Everybody has that one drink they avoid, and there's usually some horror story attached to it as an explanation. Maybe tequila made you pee somewhere you shouldn't have, or bourbon made you think you had the strength of 10 men, and you took some swings you now regret. While these can be humorous anecdotes, the premise behind them is utter bullsh*t. The fact is alcohol is alcohol, and science states that the idea of different spirits having different drunks is a myth.
So why do six beers feel completely different than two whiskeys? Why does it feel like the effects of red wine and vodka are completely different? Well, grab a drink, because you're about to find out.
Tequila Makes You Crazy Only Because You *Think* It Makes You Crazy
Remember that one time you took your shirt off at the bar and tried to fight a coat rack? You chalked it up to one thing and one thing only: the spicy, coy mistress that is tequila. Well, the fact is - and you might want to sit down for this - that infamous south of the border spirit you blame for a series of blurry misdemeanors actually has nothing to do with your drunken behavior.
A 2010 analysis by the National Institute of Health indicates that any irrational behavior displayed from a certain type of alcohol is purely a psychological effect. In other words, you don't really get crazy on tequila; you just think you do, so you subconsciously act the way you associate with a certain alcohol. Somehow, that's even more embarrassing.
Wine Drunk, Beer Drunk, Same Sh*t - Alcohol Just Amplifies Your Current Mood
You've probably heard some variation of this exchange:
"Hey, why are you so smiley?"
"Lay off, dude, I'm wine drunk."
Yes, wine drunk, that famous state of inebriation where you're grinning like an idiot with stained red teeth like the world's nicest vampire. Well, much like Dracula, wine drunk is also a myth. The truth is, different alcohols do not dictate your mood, they just bolster feelings you already have - so if you're already happy, wine is going to make you really happy.
Drinks Trigger Memories; They Don't Create Emotions
Maybe you've got that one drink that's your go-to when you've got the blues. Now and then, perhaps you like to sit down with your depressing beverage of choice and think about the one who got away (if you start reaching for Drano, though, you should probably talk to somebody about it). It's this line of thinking that leads to dumb, maudlin lines at the bar like, "Cognac always makes me cry," or "Why have they not responded to my last 14 text messages?"
Well, chin up, you sad sap - stop blaming the brandy. The fact is, there is no drink that - on its own - is going to make you cry. What is possible, however, is memory association - the taste of certain alcohols can trigger certain memories, so ponder that the next time you're six drinks in and sobbing. Feel better now?
Ethanol Is Ethanol No Matter The Alcohol Type
The reason different alcoholic beverages causing different drunks is a myth is actually really simple: ethanol is ethanol. The type of alcohol in all spirits is the same (you can even drink it straight up, if you're feeling bold and incredibly stupid). There are just different levels of it. Alcohol volume, sugar, and other ingredients make different drinks affect you at different speeds. And, obviously, two beers is not the same as two shots of Everclear - although if you're drinking the latter, you probably don't care about the distinction - but there is no difference in the alcohol contained in either. Just make sure you pace yourself.