Silly Season is here. And what is sillier than insisting you go to 12 pubs?
Completing the 12 pubs of Christmas has become a bit of a Christmas Tradition in a few of my friend circles. I am not suggesting anyone should do the 12 pubs or supporting the crazy idea, but if you are planning on attempting it here are a few tips to help you get through it in one piece.
1) Plan your route
Instead of wandering around like headless chickens and wasting time trying to choose the next pub, it is a good idea to plan the route ahead of time. Ideally, the pubs would all be close together to avoid a long walk between each one. Below is a map with two different routes on it.
The Green Route begins at one side of Galway city and ends at the other. This route it a great way to see all the city but you miss some of my favourite pubs in Galway.
The Maroon Route is centred around the Latin Quarter in Galway and features all of my favourite pubs. The pubs on this route are much closer together. Most are next door to each other so if the weather wasn’t good, as it usually isn’t, this would be a better route.
Make sure to drink loads of water the day before and the day after. This will help with the inevitable hangover and give you more energy to keep going.
3) Start Early
Think about it, if you are planning on going to 12 pubs and spend a minimum of half an hour in each one that is still 6 hours. My advice would be to start as early as possible. The pubs in Galway around Christmas time can get very busy so it’s nicer to start that bit earlier so you can get a seat in the first few and as you carry on the crowds and craic will get bigger and better. There is nothing worse than trying to rush through the pubs so have your plan, start early and stick to it.
4) Dress Comfortably
Christmas jumpers are the usual uniform for the 12 pubs so just go for it and don’t care about how ridiculous you look. Make sure to wear flat shoes as you’ll probably end up doing a lot of walking and make sure to wear layers. The Christmas jumpers can be very warm in crowded pubs.
5) Bring as Little as Possible
This kind of links into tip #4. I’m terrible for leaving things down and forgetting them so I like to bring as little as possible. I always wear jeans because… pockets! That way I don’t have to bring a handbag. As well as this, I make sure to get a really warm jumper and this saves me from having to bring a jacket. I don’t bother with hats, scarves or gloves because I just know I will lose them.
6) Choose Your Drink in Advance
Plan your drinking in advance. The first time I ever attempted the 12 pubs I didn’t really drink spirits so I went with bottles of Cider. This became very sickly very fast. Now, I opt for Vodka and white and I stick to that until I get tired. When I do get tired I might have a sugary Cider like Kopperberg to give myself a bit of energy again but only the one and then it’s back to vodka.
7) Stick to Just the One (Per Pub)
Usually, I find when you’re doing the 12 pubs, you might not start feeling the buzz until halfway through. I’ve seen people start to double up on drinks to try and get a bit tipsy but this is such a bad idea. It ends up hitting you like a tone of bricks. I always stick to one drink per pub and those drinks are always bottles, not pints and single measures, not doubles.
As far as I am aware, a measure of Vodka is 25ml. 12×25=300. To put this into context, a naggin of vodka is 200ml and a shoulder is 350ml so if you stick to one single per pub you are drinking somwhere inbetween a naggin and a shouldee.
Make sure you have a good meal an hour or two before you start and have a snack or two halfway through too. The food will help you keep going but make sure not to overindulge as this might make you sick.
9) Stick to Your Plan
Before you start, determine your route and how long you can spend in each pub. Make sure you stick to this. No matter who you bump into. If you start waiting a minute here or popping in here to say hi real quick there, time will fly and you’ll either run out of time or end up rushing the last few pubs. You don’t want to rush.
10) Pace Yourself
Make sure to listen to what your body is telling you. If you start to feel unwell, skip a pub. Or have a pint of water. Don’t give into the hype or peer pressure and do what is best for you.
11) Plan How to get Home
If you complete all 12 pubs, the likelihood is that you will be very drunk by the end. Make sure you have already planned a way home to ensure you get home safe and sound.
Enjoy your night out with your friends and make the most of it. Believe me, unless the craic is 90, the hangover will not be worth it.