Can You Mix Kava and Alcohol? Answer Here

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When it comes to mixing alcoholic beverages the sky is the limit. Depending on your base spirit you can come up with thousands of variations of cocktails. However, one thing you shouldn’t mix with alcohol is kava. Don’t get me wrong, the concept sounds enticing. It would be like bringing the best of two worlds together but it would cause more harm than good.

Kava and alcohol feel like a stimulant but they are actually depressants. Now you could mix alcohol and kava together if you really wanted to. I’m sure there are creative ways it could work taste-wise. However, three reasons why you shouldn’t mix alcohol and kava together are that it would cause major impairment, damage your liver, and could cause issues with addiction.

As a former bartender/mixologist, I would find it an absolute pleasure to create craft cocktails. I even had my fair share of making cocktails for our team here at Kava-Bula on special occasions. One line we never cross is mixing alcohol with kava. We all agree that both alcohol and kava are great ways to unwind but should never be combined. Let’s take a closer why we shouldn’t mix them.

Reason 1: Mixing Will Cause Major Impairment

When you are at the end of your work week we all can agree that a great way to unwind is to have a nice beverage. Sometimes our inhibitions get the best of us and we have one too many. Both kava and alcohol when drunk excessively will cause impairment. Alcohol can cause more severe impairment when compared to a kava but if you are doubling down on both this is where we can run into problems.

Kava, when drunk in moderation, can actually improve cognitive function and lower your heart rate which in turn makes you feel nice and cozy but if consumed in excess can cause impairment. Alcohol, even when consumed moderately, interferes with the cerebellum which can make you relaxed as well but usually disrupts cognitive function and if consumed in excess leads to impairment as well.

What would happen if you mixed the two, would result in a more conflicting disruption for your brain. When the kavalactones interact with alcohol in the bloodstream it causes synergistic effects. Basically, when two substances are combined the effects will become amplified such as impairing one’s motor skills and cognitive function.

Essentially mixing alcohol and kava would make you inebriated in a short amount of time. As we can see this poses a serious problem for people to quickly get intoxicated. We all know what it is like to have “one too many” so we can conclude it really is not the best idea to mix kava and alcohol for this reason. Alongside being intoxicated, the combination is harmful to your health which brings us to our next reason.

Reason 2: Mixing Can Cause Liver Damage

Another reason you shouldn’t mix kava and alcohol is that it is very harsh on your liver. Drinking kava on its own doesn’t really have potential threats to damaging your liver when consumed in moderation. However, when you mix it with alcohol, which is a liver toxin, it becomes a threat to your liver.

Kava and alcohol are both metabolized in the liver. The enzymes process them so that your kidneys can essentially act as filters to exit your body. So when you have a mixture of kava and alcohol it’s a bit of an overload on these organs to process. It is like they are competing against each other to get them out of your system.

Since alcohol and kava don’t metabolize in the same way they don’t overlap to eliminate the kavalactones in kava and alcohol from the body. So what happens when two of these compounds are competing for the same enzymes to process is that it can cause a build-up in your system. This build-up will basically damage your liver.

You have to remember to be good to your liver cause when your liver goes out, you are pretty much done for. That is something we should do our best to avoid.

Reason 3: May Cause Issues with Addiction

Along with major impairment and liver damage mixing kava with alcohol may lead to addiction. Alcoholism is a huge problem many Americans can fall into. It is stated that one-third of Americans are subject to alcoholism. That is a lot of people if you ask me. it also makes sense since we are a culture that has embraced a party lifestyle as a social norm.

If you know anyone who battles with alcoholism you can find that they are always looking for new ways to get their fix. It would probably sound like a good idea for them to mix kava and alcohol together to enhance that buzz they are constantly chasing. So if they found that kava and alcohol concoctions as their new drink of choice they could potentially fall into a more bottomless pit of addiction than what they previously already had.

Kava addiction is also a real thing when over-consumed. Don’t get me wrong, feeling good is something we are all looking for. We just have to remember to keep in mind our limitations with whatever we indulge in. It is best to avoid the possibility of addiction to any kind of feel-good substance simply for our health.

If we lose control to an addiction we pose a concern for both our health and well-being. It’s best not to mix kava and alcohol for these reasons.


Now that we are aware of the potential dangers and risks we could have when mixing alcohol and kava together, it is best to just avoid doing it. It simply is just not worth jeopardizing being impaired, damaging your liver, and the risk of possible addiction. I am all for having an alcoholic beverage from time to time as well as having a shell or two of kava but would never mix the two.

All of my fellow colleagues here at Kava-Bula also refuse to mix the two because of the serious consequences to our health it would pose. So I suggest to you, the reader, to do the same. I am not one to tell anyone what they can and can’t do with their lives however, I just hope this article serves as a voice of reason.

If you found what you have read insightful, interesting, or entertaining remember to subscribe to our free newsletter. We have new weekly articles on everything kava. Also, tell your friends, family, or colleagues who are interested in kava to stay informed. Until next time, be well and choose wisely my friends. Bula!


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