“Beer Before Liquor, Never Beer Sicker”

You may have heard the old rhyme and the claim -- that mixing different types of alcoholic beverages, especially beer and liquor (distilled spirits) causes problems.

In reality, there is no evidence that drinking vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, rum or other distilled spirits after beer has any negative effects. In short, it’s just another alcohol drinking myth.

Of course, drinking too much alcohol in any form is a bad idea and can lead to problems. What matters is how much alcohol is consumed, not what form. That’s why it’s important to remember that standard drinks of beer, wine and spirits all contain the same amount of alcohol -- 0.6 ounce each.

Standard drinks are a 12-ounce can or bottle of beer, a five-ounce glass of dinner wine, and a one and one-half ounce serving of spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink).

Remember that a drink is a drink is a drink. They’re all the same to a breathalyzer.


  • O’Connor, Anahad. The claim: Mixing types of alcohol makes you sick. New York Times, February 7, 2006.

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