Sydney’s capitol of drinking culture has just gained a new and intriguing outpost from newcomers OPPIL. The company has launched their flagship store in the Inner West’s Newton and claims to have invented a hangover-free method of drinking which, if true, could be massive for the drinks industry.
The newly opened King Street venue serves only OPPIL wines and spirits which founder and chief scientist Colin Dahl claims will produce fewer – if any – hangover symptoms.
Dahl is currently the Director of Research at Australian Sciences and has a background in the skin condition rosacea which commonly affects people causing flushes and redness in the face. Often this can be prompted by alcohol consumption and, while researching the effects of alcohol on rosacea, Dahl stumbled across a novel way of consuming drinks without the unwanted hangover effect.
“In our red wine testing, the average hangover from three Australian Shiraz’ was a three out of 10 whereas our wine produced just a one out of 10,” Dahl said in an interview with The Latch.
“With our spirits, our volunteers had a three to four out of 10 hangover, and with the OPPIL is was a zero to zero point five.”
It works like this. When you consume alcohol, your liver works hard to break it down into acetaldehyde and acetate. Acetaldehyde is a toxin which, as you continue to drink, builds up in your body and can cause dehydration, nausea, headaches, and a fast heart rate – otherwise known as a hangover.
What Dahl has done is infuse alcohol with high concentrations of antioxidants extracted from grapes. The high antioxidant content neutralises the acetaldehyde and acetate in your body, reducing the effects of a hangover before it can even start.
While wine and spirits are the only offerings at the moment, the bar does a short list of bespoke cocktails and hopes to have beer on the market soon.
In terms of taste, the spirits are hardly noticably different. The grape antioxidant infusion gives the normally clear liquid a dark red colouring and a slight tannin after taste but in a cocktail it’s barely perceptable.
We tried a range of their drinks, from the gin and rosemary “Le Gin” to the Earl Grey tea infused Old Fashioned, none of which tasted strange or altered. If you didn’t know, you would swear it was just normal alcohol in the drinks. Their margarita was particularly good and they do a range of wine spritzers, the lychee-flavoured being the pick of the buinch.
According to a press release, the “high antioxidant wine”, Dahl’s first creation, “produced less negative hangover symptoms”. From this, they went on to infuse spirits with high concentrations of the same antioxidants and found that the effects were even more pronounced.
The press release goes on to say “forget about a juice that only ‘takes the edge off’, OPPIL’s innovative new grape-infused spirits are redefining the way we will drink for good”.
While we didn’t stay long enough to really put the hangover effects to the test, their flagship bar is open next week and you can make that decision for yourself. Just across from the Newtown Hotel at 169 King Street is where you’ll find the slick-looking venue.
The market for hangover remedies and cures is at an all time high as Aussies seek ways to mitigate the unpleasant effects of alcohol. If this new approach does everything that it claims to, it could be a revolution for weekday or weekend drinkers who want to achieve things the follow day.