Besides how well we do on our course (obviously), alcohol- in particular, its price- influences our state of mind greatly, and with the new budget released, alcohol prices are set to rise even further, with the estimated price of a pint set to rise by an additional 5p. This has been heavily criticised by the likes of Tim Martin, chairman of the infamous JD Wetherspoon, who said: “We are disappointed that excise duties on alcohol will increase by 2% beyond the rate of inflation, since the British people are now paying 40% of all the alcohol duties in Europe.” Despite this backlash, prices are still set to rise, yet it shall be a long while before the likes of us students have to worry, as the best value spirits have been sourced for your benefit.
First stop: Tesco, for its unbelievable cut price vodka. Tesco Imperial Vodka 1litre beats the equivalent sized bottle of Smirnoff by an incredible £7.30, and I am yet to taste the difference. A favourite of students across the country, vodka is the perfect choice to spice up a game of Ring of Fire, increase the potency of many other concoctions and guarantee an all round great night. A night that is destined to be even greater when it only costs you £14.50.
Yet if this is still stretching the budget a little too far, brave Lidl for once, as their Rachmaninoff Vodka is a bargain at under £9 for 70cl. They also offer a stronger bottle for under £10, which has an ABV of 40%. Admittedly, Lidl has yet to perfect this recipe as the difference to a more upmarket vodka is noticeable, although this can easily be overcome! Why not add a packet of your favourite sweets, such as Skittles, to give it a more exotic flavour? Simply add the packet into the bottle, shake it up and leave for a few days to dissolve. Once dissolved, it can be enjoyed with a mixer of your choice (I recommend lemonade) or used for shots. Wonderful.
If vodka is not your poison of choice, Aldi is the place to go. A personal favourite of mine has to be its Cocobay White Rum, ideal for cocktails. Served best with ice and fruit juice, the £4.99 rum is soon transformed into a lush tipple and essential on a warm, summer’s evening. With its ABV at 21%, Cocobay might as well rename itself Malibu.
If you’re looking for something a little richer, perhaps more suited to a winter’s evening as opposed to a summer’s one, Aldi is still where it’s at. Their Amaretto Liqueur, £4.99 for 50cl, is another top way to enjoy a prelash. Mixed with coke, the beverage becomes an alcoholic Dr Pepper, although when mixed with cream soda, it becomes out of this world.
Finally, the last bargain spirit to draw your attention to is Savanna Peach Schnapps, available from Tesco at a mere £6 for 70cl; a whopping £7 cheaper than the original Archers. No need to expand on how fantastic an invention this is, but its chemistry with Cocobay must be addressed. Mix equal measures of the two spirits (vodka is an optional extra if you really want a cocktail) and accompany it with a dash of lemonade for some fizz, followed by an exotic fruit juice of your choice: cranberry and raspberry is a little different and tastes divine.
Now that you have all been enlightened, there really is no need to worry about how much more a night on the town is going to cost. But just for the record, always drink in moderation.