Why Cheap Booze Makes Your Hangover So Horrible

You. You’re out drinking with your friends, matching them round for round. They’re sippin’ fancy whiskey, but you’re saving money, sticking with the well specials. So why is it, halfway through the night, you’re suddenly hit with a brutal headache, and everybody else is fine?

First off, let’s set the record straight. Just because something is inexpensive, that’s doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. Tito’s vodka, for instance, doesn’t cost much, but it can go head-to-head in flavor and purity with uber-expensive topshelf brands. So when we say “cheap” what we really mean is “low-quality.” That said, Tito’s is more the exception than the rule, and cheap stuff is generally more likely to be low-quality.

The Presence of Congeners

Congeners, also known as fusil oils, are a byproduct of the mash fermentation process. They are, essentially, impurities. There are hundreds of types of congeners, some of which are higher-order alcohols (i.e. non-ethanol) that our bodies can’t really process. Essentially, our bodies treat them as a poison, and a headache is a very common symptom of poison processing. That said, different people may be better or worse at metabolizing and flushing these toxins.

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