Kottabos is one of the oldest drinking games ever played. It’s believed to have originated in Sicily around the 4th century then spread to become popular at Greek parties. The game involves flinging small amounts of wine at targets. This is pretty well the complete opposite of modern drinking games since it really only involves wasting alcohol. The existence of this game is really only known through literature and illustrations on vases and other items.
The game itself isn’t the easiest to set up or play and really only the history geeks will know what you’re doing. Plus it’s bound to make a pretty big mess even if you’re succeeding. If none of this has turned you off of the idea then here’s the rules of Kottabos.
Wine, ancient Greek drinking cups with handles, a vase or large bowl, and a lamp stand holding a tiny statuette with an arm holding a plastinx (a small disk).
If you don’t happen to live in a museum of ancient Greece some of these items might be pretty hard to find. Basically all you need is a target that can be knocked off of something and into a bowl.
Hang the plastinx in a way that it would take a decent amount of force to knock it off. It should be so that a single drop won’t knock it off but a blast of wine would. Then place the bowl underneath and fill it with water or more wine.
The goal of this game is to throw wine at the plastinx and get it to fall into the bowl. There’s no drinking involved really. Players take turns hurling wine from their cups hoping to keep it closely formed enough to knock the target into the bowl.
Players must remain in a recumbent position during the entire game about 6 ft from the target. Players take turns hurling their cups of wine at the plastinx hoping to knock it down into the bowl to make a ting sound. Players can only use their right hands during this game.
This game can prove extremely difficult because if you don’t know how to hurl the liquid it will lose form and won’t be very powerful.
You might be thinking how entirely unfeasible it is to play this game and well, you’d be right. It’s not exactly what comes to mind for the typical frat party but if you’re a greek history buff at a toga party this might just be the answer. If all these Greek terms and odd rules aren’t making much sense, here’s a video produced by Heather F Sharpe and Andrew Snyder that showcases how to play Kottabos.