Hangover Cures

The scientific name for a hangover is “Veisalgia,” which describes in total the various unpleasant physiological effects following the consumption of alcohol. According to Wikipedia, the “most commonly reported characteristics of a hangover include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, depression and thirst.” The word comes from the “Norwegian kveis (uneasiness following debauchery) + Greek algia (pain).”

In my own experience, I’ve found preventative measures are always more effective than anything you can try the morning after. The following is a modified version of an appendix on Hangover Cures I wrote for a book I did in the early 1990s. I divided the various methods to keep yourself feeling fit into four categories based on when is the best time to administer them. Below the original material, I’ll also begin adding commercial cures and links to additional information. Enjoy.

  1. Before Drinking
  2. During Drinking
  3. Before Going To Bed
  4. The Morning After

Naturally, there are exponentially more supposed cures for the morning after than for anytime the night before. I think that’s because the preventative measures involve common sense and a few basic ideas.

Before Drinking

  1. Food Preserve: Eating any food before going out will fill your stomach and slow the absorbtion of alcohol.
  2. Jay’s B Treatment: Take a B vitamin cocktail before going out. This was originally recommended to me by a former employer. Whether it works because alcohol robs you of vitamin B or the placebo effect is moot as far as I’m concerned. For me, this has a success rate of about 90%.
  3. Moo Method: Drink a half pint of milk before drinking.
  4. Olive Lining: Drink a half pint of olive oil before drinking.
  5. Three Squares: Eat a bowl of cereal with milk, an orange and a large portion of potatoes with salt and butter.

During Drinking

  1. Ever Other: Drink a glass of water in between every glass of alcohol you have.
  2. Stuff Your Face: Keep eating while you’re drinking.

Before Going to Bed

  1. Cow Cure: Drink a tall glass of milk before going to bed.
  2. Movie Method: Eat some stale popcorn before going to bed.
  3. Old Standby: Open a bottle of beer before going to bed and leave it at room temperature. Drink down quickly when you wake up first thing in the morning.
  4. Vitamin Cure: Take vitamins B-1 and B-2, two aspirin (or similar) pain relievers, 2 anti-acid pills, and wash them down with pineapple or orange juice (for vitamin C) before going to bed.
  5. Water of Life: Drink a few pints of water, as much as you can manage, before going to bed.
  6. Water Torture: Drink a tall glass of water lightly salted with two aspirins before going to bed. Place another by the bed and every time you wake up throughout the night, drink another lightly salted glass of water.

The Morning After (Note: This section is incomplete. I’ll try to finish it up shortly.)

  1. Banana Cow: In a blender, mix a dash of Angostra Bitters, 1 whole banana, 1 teapsoon of finely granulated sugar, a dash of vanilla, 3 oz. milk, 1 oz. light rum and a scoop of shaved ice.
  2. Bees’ Knees: Mix 8 oz. of gin with 2 oz. of lemon juice and 1 oz. of honey. Shake with crushed ice and strain into 2 oz. of orange juice.
  3. Beermosa: Mix equal parts beer and orange juice in any size glass.
  4. Bloodshot: Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, 3 dashes of salt, 3 dashes of pepper, 2 oz. vodka, 4 oz. tomato juice and 2 oz. beef bouillon in a glass. Shake lightly and drink it down quickly.
  5. Bloody Beer: Fill a glass half full with tomato juice and then fill the rest of it with beer.
  6. Bloody Mary: Originally a breakfast drink, mix tomato juice with vodka and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Bushman’s Cure: Mix cornflower with buttermilk in a pot. Heat until almost boiling and serve seasoned with salt and pepper.
  8. Country Inn Fizz: In a blender, mix 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 1 egg, 1 oz. Kahlua, 1 oz. vodka, 3 oz. lemon juice and 3 oz. orange juice.
  9. Doros Delight: Mix 1 oz. vodka, 1 oz. tomato juice, 1/1 oz. clam juice, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of salt, the juice of a whole lime and a lemon twist served in a tall glass.
  10. Egg Burp: In a small glass, mix half a bottle of beer with a raw egg until the foam subsides.
  11. Eggs Au Naturel: Mix a generous amount of vinegar with two raw eggs and gulp it all down quickkly.
  12. Everything But the Moo: In Mexico and many Latino bars, Menudo is the hangover cure of choice. Menudo is a collection of tripe (the lining of a cow’s stomach), hominy and other hot spices.
  13. Thunderball: In the James Bond film Thunderball, 007 takes two aspirin with a glass of fruit salts to cure his hangover.
  14. Underarm Mystery: Rub a lemon wedge under your drinking arm. This odd remedy comes from Puerto Rico. I have no idea what this is based on.
  15. Many More to Come: I’ve got 32 more of these to post here. If you know a good hangover cure, please feel free to send it to me and I’ll add it here and give you credit for sending it in. Thanks.


Commercial Cures


Online Hangover Advice


Hangover Links