So we're a few short days away from Rio Olympics 2016.
And yes, whilst it's the perfect excuse for cachaça, caipirinhas and caipiroska, we're less about embracing Brazilian cocktails and more about embracing the atmosphere of team spirit, friendly rivalry and the coming together of great nations for a little competitive fun.
Hence, the Olympdrinks - our reimagining of the great Olympic games, but with drinks and drinking at the core.
And we're not saying 'alcoholic' drinks necessarily (although this does level the playing field...) but taking that feel-good ethos of good friends, good company and a cold beverage or two - because we really wouldn't recommend playing Beer Pong with tea...
So, without further ado, blow your horns, sound your trumpets and wave that flag - the very first Olympdrinks are about to commence...
EVENT 1: BOX TROT RELAY
Forget track and field. Forget Usain Bolt. The Box Trot Relay is a game of both endurance and speed. It's like the 1500m race, but a relay, and with high fives and random sprint intervals. Now that would be an event worth watching...
The Box Trot Relay requires teams of four and two boxes of wine (or juice) as "the baton". On the whistle (or starter gun if we're going all out) the first competitor must pour and then drink a glass of his beverage of choice, then sprint 80m whilst carrying the two boxes (one in each hand) to his second team member, where he will pour two glasses, they will both cheers and then drink.
Once both competitors are finished the drink, and only then, the second competitor will run back to competitor three and repeat the pouring, the cheers and the drinking. Competitor three will then run to competitor four (pour, cheers, drink, etc.) and competitor four will then sprint, still carrying the two boxes, across the finish line, before pouring and drinking once last time. Only once the last drink is finished is the race over. Feel free to signal the end by turning the empty glass upon one's head.
Simply put, the Box Trot Relay is a "drink / *sprint whilst weightlifting* / drink again" combination that demands precision and teamwork. Oh, and quick drinking skills... natch.
EVENT 2: FLIP CUP
If we break it down, flip cup is basically exactly like Olympic sport Handball. Exactly.
You skillfully use your hands to complete a task, with an end goal, and with other team players. There's just a little added drinking...
Flip Cup involves two teams stood facing each other (how many players? You decide) with a plastic pint cup filled with a drink. We recommend beer or cider rather than a pint of something stronger, or water if you're playing tee-total. The signal to begin will sound and the first player will drink the entire pint, place the empty cup on the table and then 'flip it' using one hand, until it rests on its head, the reverse way up.
Once the cup is flipped, player two will repeat, and so on, until the last team member has drank and flipped their cup. The first team with empty pint glasses all upside down will be deemed the worthy winners.
EVENT 3: WINELIFTING
Wine lifting is the discerning drinkers take on weightlifting. An event that combines skill, precision and a highly-advanced technique - much like the Olympic sport that it's inspired by. A three-part event, Wine Lifting showcases the multifaceted abilities of the competitor, with three exercises that test the ability of the entire body. Although a test of strength? Not so much...
Part 1: Uncorking. Using a waiter's corkscrew, competitors must sit on the floor and demonstrate upper body physicality as well as accuracy and speed. The corkscrew is to be inserted into the cork, and pulled upright to de-cork the wine. Points are given for technique, speed and position.
Part 2: 10-Sip Bicep Curls. The wine is to be poured into a glass and positioned in the palm of the hand. The arm begins outstretched, and with each bend of the elbow and flex of the bicep a sip is simultaneously taken from the glass. Work those muscles, practice your aim, and make sure your glass is empty within ten sips - no more, no less or points are deducted.
Part 3: The Wine Crunch. Position yourself on a weights bench at a 45 degree angle. Your wine bottle poised on your chest, resting on the legs. When you crunch (an intense "sit-up") the wine bottle will rise. When you release, the wine bottle will lower and during this resting phase you will sip that wine like your country depends on it. Can also be done with bottles of soft drink, as a tag-team, or give points for flair rather than finishing... in the spirit of responsible drinking, and not getting wine on the carpet...
EVENT 4: PALM TREE TOWER
Olympic gymnastics calls for great balance - particularly on the beam. The Palm Tree Tower event also calls for excellent balancing skills, focus and patience.
A pint glass is placed in the middle of the table with two teams of four sat around in alternative seats. The pint glass is filled with some of each team's beverage and a pack of playing cards are placed around the glass in a ring. The players take it in turns to turn over a card. If it is red, the competitor drinks; if it is black, they are safe and the drink is passed to the next competitor.
But what of the balancing and the palm tree? Well. After a card is chosen, it must be placed on top of the pint glass, with at least 2 corners off the edge of the existing cards, thus creating a fan or palm tree effect. Like Jenga, whoever makes the cards fall is declared the loser and along with their team must consume the remaining drinks and the original pint in the middle...
EVENT 5: PENNY SLAMMERS
There's bouncing and there are "baskets" - meaning this Olympdrinks event is essentially the drinking equivalent of basketball... But you can play sitting down. And don't need to be over 6ft tall.
With a bit of skill (and mostly luck) team members must bounce a penny piece off a hard service into a glass. For every failed attempt, a drink is taken. The first team where three team members successfully bounce the penny into the glass, wins. Sounds pretty straightforward. Isn't.
EVENT 6: BAG TOSS
It's a bit like curling. Or Archery. Or any target-focused sport (shooting, darts...) but arguably demanding an even greater level of skill because whilst one hand will be aiming and throwing, the other will be holding a drink...
The Bag Toss is quite simple. Throw the bag and aim for the target. Points for an on-target shot (let's say 3?) and bonus points for at least hitting the board (1?) and while we're at it, points for displacing the opposition's bag too (because that's the best thing about curling). But, the tricky part is that this must be done whilst the other hand holds on to a full pint of liquid. Minus points for spilling and if you either miss the board, or your bag is displaced by the opposition, then you must drink also. The winning team is the person with most points and the fullest cup at the end of five rounds.
EVENT 7: BEER PONG
Table Tennis is fun, sure, but Beer Pong is even better. The ultimate Olympdrinks event, there are many variations, so we'll establish the international version now.
For the Olympdrinks Beer Pong, there are two competitors per team. 10 plastic cups per team are filled 1/4 full of your beverage of choice and arranged in a 4-3-2-1 pyramid on a long table, with the point facing the opposition. The aim is to throw a table tennis ball into one of the opposition's cup.
Teams take it in turns to throw the ball either overarm or underarm. If the ball lands directly in the opposition's cup, the opposition drink the cup's contents and remove it from the table. If it bounces once, the opposition do have the opportunity to try and swat the ball away. The game is won when one team successfully eliminates all of their opposition's cups. A draw can occur when both teams are left with one cup, and both eliminate their opposition's cup on their final turn. If this happens, we turn to the most ancient of Olympic sports - wrestling...
Just like the regular Olympics, the Olympdrinks involves utilising multiple different skill sets depending on the event at hand in order to come out on top and get the most points for your team. And also drinking...
Feel free to try this at home – with responsible drinking in mind please folks (different team members for each event, not ALWAYS using alcohol – we have warned you... it WILL get messy) and we’d definitely encourage holding an opening ceremony where teams walk out to theme songs, dress for the occasion and perhaps learn a phrase or two in another language for encouragement. How about a little Spanish, "correr más rápido idiota" (run faster fool!) for starters...