Small wonder, when he would fuel himself with seven pints of lager and his “magic” Coke, swigged from a litre bottle topped up with vodka, to “get his nerves in shape”.

I have a question about this sentence from an article. Is the bold part a further explanation of the "lager and his magic coke" or the "magic coke" only?

  • 3
    It pertains to "Coke", the soft drink. Seven pints don't fit into a liter bottle. But let's say that the size of the bottle wasn't given. Do people mix lager, Coke, and vodka into a single concoction?
    – TimR
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 12:27
  • 2
    You can't put seven pints of lager and coke in a litre bottle ;) Grammatically it's a bit ambiguous, but there's only one meaning that makes sense here, I think. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 12:52
  • There is also the point that the coke is "magic"this is likely because it is "topped up with vodka".
    – T54
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


It's his "magic" Coke.

You are right that it is ambiguous, but these contextual clues make it lean strongly towards pointing to his "magic" Coke without seven pints of lager being part of it.

  • Coke (at least in the US) is usually sold in 2-liter bottles

  • Coke (the soft drink) is often part of a mixed drink, for example, Jack Daniels. Therefore "topped up with vodka" really wouldn't involve the beer (lager).

  • I really have never heard of beer and vodka being mixed though I'm sure someone somewhere has tried it.

  • Swig is something you do to a bottle, but less so to a "pint of lager" (unless it was clearly in a bottle).

  • "Magic" can mean "enhanced" and a soft drink with liquor mixed in it fits that use of "magic."

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