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Which is Healthier: Vodka or Bourbon?


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Caught within the ceaseless dispute over which alcoholic beverage poses fewer health  impacts, vodka or bourbon, traditional biases often muddle the dialogue. Both drinks present their distinctive attributes and possible health implications – portraying the argument as a simple black-and-white choice completely dismisses the intricate subtleties at play. As Australians,    we like bourbon and we like vodka. This discourse endeavours to provide an innovative viewpoint, contesting established beliefs and underscoring the significance of temperance     and enlightened decisions.

Discerning the Basics: The Vodka-Bourbon Divide

Vodka– A Glimpse:

Ingredients: Predominantly crafted from grains or potatoes.


Energy Value: Typically, it contains approximately 96 kilocalories in a 1.5-ounce serving.

Carbohydrates: Vodka is essentially devoid of carbohydrates, hence, it’s a preferred pick for those restricting carbohydrate intake.

Preservatives: Vodka, often lauded for its immaculateness, typically encompasses fewer congeners, compared to its darker counterparts.

Bourbon– An Overview:

Ingredients: Principally composed of corn, supplemented with other grains.

Energy Value: Roughly 105 kilocalories per 1.5-ounce serving.

Carbohydrates: Slightly elevated carbohydrate content due to its corn foundation, albeit still fairly low.

Preservatives: Bourbon holds more congeners than vodka, bestowing a robust flavour but possibly resulting in intensified hangovers for some.

Pondering The Health Aspects: A More Refined Perspective

Alcohol Proportion

With vodka and bourbon offering similar alcohol by volume (ABV), typically around 40%, the health consequences linked with alcohol consumption are more pertinent to quantity rather than the choice of spirit. Temperance is vital; overindulgence in either can precipitate severe health issues, like hepatic disease, cardiovascular complications, and addiction.

Purity and Preservatives

Vodka’s acclaim for cleanliness stems from its distillation process, aiming to eradicate impurities. This renders vodka a more pristine option with fewer congeners, potentially mitigating hangover symptoms. Contrarily, Bourbon undergoes maturation in charred oak barrels, infusing additional flavours and congeners. Despite enhancing the tasting experience, it might exacerbate hangovers for certain individuals.

Antioxidants and Other Beneficial Components

Bourbon packs antioxidants from its oak barrel ageing, offering some health advantages. These compounds, like ellagic acid, are associated with anti-inflammatory traits and could potentially decrease the risk of specific ailments. However, vodka lacks these beneficial compounds due to its more rudimentary manufacturing process.

Regulating Consumption and Informed Decision-Making

The crucial inference is that tagging one spirit as intrinsically healthier than the other oversimplifies a convoluted matter. Both vodka and bourbon boast their advantages and disadvantages, with the healthiest option subjective to personal preferences and consumption habits. Moderation, opting for top-tier brands that advocate purity and minimal additives, being vigilant about mixers, and heeding your body’s reaction to different spirits are useful pointers for making enlightened choices.


In essence, the deliberation over whether vodka or bourbon is healthier doesn’t yield a universal solution. Both spirits present unique characteristics that can be savoured in moderation. By prioritising knowledgeable choices and understanding the impacts of each, you can relish your spirit of choice responsibly while preserving a health-conscious lifestyle.

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