This summer, I finish work everyday at 5pm. I often go straight from work to get a nice aperitif with friends. In Italy, this is quite normal. Many of my friends back home, however, wonder how I can have a drink while there's still daylight outside. But, they don't understand that the ability to start drinking earlier is one of summer's greatest blessings. Below are 5 reasons why everyone should start drinking at 5pm.

NOTE: drinks should be taken in moderation, and consumed responsibly - preferably with snacks of some kind

1. You've had a long, hard day at work and deserve a little buzz. 

beer, toast, alcohol, champagne, wine
Jaime Wilson

Internships can be hard, especially if you're not used to working long, continuous hours (hello, waking up at 8 getting out of the office at 5!). After working your butt off from 9-5, you damn well deserve a nice, cool drink to help you relax. And to remind you that this is in fact summer, so you don't have to study or do homework after hours. 

2. The earlier you get drunk the less likely you are to get a hangover. 

holding a cocktail, bloody mary, Cocktails, vegetable
Alexandra Redmond

In Italy, we eat dinner when the sun goes down between 8 and 9pm. If you take a similar approach to meal hours, rest assured that even if you're a lightweight (like me) and get smashed in the early evening, the onslaught of carbs you'll eat at dinner will make sure you're sober before 11.

In the end, you'll have had a giggly evening, a good night's sleep, and no hangovers. 

3. You will be extremely entertaining and easygoing at dinner. 

wine, alcohol, cocktail, vodka
Sarina Raman

Dinners with family or with friends you don't know too well can be exhausting, especially after a long day at work or after hours spent being a basic tourist under the scorching sun. Having a drink or two in the late afternoon will help you be the life of the dinner party, and brighten a potentially dull evening.

4. You can happily enjoy a beautiful sunset and a light breeze. 

tea, cocktail, ice
Daniella Sanchez

At 5pm, it's not too hot and not too cold, so you're neither sweltering under the sun nor shivering in the night air and you can sit back and relax. And, seeing as the sun is 3/4 of the way down the sky, it doesn't technically count as day drinking (so you do have your life together after all!). 

5. Happy hour is cheap AF.

juice, vegetable, cocktail, tomato
Brittney Salter

Bars all over the world serve cheaper drinks during happy hour (which is usually between 5 and 7pm), and some even have some sort of food special. A bar in LA, for example, puts all of its appetizers at half-price between 6 and 8pm, giving you a gourmet experience for less. So actually, you'll have a good time and do your bank account a favor! 

So there you have it, 5 reasons why drinking at 5pm can actually be a good thing. So go ahead and enjoy your early alcohol, but remember to keep it classy!