We’ve all been there – when “happy hour” with your co-workers suddenly turns into late night karaoke, and the next morning becomes brutal. Unfortunately, the only true cure for hangovers is the painfully slow passage of time, or a crazy fast metabolism.
There is, however, some respite, as provided by some bartenders who have revealed their tips, tricks and cures for the common hangover. Find your favorite or mix and match; anything, really, to help the day after a little easier to bear.
1. Chug water before bed
Adam Aro, a bartender at Chelsea Pub in Hermosa Beach, says: “Chug a bottle of water before you go to bed.” The more water and the earlier you drink it in the evening (and throughout), the better. It helps ease some of the symptoms of a hangover.
2. Drink beer first thing in the morning
Along with chugging water before bed, having a beer as soon as you’re up may go a long way. Mikey Yoder of Komodo – an Asian restaurant in Miami – says: “I had a friend who swore by this for years. I was skeptical because I was always under the impression that only time truly cures a hangover. However, I tried it once and realized there was truth in the method.”
3. Put ice on your face
We’ve all been there, and had the ugly “hangover face” or “hot face” you get from swelling due to dehydration. Adam Aro suggests putting ” ices cubes on your face to help with swelling”.
4. Take Benadryl or anti-histamine
An alternative, less invasive cure to the hangover face. Aro says “take two to three ibuprofen and a Benadryl before going to sleep.”
5. Drink a Pedialyte cocktail to ease dehydration
Pedialyte may be marketed towards kids, but there’s even a section on their website devoted to hangover cures. Liam Champion, a bartender at Compton Acres in the UK as a bartender for several years, says: “Alcohol leeches a lot of vitamins and nutrients out of your system, which makes you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck in the morning. Pedialyte replaces a lot of that, plus electrolytes.”
He also suggests making popsicles with Pedialyte the night before to also help with hangover face in the morning (if you can think that far ahead). A Pedialyte cocktail in the morning with a shot of your vodka in the morning is just as effective.
6. Avoid eating greasy food
Sorry but the greasy food cure is a myth (probably instigated by the fast food giants themselves). Liam Champion says “You will hear recommendations about hangover foods that will help. It’s normally something big, and greasy, and terrible. Eggs from a diner are common, or a big burger or something. This only works if you’re not THAT hungover.”
He continues ” If you’re really hungover, it’ll seem like a good idea when you order it. You will be the most hungry you’ve ever been, and be completely ready to destroy that pile of grease and animal flesh when it gets to you. Then it will get to you, you will smell it, your stomach will retch, but you’ll feel guilty because you just bought a whole family meal and can no longer stomach it.” Sadly, you need plain, nutritious foods.
7. Eat a plain breakfast like peanut butter on toast
Champion suggests instead: “If you’re that obnoxiously hungover, take one slice of bread, throw peanut butter in the middle, fold it in half, and ingest it, this is a hangover taco. It is good for you”. Bananas, spinach and eggs are also good options.
8. Cover your body in menthol and mint
Danielle Guerico, a now-retired bartender, swears by everything mint and menthol. “Upon waking and throughout the day, massage a drop or two of peppermint oil into your entire scalp and ears,” she says.
“Smear Vick’s Vaporub under your nose to avoid feeling nauseous from [unpleasant smells]. If you have them, Rohto Eye Drops can help with eye tension and headaches by giving your eyeballs a minty tingle. Drink double strength mint tea, and put the tea bags onto your eyelids for a few moments.”
9. Drink ginger beer and bitters
Cassie Hesse, Beverage Director of the hospitality firm Ellis Adams Group says that “a good ginger beer and Angostura Bitters” is a good shout.
“The ginger and bitters will help with nausea and headaches. A hangover is dehydration, and a lot of people forget that being dehydrated doesn’t just mean water. You are usually lacking sodium and electrolytes as well.“
10. Drink a shot of pickle juice
Pickle juice (or olive oil) will work wonders. Cassie Hesse’s second go-to hangover cure is a shot of pickle juice to replace the lost nutrients in your body in addition to plain water.
11. Drink kombucha
People already use this fermented Chinese tea as a universal cure-all, but Dave Whitton, a bartender at Prank in Los Angeles says he grabs a glass when he feels particularly queasy the day after. He says: “Our housemade kombucha is great for inflammation after drinking. The terpenes and live cultures are perfect for helping settle your stomach and nausea.”
12. Slurp a bowl of spicy ramen
Evan Hawkins, beverage director at Street Taco in NYC, says that after drinking a little “hair of the dog” in the morning, his next move is a spicy bowl of ramen. “You need fat and salt, and lots of it. My go-to meal is spicy ramen — the spicier the better to help me sweat it all out.” That, as well as all the nutrients from the toppings, will definitely bring you back to life.
13. Dissolve Emergen-C and Alka-Seltzer in a glass of water
Kellie Norris, a bartender at Tintorera in Los Angeles, has this go-to recipe for a hangover solution: “One packet of Emergen-C and one packet of Alka Seltzer dissolved in a glass of club soda works as a next-day cure.” This will help your body fight off sluggishness with a Mario-Kart-mushroom-like boost.
Hopefully, with these hacks, the morning after can be just as good as the night before. Well, not really, but at least with these hacks you can keep your eyes open, and stay upright long enough at work to get home and watch Netflix all evening without throwing up.