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Beverages/different affects of different liquors


Do you know if certain liwuors, because of their ingrediants or the way they are distilled, can cause certain physical side effects?
For instance, dark rum gives me a allergic type headache after a couple drinks, but rye does not. Also flavored vodkas do this, but not as bad, while an expensive vodka does not.
Also, wine is fine, no after effects at all, but beer leaves me feeling stuffed up the next morning.
Is there any liquor that is less symptomatic than others, or does it depend on the person?
Thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Bud

Interesting question!  The only real chemical difference between dark rum and vodka is the coloring added to the rum.  I doubt that's that cause of your headaches. But the congestion from beer is easier to explain.  Beer has grain and hops in it, and wine does not.  So you might well be allergic to the hops, for example.

But how you drink this stuff also matters. If you nurse you expensive Vodka, while mixing dark rum with fruit juices (and drinking it faster?) the effects you would feel are more from the other factors than the alcohol itself.

I often hear from people who get indigestion from red wine, but not from white.  The indigestion comes from the food they eat with the wines, not the chemical basis of the wines themselves.

Hope that helps.

Paul Wagner


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Paul Wagner


I have spent most of my adult life eating and drinking throughout the world, and can usually remember some of it! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about food and drink on the air.


30 years in the business.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the past 20 years.

Past/Present Clients
Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Company, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Constellation Wines, The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Vinitaly, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner.

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