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Beer Before Liquor...

Pick your poison. wjserson/Flickr hide caption

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Pick your poison.


This time of year, drinks flow freely, and there's a lot of advice passed along with the mixed nuts. Some's clearly good, like "Don't drink and drive," but some's less cut-and-dry. For example, as I always heard it, "Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you're in the clear." The Mythbusters tested a variation of it, "Stick to beer, you're in the clear. Beer and liquor, never sicker." They busted it, finding, in their small (but hugely entertaining) test that the mix wasn't necessarily worse. On that front, maybe it's best to just stick to what works for you, and employ the age old strategy of moderation, whatever combination of drinks you down.

Wired's ScienceNews blog, however, reports an actual conclusion on some research that tested the "the darker the liquor, the worse the hangover" theory.

In a head-to-head comparison, bourbon gave drinkers a more severe hangover than vodka, report Damaris Rohsenow of Brown University and colleagues in an upcoming issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


Overall, bourbon drinkers reported feeling worse than vodka drinkers, rating higher on scales that measure the severity of hangover malaise, including headache, nausea, loss of appetite and thirst.

The rule of thumb that applies here is that clearer substances have fewer of the toxic chemicals than ones with that amber hue. Makes sense to me. So go forth and be merry, but don't forget a D.D., moderation and plenty of water, even if bourbon's your beverage of choice.