As much as we talk about drinking less and drinking better, there are inevitably times when we overdo things, so what's your best hangover cure? We took a straw poll of the bar industry. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many bartenders' methods involve the consumption of more alcohol.
"Here's one I've always committed to when appropriately sober enough to achieve. I was introduced to this method by the young bucks of the Ivy Leagues during a brief stay in Martha's Vineyard. It does do the trick and I decided that a second measure as a bracer in the morning helps even more.
"Prevention is the main one, water saves you, but the reality is if you are in real pain nothing straightens you up than another drink. The first thing I do when I have a Death's Door hangover is a 1:1 measure of brandy and port. That normally cheers me up. I don't believe in caffeine - that makes you ratty.
Nowadays I'm better prepared. I take a Wellman 50+ vitamin and a liver care pill containing milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke, turmeric and amino acids. It's a couple of horse pills but I guarantee the severity of your hangover is reduced."
"Here's my top five: 1. Don't drink at all - unfortunately, this is the only sure-fire way to avoid a hangover 2. Milk Thistle - a potent liver cleanser that prevents damage from free radicals 3. Sleep - give your body a chance to repair itself 4. Bananas - to replace potassium lost 5. Kidney dialysis - not the most practical or desirable."
"Real hangovers require a three-pronged attack. First, make a small spicy Virgin Mary, add a slug of cream and heat on a coffee machine steam wand. Next, get a strong espresso, and add sugar. Last, take a frozen shot of either Jägermeister or Fernet branca. Drink the three shots fast, in that order: caffeine, sugar, vitamins, spice, hot, cold, and booze. If that doesn't work you're in big trouble."
"A bowl of ramen noodles with a pint of beer and a double espresso. Bam!"
"Coconut water is the best cure available. The key to how it works is hydration - it hydrates at a faster rate than any sports drink because it has more electrolytes. You would think that this would be enough but there is more, coconut water also helps to settle your stomach so it stops you from being sick. There's also potassium and magnesium - this is important because magnesium aids in processing potassium. Top this off with the naturally occurring sugar and sodium which speeds the hydration process helping to ease headaches."
"I have two absolutely fool-proof methods to be hangover free. If followed, one will never experience another: First, don't start drinking. Although this is 100 per cent effective it is not recommended except in cases of severe alcohol allergy or if you find yourself living in a fundamentalist society that practices enthusiastic corporal punishment against transgressors.
"Secondly, don't stop drinking. This I have seen practiced by real masters in my career as a bartender with varying degrees of success. The most successful at this life choice have some things in common; and number one on that list is access unlimited to funds. A single lifestyle or at the very least a partner who practices the same discipline is essential; the former is most successful since two cohabitants practicing this lifestyle can experience some serious friction."
"Six steps to sobriety: first, force yourself drink at least three litres of water before going to bed (better running to the loo all night rather than be hungover the day after); when you wake, drink a glass of water with Berroca and a painkiller; drink a glass of pressé (the juice of two lemons topped up with still water in a highball); try spicy tomato juice to get the blood circulating faster; try a small glass of beer (rich in vitamin B); or a glass of water with ground guarana root for energy."
"To a glass add: 1 x Berocca, 1 x Dioralyte sachet, 25ml vodka and enough cold Coca-Cola to dissolve the first two completely. Stir and shoot."
"You can divide the subject into preventatives (what to do before and during drinking), curatives (what to do after drinking), and palliatives (what to do when the hangover strikes).
Preventatives: Hydrate. Water is a diuretic and will help flush your system of toxins. Drink a glass of water for every drink you have, have a large glass of water before bed and keep another at the bedside and drink it if you wake up in the night. Eat fatty foods and carbs to help slow the absorption of alcohol. Avoid red wine, especially if you are also drinking hard alcohol - vodka right after a glass of merlot adds up to far more congeners than a Jameson on the rocks. Having a nightcap? Try a beer instead of a Cognac, Jagermeister or Fernet Branca shot. By now, you need the hydration.
Curatives: Had far too much? Purge. Get it out now or it will hurt far worse in the morning. Take an aspirin if you must, but never an ibuprofin. These are hard on the liverand your liver is working hard enough at this point. Drink more water and take a multi-vitamin to replace the B-complex vitamins you've just depleted.
Palliatives: Water. Tea with milk. Be good to yourself. No hair of the dog. This doesn't cure a hangover, it just postpones it. Yes, some people have been postponing theirs for years, but it will eventually catch up to you and it's going to be that much worse when it does. Eggs are actually very good for hangovers. Keep hydrating until you think you might be able to hold down those eggs, and reassure yourself that after you eat you're going to feel a lot better."
"A 1oz shot of Angostura Bitters does the trick. It's 45% abv, so you get a hair of the dog, and the herbal punch opens your eyes real wide. Follow it with strong coffee and be on your way, young man."
"Years ago, someone held a hangover cure cocktail competition in Leeds, and the only one I remember was a guy suggesting the only cure is a can of Iron Bru, a line of coke and a blow job! For me, the only thing I've found that actually works is more booze (and even that only works for a few days!) and I've always found prevention works better than the cure. Eat something before you go to bed, drink a pint of water and take two aspirin. When I've remembered to do that I'm always ok."
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