Hangover-Free Alcohol Could Replace All Liquor by 2050, Says Its Creator

bartender with cocktail

bartender with cocktail | iStock.com/nisimo

Almost everyone that has a standing relationship with alcohol knows that going out for fun one night can mean mortgaging your next day with a pretty terrible hangover. But one man, professor David Nutt, has come up with drinkers to have their cake and eat it, too – hangover-free alcohol. It’s called “alcosynth,” and it’s not just something you’re wishing for with a cold towel pressed against your head as you lie in bed to gear up for work.

It’s a real thing that’s currently undergoing testing for widespread distribution, and Nutt hopes that it could actually completely replace alcohol as we know it by 2050.

Nutt’s got a knack for innovation in this field, having patented about 90 different compounds that could prove useful in the creation and sale of alcosynth to the masses.

His vision for the future? “It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they’ll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail and then you’ll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart,” he said.

That’s right. In addition to giving you a buzz without the hangover, Nutt expects the compound to also spare drinkers the liver damage that comes part and parcel with alcohol consumption.

Sure, it all sounds nice, but is he really going to be able to pull this off?

Barman pouring hard spirit into glasses

Barman pouring hard spirit into glasses | iStock.com/Jag_cz

He claims he already has. It’s just a question of tweaking the formula and testing. He’s (understandably) pretty cagey about revealing the secret sauce he’s created, but he says his research team has already created a drug that replicates the “fun” effects of alcohol with virtually none of the downsides we associate with a big night out.

“We know a lot about the brain science of alcohol; it’s become very well understood in the last 30 years,” says Nutt. “So we know where the good effects of alcohol are mediated in the brain, and can mimic them. And by not touching the bad areas, we don’t have the bad effects.”

Even if his claims are substantiated, and he does have this fantastic elixir within his grasp, it’s still a long road to getting the product on shelves. Depending on how the substance is classified, it could be subject to regulations just like pharmaceuticals are. Early experiments with alcosynth relied on a derivative of benodiazepine, which is similar to Valium. Nutt says more recent iterations don’t contain any such substances.

Says a British Department of Health spokesperson, “I don’t think we’d give money to it until it was a little further along. If [Professor Nutt] were to apply for funding, it would go through the process of everything else and would be judged on its merits.”

Further, it’s likely that beer, liquor, and wine companies as we know them will put up quite a fight to keep a new competitor from slicing up their pie even further.

At the moment, it’s an interesting idea that will be fun to follow as it develops, but until Nutt has enough faith in the formula to take it public for review, this will likely remain a dream for the future for quite some time.