All you need to know at Christmas - and more. If you want to get plastered as quickly as possible - because, you know, you have to spend time with your family - here's a tip:

Rate of absorption of alcohol depends on several factors. It is quickest, for example, when alcohol is drunk on an empty stomach and the concentration of alcohol is 20-30%. Thus, sherry, with an alcohol concentration of about 20% increases the levels of alcohol in blood more rapidly than beer (3-8%), while spirits (40%) delay gastric emptying and inhibit absorption. Drinks aerated with carbon dioxidefor example, whisky and soda, and champagneget into the system quicker.

I always try to get as numb as possible at this time of year. It makes the hell pass more quickly.