Brown or White, Which Liquor is Right?

Brown or White, Which Liquor is Right?

Brown or White, Which Liquor is Right?

There's a lot of “common knowledge” about alcoholic drinks that can increase or reduce your chances of being hungover after a night on the town. Some of that advice has survived the test of time simply due to their rhyming qualities, such as “beer before liquor, never been sicker.” Others may seem to make sense just due to the values that we associate with food and drink, such as whether or not brown liquor is actually worse for you in the morning. What may surprise you is that there are some common pieces of advice that actually hold up when examined closely.

Clear or Brown?

One of the most debated topics in the field of amateur hangover research is the question of whether brown liquors can actually give you a hangover, while clear liquors make that much less likely. The truth is that there is something to be said for the idea that a clear liquor may be the better option. Here's why:

Darker liquors contain “congeners,” a substance which is made during the fermentation process. They contain several chemicals, which include acetone, a chemical which your body doesn't particularly enjoy. Drinks like whiskey, rum, and some wines can contain much higher amounts of congeners. How much, exactly? On average, whiskey can contain several times the amount of congeners as the same amount of vodka. The only exception to low congeners in clear liquors is tequila.

Liquors that are high in congeners include:

  • Brandy

  • Whiskey

  • Red Wine

  • Rum

  • Tequila

  • Some cordials, including Irish Cream

Liquors that are low in congeners include:

  • Vodka

  • Gin

  • White wine

  • Clear or white rums

  • High quality white whiskey (White lightning, “moonshine”) made at a professional distillery.

Hangover Supplements

Nutritional supplements such as cysteine and milk thistle can help tremendously to avoid the dreaded hangover and provide the liver with what it needs to process the alcohol.

Filters Make a Difference

Another way to avoid drinks that are high in congeners is to drink top shelf liquor. You may have heard some discussion amongst friends that higher quality stuff can reduce your chances of feeling like a warmed over mess the next day, but there's some truth to the fact, and it lies in the process of filtration. When drinks are filtered more, and more often, there's a higher chance that the filtration will remove congeners from the drink itself. That's why the highest quality vodkas often have less flavor than their lower quality competitors.

If you want to avoid the hangover, then, the best options are to:

  • Drink mid-to-high range liquor.

  • Drink clear liquors.

  • Avoid sugary mixers; the added sugar from sodas and fruit juices can make a hangover worse. Diet soda may be an option, but remember that the carbonation may put more alcohol into your system much more quickly than you intend.

  • Try supplementing with liver-supporting antioxidants before and after drinking.  This may be the most important thing you can do along with drinking water.  DeToxx is one such supplement that can help and a best-seller on Amazon.

Be sure to drink plenty of water during your night out as well. Finally, if you want to strategize down to the last detail, order cocktails that are shaken instead of stirred; during the shaking process, tiny particles of ice are broken and mixed in with the drink, adding more water content overall. It's no replacement for a glass of H2O, but it's a start. 


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