The Sauce: The great straw debate

Does drinking alcohol through a straw make you more drunk? When this question came up in a discussion between a friend and I last week, I came to the conclusion that this was a predicament that only science could answer.

By combining the scientific process, some booze, a few test subjects and a rubric for a grade six science project I found online, I was en route to discovery.


Reasons for this belief, according to the Internet, include: the roof of your mouth is permeable and the straw makes alcohol shoot up towards it; and, my personal favourite, you inhale more alcohol fumes when drinking with a straw, which gets you drunk faster.

I suspect that drinking with a straw has no noticeable effect on drunkenness.


10 test subjects, two days’ worth of booze of choice, disposable cups, plastic straws


First, participants were split into two groups. Group A would drink with straws one night and then none the next; group B would do the opposite.

As a result, any hangover effect making it easier to get drunk on the second time would be accounted for in the study.

Each drinker was instructed to have four drinks of the same type and size during the night and to rate their drunkenness (0 meaning able to drive, 10 meaning blackout drunk) after two drinks and again after four. 

Night one: Drinks were poured right away, as test subjects were eager to begin. At two drinks there was little noticeable difference in scores. Most subjects described themselves as 2.5 to 3.5: tipsy.

From four and on, ratings are not so simple to decipher.

A few test subjects forgot to write their scores down.

A few more were unreadable, and a few subjects had gotten a tad spilly on the notepaper.

Leaving the lab, subjects were ready for the bar: wearing masks, yelling at each other and having pictures taken by people lucky enough to be in proximity.

Night Two: Round two was supposed to take place with groups A and B switching straw-assisted drinking for no straw and vice versa.

Unfortunately, I lost my test subjects to a sociology experiment involving a dozen ill-fitting pairs of Harry Potter glasses.


Straws don’t get you wasted, but alcohol does. There is a direct link between drinking and drunk. Who knew?

Data on Harry Potter glasses was inconclusive.