Do Different Drinks Cause Different Kinds of Drunk?

back bar alcohol intoxication

According to io9, different kinds of alcohol might actually produce different brands of drunk. In other words,  that friend who insists tequila makes him “go crazy” may have a point. 

But before jumping to conclusions, let’s look at the basics. The ethanol found in beer is identical to that found in wine or whiskey. Ethanol is responsible for getting you drunk, no matter what your drink of choice may be. However, hard liquors such as whiskey or tequila are “much more efficient” at delivering alcohol into the blood system. Although a can of beer and a shot of whiskey contain the same amount of ethanol, the rate of consumption may differ, which would potentially affect your behavioral patterns when intoxicated. 

Another potential explanation is mixers. People tend to consume different liquors through different means—straight shots of tequila, rum with Coke or vodka mixed with RedBull, which could affect how one experiences the resulting buzz. In addition, different alcohol products contain different types and amounts of congeners, or chemical byproducts of fermentation and distillation. Because chemicals affect everyone differently, who’s to say that different liquors don’t make people behave differently?

Of course, it could all be in your head. Social contexts and past experiences can shape your current relationship with alcohol. “A lot of this is folk memories and cultural hangovers,” said pharmacologist Paul Clayton. “A lot of it depends on what mood you were in when you started drinking.”  [io9] [Photo: Flickr/Gary J. Wood]

Tagged: drinking, io9, liquor