Jimmy and his mates are pissed, also drinking their way through a crate of beer and singing loudly in a wooded area of the city.


Jimmy says he knows he did daft stuff and started fighting his mates with fists but that's all he remembers about that night in the forest.


Wee Jimmy finishes school at 3:40pm and rang his two best friends on his mobile phone and arranged to meet for a drinking session.


Using the £20 his mother had given him to go to the cinema he and his mates stood outside a off- licence and asked a stranger if they would buy them a bottle of Buckfast, a grape flavored wine-based drink" with a 15 per cent alcohol content.


Providing wind shelter and away from prying sensible adults, jimmy and his mates go to the makeshift den swigging 15 per cent proof Buckfast tonic wine in a forest near home to indulge in some illegal fun.


Northern Ireland. Mining in Northern Ireland had a very rich heritage. There is currently 2,400 known mines in Northern Ireland which are abandoned and too dangerous to locate.

The special caffeine-and-sweet-wine recipe, which allows overly enthusiastic kids to be tipsy and bouncy at the same time. Perhaps it is also its array of snappy nicknames that make this the drink of choice, including “Wreck the House Juice.”


Other nicknames are do you wanna get some “who’re you lookin’ at” or “loopy juice.”

But whatever, Buckfast has emerged as a symbol of Northern Ireland's alcohol beverage over the last 25 years.


Buckfast is no newcomer to the market, having first become popular in the first half of the 20th century, when it was prescribed by doctors for down-in-the-dumps working class men who worked tirelessly in terrible conditions mining 350 metres down in the crust of

milliliter bottle contains as much caffeine as eight cans of Coke.


Of course in turn this can make people mildly or extremely uninhibited from the alcohol but also hyper or anxious or combative from the caffeine and sugar. “It’ll fuckin' blow your head off,” Jimmy says, smoking a cigarette while talking to outside the spar shop on Belfast's Ormeau Road.


Hard-core aficionados drink two or three buckie bottles in succession, right down. Jimmy says it doesn’t taste the same out of a glass. I asked him why you would drink it from a glass, jimmy then explained that they would buy plastic cups from the shop to drink other alcohol, like mixing vodka and coke.


Buckfast comes in an attractive bottle illustrated with a friendly looking bunch of grapes. It would seem to be an acquired taste.

To the neophyte sampler, it evokes a thick, sweet wine — sherry, perhaps — fortified with cola and Vivarin.

“Have you ever tried Benalyn cough syrup?” asked Shelly, a shop





Buckfast can be described by some as one person’s helpful mood improver, though, is another’s worryingly effective stimulant that causes unusual behavior. As already mentioned, the drink is 15 percent alcohol by volume. It's a bit stronger than most wines. Also, each 750


assistant at the spar store.