21 Drinks That Give You Terrible Hangovers


Lots of people will be forgetting about their diets for a couple days this holiday season and have some fun. Most of the time, this fun will include alcoholic beverages. And in many cases, people will consume more drinks than they really should, which could result in a hangover.

Of course, not all drinks are equal when it comes to hangovers. Here is a list of some drinks you should definitely avoid drinking a lot of if would like to avoid a holiday hangover.

1. Brandy

When it comes to drinks and their hangover effect, brandy is pretty much the alcoholic equivalent to a nuclear blast. Once this hellish beverage passes through your system, you’re a gonner. It takes days, not hours, to recover from the impact, and we’re not just talking about headaches here. Brandy will devastate your digestive system, leaving you queasy and unable to have a solid bowel movement for a while. If you had too much brandy in a bar after your holiday dinner, the thought of the smell after going to the bathroom will haunt you for years to come.

Brandy is believed by many scientists to be the absolute worst when it comes to hangovers. We’re not going to get all sciency here, but let’s just say that the complex organic molecules, called congeners, which are most responsible for hangovers, are found in ample amounts in this particular drink. So if you have better things to do after the holidays than to sit in bed silently moaning, steer away from brandy!494385519

2. Drinks High In Sugar

Sugary alcoholic beverages are the devil. They are delicious, sweet, yummy, easy to drink and fun. And they give you the worst hangovers. The problem with drinks like Breezer, Smirnoff Ice, Skyy Blue, Hard Cola, which are basically alcoholic sodas, is twofold. First of all, you can drink gallons of them without noticing how drunk you are getting and unaware that a horrible, horrible headache is lurking just around the corner.

The second problem is a chemical one – the high sugar content in these drinks is bound to make your hangover ten times more intense than what you would have If you had chosen a different, less sweet and tempting beverage.

The victims of these diabolic beverages will tell you that the speed with which a hangover sets in is insane – you practically get a hangover while you’re still drinking! By the time you notice what’s going on, it is too late – all that sugar has done it’s thing and you just need to let it run its course.466556845

3. Red Wine

Everybody knows that red wine is good for you. It’s good for your heart, for your brain, your skin, hair, and so on. Red wine is amazing – if drank in moderation. What does it mean, really, to drink in moderation? While it’s an individual thing, depending on several factors, from metabolism to body type, the general rule is one to two glasses a day, preferably with meals.

Anything more than that – you are risking one hell of a hangover. Everyone who’s ever drank too much red wine knows what we are talking about. The headache, the sensitivity to light and noise, dry mouth, chapped, bluish lips. The horror.

The ingredient responsible for the awful hangover post- red wine is probably the tannins. Oh, those tannins. The same tannins that are believed to give red wine all of its beneficial qualities. It seems that there really are two sides to everything, and tannins are no exception.


4. Rum

Rum is a delicious drink that can be consumed alone or in a bunch of different, equally delicious and exciting cocktails. Rum is great for summer parties, for long, lazy days on the beach, for crazy nights out on the town, and in the winter it warms your body and soul. Plus, sometimes a person just wants to feel like a pirate for a while. But it also gives you one hell of a hangover.

The basic ingredient of rum is sugar cane. Sugar cane basically equals sugar, and, as we mentioned earlier, sugar doesn’t do well in alcoholic drinks. Or better, it doesn’t do any good for you. Whether you drink it alone or in a cocktail, make sure not to exceed what they call a moderate amount, which basically means one or two glasses.

If you drink too much of it, the sugar in rum will give you an almost instant headache, one that will make you shiver in agony.


5. Whiskey

According to a study, a whiskey hangover is even worse than a vodka hangover. That probably doesn’t seem right to you, since vodka has such a bad reputation, but that may be more because of the social and political reputation following vodka than to the actual chemistry.

In fact, it is believed that clear drinks will cause a lighter hangover than the brown ones. And whiskey is a brown drink, of course.

The reason behind this logic lies, again, in congeners, which are byproducts of the alcohol fermentation. The more congeners in a drink, the worse its effects will be the day after heavy drinking. Darker and more colored drinks have more congeners than the clear ones, and therefore they cause worse hangovers.

No matter how exquisite a whiskey is and how pure its ingredients are, it is still going to give you hell if you drink too much of it.


6. Champagne

A lot of people will say that their worst hangovers ever were caused by champagne. Now, that might be because you usually drink champagne on a fairly empty stomach, when you arrive to the party and haven’t had much to eat yet. Or because they get tipsy from champagne at a wedding and then proceed to heavier beverages, forgetting they drank all that vodka, gin, tequila shots and beer, and blame it all on champagne.

However, according to one study, the carbonated bubbles in champagne may be to blame. The bubbles cause a valve in your stomach to open and release the contents to the intestines before it’s time, so most of the alcohol gets absorbed by the intestines, which makes you drunker and therefore gives you a worse hangover.

Either way, there is a reason most people just take one sip of champagne and put the glass down.


7. Cuba Libre

This is one of the all-time favorite vacation drinks for pretty much everyone. It’s a nice, long and refreshing drink that has a way of getting you into that tropical mood in no time. The hangover that follows after one to many Cuba Libres, however, can ruin beach sunsets for you forever.

Cuba libre, as we all know, is made from rum and Coke. Simple as that. The problem lies not only in the ingredients, but in their nefarious combination too. As we mentioned earlier, rum is made from sugar cane, which means it’s sugar content is high, which means it’s gonna give you a throbbing headache if you drink too much. And Coke, of course, contains a ridiculous amount of sugar. Combine the two, and you have a recipe for disaster.

If you want to party Caribbean style, try something less sugary and preferably clear. Opt for white rum instead of the dark kind, and if you have to mix it, mix it with something that doesn’t spell “pure sugar.”


8. Black/White Russian

Once you get a hangover from a Black or White Russian, you will steer clear from milk and coffee for quite a while. These hangovers are something special – they make you vomit, they give you a skull-piercing headache and they mess up your digestive system.

The reason for the severity of hangovers from the Black or White Russian is, surprisingly, not the vodka in it. Or, at least, vodka is not the biggest culprit here. These cocktails have a very high congener score, which means they are loaded with the substances that are directly linked to hangovers.

In addition, the cream and the coffee liquor used to make these cocktails also contain sugar, which, as we learned by now, is the enemy of your well-being after a wild night out.

Also, while coffee is always welcome after drinking alcohol, milk is really not. And milk, or more precisely, cream, is the main ingredient of the White Russian. You do the math.


9. Sex On The Beach

The colorful, fun and exciting cocktail, the best friend of many a single young girls (and a few young men, too), Sex On The Beach is one of those drinks that will make you swear off alcohol the next morning.

Cocktails in general are known for causing bad hangovers, and one of the reasons is that they are so easy to drink. But some cocktails are worse than the others, and Sex On The Beach is definitely among the worst.

This cocktail contains cranberry juice, orange juice, peach schnapps and vodka. Vodka by itself is not the worst hangover-inducing drink, but it is the combination here that makes this cocktail so bad. Peach schnapps contains a lot of sugar, and cranberry juice and orange juice are not too kind on the stomach, especially the next day.

This cocktail not only gives you a terrible headache and nausea, but it may also cause indigestion and stomach issues.


10. Kamikaze

Kamikaze is not a drink that will get you drunk quicker than others – in fact, its alcohol content is lower than many other cocktails. But, for some reason, the Kamikaze has a very high congener score, meaning it contains a lot of that substance that causes hangovers.

Kamikaze is made out of triple sec, which is orange-flavored liqueur, lemon juice and vodka, in equal amounts. Maybe it’s the triple sec, maybe it’s the combination of the three ingredients, whatever the reason is, Kamikazes will cause you pain if you drink too many.

For most people, “too much” is anything more than one or two glasses. If this is really your favorite drink, try to factor in other elements when you are about to drink – for example, your weight and the contents of your stomach. Otherwise, prepare a bottle of your strongest painkillers and consider taking a day off work.


11. Screwdriver

The Screwdriver is one of the simplest and most beloved cocktails. Pretty much everyone loves orange juice, and vodka is presumably one of the safer alcoholic beverages. There are no other ingredients, no hideous high-sugar liqueurs or exotic fruit juices. Just one part vodka and two parts OJ. So, what goes wrong there?

While its alcohol content makes it a moderately strong drink (compared to other alcoholic cocktails), a Screwdriver is loaded with congeners. This is the reason you sometimes feel like you’re about to die after having a whole pitcher of it.

Many people say that the worst thing about the Screwdriver hangover is not the headache or the fatigue, but the awful feeling in your stomach. This may have something to do with the acidity of the orange juice, coupled with the fact that vodka is a rather strong drink. Either way, be careful with it and try to eat something before going to bed.180939153

12. Gin

Since it is a clear drink, which by default makes it less hangover-inducing than the dark or colored drinks, gin should be safe and headache-free, right? Well, not entirely.

If it is a good quality gin, and if it is consumed alone or with a suitable pair, gin is less likely to cause a bad hangover than, say, bourbon. But gin is really rarely consumed alone. Gin and tonic is one of the all-time favorite combinations for many people, and there are several problems with that combination. One is sugar from the tonic, which doesn’t sit well with the alcohol content from the gin, and the other are the bubbles, also from the tonic, which cause the contents of your stomach to move faster to the intestines, where the alcohol is absorbed, making you more intoxicated.

It’s not just gin and tonic – gin is used in many different cocktails, come of which are notorious for their hangover effects.496590873

13. Bourbon

As we know by now, darker drinks give you worse hangovers than clear ones. There are, of course, some exceptions, but the general rule of thumb is to always opt for a clear drink. The problem is that some colored drinks, such as bourbon, are the beverages of choice for so many people. And for that, they pay the price.

Like whiskey, bourbon is fermented inside wooden barrels. During that process, the beverage is absorbing different substances from the wood, which give it the color, the aroma, the smell and the texture. This does wonders for the flavor, but doesn’t help with hangovers, because of congeners, which basically give the drink its dark color. The more congeners in a drink, the worse your hangover will be.

The problem is even bigger with bourbon, which is aged in charred barrels. This basically gives it more congeners, and that is never a good thing, no matter how fine the bourbon is.


Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory. The cocktail, which is actually made with vodka and vermouth, will give you a terrible hangover thanks to the vodka. Let’s face it, vodka and hangovers go hand in hand, especially if you let your hair down and drink way too much vodka martinis (or any other cocktail made with vodka, for that matter).

As far as this particular cocktail is concerned, the vodka martini is one of the most popular cocktails in the world and the drink owes its reputation to no one other than James Bond.

Unfortunately, just because 007 famously drinks his vodka martini ‘shaken, not stirred’ doesn’t mean that you can do the same without suffering some consequences. When we say some, we’re actually trying to tell you that the morning after will be one of the most horrible days of your life and that you won’t be able to function properly for at least 24 hours.



Though drinking a mixed alcoholic drink that has the taste of a popular non-alcoholic drink may seem like a brilliant idea during warm summer months, you can be certain that you will regret drinking one too many Long Island Iced Teas the morning after.

The biggest problem with this cocktail is that it fools you into thinking that you are drinking something completely harmless such as iced tea. The colors are the same and there’s a huge resemblance in taste. The Long Island Iced Tea, however, contains at least five alcoholic drinks, including vodka, tequila, gin, rum and triple sec.

If all of this wasn’t enough to give you the ultimate hangover, you should also be aware that the cocktail is mixed with Coke and syrup. This basically means that you will take in incredible amounts of both alcohol and sugar, which is a combination made in hangover hell.



There’s no better cocktail to make you feel like you are enjoying yourself on some far-away tropical beach than the ever-popular piña colada, the national drink of Puerto Rico. Even the mention of the Caribbean archipelago makes you want to drink tons of piña colada, which is, unfortunately, a really bad move.

Sure, you will feel great while drinking the heavenly sweet cocktail, but you’ll hate both yourself and Puerto Rico in the morning. It’s made with rum, coconut, and pineapple juice and although this doesn’t sound like a bad combination, the problem is that most restaurants and bars use low-quality or artificial coconut oils that will make you throw up the entire content of your stomach once the soothing effect wears off.

Besides, the piña colada is packed with sugar and we don’t have to tell you twice what that means in alcoholic mixed drinks.



The Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world and we absolutely understand why people love the mixed alcoholic drink so much. Made of tequila, triple sec, and lime or lemon juice, there are several ways to serve the margarita, including on the rocks, frozen and straight up.

Let’s face it, there’s probably not a person in the world who can drink just one margarita and say that they’ve had enough. The Margarita just doesn’t work like that.

Sadly, drinking more than one or two margaritas will most likely result in one of the worst hangovers of your life because the cocktail is usually made with artificial mixes, which are not only packed with sugar but also bad for your health.

Due to the fact that you won’t stop at one margarita, you will consume insane amounts of sugar and alcohol and seriously regret your poor judgment tomorrow morning.



Don’t let the name or the pretty colors of this cocktail fool you. Made of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup, the tequila sunrise is famous for its shiny, colorful appearance.

Even though we know that tequila is the devil, it’s still strange how a cocktail that bears such a resemblance to something as beautiful as the sunrise can wreak such havoc on your organism the morning after.

You are certainly already aware that you will deeply regret drinking any cocktail that contains tequila when you wake up after a wild night out, but the tequila sunrise is the champion of tequila hangovers.

The mixed alcoholic drink will make you question your existence and chances are that you will stay away from the tequila sunrise for a long, long time once the blissful effect of the cocktail wanes and you witness the worst sunrise of your life.


19. OUZO

Ouzo is the national drink of Greece that makes you question the sanity of the Greeks, seeing as they really love it and have the ability to take in incredibly large amounts of the drink. Considered an aperitif and served in every Greek restaurant throughout the world, Ouzo is the drink you should consume if you like to suffer and want to know what it’s like when a hangover seemingly lasts forever.

Even though we said that Ouzo is an aperitif, the problem arises when people think that the drink is harmless due to its sweet taste. Well, sugar is responsible for the sweet taste and sugar and alcohol combined will be responsible for your newly-discovered bond with the toilet in the middle of the night.

If you ever find yourself in a Greek restaurant or with a shot glass of Ouzo in your hands, be very careful. Just because you think you can drink a lot of Ouzo doesn’t mean that you really can – or should.



Meet rakia, the hangover god. Though we already talked about brandy, this particular fruit brandy deserves an honorable mention. The national drink of Serbia, the rakia comes in a wide variety of flavors, each one tastier (and deadlier) than the other.

The most famous rakia is Slivovitz, also known as plum brandy. You may not know how to pronounce it now but once you have been introduced to the alcoholic drink, you will never ever forget it.

Thousands of Serbs are proud home-made rakia producers and they will not miss the opportunity to share a bottle of their popular drink with you. And that’s the tricky part.

You see, those home-made rakias are extremely strong drinks that frequently have a very high alcohol content, ranging from 50 percent to 80 percent (and even more). Well, good luck with that – you’ll need it.



This list would be incomplete without the infamous ‘green fairy,’ a spirit so wicked that it was banned in the United States and most European countries in the early 20th century. Absinthe was considered an addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen and people were seriously scared of the spirit’s effects.

Nowadays, we know that absinthe is no more dangerous than any other spirit, except for the fact that it contains extremely high alcohol content. Well, just because we are now aware that we won’t see dragons and unicorns when we drink absinthe doesn’t mean that the spirit won’t give us a hangover to remember. It will and there’s no way you can avoid some personal time with your toilet.

Like many devilish drinks, absinthe is quite delicious. If you didn’t know it, you would never guess that the spirit can range anywhere between 45 percent and 75 percent ABV. You can be certain that your body will not enjoy the ‘green fairy’ and neither will your mind the morning after.

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