Drink Experts' Favorite Hangover Cures
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Hangover cures are like hiccup cures, everyone has a theory about what works best. A favorite local dish, something you make at home, hair of the dog, medicine, sleep, some combination thereof — there is no right or wrong answer. Which is why this year, we deferred to the experts. From mixologists and bar owners to beer experts and sommeliers, we polled top beverage industry professionals to find out what they do to recover after having one too many the night before.
Jamie Dunn (former owner/bartender, Gilt Club):
"Can't tell you why, but French fries just make the headache go away for me. And it's not specifically for hangovers (haven't had one in a long time). But when the migraines hit, the greasier the fries, the better. (In a pinch, I'm embarassed to say I'll even do McDonald's)."
"I've heard that bananas work so I've always done shakes with bananas. Then add milk, peanut or almond butter, berries, or U-Bet chocolate syrup, and I start to feel better...eventually."
Samuel Merritt (founder, Civilization of Beer):
"Hangover cure? There is no cure. Ben Franklin said that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. I say that hangovers are proof that we're not in heaven yet. Though we all try to drink responsibly, the hangover is a predictable danger of participating in the beer business." Sam's list of his top ten hangover cures includes everything from a big bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich to Similac baby formula.
Eric Alperin (co-owner/lead bartender, The Varnish):
"I always dig on some ramen in Little Tokyo [in L.A.] — I recommend Daikokuya Ramen."
"I'm not a vegan, but I also like a cup of Blue Bottle Coffee and a vegan donut from Babycakes NYC here in Historic Downtown Los Angeles. Next I'll crawl upstairs and cash in on the $140 I pay for DirectTV (which I hardly ever get a chance for) and catch up on my shows: Weeds, Walking Dead, and Boardwalk Empire."
Also, he adds that "if there is a game on and I want to be a little social I'll hit Spring St. Bar for a few pints and maybe a few shots of Redbreast to wash it all down."
Franky Marshall (bartender, Clover Club):
"Basically I have to sleep as long as possible, maybe get out of bed around 4 p.m. Drink TONS of water, then eat a big plate of fried stuff and/or pasta — preferably in bed. No hair of the dog for me — no way! I have to wait at least a day or two before I start drinking again."
"My top cure is Bikram yoga. It's 90 minutes of slow-paced, intense yoga in a 115 degree room. All the crap you put in the night before ends up in a puddle of sweat on the floor."
"I also love ginger Kombucha, I think the teensy amount of alcohol it contains has something to do with its revitalizing effects. Eggs also work well for me. I read somewhere that eggs contain an enzyme that the liver needs to metabolize alcohol. Also, if you fry them up with butter you really can't go wrong."
"And lastly, vitamin B supplements help replace what your body lost processing alcohol. Good for when you're feeling shaky as it aids nervous system function."
Allegra Angelo (sommelier, Michy's):
"My favorite hangover cure is a Thai soup, Tom Yum Gai. It's a traditional spicy and sour soup that is made with chicken, but I prefer mine with cubes of fried tofu."
Charlotte Voisey (portfolio ambassador, William Grant & Sons USA):
"Personally a hard cardio workout, a bottle of raw Kombucha juice and an early night."
In an interview, when asked if there were any wine hangover cures, she said, "Sherry is an awesome hangover cure — Fino sherry. Everyone should have a bottle in their fridge. A fizzy, low-alcohol red makes an awesome breakfast wine. I’m particularly a fan of Sangue di Giuda from Lombardia."
Johnny Swet (co-owner/mixologistt, formerly of Cole's and Hotel Griffou):
"100% unsweetened coconut water. Period. It replaces electrolytes naturally."
Christina Bini (mixologist, Casa Lever):
"It's an Italian tradition to drink Bull Shots to cure our hangovers. It's a cocktail with beef broth and vodka. You can add tomato juice to make it a Bloody Bull.
Brian Floyd (barman, The Vanderbilt):
"The best hangover cure is preventative maintenance, really. If you can remember to stagger to the kitchen every hour or so during the party and force yourself to chug two glasses of water (you'll wake up later and have to run to the bathroom a couple times), but you'll feel remarkably better in the morning than if you didn't. Be sure to drink water before bed and don't pass out on an empty stomach."
"If the next day is particularly rough, I recommend Alka-Seltzer. As for hair of the dog, Bloody Marys are no good for me, all spice and sodium. Go for a Shandy, half beer and half ginger ale, especially if the ginger ale is homemade. It's just a hint of booze to take the edge off while you hydrate and let the Aspirin kick in."
Duane Fernandez, Jr. (mixologist, Entwine):
"I have nothing but water in the refrigerator to replenish my soul from the night prior. A big fat, juicy burger with all the fixings. And, as always, a Bloody Mary in the morning."
Originally published December 21, 2010