For many New Zealanders, having a drink after work or with friends and family is an important part of socialising and relaxing.
People drink for many reasons, and many use alcohol to positively help their emotions and increase their confidence in social situations.
A shot of something for Dutch courage may help us to feel more confident, but one study shows that it's more of a mindset than the alcohol itself.
In the study, volunteers drank fruit cocktails while being told that they were drinking alcohol. Those thinking they had consumed an alcoholic drink rated themselves as more attractive and confident than those who didn't, indicating that just the thought of consuming alcohol is powerful enough to change people's mood.
These mood changing effects can also have a dark side with evidence that alcohol consumption can trigger negative emotions including aggression and depression leading to out-of-character actions.
With both positive and negative mood swings, and the old wives' tales that gin makes people sad and tequila makes them crazy, the question is, can different types of alcohol actually change our mood?
To try and help answer this, a new study published this week in the British Medical Journal used data from almost 30,000 people across 21 countries to document how people's mood changes with alcohol consumption.
Over half of the people surveyed said that drinking spirits like vodka, gin and whisky made them feel energised, more confident and sexy. A smaller group felt negative feelings after spirits with men more likely to feel aggression and restlessness and more women feeling more tearful.
Wine and beer were also good at helping over half of the surveyed to feel more relaxed with red wine in particular also being associated with people feeling more tired.
So is there something about the ingredients of different alcoholic drinks that causes these different moods?
The researchers didn't think so. Instead, they think part of the explanation may be in the way that we drink alcohol differently, rather than a difference in the alcohol.
Slamming a shot of tequila affects our body very differently to slowly sipping a red wine and the speed that we drink has an effect on the way that alcohol affects us.
Alcohol starts affecting the body within minutes of the first sip as it passes through the stomach and travels into the bloodstream.
From there, it makes its way around the body and has an influence on both mood and muscles. Because our bodies can't store alcohol, the liver immediately starts to break it down by converting it into acetaldehyde, which is further broken down into acetic acid.
Drinking more than your liver can process causes a rise in blood alcohol level and the feeling of being intoxicated.
Spirits like tequila have a much higher alcohol content than beer or wine, but we are also more likely to consume them quickly as a shot, in a bar during a celebration when we are more open to letting our hair down and feeling crazy.
Red wine, however, is more likely to be consumed when winding down after a long day in a quiet setting and with a good meal, making us more likely to feel relaxed and tired.
The researchers concluded that in addition to the different compounds found in drinks, it's actually the initial mindset that we have and the social environment we are in when consuming alcohol that has the biggest influence on changing our mood.
So the next time you feel teary drowning your sorrows in a gin and tonic, change your social settings and you might not feel so sad after all.