtfully at the reduced pot noodles in Nisa and secretly loathing ourselves for blowing our student loan on over-priced Jägerbombs, Dominos and the occasional mishap in Ladbrokes.

We’ve all found ourselves feeling sinfully grateful for the dirty pint in Ring of Fire because you can’t afford a drink in town.

It simply doesn’t have to be this way, if you’re willing to make a few necessary sacrifices.

First of all, get yourself a damn hip flask because they save a fortune.

Drink whatever’s strong, it may taste awful at first but after a few swigs it should taste like nothing as your senses are drunkenly dulled to the world.

Here’s a few recommendations:

‘White Strike’ – £2.89, 2 litres, Nisa

AKA “Rocket Fuel”. At first it tastes like battery acid, and at 7.5% gets you off your trolley. The more hardened drinker may take to a park bench and drink it out of a paper bag like the traditional shoddy looking gentlemen you see at your local park absolutely smashed at two in the afternoon.

However for a classier approach, pour into a glass with ice and black current cordial for both a sophisticated and intoxicating pre-drinks.

‘Taurus’ – £1.99, 2 litres, Aldi

When you go shopping for Taurus it’s like a game of Russian roulette: you’re either going to feel euphoric relief as you stumble across an – actually drinkable – bottle of the pear stuff, or you’re going to find your head feeling very, very sore after downing the rather bitter apple variant.

Like its steroid-pumped cousin White Strike, either form of Taurus can be made somewhat pleasant with a dash of Robinson’s blackcurrant.

‘Bellucci Amaretto’, – £4,79, 50cl, Aldi

If you want to show off to your mates you’ve got “taste” when it comes to alcohol but are low on cash, this is the drink for you. Served with coke it’s pretty damn delicious and is an absolute steal for less than a fiver.

‘Oscar’s Peach Schnapps’, – £4.79, 70cl, Aldi

This particular bottle is ASDA’s own, which does just as well at £4.93

Generally quite delightful and a lot cheaper than mainstream brands like Archer’s, this stuff goes down a treat. Would recommend if you don’t want your mouth to taste like a neglected food disposal the next day.

Most bottled ales /beers– £1-2, Aldi/Lidl

It’s hard not to feel sorry for the bottled ales of value supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl. They’re regularly left to gather dust on their dainty shelves by the magazines as the horrendously cheap spirits and multi-packs of lager gain all the limelight.

However one simply has to browse intently to find a diamond among the dirt, as some of these ales are not only cheap and strong, but also rather tasty. You can grab quite established brands like Hobgoblin and Brown Ale for about a quid a bottle, and their other less-known comrades in neglect for even cheaper, on occasion.

At the end of the day, don’t be satisfied with a brief trip to your local Nisa for a “value” bottle of acidic rosé.

If you plan in advance and have a nose for it, you can stock yourself a healthy hoard of pre-drink ammunition.

Whether you’ve got a sense for taste or prefer getting sloshed on the strongest, cheapest thing possible, it’s simply a matter of searching around.