Pink Whitney is a pink lemonade flavored vodka that has become quite popular in recent years. Many people enjoy mixing it with lemonade or other mixers to make cocktails. However, some may wonder if drinking multiple shots of Pink Whitney straight is excessive alcohol consumption.
What is Pink Whitney vodka?
Pink Whitney vodka is a collaboration between New Amsterdam Vodka and the NHL hockey player Ryan Whitney. It first launched in 2018 and is New Amsterdam vodka infused with fresh pink lemonade flavor. The vodka has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 30% (60 proof).
The vodka gets its pinkish hue from the natural flavors used to infuse it with a pink lemonade taste. While it has a sweet and tart lemonade flavor, it’s still a vodka at its core with the expected burn of a straight vodka shot.
How much alcohol is in 4 shots of Pink Whitney?
Most standard shot glasses hold 1.5 ounces of liquid. Since Pink Whitney vodka is 30% ABV, this means each 1.5 oz shot contains:
- 0.45 ounces (13.5 ml) of pure alcohol
If you take 4 shots, that equals:
- 4 x 1.5 ounces = 6 total ounces of Pink Whitney vodka
- 4 x 0.45 ounces = 1.8 ounces of pure alcohol
To put this in perspective, one “standard drink” is considered:
- 12 ounces of beer at 5% ABV (0.6 ounces of alcohol)
- 5 ounces of wine at 12% ABV (0.6 ounces of alcohol)
- 1.5 ounces of 80 proof (40% ABV) distilled spirits (0.6 ounces of alcohol)
So 4 shots of Pink Whitney equates to approximately 3 standard drinks worth of pure alcohol. This is definitely on the higher end for a single sitting.
Is 4 shots of Pink Whitney a lot for one person?
Whether or not 4 shots of Pink Whitney is “a lot” depends on multiple factors including:
- Your body size and metabolism
- If you’re drinking it on an empty stomach
- Your alcohol tolerance level
- If you’re drinking it within a short span of time
For a smaller person who rarely drinks, 4 shots of 30% ABV vodka consumed quickly on an empty stomach can definitely cause intoxication. They would quickly feel impaired.
However, someone larger who drinks semi-regularly may be able to tolerate 4 shots over the course of an evening without getting heavily drunk.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that adult men should drink no more than 2 standard drinks per day. For women, it’s no more than 1 drink per day. So 4 shots of Pink Whitney within a short time frame exceeds this daily limit for most adults.
Blood alcohol concentration
Another way to evaluate this is estimating one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) after 4 shots. Here are some rough estimates using an online BAC calculator:*
|120 lb female
|180 lb male
|220 lb male
*Assuming shots consumed over 1 hour
As you can see, a smaller person may have a BAC approaching the legal driving limit of 0.08% after just 4 shots. The larger the person, the more they can “dilute” the alcohol throughout their system.
Potential effects of 4 shots of Pink Whitney
Assuming the shots are consumed within a 1-2 hour period, possible effects include:
- Significant intoxication
- Impaired balance, coordination, reaction time
- Slurred speech
- Poor judgement
- Nausea, vomiting if consumed too quickly
- Memory lapses, blackouts
A BAC over 0.15% also drastically increases the odds of passing out or losing consciousness. And above 0.30% can cause loss of consciousness in even occasional drinkers.
Is it safe?
While occasional moderate alcohol use may pose little risk to most healthy adults, excessive drinking and binge drinking episodes can be harmful and dangerous.
Drinking 4 shots of 30% ABV vodka in one sitting can put you at risk for:
- Alcohol poisoning – especially if chugged on an empty stomach
- Injuries from impaired motor skills and coordination
- Poor decision making leading to unsafe behavior like drunk driving or risky sexual encounters
- Violent behavior
- Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances
- Severe nausea, vomiting, and hangovers
Here are some recommendations around consuming multiple shots of Pink Whitney or other straight hard liquor like vodka, whiskey, rum, etc:
- Pace yourself – avoid taking shots back to back. Have no more than 1 per hour.
- Alternate with non-alcoholic drinks to slow consumption.
- Eat food before and while drinking to slow absorption.
- Set a firm limit on number of shots – no more than 2-3 per occasion.
- Avoid shots if you need to drive or operate machinery.
- Stay hydrated to reduce hangover severity.
- Don’t combine shots with other alcoholic drinks in the same sitting.
Factors that influence alcohol tolerance
Some key factors beyond weight that affect alcohol tolerance include:
- Biological sex – Women tend to reach higher BACs than men of the same weight after drinking equivalent amounts.
- Age – Older adults tend to have lower tolerance due to decreased body water content and liver functioning.
- Food – Drinking on an empty stomach increases BAC vs. having a meal first.
- Hydration – Dehydration decreases alcohol tolerance.
- Genetics – Certain gene variants lead to enzymes that break down alcohol more slowly.
- Medications – Some prescriptions may increase the effects of alcohol.
- Sleep – Fatigue lowers alcohol tolerance.
- Tolerance – Frequent heavy drinkers build higher tolerance.
The effects of alcohol on the body and brain
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes a wide range of effects throughout the body and brain, even in moderate amounts. These include:
- Suppressed glutamate activity leading to sedation, loss of coordination
- Increased GABA activity inducing relaxation and reduced anxiety
- Release of dopamine, activating the brain’s reward centers
- Increased heart rate, dilation of blood vessels
- Impaired memory formation and learning
- Altered judgement, reduced inhibition and self-control
- Slowed reaction times and reflexes
- Reduced core body temperature
- Disrupted circadian rhythms
- Decreased glucose production and hypoglycemia
Higher alcohol levels intensify these effects, leading to severe impairment of cognition, movement, decision making, and vital life processes. This accounts for many of alcohol’s more dangerous impacts including injuries, organ damage, addiction, and the potential for overdose.
Why liquor hits faster than beer or wine
Distilled spirits like Pink Whitney vodka contain no sugars or proteins and very little water, so they are absorbed very rapidly by the gastrointestinal tract. This sends alcohol to the brain more quickly.
Beers and wines have more natural sugars, flavors, congeners, and water so they are absorbed more slowly. But there is the same total amount of alcohol in a standard serving of each.
Signs of alcohol overdose
Drinking large amounts of alcohol, especially distilled liquor, in a brief window can bring on alcohol poisoning. This constitutes a medical emergency, but is preventable by drinking in moderation.
Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
- Confusion, disorientation, stupor, loss of consciousness
- Vomiting while passed out, or choking on vomit while asleep
- Slowed or irregular breathing
- Hypothermia – low body temperature
- Bluish skin color, paleness
If overdose is suspected, immediately call emergency services. Do not leave the person unattended or allow them to “sleep it off.” Alcohol poisoning can lead to permanent brain damage or death from respiratory failure.
Long term effects of alcohol abuse
While most adults can safely consume moderate amounts of alcohol, excessive long term intake is linked to serious health risks and organ damage. These include:
- Liver disease – fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis
- Digestive problems – heartburn, ulcers, gastritis
- Heart damage – cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, stroke
- Pancreatic damage leading to diabetes
- Weakened immune system
- Certain cancers – liver, colorectal, breast, etc.
- Brain damage, memory loss and dementia
- Alcoholism, depression and mental health issues
Heavy drinkers who go on binges or frequently drink to excess are most prone to experience these detrimental effects over time.
Treatment options for alcohol abuse
Those struggling with excessive drinking, alcoholism, or alcohol dependence have several treatment options available, including:
- Detoxification – Supervised medical detox to safely manage withdrawal symptoms when quitting heavy drinking.
- Counseling – Individual and group therapy focused on managing addiction, positive coping skills, and preventing relapse.
- Residential programs – Short or long term stays at licensed treatment facilities with intensive therapy.
- 12-step programs – Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous that provide peer support and tools for living sober.
- Medications – Drugs to reduce alcohol cravings and support recovery.
- Outpatient programs – Daytime treatment services while living at home.
A combination of therapies and support systems has been shown to provide the best chance of overcoming alcoholism long term. Treatment plans can be tailored to each person’s specific needs and level of addiction.
In summary, taking 4 full shots of Pink Whitney vodka or other straight hard liquor within a short window would be considered excessive consumption for most people. It significantly raises blood alcohol levels, impairs functioning, and increases the risks of alcohol poisoning or unsafe behavior.
Moderation is key – limiting intake to 1-2 standard servings per day and pacing drinks out over time. But those with alcohol abuse issues should seek professional treatment and practice abstinence. Understanding your personal tolerance level and making smart choices about if, when and how much to drink is crucial to maintaining health and safety.