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Does Dark Liquor Cause Worse Hangovers?

November 6, 2015 – With the party season about to get into full swing, this question falls into the Useful Information department.  Depending on how much you drink, the answer is “yes”.  Dark liquor can result in a bad hangover.  One cocktail made with a brown spirit such as rum or whiskey won’t leave you any worse off than a similar drink made with gin or vodka.  However, if you’re knocking ‘em back or doing shots or on the rocks, be careful.

There’s a solid reason why dark spirits can cause more grief.  It’s the congeners, which are by-products of the fermentation process and present in all alcoholic beverages.  Congeners include small amounts of chemicals such as methanol, acetone, acetaldehyde, esters, tannins and aldehydes, which is enough to make you give up drinking entirely.  Or maybe not.  They are not all bad as they positively affect color and flavor, too.  What would red wine be without balanced tannins?

The congeners are hard to digest so the more you pile into your body, the worse you’re going to feel.

The solution?  There is no quick fix.  You are the solution.  Try to keep your wits about you, which can be hard when you are having a good time and feeling no pain.  Hopefully enough god-awful hangovers will be the “cure” and don’t for minute think that if you switch to something white, like vodka, you can get smashed without consequences.  Nope.  The sneaky stuff will get you coming and going.  It’s just that with brown spirits it will happen faster and the consequences worse.