Goon

You just had a little shiver down your spine when you read that, didn’t you? Which means one of two things- either you’ve traveled in Australia, or you can see the future, and your body is scared.

Goon is quite legendary. Not a hostel in Australia has a night where no one drinks Goon. It’s boxed wine (Plonk). Usually bought for about $10 for 4 litres. It’s cheaper than mineral water. And after drinking it you’ll realise why. It doesn’t taste good. Imagine the kind of bottle of wine you’d buy when you’re 14 and wanting to make an impression on your new ‘girlfriends’ family. Then imagine you poured the entire bottle over a mattress that someone which a quite violent flu had spent the week on watching old Jerry Springer reruns. You let that ferment for a week maybe, and then squeeze that mattress out, collecting every last drop. That’s the best way I can describe the taste of Goon.

goon!

goon! by I Don’t Know, Maybe

And everyone who’s ever had it has a story to tell about it. Seriously, ask any of your friends who’ve stayed in a hostel along the east coast of Oz

“So, what’s Goon?”
“Ah” as they shake their head “Goon…goon…goon…I remember one time on Goon…”

So far science has not been able to explain the effects of Goon. It is the only alcohol known to give you a hangover before you get drunk. You get a headache, you feel a little sick, and you start hating everyone around you.

There are rules to Goon. The official way it is to be drunk is in a mug. No one knows why, but drinking it out of a real glass is not acceptable. You may also use saucepans, jugs, or anything else that will make you look quite silly.

After 10pm, any Goon left on a table is communal. Well, it sort of is. Everyone’s so drunk you don’t really remember what’s yours.

Slap The Goon!

Slap The Goon! by Laura and Candice’s Photos

Goon should be drunk within the confines of a drinking game. Ring of Fire is a classic, Eyes on keeps you moving, shot a minute is not recommended, but Goon is never recommending in general. You can drink Goon solo and slowly, but it’s just stupid. Goon is there to get you drunk, very drunk, very quickly, very cheaply. Even if you will regret it.

Red Goon is rarely enjoyed. White Goon is the preferred option for many people. Officially it’s wine. So with a white wine, you can get a drinkable bottle quite cheap and it gets better with price. Red wine is different; you can’t go for cheap Red. Unless you really want to forget the night and wake up next to a guy named Mandy wearing only a leopard skin thong.

Goon is made with Fish and Eggs. It says so on the bottle. But don’t get freaked out, it’s just a finishing agent. And honestly, if you’re on a travelling budget, you’ll agree that if someone told you smoking a Mars bar would get you wasted, you’d probably try it. The best part about this fact, is that when you’re drinking with GV’s (Goon Virgins), after the 5th or 6th mug, you can point this little disclaimer out to them, and see the colour on their face change rapidly.

Ice is recommended. The only thing worse than Goon is warm Goon. Some like to make ‘Magic goon’ and add lemonade, or another mixer. However Goon Cocktails are very hit and miss, I do warn you.

Slap the goon with Westend Backpackers

Slap the goon with Westend Backpackers by NomadsHostels

Some feel that goon is not enough on its own. And these are the sort of people that invented the Goon Bomb. Some of you who are more party types will be aware of Jagerbombs. Where you drop a shot of Jagermesiter into a glass of Red Bull, and down the whole thing. Well, a Goon Bomb is like that. Only with Goon instead of Red Bull. Yeah. Take a minute to think about that.

A night on Goon is different every time. But they’ll usually be blackouts. They’ll usually be incredible mistakes your friends will not let you live down. And the next morning, you will completely re-evaluate your life. It’s the vomit equivalent of an epiphany. You’ll realise where it went wrong, what you need to do, and that you defiantly will never do it again. Until the next night of course…

Some of you reading this may wonder why we do this. Pure hedonists, don’t care about your health, don’t care about the consequences, blah blah blah. And you know what, you’re maybe right. Goon will make you feel worse than most other drinks. However, you’ll also have one of the most entertaining nights on the stuff. You’ll make friends quicker than you ever thought possible. You’ll sing the words to songs you never even heard. You’ll smile all night, and you’ll enjoy it, and to me, this is what backpacking is all about. Putting your body on the line to meet people, have a great time, and do things you never thought possible.

36 Comments

  1. Corbin on May 2, 2010 at 9:43 am

    You absolutely nailed it. As much as I hated goon while it was being drunk, I have nothing but the fondest of memories when it comes to this sweet sweet hangover sauce.

    Question though: Did you ever try huffing the bag? Woooah nelly, thats a whole new experience. lol Greg post!

    • Michael on May 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      LOL That sounds interesting. How does that huffing the bag work?

  2. Corbin on May 2, 2010 at 10:43 am

    You absolutely nailed it. As much as I hated goon while it was being drunk, I have nothing but the fondest of memories when it comes to this sweet sweet hangover sauce.

    Question though: Did you ever try huffing the bag? Woooah nelly, thats a whole new experience. lol Greg post!

    • Michael on May 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      LOL That sounds interesting. How does that huffing the bag work?

  3. Michael on May 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Spot on! Crazy times on this deadly liquid.

  4. Michael on May 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Spot on! Crazy times on this deadly liquid.

  5. Frank on August 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    That crap kills you! I have seen so many people looking near dead after a night on the goon I have lost count! You are spot on though, drink of choice for backpackers and youngies.

    Never forget drinking coke and goon one night with some Germans, wasn’t bad!

    me? Bourbon….I am old and have money!

  6. Frank on August 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    That crap kills you! I have seen so many people looking near dead after a night on the goon I have lost count! You are spot on though, drink of choice for backpackers and youngies.

    Never forget drinking coke and goon one night with some Germans, wasn’t bad!

    me? Bourbon….I am old and have money!

  7. Ankara Kervan Nakliyat on September 29, 2010 at 6:33 am

    great post

  8. Ankara Kervan Nakliyat on September 29, 2010 at 7:33 am

    great post

  9. Ayla the Sailor on November 2, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    you can now get vodka orange goons, tequila sunrise goons, rum and coke goons…. it all becomes VERY dangerous. and yes they still taste like shit.

  10. Ayla the Sailor on November 3, 2010 at 12:53 am

    you can now get vodka orange goons, tequila sunrise goons, rum and coke goons…. it all becomes VERY dangerous. and yes they still taste like shit.

  11. Samgisler on March 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I know this is an old post, but this is giving me flashbacks. I think in uni we all decided it was the preservatives/other weird chemicals that you actually get wasted off, the alcohol is just there to give you a hangover. hahaha

  12. Samgisler on March 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I know this is an old post, but this is giving me flashbacks. I think in uni we all decided it was the preservatives/other weird chemicals that you actually get wasted off, the alcohol is just there to give you a hangover. hahaha

  13. Tommy on March 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    After living in Australia I can back up this entire post the following information (all will be proven fact by stories of people who have consumed goon in copious amounts on numerous occasions):

    Every time you drink goon, your experience will be the same in that you will undoubtedly:
    -wake up the next morning with little to no memory from the night before
    -be wearing at least one article of clothing you have never seen (likely fluro, covered in glitter, or speckled with paint)
    -have multiple bruises in unlikely places (inner thigh, bottom of the foot, boob, ear, etc…) that would concern any rational doctor
    -have multiple missed calls and texts from new names in your phone like “Spikey Bathroom Girl”, “(Insert random bar name)?”, “Mud Guy Shower” or “Tequila Man-NO.”

    Every time you drink goon, your experience will be completely different because you never really know who you or your drinking mates will become that night. People are known to change at the drop of the goon sack as multiple personality disorder is the first standard sign of goon consumption. (Especially red goon as stated above.) One night you might drink to quickly or too slowly, another you might mix goon with spirits, another you might have some beer then some goon, or throw in the towel as you know you’re going to blackout anyway and consume everything in sight. All of these factors come into play and the new personalities come out: the fun-loving guy is suddenly crying in the corner but giggling to himself at random intervals, the girl who is usually the last to dance is doing a surprisingly decent striptease in the middle of the room, the girl who always smiles is suddenly ready to punch anyone in sight and that guy who’s been lurking around for weeks but no one actually knows is suddenly the life of the party, whose name (along with those of everyone new who will be met on a goon night), will subsequently be forgotten in about thirty seconds . And then all of these personalities can change again at the drop of a hat.

    Sacks up!

    • Michael on March 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

      This has to be one of my favorite comments of all time. Genius….
      Thanks for a good laugh and the extra content.
      Cheers!

  14. Tommy on March 23, 2011 at 12:19 am

    After living in Australia I can back up this entire post the following information (all will be proven fact by stories of people who have consumed goon in copious amounts on numerous occasions):

    Every time you drink goon, your experience will be the same in that you will undoubtedly:
    -wake up the next morning with little to no memory from the night before
    -be wearing at least one article of clothing you have never seen (likely fluro, covered in glitter, or speckled with paint)
    -have multiple bruises in unlikely places (inner thigh, bottom of the foot, boob, ear, etc…) that would concern any rational doctor
    -have multiple missed calls and texts from new names in your phone like “Spikey Bathroom Girl”, “(Insert random bar name)?”, “Mud Guy Shower” or “Tequila Man-NO.”

    Every time you drink goon, your experience will be completely different because you never really know who you or your drinking mates will become that night. People are known to change at the drop of the goon sack as multiple personality disorder is the first standard sign of goon consumption. (Especially red goon as stated above.) One night you might drink to quickly or too slowly, another you might mix goon with spirits, another you might have some beer then some goon, or throw in the towel as you know you’re going to blackout anyway and consume everything in sight. All of these factors come into play and the new personalities come out: the fun-loving guy is suddenly crying in the corner but giggling to himself at random intervals, the girl who is usually the last to dance is doing a surprisingly decent striptease in the middle of the room, the girl who always smiles is suddenly ready to punch anyone in sight and that guy who’s been lurking around for weeks but no one actually knows is suddenly the life of the party, whose name (along with those of everyone new who will be met on a goon night), will subsequently be forgotten in about thirty seconds . And then all of these personalities can change again at the drop of a hat.

    Sacks up!

    • Michael on March 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

      This has to be one of my favorite comments of all time. Genius….
      Thanks for a good laugh and the extra content.
      Cheers!

  15. Goon Sacks Galore! on April 28, 2011 at 1:44 am

    You are missing out the 2 most vital goon activities that all Australians know and love:

    1. After a big night drinking from the goon bag, it can then be blown up (simply put your mouth over where you drink and blow as hard as you can until it’s a balloon) and used as a pillow. Simple solution to being so drunk off goon you can’t find a bed; and

    2. GOON OF FORTUNE. Probably the best drinking game of all time and a true Aussie drinking tradition. To play goon of fortune you need at least 4 people and at least 4 goon sacks. You peg all 4 goon sacks onto each corner of a Hills Hoist (another Aussie icon – the clothesline), and you spin the clothesline around until it lands above someones mouth. There are many variations of this game but the general gist is the winner is the last person standing.

    Also, a lot of goon does taste bloody awful. But to get all you backpackers off to an easy start – try Coolabah brand Fruit Elixir. And if you’re still gagging, make some goon punch, where you stick a large tin of Golden Circle ‘Sunshine Punch’ in with a cup or so of chopped up fruit. Backpacker budget friendly and deeeelicious!!

    • Michael on May 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      Haha that’s hilarious. I haven’t played goon of fortune but that’s really clever. I like this.

    • PureAussie on May 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      Have to try this now.

  16. Goon Sacks Galore! on April 28, 2011 at 2:44 am

    You are missing out the 2 most vital goon activities that all Australians know and love:

    1. After a big night drinking from the goon bag, it can then be blown up (simply put your mouth over where you drink and blow as hard as you can until it’s a balloon) and used as a pillow. Simple solution to being so drunk off goon you can’t find a bed; and

    2. GOON OF FORTUNE. Probably the best drinking game of all time and a true Aussie drinking tradition. To play goon of fortune you need at least 4 people and at least 4 goon sacks. You peg all 4 goon sacks onto each corner of a Hills Hoist (another Aussie icon – the clothesline), and you spin the clothesline around until it lands above someones mouth. There are many variations of this game but the general gist is the winner is the last person standing.

    Also, a lot of goon does taste bloody awful. But to get all you backpackers off to an easy start – try Coolabah brand Fruit Elixir. And if you’re still gagging, make some goon punch, where you stick a large tin of Golden Circle ‘Sunshine Punch’ in with a cup or so of chopped up fruit. Backpacker budget friendly and deeeelicious!!

    • Michael on May 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      Haha that’s hilarious. I haven’t played goon of fortune but that’s really clever. I like this.

    • PureAussie on May 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      Have to try this now.

  17. Travel-O's on July 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Hey Marku, 

    As contradictory as the term “goon memories” may be, I would like to add that goon drinking partners are not only restricted to homo sapiens. I vaguely remember seeing a dingo among the drinking circle I was part of a few years ago.

    I hope you don’t mind me referencing your scholarly description of this drink-who-shall-not-be-named in my blog. It is perfect, congrats!

    Vitor

  18. Travel-O's on July 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Hey Marku, 

    As contradictory as the term “goon memories” may be, I would like to add that goon drinking partners are not only restricted to homo sapiens. I vaguely remember seeing a dingo among the drinking circle I was part of a few years ago.

    I hope you don’t mind me referencing your scholarly description of this drink-who-shall-not-be-named in my blog. It is perfect, congrats!

    Vitor

  19. travelFREAK on October 28, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Haha this is hilarious. So many fond (and not so fond) memories of drinking goon. I can’t even touch the stuff anymore.

  20. Jeremy Foster on October 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Haha this is hilarious. So many fond (and not so fond) memories of drinking goon. I can’t even touch the stuff anymore.

  21. GOOOOOOOOOOON on June 21, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Stumbled upon this website trying to find backpacking articles. The title definitely caught my Australian eyes. I love that you have an article for our wonderful elixir. Goon is a magical thing, yes coolabah fruity lexia mixed with a tropical punch drink is nice!
    Also red wine goon, go a little classier I suggest Banrock Station Cab Merlot ($15 for 2 litres) is a nice drop, it’s even better when mixed 50/50 with coke. I’ll never go back to white wine goon after having that.

  22. GOOOOOOOOOOON on June 21, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Stumbled upon this website trying to find backpacking articles. The title definitely caught my Australian eyes. I love that you have an article for our wonderful elixir. Goon is a magical thing, yes coolabah fruity lexia mixed with a tropical punch drink is nice!
    Also red wine goon, go a little classier I suggest Banrock Station Cab Merlot ($15 for 2 litres) is a nice drop, it’s even better when mixed 50/50 with coke. I’ll never go back to white wine goon after having that.

  23. Sam -Travelling King on July 12, 2013 at 5:50 am

    oh my gosh! this made me cringe!!
    I remember drinking goon when i was 15!!! One of my friends literally projectile vomited!!

  24. Sam -Travelling King on July 12, 2013 at 5:50 am

    oh my gosh! this made me cringe!!
    I remember drinking goon when i was 15!!! One of my friends literally projectile vomited!!

  25. will emerson on July 25, 2013 at 7:29 am

    You ate all weak!! You can dwn goon easier than beerand if well trained suffer no hangover. I dare anyone to find a cheaper more affective drink in aus, athe land of expencive drinks! The best night and in my opinion the only good night is enjoyed with with goon.

  26. will emerson on July 25, 2013 at 7:29 am

    You ate all weak!! You can dwn goon easier than beerand if well trained suffer no hangover. I dare anyone to find a cheaper more affective drink in aus, athe land of expencive drinks! The best night and in my opinion the only good night is enjoyed with with goon.

  27. Hayley on September 26, 2014 at 6:16 am

    as an aussie, i love the comment ‘You just had a little shiver down your spine when you read that, didn’t you? Which means one of two things- either you’ve traveled in Australia, or you can see the future, and your body is scared.’

  28. […] only affordable alcohol in Australia is boxed wine, also affectionately known as goon. One 3.5-liter box is the same price as, if not cheaper than, a single beer in a […]

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