Having suffered from heartburn my entire adult life, I am always on the lookout for new medications and treatments. Recently, I read about research that showed that people with heartburn can drink certain types of alcohol without experiencing adverse effects. I wanted to find out which these are, so I did some extensive research and testing, and this is what I learned.
According to experts, and in my experience, the least acidic alcoholic drinks are gin, grain alcohol, liqueurs, rum, barley malt lager beers, and tequila. They all have a Ph that is relatively low compared to many other types of alcoholic beverages.
I find that wine and anything with citrus are the worst for me when it comes to getting heartburn.
The rest of the article will go into more detail about each drink. I’ll also list four types of drinks that should be avoided if you are looking to drink something with low acidity.
Gin is a type of liquor made from a grain called “gin.” The grains used to come from several sources, including potatoes, corn, barley, and wheat. GIt has a Ph of around 7.4, which means it is the least acidic alcoholic drink that can be consumed.
The best way to drink gin for low acidity is with a meal. If you want to drink it beforehand, I recommend drinking it with water and not any other alcohol. Try it with some tonic water, and you’ll be all set. Personally, I avoid lime since citrus gives me heartburn.
2. Grain Alcohol
Grain alcohol like Everclear is also among the least acidic alcoholic drinks available. With less acid than water, it is an excellent way to avoid heartburn entirely.
Just be careful what you mix it with. You don’t want to mask the taste of grain alcohol with something with a low Ph, like acidic fruit juices. Otherwise, you’ve defeated the entire purpose of finding low-acid alcohol.
In fact, I recommend just sucking it up and taking a shot. 🙂
Liqueurs such as Kahlua, Goldschlager, Drambuie, and Frangelico all contain a lot of sugar, but they are still some of the least acidic alcoholic drinks out there. They typically have a PH of between 5 and 5.5.
But if you want the least acidic drink possible, go with R&W Creme de Violette Violet Liqueur. It’s purported to have a Ph of 8.2! That’s less acidic than tap water.
There are actually three types of rum: white, dark, and gold. However, gold rum ranks number eight on my list because it is the least acidic drink to drink if you don’t consume heavy meals.
In addition, gold rum can still cause acid reflux if you consume it with a heavy meal. Therefore, the safest bet is to avoid it altogether and drink either dark or white rum instead.
5. Barley Malt Lager Beers
According to experts and in my experience, the least acidic beer are types dark in color. This is because the color of beer does not actually have anything to do with the acidity level. The best lagers to drink are some of the ones from the Sierra Nevada Brewery. They have low Ph and low-calorie counts for lagers.
However, they have more calories than lite beer (which can be good or bad depending on your point of view). I recommend the New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale. It’s available in a variety of flavors.
I recommend the Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale. It is well-known as one of the best beers out there.
Tequila is one of the least acidic alcoholic drinks you can drink. It has a high sugar content to help counter acidity, and some have even reported that the worm in the bottom of tequila bottles can help neutralize acid reflux.
If you can find one with a low Ph number, tequila is the perfect alcoholic beverage to drink after a heavy meal. Just avoid mixing it with anything acidic, like orange juice and lime.
The Most Acidic Alcoholic Drinks
Just like certain types of foods, heartburn sufferers should avoid specific alcoholic drinks. This is especially true if you have recently eaten (or plan to eat) something heavy or spicy. The double whammy of the two can put you in some serious discomfort.
With that being said, here are the beverages that I avoid, like the plague.
Wine is highly acidic, typically coming in at a Ph of 3 or less. Drinking wine after a heavy meal can cause heartburn, heartburn-related chest pain, nausea, and throat irritation.
Brandy has a Ph of 3.5 and is actually twice as acidic as wine! This means that even people who don’t suffer from acid reflux should stay away from it.
3. Anything With a Lot of Citrus
In my experience, it is best to avoid alcoholic beverages with citrus because they are quite sour. Just like tomato sauce, citrus can cause acid reflux.
It’s still safe to drink them, but only if you’ve consumed a heavy meal and you’re not planning on doing any drinking for the rest of the night. If you must have a fruity alcoholic drink, stick to low-acid fruits like blueberries, plums, or cranberries.
Sherry has a Ph of about 3, making it very acidic. This is because it has a considerable amount of residual sugar in it. Therefore, it is very hard on the stomach lining and can cause acid reflux.
Mixing it with any other alcohol can actually make you feel worse afterward! So, stick to drinking it alone or drinking it at a meal.
In my opinion, the only thing sherry is good for is cooking with it or using it to start fires out in the woods.
Dark wines are incredibly acidic. Vermouth actually has a Ph 3.5 or less, which is almost as bad as vinegar! I would avoid this at all costs.
I found a vintage bottle of vermouth that has a Ph of 2.8! All other vermouths I’ve seen have a Ph of 3.5 and below.
Coming in at about a 3.4 on the ph scale, scotch is moderately acidic. It contains a lot of residual sugar and will cause heartburn if you drink it on an empty stomach.
However, if you can find the Famous Grouse and Laphroaig Quarter Creek brands, they are relatively low in acid.
Alcohol Acidity Chart
Here are a few of the common Ph levels of alcoholic drinks:
|Type of Alcohol||Approximate Ph|
|Barley Malt Beers||5.0|
|High Alkaline Vodka||>8.0|
“High Alkaline” Vodka
After initially writing this article, high-alkaline vodkas were brought to my attention. The pH is purported to be 8.0 or higher. I have been unable to confirm this since the info is sparse. However, I thought it was worth mentioning if you want to investigate it further. Here is a brand that claims to have designed its product with acid-reflux sufferers in mind.
I have had to deal with digestive issues since I was a teenager. However, by learning what I should avoid, I’ve learned how to avoid most of my digestive issues.
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that I always carry around an antacid like Prilosec. In fact, I usually pre-empt any alcohol consumption by taking any favorite 24-hour acid reducer a couple of hours before the “event.”
For frequent heartburn sufferers, I recommend the “Acid Reflux Cookbook,” which can be found on Amazon. It has a lot of ideas on how and what to cook at home as well as what to avoid eating while out.
I hope this article has been helpful. For more, don’t miss 10 Best Tasting Alcoholic Drinks That You Won’t Hate.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information provided in this article is based on my own experience and research. Please consult a qualified physician regarding any of your health needs, including acid reflux and heartburn control. Drink at your own risk.
Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!