Green light: a happy combination
The only substance that has a beneficial effect on human health when combined with alcohol is food. The presence of food in the gastrointestinal system has a positive effect on the absorption of alcohol by the blood. The type of food also makes a big difference. The fattier the food, the longer it takes for the alcohol to pass from the stomach to the intestine4 and the slower the absorption process, thus reducing the person’s blood alcohol content.
Alcohol and food
Studies show that people who drink alcohol after eating a meal high in fat, protein and carbohydrate absorb the alcohol about three times more slowly than those who drink on an empty stomach. Clearly, however, this does not mean we should all be eating high-calorie meals full of fat, protein and carbohydrate. Matching foods with wines heightens the enjoyment of both, to a degree that would be difficult to achieve if one were to eat the food and drink the wine separately.
Combining the right food with the right wine also means taking into account the balance of flavours, the time of day, the season and the type of meal. At cocktail time, beer, cider, whisky and other aperitifs should always be accompanied by snacks, such as nuts or cheese.
Alcohol in mixed cocktails
For the same reasons explained above regarding food, it is better to mix alcoholic cocktails with 100% natural pure fruit or vegetable juice, rather than carbonated or flavoured beverages with minimal nutritional value. If you absolutely must use a carbonated or flavoured mixer, it’s better not to use “diet” versions, since sugar helps metabolize the alcohol.