Many people associate Penn State with parties. Being as we’re a very large public school, it’s almost natural for parties to follow with a large student body. Many rumors go around that different types of alcohol can get you different types of drunk. For instance, many girls claim that tequila makes them fiery and ready to fight. But can there really be different types of drunk between tequila and vodka? Let’s find out!
First off, as can be seen by the diagrammed drinks below, there is a “standard drink.” A standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol. If each beverage contains 0.6 ounces of alcohol, then a shot of vodka and a beer have the same amount of alcohol in them. The difference in them is the rapidity of consumption. Beers are typically drank more slowly than a shot, and thus shots can get people drunker more quickly. So that is one possible explanation. If you are consuming the alcohol more quickly, there can be different effects on your body. If it’s not the rapidity of consumption however, then what else could it be?
Some believe that the “chaser” that is combined with the drink can affect the consumer in different ways. “If you’re combing gin with tonic, or vodka with something super-caffeinated like Red Bull, who’s to say the drunk you’re experiencing is due to the alcohol, and not because of what you’re drinking with it?” If a person always combines a certain alcohol with a certain chaser, they could associate the effects of the chaser to the alcohol itself. Caffeine especially has different effects on a person based on their body, so combining Red Bull with alcohol can be very dangerous cause you to think that a certain beverage causes you to act crazy, when really it’s just the caffeine you combined with it.
Another topic that must be taken into consideration is congeners. “Congeners are byproducts of the fermentation and distillation process, and include chemicals like acetone, acetaldehyde, and esters – not to mention forms of alcohol other than ethanol.” So, different drinks are distilled differently to produce different flavors. The byproduct of the ingredients in the drinks may affect a person differently.
Finally, the consumer himself may have a difference on how they feel drunk. If a person believes that tequila is going to make them go crazy, then they’re going to act crazy. If a person believes that whiskey makes them sad, they will act sad. A person can also somewhat psychologically control how drunk they feel. If a person believes they will not get drunk off what they are drinking, they will act less drunk and vice versa. So it could also be up to psychology.
What needs to be done to really conclude if tequila really makes people crazy is observational testing. There would have to be a placebo group thinking that they’re being given tequila, to see if it really is just psychological. However, ethics have to be taken into consideration as well. Is it really safe to give people mass amounts of alcohol? Probably not. There would also have to be a lot of close medical watching to make sure that no one is being physically harmed from the tests. All in all, it may be difficult to test the effect of different alcoholic beverages. Just try to drink responsibly I suppose :).