Pick Your Poison
Hair of the Dog: Hangover antidotes from a field expert
I woke up this morning with a headache and an upset stomach. Overserved again!
Who hasn’t prayed to the porcelain god or suffered from throbbing headaches and the shakes as a result of having a few too many? There are times I would have given my left arm for some kind of relief.
So I polled a few people to ask for their input on the best remedy once you've crossed that line of no return. People suggested water, coffee, aspirin, greasy food, and vitamin E. I'm not sure there's a plausible solution other than abstaining altogether, but the most frequent answer I received to my inquiry was “hair of the dog.”
That English expression refers to lessening the effects of drinking by, well, drinking. It comes from the questionable practice of treating a dog bite by placing dog hair in the wound (something I definitely don't suggest).
I tried several cocktails in effort to find an adequate antidote and test the theory. And since, on the rare occasion I have too much to drink (err … when I am overserved) I sometimes eat late-night, I'm gaging hangover-acuteness on a fast-food binges scale.
Here are some hair-of-the-dog recovery drink ideas for varying levels of pain:
Level 1 Hangover: Late Night Binge — Whataburger, taquitos and onion rings
For the least painful of hangovers, my old stand-by, a Bloody Mary, seems apropos. The guys over at Branch Water Tavern have the classic Bloody Mary down to a savory science with the creation of a celery, cucumber, and black pepper infused vodka. The cocktail is served in a tall glass and is so full bodied that it could pass for a small meal.
Level 2 Hangover: Late Night Binge —Taco Bell, bean burrito and taco supreme
For a more serious hangover, hike it over to 13 Celsius for the Luchador. The Luchador is a condensed version of the prototypical Michelada. Both recipes were created by Mike Sammons, who was inspired while traveling through Mexico. Spicy, tomato-based, sweet and sour — this drink is one of my all-time favorites. Depending upon your level of queasiness, Mike can spice it up or down so you have no problem throwing it back on your road to recovery.
Level 3 Hangover: Late Night Binge — International House of Pies, cheeseburger and cottage fries
At this level, you have to pull out all the stops. Jesus “Chuy” Cruz over at La Griglia serves up an off-the-menu specialty called the “polla”. Any bartender in town who has worked with Chuy will swear by this drink as a surefire cure for the worst of the worst. Hold on to your hat while I mention the basic ingredients: A little orange juice, a little sherry, and a couple of raw eggs.
Rocky Balboa, anyone? I would suggest gulping it down as quickly as you can — no stopping for air. Take it for what it is worth, but I have to say I walked out feeling much better than when I walked in.
Now that you've got the antidote, feel free to pick your poison.