Hamsters that can handle booze better than elephants, a Kentish bison fighting climate change, and monks expelled for drinking whisky all make our top ten list of silliest stories from 2022.

It’s that time of year when we round things up more than a lazy accountant and today we’ve got our funniest stories to feature on the blog in 2022 to reminisce and laugh at. 

Regular readers of our weekly boozy news update, The Nightcap, will know that the final story in every edition is a funny, remarkable, or downright strange tale that was worth sharing with you all. The ‘And finally…’ stories. So, here are our top picks from the past year.

The Nightcap: 7 January

We salute you, fellow whisky lovers

Monks expelled for drinking whisky at New Year – 7 January

Kicking off the year in style were three Buddhist monks who were fired after boozing at a temple in Thailand on New Year’s Day. Locals heard a commotion and the police confirmed suspicions with breathalyser tests, to which the monks responded to say they were only drinking whisky to “deliver” the alcohol to their ancestors. Monk Arpat explained “We don’t usually drink, only at festivals. We were drinking local rice whisky from local residents who wanted to give the spirits to their ancestors as a blessing. So we drank this whisky in order to deliver alcohol to those dead people. We were doing a good thing by blessing their ancestors and thought this would not violate the rules of being a monk.” A creative excuse, but it wasn’t enough and all three were expelled. Raise a glass to them this New Year. 

The Nightcap: 21 January

“Another round!”

Hamsters handle booze better than elephants – 21 January

You have no idea how hard it is to get a hamster drunk”. The Atlantic has the distinction of having one of 2022’s best quotes and the article was published in January.  Essentially, a bunch of tests were conducted to see how animals process alcohol (vital work) and it turns out hamsters have a really high tolerance. They score low in categories, and I promise I’m not making this up, such as only falling over sideways no matter how much they consume and choosing alcohol over water, with one psychologist being quoted as saying “they love it.” What was even more incredible about this story is that we already knew hamsters could handle their drink, as they’ve been observed eating fermented fruit. Bonobos, chimpanzees, and bats are similarly good for a bevvy, but bigger animals like cows, horses, and elephants struggle. PLEASE don’t test these theories at home. 

Cocktails with soup?!?! – 4 March

Mushroom Truffle Daiquiri, anyone? A Pho Mango Bourbon Sour, perhaps? What about a French Onion Martini? Yes, Campbell’s Soup got into the cocktail game this year, creating a bunch of recipes featuring broth. There’s even food pairings. Don’t get us wrong, we love both, but marrying the two together is a bridge too far. Although, we haven’t tried any of them yet, so we shouldn’t put them down until we have if we’re being fair. Still, it’s so mad that we actually made that French Onion one up. Could you even tell? 

Snakes in wine

Snakebite and black, anyone?

Snake preserved in wine bites man – 18 March

In Britain, a ‘snakebite’ means mixing beer, cider, and sometimes vodka. Usually pretty crudely on a night out. A man in Heilongjiang, China, got a very different experience this year. Back in March, he was trying to treat his son using a popular medicinal remedy known as snake wine. Why is it known as that? Well, because it’s wine in a jar that contains live snakes you sealed inside. Do it wrong and leave even the tiniest quantities of air, however, and the cold-blooded beings can survive by shutting down their bodies to appear to be dead. That’s what happened in this case, so when he opened a jar of wine in which three snakes had been preserved, one of them came back to life and bit him. “Karma, innit,” the snake said. Probably.

The Nightcap: 25 March

What is he thinking?! Only the technology can tell!

Can your facial expressions reveal how you feel about a beer? – 25 March

Ground-breaking research by Japanese scientists makes our top ten this year as the boffins discovered that people make different facial expressions depending on whether we like the taste of a beer or not. Wow. They required facial expression technology, apparently, rather than just looking at people, supposedly so they wouldn’t misunderstand consumers’ real intentions, which could then result in the failure of a new product. What will they find out next?

Whisky robot

We were so busy wondering if we could, we never asked if should. Credit: mevans / Getty

Robot nose identifies whisky with 95% accuracy – 14 April

The robots are taking our jobs, apparently. Dang robots! In April we learned that a new olfactory device has been made to help the whisky industry fight counterfeiters. The findings, published this year in the IEEE Sensors Journal, showed the NOS.E was able to identify a brand of whiskey with more than 95% accuracy in a test run of different samples. The device mimics the human olfactory system to deliver quality assessment and fraudulent detection potential, while definitely plotting our downfall. Have we learned nothing from sci-fi?

Napoli wine

How come nobody ever gives us free booze?

Napoli manager thanks journalists with his own wine – 27 May

A sweet and fun story came from Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli, or Napoli football club to those who didn’t watch their weekly dose of Football Italia in the nineties. In the final press conference of the season back in May, Napoli football club manager Luciano Spalletti thanked the attending press pack with a bottle of his own wine. His family has a 50-hectare estate called La Rimessa in Tuscany. With the Italian side eight points clear in Serie A at the time of writing, he might have to supply more bottles to celebrate winning the Scudetto this season…

Bison Climate change The Nightcap: 29 July

It’s one of those eco engineers

Kentish bison fighting climate change – 29 July

The best headline of the year? This story from July is actually pretty sensible, despite how ridiculous it sounds. It entails a plan from English wine in a can specialist, the Uncommon, and the Kent Wildlife Trust to release bison to roam the English countryside for the first time in 6,000 years because they help in the fight against climate change. Apparently, bison are “ecosystem engineers” who “will restore life to the woodland through their natural behaviours and create a more climate resilient landscape.” They’re also dead big. Which is cool. But not fans of wine. Uncommon is involved because it wants to be eco-conscious, it’s not trying to introduce more customers. We think.


What are they even teaching in schools these days?

Kümmel baffles contestants on University Challenge – 16 September

We all had a smug chuckle at the contestants on University Challenge, a classic British pastime, back in September when they made a right meal of a boozy question. As seen in this clip, host Jeremey Paxman asked: “what liqueur takes its name from the German for the spice caraway? It is said to steady the nerves hence the name ‘putting mixture’ at golf clubs?” A team from University College, Oxford, no less, couldn’t even muster up the name of any liqueur. What manner of student can’t name any drink?! What are they teaching them there?! Of course, you dear reader know the answer is kümmel. 

We might stick to smelling like whisky because we’ve drank some, to be honest

Monkey Shoulder launches whisky perfume – 30 September

Finally, Monkey Shoulder broadened our horizons and ruined a few first dates by suggesting we douse ourselves in a perfume made from whisky. The William Grant-owned brand has created a limited-edition scent inspired by its blended malt Scotch that it then hilariously called ‘Monkey Musk’. The campaign took a further step into the surreal when Jeff Winger himself turned up to remark “The whisky smells great in a glass, so why not rub that all over your body?” Yeah… why indeed.