The Functioning Alcoholic


It has been said that the two cardinal rules of Jewish shopping are as follows: 1) Do not buy anything that is not on sale, and 2) Do not fail to buy anything that is on sale.

With these in mind, and my tripartite identity as student, epicure and Jew(ish), it is often that I am loath to spend my hard-earned psychology experiment dosh on what is possibly the worst value drug on the market, its absurdly ballooning prices pushing me to invest in a wedge of creamy French cheese instead of a bottle of tipple. But at times, cheese doesn’t quite cut the mustard, and I want something harder than brie – and I’m not talking cheddar here.

The art of sale shopping really comes into its own with regard to alcohol; you can keep your value vodka, that swill which resembles paint-stripper more than any other spirit that I’ve ever sampled – I’m going to M&S, where such delights as £5 crème de cassis, £3 port selection packs and £1.99 bottles of gin fizz, with their scarlet ‘reduced’ labels, attract my beady eyes.

PHOTO / Ed.Ward

This last flagon of fizz is perfect for middle-class alcoholics and (Oxonian) hoi-polloi alike, its elegant frosted-green bottle and authentic cork making for a champagne-like experience at mere pennies on the pound.

As I swill my junipous libation from Poundland’s most tasteful pink champagne coupe-alikes, a slice of quattro stagioni and an episode of Doctor Who accompanying it, the playful notes of verdant citrus and not-too-expensive-but-still-not-bad-for-two-quid white wine dance on my palate, assuring me that this was indeed a good investment.


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