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The best gins and gin mixers for no hangover

The best hangover cure is to never get one in the first place

Spanish gin tonic
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No one drinks alcohol because they’re looking forward to a hangover. Most people drink because they enjoy the flavor and maybe want to get a little bit of a buzz on at happy hour. Sadly, even with the best intentions, sometimes we overdo it, forget to drink a few glasses of water and take a few ibuprofens, and end up with a headache so bad it feels like our head is going to explode and a gurgle-filled, upset belly that makes us think that we ate a bowl of lava the night before.

And while having a few too many beverages is a guarantee you’ll end up with at least a little bit of a hangover (especially the older you get), there are ways to reduce those chances. If you’re sipping on alcohol with more congeners, there’s a better chance you’ll have a headache the next day.

For those unaware, a congener is a byproduct of the fermentation process. Congeners include methane, acetone, esters, tannins, and others. These less-than-desirable compounds are found most often in darker spirits like bourbon (and other whiskeys), dark rum, and cognac, as well as red wine. Congeners are the main cause of your epic, brain-melting hangover.

A glass of cucumber gin gimlet with cucumber slices on a table and container.
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Gin is one of the best spirits to avoid hangovers

Lucky for you, clear spirits are less likely to have congeners. This means drinking vodka and gin is a great way to stay hangover-free (as long as you only drink in moderation). And since we already wrote about vodka in a previous article, today it’s gin’s time to shine.

If you didn’t know it already, gin and vodka are surprisingly similar. Both are neutral spirits. The difference between the two is that vodka is distilled over and over again and filtered to make it as smooth as possible. Gin, on the other hand, is all about aroma and flavor. Along with juniper berries, gins are flavored with all manner of ingredients, including orange peel, anise, angelica root, orris root, and other fruits, spices, herbs, and botanicals.

Gin bottles
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Our favorite gin brands for no hangovers

While gin has a lot less congeners than its dark, aged spirit counterparts, it still has more than vodka. Regardless, it’s a good choice if you want a spirit with a little more flavor than vodka and not many more congeners.

Now that you have learned a little bit about alcohol, congeners, and hangovers, it’s time to drink some gin. Below, you’ll find four of our favorite no (or at least less) hangover gins when enjoyed in moderation.

Gray Whale Gin
Gray Whale Gin

Gray Whale Gin

Gray Whale Gin was crafted to pay tribute to the journey the Gray Whale takes up the California coast. It’s even made with ingredients from the trip. This includes juniper from Big Sur, limes from Temecula Valley, fir trees from Sonoma, and even sea kelp from the Mendocino coast. It all starts with a clean, smooth, corn-based neutral grain spirit that’s distilled six times.

Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin

Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin

You might not have ever heard of Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin, but you definitely should. Distilled in India, this unique, hand-crafted gin is flavored with foraged Himalayan juniper and locally sourced herbs and botanicals like turmeric, ginger, coriander, Gondhoraj (a type of lemon), mango, almond, and cardamon. The result is a complex, fresh gin with notes of pine, wildflowers, and earthy, fruity flavors.

St. George Terroir Gin

St. George Terroir Gin

You can’t go wrong with any of the gins produced by California’s St. George, but if we only had to pick one to lower our chances of ending up with a hangover, we’d pick St. George Terroir Gin. This small batch of artisanal gin gets its memorable from the use of juniper berries, Douglas fir tips, coriander, angelica, orris, lemon, Seville orange, cinnamon, fennel, and even coastal sage. This fresh, flavorful gin deserves a permanent spot in your home bar.

Gin and tonic with lemons and limes
voloshin311 / Shutterstock

The best gin mixers

If you’re looking for mixers for your favorite gin, avoid sugary drinks unless you want to add to your hangover the next day. Instead, opt for fruit juices like grapefruit, orange, and lime. Or mix your gin with tonic, sparkling water, seltzer, or club soda. If you want to add flavors, try cucumber, mint, or another fresh fruit or herb that pairs well with gin.

Gin and tonic
Laure Noverraz / Unsplash

Bottom line

Honestly, the only way to truly avoid a hangover is to drink in moderation or not at all. The above gins and mixers have fewer ingredients that add to hangovers, but if you drink six gin & tonics and then fall asleep on the couch watching Netflix, you’ll still probably wake up with a raging hangover.

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Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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