Thursday, May 26, 2011

when excess is excessive, hangover cures

Although I generally prefer just getting drunk again, I do enjoy reading about the lengths some people go to to erase the memory of when they erased their memory.

A simple side note: the best hangover "cure" is of course to not drink at all in the first place. The same principle applies to avoiding STDs and pregnancy; just don't get down. And to avoid getting fat? Diet and exercise. So though it just needed to be said, I err on the side of reparation rather than prevention as a fat, slutty drunk. That said, here are my favorites selected and adapted from Travel + Leisure's June 2011 issue.

The Full English Breakfast

Substitute coffee for tea and gravy for blood puddings and let loose on the Full English Breakfast. Taken moments after waking up, the Full English requires lots and lots of protein and fat. Unlike the stateside greasy spoon, you will find carbs only in the form of a piece of toast or two, generously buttered. Here's what you get: ham, poached or fried eggs, piles of bacon, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, baked beans and sausages. Variations abound, so use what you have provided it's meaty and fatty. While technically a big breakfast will do nothing to "absorb" the previous nights excesses, it may induce a bout of sleepiness and you will be fortified for a long, reparative nap.

The Sauna

I have had great experiences with saunas and steam rooms after tying one on a little too hard. The idea is to sweat out the alcohol or something like that, but all it really does is shock your body, waking you up, and making you thirsty for water. The Russians take it to the next level, alternating between sauna and ice baths. Hard core. In the absence of spa facilities, a hot bath followed by a cold shower does wonders. Avoid a massage though. I learned the hard way that a hungover massage leads to uncontrollable vomiting. Unless you're into that sort of thing.

The Corpse Reviver

The ultimate hair of the dog, please be careful: it is said that after the forth corpse reviver, the the corpse is no longer revived. Subject to many variations, my favorite version contains gin, cointreau, lillet blanc, and absinthe. The idea is that essences and herbs from orange, wormwood, anise and sweet fennel are medicinal in some way. I doubt it, but I'll take this rather potent cocktail, served up, over a bloody mary or mimosa any day. My homespun version consists of a shot of Jack Daniels, chased by a beer, then a cough drop. For bonus points, enjoy my version in the shower before you show up 10 minutes late to work.


Many cultures have hangover cures, but worldwide three elements are consistent: 1) cures are often soups, 2) cures are very spicy and 3) cures contain tripe. My favorite world hangover remedy is of course menudo (not the band) which harmoniously combines hot spice and tripe in a delicious soup. Call me gross or old-fashioned, but I like how this one works. I prefer it to be so spicy that I can't focus on anything else. Taking your mind off your hangover is sometimes the best you can do. Eating and sexing are my favorite distractions.

Share your favorite hangover cure by commenting or e-mailing

1 comment:

  1. From the acupuncture and Chinese medicine view, Mung beans are excellent at supporting the liver, clearing toxins and relieving food/drug/herb poisoning. So cook up some mung beans in a porridge for breakfast.

    There is also formula called "stomach curing pills" that can be useful if nausea is involved and can be found online, or ordered from your friendly acupuncture student. Other Chinese herb remedies are mainly citrus, such as kumquats and grapefruit. Most of these remedies involve eating the peel and the fruit, since the peel eases what's going on in your GI tract, and the fruit re-hydrates.

    I also like to massage 2-3 acupuncture points. One is about a centimeter above the apex of your ear on the skull. It will be super tender when hungover, so just find the tender spot and rub it. The other two are on the top of your feet about an inch up from the webbing between your 3rd and 4th toe, and between your big and second toe. All of these will be tender when hung over. Just rub the daylights out of them, or talk a friend into a good, strong foot rub.

    I have also had a Naturopath tell me that taking a Vitamin B complex before going to bed after heavy drinking speeds up the metabolism of the alcohol and creating a better morning. I haven't quite experimented with that one enough yet, but it sounds like its worth a shot.