SB has pinned down some of the world’s top mixology maestros to elicit their best tips and tricks for surviving ‘the morning after the night before’.
Bartenders reveal their very best hangover cures
No matter whether you’re sipping on £6,000 Cognac or £10 vodka, one fact remains: if you drink enough, you’ll feel less than fresh the next day.
While team SB are no stranger to the midday hangover headache, experts in beating it we are most definitely not. But what about the people who live and breathe all things booze-related?
In the search for the ultimate hangover cure, we approached a number of bartending professionals for their most effective post-alcohol remedies – and from pickled vegetable juice to a freshly-cooked steak, the results certainly gave us some food for thought.
Disclaimer: The Spirits Business advocates responsible drinking. The following tips are from bartenders, and don’t necessarily reflect our views.
Scroll on to see how some of the world’s best bartenders soothe sore heads with their top hangover cures…
Ryan Cheti aka Mr Lyan, of Dandelyan and White Lyan
“I’m not a believer in the idiom that you shouldn’t mix your drinks. Feeling rough the next day isn’t because you’ve drunk wine then beer. It’s because you drunk wine then beer then gin then rum, and have overindulged in the process. Or you’ve drunk cheap hooch, and therefore you’re being punished for not having better judgement.
“We’re good at processing alcohol. We’ve developed for millennia alongside it. We just need time, and water (and not too much of an overindulgence). Pace drinking with water, then pack your body with all the good stuff the next day.
“Fuck juice (it’s bullshit in general) but real, whole fruit and veg, tea and some decent food (even a fry up if it’s made with actual food, rather than dodgy sausages, sugary beans and cheap oil) will get you back on your feet. However, a friend who does suffer quite badly does swear by ‘ohayo tomorrow’ – drink the night before and hopefully feel fresh(ish) in the morning.”
Elliot Ball of The Cocktail Trading Company, London
“I’ll have an immense amount of water first thing, especially before bed (although the evidence here is steadily dwindling), and an electrolyte sachet can’t hurt. Then, in the morning, coffee and food are a must, but overdoing it is hell. Being caffeine-high on a hangover is a recipe for stress, especially if, like me, you suffer from hangover guilt. Equally, having a belly full of food will make you unbelievably sluggish and you’ll soon get self-pitying. Can’t do that.
“Establishing a quick rhythm, I’ve come to learn, is important. Leaping out of bed and into action, as if you could destroy the hangover by simply refusing to believe in it can be damn useful. Keeping your sugar levels up (while avoiding a spike) is a good idea, also. Getting a good workout in there is solid, too – if not just for the ‘what doesn’t kill you’ train of thought.
“I avoid any kind of brainwork. I’m properly stupid when hungover; my brain doesn’t work the same way and I can’t be either creative or especially efficient with anything involving a keyboard. Getting bogged down is the worst.
“And, if all of the above fail, it’s time for hair of the dog. A big, sugary cider is my poison. Mostly, though, I don’t think a cure exists, but the extent to which we suffer from a hangover is highly variable – it’s really psychological. In particular, the Patch Adams approach of ‘laughter is the best medicine’ is probably more relevant here than anywhere else.”
Jillian Vose of The Dead Rabbit, New York
“I find the best thing to do is make my daily shake. It has my daily greens, protein, almond milk, green tea and MCT blended with frozen mangos. You have to put back all the vitamins you lost the night before. The green tea gives you a boost to get going as well.
“For the unhealthy route… Pizza and Coca Cola for some reason have worked in the past. It’s amazing how carbs and sugar can make you feel better, at least for a little while anyways.”
Alex Harris of Behind This Wall, London
“My recommended hangover cure would be a Japanese Umeboshi plum. It’s essentially a pickled plum that tastes a bit like death when it first goes in your mouth; if you let it dissolve it slowly becomes sweeter and less acerbic.
“It’s used extensively as a hangover cure in Japan – we put it in our Corpse Reviver drink as a garnish – which also helps ease a hangover in a more ‘hair-of-the-dog’ fashion!”
Andreas J. Portz of Little Grain, Salzburg
“I always drink 1.5 litres of cold green tea… but also a shot glass of mixed pickle juice is very helpful!
“It’s best when you make it yourself – I use vinegar, salt, a little bit of oil, some fresh peppers, apples, carrots (add whatever you like!) and leave them in the fridge for three days.”
Chris Edwards of The Shrub and Shutter and First Aid Box, London
“So, as our motto goes at First Aid Box… We are not doctors, but we can have a look!
“My best hangover cure is as follows: before bed – two antihistamines (alcohol is a poison so antihistamines attack the poison), one pint of water and one bottle of Lucozade Sport (to rehydrate), and two Ibuprofen tablets (alcohol makes the brain swell so the ibroprofen brings down the swelling).
“Then the next day, drink one jar of cucumber pickle juice (approx 500ml) by sipping, or drink a full glass of your last drink of the night before, or drink a Corpse Reviver, or a Breakfast Martini, or one of our Bloody Mary’s – both of which come with nibbles to help the process along.”
JJ Goodman of The London Cocktail Club, London
“There’s only one way out of a hangover for me, and that’s drink some more! A shot of Tequila should wake you up, chase that back with a few Dark and Stormys and you’ll be right as rain! Ginger is sooooo good for you, plus the extra sugar should give a nice lift!”
Julio Cabrera, cocktail consultant and professor, formerly of The Regent Cocktail Club, Miami
“Even if my last hangover was back in 1996, the morning after drinking I used to take 2 Tylenol tablets, drink plenty of water, have a heavy breakfast with eggs and bacon and drink a good cup of coffee.
“One hour after breakfast, I’d have a shot of the same thing I was drinking the night before. After that I would be ready again!”
Nguyen Canh Nguyen of Mr Fogg’s Residence, London
“Drink tea and cook up a steak. Tea is the best – it gives you enough caffeine and will also relax you. The steak will give you protein.”