The Withnail and I drinking game

Unfortunately, or on consideration perhaps not, I only found the rules for this particular drinking game after I’d become middle-aged and caught sobriety in a big way. I categorically reserve the right, however, to consult this post when I next catch up with my oldest and dearest friend.

Hi, Chris 😉

This is a drinking game associated with Withnail & I, popular amongst fans. The game consists of keeping up, drink for drink, with each and every alcoholic (and other) substance consumed by Withnail and Marwood over the course of the film.

Most players may simply drink their beverage of choice regardless of what the characters consume, though this is viewed by the more “hardcore” Withnail & I fans (and I have always considered myself a hardcore fan) as an “easy way out.” All told, Withnail drinks roughly 9 1/2 glasses of red wine, 1/2 pint of cider, 1 shot of lighter fluid (vinegar or overproof rum are recommended substitutes), 2 1/2 shots of gin, 6 glasses of sherry, 13 whiskeys and 1/2 a pint of ale. Seeing as the whiskey alone would be more than enough to necessitate a trip to hospital for most people, few people, if any, keep pace for the entire film.

The Withnail and I drinking game is played while watching that film, and involves matching the title character drink for drink. Note that only consumption visible on screen is counted – while we may know that, for instance, Withnail has just finished a pint of beer there is no need to join him in it if we didn’t see him drink it. For planning purposes, a complete list of everything that passes Withnail’s lips on screen is presented below. Since drinks of different types sometimes follow in quick succession, in order to keep up it will probably be useful to keep a “buffer” of the next few drinks ready to go at all times.

• mouthful of red wine
• “Lighter fluid” (eg overproof rum)
• double gin
• finger of cider (with ice)
• finger of cider (with ice)
• finger of cider (with ice)
• glass of sherry
• two big chugs of sherry
• mouthful of sherry
• sip of sherry
• double whisky
• mouthful of whisky
• mouthful of whisky
• mouthful of whisky
• mouthful of whisky
• splash of whisky
• single Teachers
• double Teachers
• double Teachers
• single Teachers
• sip of sherry
• three fingers of ale
• sip of red wine
• gulp of sherry
• small glass of red wine
• sip of red wine
• half glass of red wine
• sip of something white (gin & bitter lemon?)
• sip of red wine
• sip of red wine
• gulp of red wine
• gulp of red wine
• finger of red wine
• finger of red wine
• gulp of red wine (“’53 Margaux”)
• gulp of red wine (“’53 Margaux”)
• gulp of red wine (“’53 Margaux”)
• gulp of red wine (“’53 Margaux”)

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