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March 1978

Cocktails for Ten: An In Vivo-In Vitro Study

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(3):359-360. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630270013008

An old, oft-repeated joke tells of a Martian scientist who was observing three inebriates in a bar. One ordered gin, the other vodka, and the third bourbon. Although their drinks varied, all three drunks asked for the same mix, ginger ale. From this common denominator the Martian deduced that ginger ale was responsible for drunkenness.

"Lunchtime Gin and Tonic: A Cause of Reactive Hypoglycemia" by O'Keefe and Marks1 is a report of a study that recalls the "Martian" tale not only because its materials are also cocktails and drinkers, but because it, too, provides a novel view on the mechanism of after-cocktail behavior.

The purpose of the study (by O'Keefe and Marks) was to elucidate the combined and the separate effects of alcohol and glucose in the causation of reactive hypoglycemia. Ten members of the medical and nursing staff of St Luke's Hospital, Guildford, England, none of whom was