Is it okay to eat raw oysters and drink alcohol at the same time? I have heard different stories as to whether it is truly a good idea to do this. Some people say that it is not bad, others say that the alcohol can be dangerous with the bacterium (Vibrio vulnificus) contained in shellfish, while some people have told me that the alcohol can actually kill the bacterium contained in shellfish.

Is it safe to drink alcohol and eat raw oysters? If it is okay what drinks go well with oysters?


4 Answers 4


I do this about once a month and can confirm that it's more than safe, it's delicious. In fact during the 19th century half of London lived on porter and oysters!

I'd recommend oyster stouts, London porters or champagne with them. Stouts and porters are particularly traditional in London

  • 5
    Not so much safe as essential
    – user23614
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 19:30

You are confusing the issue with alcohol and raw oysters. Alcoholism can lead to liver damage which can predispose folks towards a dangerous Vibrio infection. So folks with liver damage (including alcohol abusers) should avoid raw oysters due to the risk of vibrio. Alcohol itself has no affect on Vibrio. The low alcohol content in beer won't sterilize anything anyway (it is the boiling wort part of the MAKING of beer that made beer a "healthy" option in the olden days :)

Vibrio vulnificus Health Education Kit Fact Sheet


If you enjoy wine, melon de bourgogne (aka Muscadet) or a chablis are a classic pairing for oysters. I also enjoy champagne or a Spanish txakoli with oysters.


Yes you absolutely can get sick from mixing oysters and alcohol. Some folks like myself do not produce enough of a certain enzyme to block the histamines produced by consuming oysters. That plus the alcohol turn into one of the most painful and throw up filled could not eat anything for two days sicknesses I have ever experienced

  • 2
    This is interesting. If you have a name for the condition and an idea of how common it is, it would improve the answer.
    – Eric S
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 20:24

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