For eras the drinking game has united human beings in riotous consumption. In our obelisk "House Rules," attracted Lazor explores drinking gamings throughout time and around the world. Up now: "Slap the Bag," America’s ideal boxed wine-based drinking game.

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“I want you to slap this as difficult as you can.”

I’m in mine dining room, participating in what can be the worst Fight Club recreation the people has ever before seen. I’m standing in for Tyler Durden, minus the unflappable confidence and chiseled Jesus torso. An undulating plastic bladder that Corbett Canyon pinot grigio, which ns dangling one arm’s length away from my body, is was standing in because that my face. My friend Lou, among the more reasonable people I know, is playing the Ed Norton part. Ns trying to obtain him to bash the life hell the end of the wine-filled bag in prior of him, and Lou, true come the film, is a small reluctant.

Eventually, Lou relents, walloping the pouch v a square hit for this reason bullwhip-crisp the it deserves among those on-screen onomatopoeia bursts from the OG Batman (THWACKE!). The affect causes a chaos of small bubbles to collect atop the liquid, like froth ~ above a latte. “Hm. The kinda stung,” he deadpans.

If ns was a stickler for the rules, Lou’s strike would have actually been accompanied by an extended duration of straight-from-the-spigot alcohol chugging, an plot aided through equal components gravity and also poor judgment. My goal, though, was an ext empirical: recreating the primary activity of Slap the Bag, America’s best boxed wine-based drinking game.

Since Lou is just one of those world who makes what ours moms contact “good decisions,” this to be his first physical altercation involving bottom-shelf wine. For me, though, StB is miscellaneous I very first observed in ~ our alma mater, La Salle University, a tiny urban Catholic school in northwest Philadelphia. It played the end in a couple of different ways back then.

The most common: someone would gain inexpensive boxed wine—most typically Franzia (shoutout come Sunset Blush)—pull the bag indigenous its cardboard shell, then roam around a party an overwhelming randos to glug straight from the tap. Relying on who’s playing, this achievement would either start or end with one emphatic open-handed slap—similar in heart to spiking the beer deserve to after a effective shotgun, yet obviously way classier because it’s wine. Why a slap? Partly due to the fact that the bag have the right to take the (the things space indestructible), but likewise because that a punctuating gesture the appeals to every comers—think about how fun beating a piñata would be if everyone were guarantee a liquid payout.


My friend and fellow La Salle alum Jeff filled me in top top a much more structured rendition. I ordered it in a circle, competitors toss a full wine bladder come one another; anyone who catches it proceeds with the drink-and-slap ritual. The penalty because that dropping the bag once thrown come you or forgetting to slap that (“which happens quite often, despite it being appropriate in the title”): put on the discarded wine crate on her head, a punishment accompanied by extreme verbal shaming.

“A memorable aphorism that the game is, ‘If you desire to get anything done, protect against at one bag,’” adds Jeff, who recalls one circumstances when he and his friends logged many sloppy StB sessions prior to attempting come play a murder mystery parlor game. “ led to the game being an utter failure and also the identification of the murderer gift a an enig to this day,” the says.

All this took ar in the at an early stage ‘00s, i beg your pardon is as soon as the exercise of Slapping the Bag, at the very least under the name, started acquiring steam. The game, however, retains a surprisingly little Internet footprint. The photo hosting website Flickr attributes a photo dated January 2003 that a bandana’d bro chugging indigenous a wine sack. End on YouTube, the faster clips featuring StB date earlier to 2006. This one, centered roughly a girl named Jackie stumbling into a wall surface while “This must Be the Place” dram in the background, is the earliest, however my an individual favorite functions somebody’s sweet grandma acquisition a couple nice chops.

As for its origins, this 2011 blog post insists that StB was designed at Ohio University, yet there’s small out there corroborating the claim. Thirsty for something much more concrete, I made decision to focus on a nation whose reputation for formidable drinking needs no introduction: Australia, the nation actually responsible for unleashing bag-in-box wine on the world.

In 1965, the southerly Australia winery Angove introduced the low-cost, high-volume format to market. Frequently known as “cask wine” or “goon” (slang because that “flagon,” a drink-holding vessel), boxed wine plays a critical role in down Under culture, though no everyone is keen on admitting as much. “It’s component of the awareness in Australian drinking. . .at once mocked, celebrated and brought right into our humour pathways,” claims Australian alcohol writer Mike Bennie, who attributes his “first an excellent hangover” together a teenager to the stuff.

In Oz, games are closely associated with the intake of cask wine. The many famous, Goon of Fortune, involves pinning sacks the wine come a rotating the end clothesline called a Hills Hoist; football player spin the contraption around and also whomever the bag stops in former of should drink. “If someone from my generation tells you they haven’t play it, they’re more than likely lying,” says Ilegal Mezcal’s Stephen Myers, an additional Australian drink professional. In enhancement to echoing Bennie’s takes, Myers points out that goon bags, emptied of hooch and blown up through air, “double up yes, really well together pillows” once your night will its unavoidable conclusion.

None of the Australians ns talked to, every of whom discussed Goon that Fortune with varying levels of life-affirming glee, played any type of rendition that StB farming up. But there is online proof of Aussies slapping the goon (tees, too), together with a few vague references to the practice being invented by a guy from Byron Bay. The days here are pretty much congruent with their American bag-slapping counterparts, an interpretation it’s basically impossible to break up which nation physically struck a bag of alcohol first.

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Though its true origins may remain murky forever, the inherent appeal of Slap the Bag is not: Every for this reason often, it’s funny to unload. And also it’s even more fun when fueled by a stomach full of Sunset Blush.