effects of liquor

So over the years I’ve heard plenty of people say things like “Oh if I drink (enter name of liquor here) I get crazy” and things to that effect. Basically making the claim that one type of liquor effects them in a different way than another. Is there any logic to this? A shot of tequila, whiskey, vodka, gin, etc, all contain the same amount of alcohol. It’s always been my understanding that the alcohol in liquor is what gets a person drunk (sorry, couldnt resist). So anyway, is there any logic to these statements at all?

I know a couple of student hangouts that stopped serving Jagermeister because it made people into maniacs too often. Too many fights, bloody noses, police calls, tears and drama. Eventually the bar managers just decided it wasn’t worth it and took it off the bar. But this is a university town so that could have some bearing.

And then there’s always, “Tequila makes her clothes fall off!”.

If you’ve ever been drunk on tequila you know it truly is a different kind of high than beer or wine gives.

That’s crap. The only difference is between how fast you’re getting liquor. If you normally drink beers slowly, then of course 2 shots of [liquor x] is going to get you drunker faster. Plus, you normally do shots when you’re out celebrating with friends looking for a good time, not like having a couple too many glasses of wine at the president’s house. Alcohol is alcohol. The only things that change are dose and your state of mind.

People (mostly drunk people) have been making claims like this for decades. But every scientific study I hav seen says it is strictly the amount of alcohol per body weight (technically, the blood alcohol content) that makes the difference. The actual type of alcohol is irrelevant.

I am allergic to tequila. Last time I drank tequila, I broke out in handcuffs.

Scientific studies in this area are bullshit. Ask any bartender, and they’ll tell you different, from years of observation.

I’ve read that study show people exhibit effects of alcohol consumption before enough time has elapsed for it to have a physiological effect. If this is true, people might have varied reactions to different liquors for the same reason.

Anecdotal. My own observations have been that it doesn’t feel any different getting drunk off gin & tonics than tequila sunrises. Also purely anecdotal. :slight_smile:

We’ve had threads on this before, though I’m having trouble finding them.

It’s all in everyone’s mind. The only real factor is alcohol.

People in China used to tell me that Baizhou produced nearly zero hangover. They were way off!

Agreed, but all scientific studies are going to be able to tell you is physiological impairment. They can’t measure mental or social aspects of getting liquored up. British publicans will tell you without a doubt that cider drinkers are a lot more dangerous than people who drink an equivalent amount of whisky.

Personally, tequila makes me do bad things. But I can drink twice that much bourbon, and all I’ll get is sleepy.

Aren’t dueling anecdotes fun? :smiley:

Of course scientific studies can measure mental and social aspects. Psychological studies do this all the time (though I don’t know if any have specifically address alcohol; being such a significant part of most cultures it wouldn’t surprise me).

Sometimes the conventional wisdom is wrong. This is why scientists do double-blind studies, record their data, etc., etc.

The example of cider vs. whisky shows a correlation but does not establish cause and effect. When a bar patron chooses his own drink, there could be an element of personality at play. It could be a predisposition of a cider drinker to be more rowdy than a whisky drinker before they even start drinking. Two guys who sit at the bar and order scotch neat probably have a different state of mind than two guys who order shots of Tequila; a bartender sees the correlation and fallaciously concludes that cause and effect are at work.

It could be the festivity of the drink and the atmosphere. The placebo effect works with all kinds of substances.

A woman at a party doing Jell-O shooters is likely to get drunker than the same person drinking champagne at a wedding reception. But it’s because she drank more alcohol, was in a situation where it was more acceptable, and even expected.

Lastly, there is no known organic reason why any substance in an alcoholic beverage, other than the alcohol, would influence behavior any more than a glass of orange juice or a potato.

Not entirely true. I think other components the drink can also have an effect. The tannins in wine can make you feel sleepy and dry-mouthed. Sugar (or Red Bull) in mixed drinks can make you feel hyper on top of the effects of the alchohol.

But for the most part I think you are correct. For example, it takes me a long time to get drunk off just beer because it’s only like 5% alchohol by volume. IOW, I get bloated before I get too drunk. But shots, martinis or scotch will get you drunk much quicker because it’s all alchohol.

Some of it is psychological too. I mean I’ve seen people act like drunk assholes after drinking what they thought was spiked punch (which turned out to be just non-alchoholic punch.)

Alcohol has a very strong psychosomatic effect. People who are merely misled into thinking they’re drunk show many of the same signs of drunkeness.

Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising if the knowledge of what you had just drank also affects behaviour.

Last time I was Jeager drunk, I woke up w/ a black eye, after telling my friend at the bar I was walking home (4 miles) because I didn’t want to wait another 15 minutes for him to finish his poker tournament. Still have no idea how that happened, but I still had $$ in the morning, so at least I wasn’t jumped.

Jaeger touts the many herbs it has in it, and I’m kinda convinced there’s some guarana or caffeine that’s a stimulant in there. That might be what keeps your drunk ass up and moving way past the point you should be falling asleep at the bar.

I’ve seen it in other people at the bar I work at too. The Jaeger drunks always seems more fired up, similar to the people slamming red bull and vodkas.

ETA: Please don’t drink red-bull w/ your liquors. 1 might be ok, but if you’re at #4 or more, you might as well snort an eight ball of coke and slam a fifth of vodka, the effects are about the same.

Yep, that’s what I was trying to say.

They are crazy. The absolute worst moments of my life were baijiu hangovers. NOTHING is worse that puking that stuff up. Absolutely nothing.

The only personal bit I can add to this is that tequila tends to make me an angry drunk because it tends to also make me feel queasy and drunk and queasy are a bad pair.

Also, I’ve been told by my girlfriend that my personality seems really off whenever I’ve been drunk on absinthe, but I chalk that up to absinthe getting me very drunk very FAST and screwing up the usual adjustment period that comes with drinking.

I think 99% of these sorts of anecdotes are confirmation bias due to the way people are choosing their drink. People choose drinks that reflect the way they feel – if you’re in an angry mood and think of tequila or bourbon as an “angry” drink, you’re going to confirm that to yourself when you’re drunk and angry half an hour later. Likewise, if you think of wine as a calming drink, you’re going to feel calm after drinking it.

Previous thread on the same subject:

The fact that people think that different liquors can have a different effect sets up the expectation, and from there people can convince themselves of what they want. Maybe they want to act in a particularly wild way, and they think that drinking tequila gives them the excuse to do it - it doesn’t have to be a concious decision.

Tannins have an astringent effect and increase dehydration, which can make you feel dry-mouthed (and also give you a headache). I’ve never heard any claims, though, that it makes you sleepy. Sugar doesn’t make you feel hyper, contrary to claims especially regarding children getting a “sugar rush.” However, Red Bull and other “energy” drinks have a pretty good dose of caffeine. Even rum & Coke could give you a little caffeine boost. Chocolate has theobromine which is chemically similar to caffeine and also a stimulant, so hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps might also lead to the perception of an energy hit.