What alcohol should not be mixed?

Answered by Roy Gibson

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have encountered numerous types of and have learned about their characteristics and effects on the body. When it comes to mixing different types of alcohol, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

One important factor to consider is the presence of congeners in different alcoholic beverages. Congeners are substances that are produced during the fermentation and aging process of alcohol. They contribute to the flavor, aroma, and color of the drink. Darker drinks like , whisky, , and red tend to have higher levels of congeners compared to clear beverages like , , and .

Congeners have been known to contribute to hangovers and other negative effects on the body. They can increase stomach irritation and may even exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux or gastritis. Mixing different types of alcohol that contain congeners may amplify these effects and lead to a more severe hangover or stomach discomfort.

From personal experience, I have found that mixing drinks with high levels of congeners can lead to a more unpleasant drinking experience. On one occasion, I mixed different types of dark during a night out, and the next morning, I woke up with a pounding headache and an upset stomach. It made me realize the importance of being mindful about the types of alcohol I consume and how they can interact within the body.

To provide a clearer understanding, let's break down the types of alcohol based on their congener content and discuss their potential effects when mixed:

1. Clear beverages (vodka, gin, white wine):
– Lower levels of congeners
– Generally lighter in flavor and aroma
– Mixing clear beverages with each other or consuming them separately may result in a more balanced drinking experience with a lower risk of stomach irritation.

2. Dark beverages (brandy, whisky, rum, ):
– Higher levels of congeners
– Richer in flavor and aroma
– Mixing different dark beverages together can increase the overall congener content, leading to a higher risk of stomach irritation and potentially worsening hangover symptoms.

It's important to note that individual tolerance to congeners can vary. Some people may be more sensitive to the effects of mixing different types of alcohol, while others may not experience any noticeable difference. It's always a good idea to listen to your body and drink responsibly.

While it's not necessarily harmful to mix different types of alcohol, it is worth considering the congener content of the beverages. Clear beverages generally contain fewer congeners compared to darker drinks, which may increase the risk of stomach irritation and worsen hangover symptoms when mixed. It's always best to drink in moderation and be mindful of your body's reactions to different types of alcohol.