The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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How Many Drinks Is Too Many?
Counting Alcohol Quotations

Drink the first. Sip the second slowly. Skip the third. ~Knute Rockne (1888–1931)

For fear that one drink will be lonesome, take another to keep it company, and another to keep peace between them.
      One glass is wholesome,
      Two glasses toothsome,
      Three glasses blithesome,
      Four glasses fulsome,
      Five glasses noisome,
      Six glasses quarrelsome,
      Seven glasses darksome.
~A Book of Old Songs, Healths, Toasts, Sentiments, and Wise Sayings Pertaining to the Bond of Good Fellowship, 1901  ["after Charles Lamb" —tg]

Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. The trouble is I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or fourteenth. ~George Burns (1896–1996)

Olivia:  What's a drunken man like, fool?
Feste:  Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: one draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him.
Olivia:  Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o' my coz; for he's in the third degree of drink, he's drowned: go, look after him.
Feste:  He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the madman.
~William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, c.1599  [I, 5]

On drink three time is blurred, and suddenly I'm not thinking about the future any more. Or the past. Or even the present... I'm floating through time. ~Dodie Clark, Secrets for the Mad, 2017

Three glasses of wine can set everything to rights. ~Chinese proverb

The cocktail is a pleasant drink;
It's mild and harmless — I don't think!
When you've had one, you call for two,
And then you don't care what you do.
Last night I hoisted twenty-three
Of those arrangements into me.
My wealth increased, I swelled with pride,
I was pickled, primed, and ossified;
But R-E-M-O-R-S-E!
The water wagon is the place for me.
I think that somewhere in the game
I wept and told my maiden name.
At four I sought my whirling bed;
At eight I woke with such a head!...
The world was one kaleidoscope
Of purple bliss, transcendent hope...
Those dry Martinis did the work for me;
Last night at twelve I felt immense,
To-day I feel like thirty cents.
My eyes are bleared, my coppers hot,
I'll try to eat, but I cannot.
It is no time for mirth and laughter,
The cold, gray dawn of the morning after!
~George Ade, "R-E-M-O-R-S-E," The Sultan of Sulu, 1903

I love the dappled place I find myself after one drink, and even two, but after three I'm getting lost in the woods, after four, I'm climbing back onto the barstool... ~Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It, 2015

After Vance had his third drink he knew he'd had enough. He was feeling the bang. ~Franklin White, Cup of Love, 2001

Know thyself, especially thyself after a third drink. ~Robert Brault,

I drink exactly as much as I want, and one drink more. ~H. L. Mencken (1880–1956)

A vine bears three bunches of grapes. The first, the bunch of pleasure; the second, that of drunkenness; the third, that of disgust. ~Anacharsis (early 6th century BCE), paraphrase by Diogenes Laërtius (3rd C. CE), The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, translated by C.D. Yonge (1901)  [Joannes Stobaeus claimed four clusters of grapes: health, pleasure, insolence, and madness. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The first glass is a sedative, the second a psychologist, the third glass an excuse, and the fourth a lobotomy. ~Terri Guillemets, "I need glasses," 1996

He who drinks a fifth on the fourth may not be able to go forth on the fifth. ~Internet meme

I like to have a Martini,
Two at the very most—
After three I'm under the table,
After four I'm under my host.
~Dorothy Parker

One is all right, two is too many, three is not enough. ~James Thurber, 1960  [martinis –tg]

They say a martini is like a woman's breast — one ain't enough and three is too many. ~The Parallax View, 1974, written by David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr., and Robert Towne

When I have one martini, I feel bigger, wiser, taller. When I have a second, I feel superlative. When I have more, there's no holding me. ~William Faulkner

To say that we should not change our drinks is heresy; the tongue becomes saturated, and after the third glass yields but an obtuse sensation. ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste; or, Transcendental Gastronomy, 1825, translated by Fayette Robinson, 1854

Wine, she serenades me
with her first fragrant glass
purring plush purple poetry
      Tra la la la la, tra lee!
She dances in vinous metre
in a second fermented flute
trilling tipsy-turvy tunes
      Tra la la la la, tra leee!
Sip slosh, now she mumbles
bottle buzzing on pour three
a faint intoxicated harmony
      Tra la la la la, tra leeee!
~Terri Guillemets

A few drams make a drunkard, a few drunkards make a dram-shop, and many dram-shops damn a nation. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, — floor!  ~Drinking saying

In the first Warmth of our Liquor, we begin to have an Opinion of our Wit; the next Degree of Heat gives us an Opinion of our Courage. ~Sententiæ Selectæ, compiled by Edward Curray, 1732

Have your final drink first — and then stop. ~Terri Guillemets, "Advice," 1994

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published 2000 Mar 28
revised Aug 2018, Apr 2019
last saved 2023 Aug 30