How Jägerbombs turn us into binge drinkers: Mixing alcohol with energy drinks tricks us into craving even more booze

  • Cocktails such as Jägerbombs are hugely popular among younger drinks
  • Mixing energy drinks and alcohol together may increase drinking levels
  • Caffeine hides the effects of alcohol and can lead to riskier behaviours
  • Bomb drinks can be as high as 5:1 in energy drink to alcohol ratio 

Colin Fernandez, Science Correspondent For The Daily Mail



Cocktails such as Jägerbombs – Red Bull mixed with Jägermeister liqueur – have become a huge craze among younger drinkers 

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol leads to revellers wanting to consume even more booze, scientists claim.

Cocktails such as Jägerbombs – Red Bull mixed with Jägermeister liqueur – have become a huge craze among younger drinkers.

But mixing caffeinated drinks and alcohol together may lead to an increase in binge drinking.

This is because the caffeine makes the drinker crave even more booze, researchers warned.

Drinking vodka mixed with soft drinks – rather than caffeine – did not have the same effect, the study found.

Previous research has warned caffeine masks the intoxicating effects of alcohol – and can lead to riskier behaviours as people don’t realise how drunk they are.

In the new study, researchers at Northern Kentucky University gave 26 adult social drinkers – 13 men and 13 women – one of six possible drinks over six sessions.

These were:

* Vodka mixed with a decaffeinated soft drink

* Vodka and a medium energy drink,

* Vodka and a large energy drink

* A decaffeinated soft drink

* A medium energy drink and a large energy drink.

After each session the drinkers were asked to rate their desire for alcohol and breathalysed.

Results showed drinking alcohol led to an increased desire for more booze – but drinking a mixer made participants crave it even more.

The authors said the study provides evidence that mixing the two together leads to a greater desire for more booze – as opposed to drinking the same amount of alcohol on its own.

They said their results ‘are consistent with animal studies showing that caffeine increases the rewarding and reinforcing properties of alcohol’.

Pre-mixed drinks have been banned in the US, but the authors write that ‘the popularity of combining energy drinks with alcohol has continued to increase’.

Mixed drinks may contain 2:1 or 3:1 ratios of energy drink compared to alcohol. 

But the authors warned the ratio in drinks such as Jägerbombs can be as high as 5:1.

Previous research found caffeine masks the intoxicating effects of alcohol – and can lead to riskier behaviours as people often don’t realise how drunk they are

A Brazilian study in 2006 found the use of energy drinks might make people abuse alcohol when its effects are masked by caffeine.

Professor Roseli Boergnen de Lacerda, who conducted the study, warned of a higher risk of car accidents due to drinking mixers ‘because people who drank energy drinks with alcohol felt less intoxicated than they were’. 

Jägermeister has become hugely popular in recent years – despite being closely associated with the Nazi Party after it was launched in 1934 – and later known in some circles as Goering-Schnapps. 

The drink’s manufacturer, Curt Mast, was close friends with Hermann Goering, who as well as being head of the Luftwaffe and Hitler’s number two, was official huntmaster, or ‘Reichsjägermeister’, of the Nazi regime.  

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