19 Successful People Who Had A Rough Time In Their Twenties

19 Successful People Who Had A Rough Time In Their Twenties

Thank you BuzzFeed for doing what you do best: making me feel better about my life. Here you will find exactly what it says: 19 successful people who, in their 20s, seemed to be doing a bit worse than me. I feel like I currently resemble Ang Lee the most…  though I sincerely doubt I will end up being an oscar winner.


Opinion: Enough with the wanky cocktails

Radishes and clam broth do not belong in my drink.

ROSA GOLLAN explores the mysterious world of cocktails.

I thought the sliver of candied bacon atop my glass of maple bacon-infused Jack Daniels was bad enough. I thought a side of salami with my dill vodka and clamato juice was bad enough. What even is clamato juice? Oh of course – a drink made from reconstituted tomato juice and clam broth.

What’s going on here? I find it highly concerning how much time, effort and money people are putting into bringing together a list of pretension-infused ingredients to make what is essentially a concoction of poisons. I just don’t see the appeal in paying 25 odd dollars to dress up a substance that my body immediately tries to get rid of as soon as it enters, at least not on a student budget anyway. Give me a simple refreshing cider, a clean vodka and soda, a bold glass of red. A goon sack for all I care, just keep it simple.

But this is the way it is now. This is Clover Moore’s aim, to make a city of experimental bartenders in claustrophobic bars, to “build a more civilised drinking culture and encourage owners and operators to offer more than just alcohol such as live music and good food.”

While the state government attempts to regulate drinking hours and hunt down boozers who cause trouble, the rest of us, it seems, are developing a more refined palate for booze. But what I am starting to see, what makes it all the more stupid, is that our palate is refining to be something from another planet.

I’ve managed to whittle down the wanky cocktail into a few different categories:


Ingredients might include: Hibiscus, dried hibiscus, hibiscus slices stuffed inside hibiscus, rose petals, jasmine, candied lavender.

Flowers live in the garden, not in my cup. I have no desire to find a whole sunflower growing from my drink, or a Venus flytrap for that matter.


Ingredients might include: Carrot juice, beetroot, mushroom bitters, radish chunks.

I understand a Bloody Mary, a slice of cucumber, the odd olive, even some ginger sprinkles. But a kale juice margarita is not okay, neither is vodka with edamame bean puree. Bars are tapping into the raw food revolution but vegetables are healthy, alcohol is not. It’s false and misleading advertising.


Ingredients might include: Wood smoke, fire, dry ice, explosions.

When I think of liquid nitrogen and the misty dry ice effect, I can’t help but remember the English girl who lost her stomach a few years ago for drinking a shot laced with the stuff. If you want a smoky effect, get your mate to blow their cigarette into your glass.

It’s all a love/hate relationship for me. At times it’s great to be able to go out with friends, sit on broken milk crates and sip expensive liquid from a chipped teacup. But I find myself asking which body part do I need to sell to afford this? Why do I need this encyclopaedia to accompany my drink? Why is liquid nitrogen involved in everything? I feel cultured yet dirty at the same time.

I’m not just angry with myself and society for being sucked in by all the glamour and adjectives. I’m actually really curious to learn more, to understand why cocktails need to be tampered with, to understand the appeal of cryptic menus.

At a swanky cocktail bar in Sydney’s eastern suburbs you can find a variety of mysterious, inexplicable items on the menu. Pink peppercorns? White chocolate ice sphere? Pumpkin pie moonshine? And I don’t know how anything could make tequila taste nice let alone a mixture of butter, raisins, brioche and chestnuts.

The number of ridiculous items was so extensive, infuriating, and fascinating that I just had to check it out. My curiosity of the mixed berry shrub and Pimms option got so intense that on arrival I very nearly burst through the doors and ran for the bar screaming “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”

However, first I had a list of questions about the menu for the poor waitress, one of them asking what ‘green pea tonic’ was. She replied, “We infused tonic water with green peas and pull all the florals out of it so it has a fresh pea flavour.” She was utterly convinced this is a normal thing to do.

I decided to go with the John Wayne – Bulleit Bourbon, Laird’s Apple Brandy, maple, root beer & cherry cola syrup, peanut butter bitters mist – I was too intrigued by the peanut butter mist. Despite being assured it was the best drink they had, what I got tasted like a watered down bourbon decorated with a tiny American flag sticking out of a soggy cherry. Where was my peanut butter? Not even a hint.

Three cocktail bars, three decorative menu choices, three watery drinks later and nothing came remotely close to blowing my mind or even getting me slightly drunk. I wasn’t upset, angry, or disappointed. I was happy because I had proven it was all a scam, that we aren’t better off because we have truffled honey milk and saffron in our drinks, and that miso paste and crisp meringue floating in our glasses aren’t going to make us better people.

I had won, I had beat them and their system. And then I realised I had spent all my rent money, had consumed an obscene amount of empty calories, and was sitting alone in a fancy bar, thoroughly sober and unsatisfied.

Originally published on ON I’ll Drink To That magazine


Review: Tried and tested hangover cures

A hangover is an experience, boy is it an experience. What’s the best way to banish it?


The Simpson Desert forming in your mouth, drool oozing down your chin, the woven mat of your hair, the crusty mascara in your eyelashes, your brains sloshing around in its own wine-infused cerebrospinal fluid and, of course, an unquenchable queasiness rising from your core.

Basically, during a hangover your body is as desperate to repair itself as your pick-up attempts from the night before and you need to replenish amino acids ASAP to get your liver up and running.

So lets get cracking.

Scenario #1 – The Big Breakfast

Drinks consumed: 3 sparkling with orange juice, 2 gin & tonics, 1 Long Island Ice Tea, 1 tequila shot, ¼ goon sack

Hangover symptoms: sore legs, pounding head, dry mouth, calling in sick to work.

Cure: Buttery vegemite toast for entrée, two fried eggs, crispy bacon with some melted Gruyere cheese and lashings of Mexican chilli sauce on a soft white bun for main.

If you haven’t already thrown it all up, carbs and protein are great for soaking up the booze smoothie in your stomach so your body has something else to process it with.

Rating: One of the few upsides of a hangover is you can put your diet on the shelf today and treat yourself to relatively guilt-free deliciousness, perhaps it’s mostly psychological but I felt right as rain after this cure.


Scenario #2 – The Minimalist

Drinks consumed: 2 double vodka lime sodas, 2 sparkling wines, too many tequila shots.

Hangover symptoms: vomiting, extreme nausea, dehydration, loss of dignity

Cure: Tap water, coconut water, powerade, gastrolyte, and peppermint tea

Tequila is the devil and after waking up a little worse for wear, I soon discovered there was nothing I could keep down. Back to the basics it: lots of liquid. I started with small sips of tap water and eventually upgraded to coconut water, which I recommend because it tastes delicious, is refreshing and full of potassium and electrolytes. By the evening, after a variety of other drinks, I was onto solids, one whole banana!

Rating: While not very satisfying, this cure really worked a treat at rehydrating and replenishing my body, but I would avoid this level of hungover at all costs.


Scenario #3 – Exercise

Drinks consumed: 2 ciders

Hangover symptoms: dizziness, bags under eyes, unnatural and misleading amount of energy

Cure: 20 minutes of running, jogging, or walking.

This hangover was on the milder side, but I had very little sleep so I woke up and was on overdrive. A dawdle to brisk walk with plenty of fluids with you could certainly help speed up the body expelling the toxins in your body. But sex is exercise! You’re thinking. Dr Joris Verster from the University of Utrecht debunks this by saying, “There is no research that shows that sex will make a hangover go away, but maybe it will make the time go faster.”

Rating: This may work for some, but not for me. In hindsight I would not recommend running, walking, or even leaving the house. Perhaps just stay in bed.



Scenario #4 – Hair of the Dog

Drinks consumed: 3 cups of punch, 1 amaretto sour, 1 unknown concoction involving crème de cacao.

Hangover symptoms: Unknown, hangover not yet reached.


Bloody Mary
200ml quality tomato juice
100ml vodka
2 tspns Worcestershire sauce
Celery stalk
½ a lemon


While this ingredient list is extensive for a drunk person, I’ve taken the liberty of translating the assembly instructions into a simple motto for your day to day life: mix ingredients, top with bacon.

Rating: While drinking to cure a hangover is always going to lead to a greater downfall, there are never enough excuses to make a bloody good Bloody Mary, here is your chance if ever there was one. Funnily enough, the saying ‘hair of the dog’ exists in lots of different languages so clearly it has been tried and tested in many other parts of the world.

EDIT – Hangover from previous hangover now reached. Not recommended.


Originally published on I’ll Drink To That Magazine


Australians unknowingly drink too much, study reveals

What is excessive drinking? Would you know if you had stepped over the line?

The relationship between alcohol consumption and violence has been the subject of much debate in NSW recently, and everyone is being warned not to drink too much. But a recent report has shone a disturbing light on our self-knowledge when it comes to alcohol.

 Rosa Gollan reports.

Photo source: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1342726