I was a student not so long ago. They were trying times – full of Glen’s Vodka, trips to Londis and pints of weird green drink they said tasted like Skittles. (It really didn’t.)

When you’re a student, you don’t drink alcohol for the taste, you drink it for the nerve to make eyes at that hotty down the corridor from you. Plus you don’t have a lot of money (I assume you too squealed with delight at receiving your first student loan instalment and promptly blew it all on a new camera and loads of clothes?) So cheap alcohol is the only option. (Well aside from this.)

But anyway, there’s plenty of time in life for fancy spirits that actually taste nice and don’t leave you feeling like you spent the night doing shots of pure ethanol. Plenty of time.

So what follows is your introductory guide to the cheap stuff.  This was of course a scientific experiment, I’m not some drunken moron; I did leave uni with some brain cells.

We will be using the following formula to calculate how many units of alcohol are in each bottle:

(%ABV x VOLUME Ml) ÷ 1000

We will then use this formula to calculate the price per unit (this is very important):


When I find a geek to make this into an iPhone app for me, I’m totally doing it.

First up, the value cider that gives you more for a lot lot less - White Ace.


VOLUME: 2 litres

ABV: 7.5%, UNITS: 15, COST: £2.35


Here’s some White Ace. It truly is at an ‘Ace price’. It even makes you grow little heads out of your knuckles. Eeeeek!

If you’ve got time (what am I like, you’re a student, of course you’ve got time) read this article on ‘the murky world of white cider’. Apparently it barely even contains apples! Que horror! That’s one of your 5 a day out the window then.

Anyway, apples shmapples - on the way into town, we saw this man on the platform. At first I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating because of the cheap cider. This photo proves otherwise. He was actually there.

I didn’t want to sit in the same carriage as him just in case he was a really old-fashioned suicide bomber. So we didn’t.

A thrifty student always carries a hipflask. If you’re lucky, you’ll be carrying something like this. If not, you’ll be carrying it in an old water bottle like us. Note Rosie’s look of contempt. Don’t think the not-so-appley cider is going down well.

Here’s me forcing myself to finish the drink (I knew there’d be a nasty lady bouncer waiting to check my bag and confiscate my alcohol and my dress wasn’t billowy enough for me to put it down my tights). Unfortunately a drop of cider fell on my camera, making it a little giddy thus mashing up my photo - if it can do that to a camera, what’s it doing to my insides? Jeez Louise.

Apparently drinking the alcohol of yobby teens makes you act like one. I used the word ‘fuck’ a lot and Rosie developed a mild case of kleptomania. Here she is stealing some glitter balls. We also took some candles - just because we could. They’re now in our toilet. But hey, that’s what students do when they’re drunk, right? Steal shit and cow tip?* Right?

VERDICT: Drink a bottle of this for pre-lash and you’ll leave the house merry but a bit lairy. I mugged three old ladies and that was just on the way to the station. So if you’re the violent sort, steer clear.

*Please don’t do this. It makes me sad.

Click next page to discover the virtues of Tesco Value Vodka.