Alcohol can be a best friend one night and a sworn enemy the next day. It’s a fickle relationship, to say the least. That sworn enemy part? It comes in the form of a hangover, which will greet you in the morning with the gentle warmth of a sledgehammer to the face.
Now, while there are many variables at play when it comes to a hangover — drinking on an empty stomach, not enough water in the evening, etc — it all comes down to pretty simple reasons. You get hangovers because of things like, sugar, carbonation, and congeners.
Instead of going through the science outright, though, let’s get all hyped up on science by walking it through a few drinks that are sure to do damage to your body.
Red wine may be a class-act accessory the night before, but it’s an aggressive bully the morning after. Congeners, a fermentation byproduct that strikes up the morning hangover band, contribute to a wine’s color. So the darker a wino goes, the worse they’ll feel. White wine may not always prove its worth as an evening drink, but it’ll keep a drinker’s head from caving in the next day.
Likewise, liquors of a darker shade — your bourbons, your brandys, your dark rums — are ready to sabotage the morning-after for the same reason, those dang congeners. Bourbon’s actually the fiercest culprit, having the 40 times the quantity of congeners than in vodka.
Liquor tends to have higher alcohol concentrations than its beer and wine brethren. And the cheaper the spirit, the more congeners. So scooping the cheapest booze is the fastest route to a forced day in bed. Honestly, though, who’s surprised that the most affordable thing at the bar betrays you in the end?
Why a more lofty drink like champagne ends up as a head pounder always seems to be up for discussion. It’s a go-to celebratory toast drink, but it’ll knock out the brain come sun-up. The reason is it comes down to the fact that it's jam-packed with bubbles. That carbon dioxide helps get the alcohol into a drinker’s blood stream faster than other kinds of alcohol.
Booze Mixed With Soda or Juice
This is basically just pouring sugar down the gullet, so it’s no surprise it makes a person feel like hell come morning. The fact that alcohol is involved is doing absolutely nobody any favors — except maybe the tastebuds. Whether it’s whiskey and cola or vodka and orange juice, if the mixer is super sweet, there’s a chance the next day will come with a super headache.
Fruity Colorful Cocktails
This is going to strike the same way soda and juice do, mostly because they may be hiding beneath that tiny umbrella. Anything that has a pretty color to it has a good chance of becoming your frienemy. It’s going to be an entire witch’s brew of booze that then disguises the whole festive monstrosity with sweeteners. Witchcraft, I say!
Booze with Energy Drinks
Not only are energy drinks major players when it comes to hangovers, but mixing a depressant and a stimulant together is no good for a human being from the start. It basically has the potential to rile a person up to drink more for longer than one’s body would initially agree to. Plus, the sugar content of energy drinks is bonkers to begin with.
Gimmicky Nonsense Shots in a Dive Bar
This will priority mail your brain a hangover for a number of reasons. It could be a goofball sugary concoction with some innuendo name, it could be the cheapest booze in the house that they hide with sugar, or it’s some maniac pour like a ‘bar mat shot’, which is exactly what it sounds like — all the spilled liquid on the bar, squeezed into a shot glass. This kind of lunacy is best (and hopefully only) limited to a 21st birthday, and even then, like, why?
Long Island Iced Tea
If anyone orders a drink that at its core is a selection of gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and triple sec — especially one that hides them vixens and villains with sour mix and a splash of cola — it can't really be that much of a blindside once everything goes haywire. These will deliver a boxer-like hangover because the drinker is simply downing all the booze together in what will surely be an accidental half dozen orders.
Literally Any Drink With ‘Adios’ or ‘Goodbye’ or ‘So Long’ or ‘911’ in the Title
These kinds of drinks essentially take the spirit of Long Island Iced Teas, but turn it into more direct chaos. Sometimes, they’ll act like it’s a mystery concoction that just randomly showed up one day. This could be anything from a Slushee that’s, like, three-fourths Bacardi 151 to a blue lagoon fishbowl of tequila that looks like someone could swim in it. Anything that hints at a blackout in its name can, will, and should absolutely beat a person up like crazy. This is how you lose an entire weekend.