…at some point during your stay on Paltraeth, someone is certain to offer you the opportunity to sample “a traditional local beverage”. This offer should not – unless your current ‘shell is built to consume substances that would be classified as hazardous waste under most other production regimes – be accepted. Traditional kaeth alcoholic beverages serve, as so many things do in their culture, as a test or demonstration of strength; thus, in addition to a high percentage of ethanol, they are known to contain a variety of other alcohols (including methanol, isopropyl alcohol, cyclic alcohols, and others of those which tend to cause blindness, madness, or death in other sophonts), toxic, carcinogenic and hallucinogenic alkaloids, benzene, fuel hydrocarbons, a variety of caustic substances, high levels of the heavy metals found throughout Paltraeth’s environment, and rather more radioactivity than the manufacturers of glowing synthdrinks would consider safe or advisable. The offer is essentially a joke when made to an offworlder, and no-one will think any the worse of you for refusing it if done good-naturedly.
If you can consume just about anything, however, and have no particular place to be, go ahead and chug it right down. You can make some great new friends this way, and the hangover will almost certainly be worth it.
– An Innocent on Paltraeth, Delphys Travellers’ Press