Every person has certain drinks that they know to avoid less they want to suffer the consequences later on. For some it’s Whiskey, others it’s Vodka, and for many it’s Tequila. There are even common maxims, that if followed, are believed will help to avoid becoming sick later on, such as “liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” But do different forms of liquor have different buzzes that are associated with them? Another question would be whether certain people, physically, are able to handle certain types of drinks better than others.
Well I am no doctor, but I know for myself that I can drink most beers without fear of consequences. Even various types of liquor will not make me feel terrible if consumed. But certain ones seem to hit me harder, and have different affects associated with them. For instance, I will not necessarily become sick from drinking tequila, but I feel extremely heavy and drunk after a few shots. This doesn’t happen say with vodka or gin. But then even within a certain type of liquor, the difference between brands seems to have different affects. For me this is true with whiskey. I can rest assured some good old Jack Daniels will treat me right. However, you replace that with Makers Mark, which by price would seem to be a higher quality whiskey, and I will start to rage like the Hulk. It makes no sense to me, I’m not necessarily drunker, it’s the same style of drink, but the affects are vastly different. As a side note, the only liquor that makes me feel like that is Makers, where as all the other forms of whiskey I’ve tried does not even remotely come close to creating the same results.
To start, we should mention the myth that Native Americans cannot handle their liquor as well as other people. It is believed that they have a slower metabolism for breaking down alcohol, the biochemical determinant of alcohol metabolism is an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase. They do, in fact, possess these enzymes contrary to popular belief. However, Native Americans are not one big group of people. They are made up of individual tribes, each with their own distinct biological and physiological characteristics. For example, the Havasu Tribes people located in Havasu Falls Arizona are prone to diabetes. Though, we know that not all natives are prone to the same. So we can then assume the same for alcohol, perhaps some tribes do lack sufficient enzymes to break down alcohol, where as others do not.
We can then expand this beyond Native Americans and to all types of people. Perhaps, I am less able to break down the specific enzymes in tequila as well as other people. And as for Makers Mark, there must be some ingredient in that as well which my body reacts to different from other whiskeys. We know well that people are both born with and can develop certain food allergies. Alcoholic beverages can certainly trigger some of these allergies. Which is one of the main reasons for the recent surge in the production of gluten free beverages.
Now the affects felt by consuming alcohol also seems to differ based on the actual type of liquor. We can categorize these into three sections. There is beer, hard liquors, and wine.
For beer, some people stick straight with light beers such as Budweiser or Coors. Now it’s one thing to choose something over taste. But when I ask people why they insist on drinking generic light beer, and not some micro brew, the answer is usually it either makes them feel bloated or at worst, sick. Though, I can drink any type of beer, whether it is an IPA, Stout, or Wheat and neither feel bloated nor sick in the end. I suppose I just have enough enzymes to break down that type of liquor where as others cannot, or if it is not the alcohol itself but perhaps some other ingredients that cause these affects.
Liquor is a very broad category, and each specific type of liquor, whether it is Bourbon or Absinth, has a specific brewing process and various ingredients that make it up. So the affects that will be felt are obviously to differ from one another. I notice that when I drink rice wine or Saki, im usually in a happier mood. This does not occur with regular wine. I’ve only had the chance to taste Absinth in my travels across Europe, and I remember that I felt drunk, but my mood was not changed. I wasn’t happier, sadder, or upset. But perhaps there was a lack of feeling and that was the affect. Again, these affects are going to differ both from the type of liquor but also the person drinking it.
Wine is one of the more refined liquors that can be consumed, and the process to make it as well as the ingredients themselves are important and if a good wine is to be produced. Though the same holds true as with beer and hard liquor. Some people can become drunk after a single glass, where as others can drink a whole bottle and feel similar results. It all depends on a person’s ability to break down the alcohol, and any specific ingredients that are contained within.
The thing to take away from all of this is to be aware of what you are drinking and how it makes you feel in the end. Some people refrain from drinking all together because of a few bad instances with certain drinks in the past. But alcohol is one of life’s sweet nectars, you should try to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and especially enjoy them while they’re ripe. Alcohol is a means to celebrate… not the end to celebrating! So celebrate, but do so responsibly.