While it’s not necessarily part of the bartender's job description, having a viable hangover remedy in your proverbial back pocket is most wise. If not for the customer (it’s rare that hungover patrons return to the scene of the crime the morning after), then at least for themselves. After all, the bartenders I know tend to spend a significant amount of their time off going out on the town, hanging on the other side of the bar. Call it research and development.
Time Out recently asked some of our favorite veteran bartenders how they handle hangovers. Obviously none of these are foolproof or universally successful, but having a list of ideas may help you get closer to finding what works for you personally. As you will see, some of these have been handed down through the sage advice of others, others were learned through trial and error. And yes, hair of the dog made the list.
Matt Murphy (Toad): Running, kale and nutritional yeast. Clean living and lots of water.
Vannaluck Hongthong (Island Creek): I am a firm believer in Becherovka as a hangover cure. It's brought me back from the edge quite a few times and will continue to do so. I've also have gone the good old shot of Angostura bitters too. I have my mentor and former boss Ran Duan to thank for that one.
Thea Engst (Lone Star Taco Bar): I was recently introduced to eating a piece of fatty, greasy meat for a hangover. It doesn't take much, but it really settles the stomach. After that I like a Mexican Coke and as much coconut water as I can possibly consume until the room stops spinning.
Peter Nelson (State Park): I'm known for jokingly saying that "hangovers are your body's way of telling you that you're not drinking often enough.” But for reals? Food, water and sleep. Cheese, eggs, coffee, water, determination. I really don't think there's a proper hangover cure except for the shame and regret we all must suffer through while contemplating the lack of foresight of our past selves.
Hazel James (Viale): Hair of the dog that bit ya! You have to be tough, but it’s the only way. Hot sake or Campari & OJ are some of my go-tos for something that’ll go down easy.
Andrew Schneider (Oleana): For a really bad hangover nothing’s going to do it for me except time. I can’t do the “hair of the dog” thing, but I do find that kombucha does a good job of killing the tail end of a hangover and that gummy candy works wonders. Specifically, Haribo gummy bears kept in the fridge.
Madagan Keyes (Highland Kitchen, Delux Cafe): Mary Chung's in Central Square for Dun Dun Noodles with tofu and Chinese broccoli. It might be the best meal in the city, hangover or not.
Andrew Iannazzi (Remnant Brewing): Alka Seltzer and water helps a lot, always. Then followed by a big greasy diner breakfast with runny eggs, bacon, toast, hash, all that good gross stuff ... and lots of coffee. It’s not really a secret, but I find it gets the job done especially when you have to go to work soon after. It gets you back on your feet.
John Olszewski (Parlor Sports / Physician Assistant): As a medical professional, I gotta say sobriety and benzodiazepines for acute withdrawal symptoms. However, after years of long nights, rough mornings and the mantra of "never drinking again," it truly surprises me that a quick rip of blanco tequila or whiskey really do the trick. So, to hell with medicine, I'm going with my gut. Pass the blanco.
Erica Hodgkinson (State Park, Trina’s Starlite Lounge): Korean fried chicken and wings from Bon Chon.
Tainah Soares (A4cade): I'm sure it sounds funny, but my hangover cure is to avoid last call. At all costs. Truth is you rarely need that last drink. It’ll only hurt you in the morning. Leaving the bar 15 minutes before last call feels the same as leaving 15 minutes after. That and drink some water before bed and more when you wake up.
Jordan Runion (Green Street Grill): Wake up in the middle of the night and pee and chug sparkling mineral water. Then go back to sleep. In the morning, eat berries. All kinds of berries. And bananas.
Glen Cancelleire (Deep Ellum, Lone Star Taco Bar): Hydration ... Dumpling House ... couch.
Isaac Sussman (Trina’s Starlite Lounge): One of my pet peeves is when bartenders are asked this question and they say, “not drinking too much the night before.” Like, no shit. That doesn’t help me now! I’m a big advocate for Pedialyte, even though I feel like a dirtbag when I buy it. Oh, and pho, extra spicy.
Lex Russo (Russell House Tavern): Saag Paneer, as spicy as possible, chased with a mango lassi, preferably eaten in bed, with an ice-cold bottle of cheap lager, and an ungodly amount of water.
David Wells (Shine Square Pub): Don’t get hammered. But in all seriousness, thanks to my ex-, ex-, ex-, ex-, ex-girlfriend's brother: White wine spritzer. Do it!
Joe McGuirk (Highland Kitchen, Gustazo): My hangover cure is drinking water until I vomit. Then drinking a can of Coca-Cola and some greasy food, then working. If I don't feel better by then, I just have anxiety until I get some sleep. But I have delivered McDonald's to my hungover loved ones. It doesn't always cure it immediately, but it does make your body react to the crap it is trying to digest and perhaps distract you from your massive headache.