You can get drunk without actually touching a drop of alcohol. Seriously.

‘Alcohol that makes me drunk without giving me a hangover‘ is up there on everyone’s Genie Wish List, along with that mythical packet of Tim Tams that never runs out.

So what if we told you you didn’t need to go rubbing mysterious lamps in antiques stores to make this particular wish come true?

RELATED: How to look the bomb when your hangover’s going off

Yes, in news that will please regular hangover sufferers, designated drivers, pregnant women and anyone who participates in those month-long alcohol-free challenges: you can get all the fun of being drunk without actually consuming any grog. Bring on the mocktails.

Our EIC and mum-to-be Jamila drinking soda water out of a wine glass. Pretending is half the fun.


As Psychology Today reports, a New Zealand study examined the placebo effect of alcohol on 148 university students. Half of the participants were told they would be drinking vodka tonic with lime, while the remainder were told they'd be drinking a vodka-free version of the same drink.

RELATED: 5 things you never knew about alcohol.

But here's where it gets tricky — none of the students were actually given alcohol. The first group were certainly given that impression; bartenders poured "vodka" into their glasses from Absolut bottles, and the rims were rubbed with vodka-soaked limes and just enough real vodka to ward off any suspicion. Very sneaky indeed.

Then, the researchers showed the students some images of a crime scene, and told them a story filled with misleading information. Later, they tested the group on their recall, with some interesting results: the "intoxicated" students were more likely to buy the misleading information, and were more confident in their memory reports.


"We found people who thought they were intoxicated were more suggestible and made worse eyewitnesses compared to those who thought they were sober. In fact the 'vodka and tonic' students acted drunk, some even showing physical signs of intoxication," one of the study authors, Seema Assefi, said in a press release.

Overly confident? Memory shot to hell? Sounds like legitimate drunkenness to us, and yet each of these hot messes were actually stone cold sober (not to mention, probably quite hydrated) at the time. We're guessing they were pretty embarrassed when they were told the truth.

RELATED: Put down the vodka: this is when your tipsy face is most attractive.

In conclusion, these findings teach us two important lessons:

1. Never underestimate the power of expectation.

2. Next time you're looking after one of your completely hammered friends and they ask you to buy them yet another drink, you can use this study's trick to sober them back up — without experiencing the wrath of a drunkard being denied alcohol. Ask your bartender to serve up a glass of water/soft drink in a fancy glass with their spirit of choice rubbed around the rim (how very conspiratorial!). In your pal's sloshed state, that smell will be enough to fool them.

And hey, next time you're the drunken mess, you might even be able to use that trick on yourself.

Have you ever felt "drunk" without actually being drunk?

On the topic of alcohol — these low-sugar cocktail recipes will alleviate your drinking guilt. Following on from what you've just read, you mightn't even need to add the alcohol...