"I drank a lot" should be accepted. Example:
-- I need to go to the bathroom -- Why? -- I drank a lot!
Ukrainian (sorry if the first sentence is wrong, I'm trying to illustrate about the third one):
-- Мені треба піти до туалета -- Чому? -- Я випив багато!
In this context, you will not say "I've drunk a lot" in English. It's not wrong, but it's silly. In fact, I can't think of many contexts where you'd say that at all.
I disagree. See my comment above.
I don't think using the past perfect is silly here. It's just that we're not used to it in English and ignore such grammatical subtleties. E.g. it's fine to say "I've eaten so much I could burst" same as "I've drunk so much I can barely stand".
The past perfect is better here because the drinking was over a period of time, rather than a discrete event, for which you'd use the past simple: e.g. I drank (my first vodka).
Btw, a very impressive streak! That deserves a lingot)
Both "I drank" and "I have drunk" are accepted now. There is no such thing as perfect tense in Ukrainian, so either one can be expressed as "випив". Conversely, there is no such thing as verb aspect in English, so either "пив" or "випив" can be translated as "drank" or "have drunk".
FWIW, English does actually have verb aspects, just not the same ones as Ukrainian :)
All verbs have both tense and aspect. Verbal aspect consists of simple, progressive, perfect, or perfect progressive, where each refers to a different fabric of time.
Fyi, in English we use the term 'continuous' instead of 'progressive' for the 'aspects' of tenses. 'Progressive' is used in American. Also, English schools teach the 'aspects' as separate tenses, but in Linguistics the four tenses for both the past and the present are considered to be aspects.
Well, they have aspect as a concept e.g. "the action is done repeatedly and regularly -> use present tense", but not as the grammatical property of a verb (suffix, prefix, root change, ending etc.)
But yes, totally :) What kind of situation it is decides the aspect which decides which verb form people use.