A night out at the bar with friends almost always sounds like a good idea. That is, until the next morning when the hangover kicks in, at which point it almost always feels like the worst idea. Interestingly, there are some liquors (brandy and whiskey, we’re looking at you) that are way more likely to leave you feeling miserable in the morning, while others actually lend themselves to somewhat more carefree sipping. Here’s your guide on what to order next time you’re getting ready to hit the bar for a night of drinking- minus the next-day headache.
When trying to pick the least hangover-inducing alcohol at the bar, your best bet is to go with light or clear beverages, like vodka. This is because clear liquors like vodka are not as high in congeners. Congeners are the chemical byproducts of distillation, and often contribute to severe hangovers. Darker liquors, like whiskey, are much higher in congeners and other toxins due to their unique distillation process. Try going for something like a Sea Breeze, which comes with the added benefit of some extra vitamins from the fruit juice that you wouldn’t get with other cocktails or a simple vodka soda.
Just like vodka, gin comes with the benefit of being a lighter liquor and not containing quite as many congeners or toxins as you’d typically get in a darker alcohol. What does become one of the bigger issues with gin is the dehydration effect that comes with drinking it. This means that it won’t be enough to order something like a Tom Collins — the simplicity of the gin, lemon juice, and seltzer mix is a safe bet — and that you’ll also have to make sure to hydrate through the night.
Beer in general isn’t the worst bar option if you’re goal is to minimize the morning aftermath of your night out. This is because it tends to be more diluted than liquors and wines, and so is naturally lower in alcohol content than some of its alcoholic counterparts. Beer is also a heavier drink than a lot of other bar options, tending to take longer to drink and to fill you up faster, meaning your likely to drink less of it. Even so, opting for a light beer can be a good way to further reduce the potential for a debilitating hangover, and for a pretty basic reason: a light beer just doesn’t contain as much alcohol as a dark beer.
Dry Red Wine
Wine is usually a no-go as far as smarter drink picks go, largely because of its high acetaldehyde content. Acetaldehyde is a chemical that is produced naturally by the body in order to break down the alcohol entering your system. When you drink wine, you end up spiking the acetaldehyde levels in your body, which in turn causes you to feel sick and contributes to a lousy hangover the next day. Red wine has a naturally lower chemical and alcohol content than white wine, making it the perfect choice for someone who is not quite ready to pass on the vino.