History is rampant with horrifying hangover remedies. One from ancient Assyria called for grinding up bird beaks and mixing them with myrrh. The Mongols, meanwhile, ate pickled sheep’s eyes for breakfast after tippling a tad too much during the reign of Ghengis Khan. Medieval English court physician John of Gaddesen recommended men and women wash certain body parts with salt and vinegar to cure hangover symptoms, and 19th-century cowboys brewed a tea made of rabbit poop to help assuage the pain of too much hooch.
Thankfully, today’s common hangover cures are much less crappy than those of yore. And with the heavy drinking season—also known as “The Holidays”—swiftly bearing down on us, we turned to five professional bartenders for hangover remedy tips and tricks straight from those in the drink-slinging trade.
1. Alex Rosario, Bar Manager, Brasserie Saint-Marc in NYC
For groggy, foggy mornings after imbibing a bit too much, Rosario swears by his twist on a very familiar recipe lifted from the silver screen. “I recommend my version of the Blues Brothers classic: The Orange Whip. It has vitamins, protein and anti-inflammatory agents working to get you back on your feet after a heavy night of drinking.” It’s everything a hurting body needs, and now you can whip one up, too:
Alex’s Orange Whip
2 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
2 oz carrot juice
1 oz cream
1 oz dark rum
1 oz vodka
.5 oz agave syrup
1 egg white
Shake all ingredients and pour over ice. Grate cinnamon and nutmeg over it.
2.Morgan Robinson, Bartender, Oxalis and The Happiest Hour in NYC
Robinson’s tactical approach mostly depends on the level of misery he’s experiencing. “Topo Chico is perfect for mild cases as the aggressively carbonated water has a mineral content that just makes everything all better.” For more devastating mornings, he’ll add on the familiar comfort of a bowl of pho. “For many, it’s a traditional breakfast and being from Houston I would often have it early in the day after a long night.” But another go-to hangover cure of Robinson’s might be unexpected to some. “Fresh fruit! This should be obvious but somehow it isn’t. When I have done things I mostly don’t remember I get containers of cut mixed fruit and if I can get my hands on a Topo, I’m all set.”
3. Laura Newman, Owner/Bar Manager, Queen’s Park in Birmingham
Turning to greasy takeout is a classic hangover remedy and Newman is a big proponent of it. “My ultimate cure is a bacon cheeseburger with pickles and an order of fries from local chain Hamburger Heaven—but Five Guys works fine—and a Miller High Life.” But being the one running the place can cut in on time spent drinking, so the 2018 U.S. Bartender of the Year has taken to replacing the cause with the cure when in the mood to over-indulge, as she admits, “I rarely have the time to drink anymore but I also enjoy my hangover cure as a meal.”
4. AJ Johnson, Head Bartender, Antica Pesa in NYC
“When I first wake up, I chug a huge ice water and down whatever kind of painkiller I have on hand, usually naproxen sodium or ibuprofen are best,” Johnson says. He then also goes for a hot meal, but his lacks much of the grease many others crave when in the throws of a righteous hangover. Instead, he makes himself “a hot, stacked omelette full of veggies—and cheese, if I’m really hurting—to get some healthy protein and vitamins in my system. Works every time, and I’m ready to go in an hour.”
5. Jeremy Downer, Beverage Consultant, Fish Cheeks in NYC
Downer also turns first to his medicine cabinet when he’s hurting after a long night, reaching for “two Ibuprofen and coffee right when I wake up,” but he soon moves on to his bar pantry for a real revival. “This little cure settles the stomach and aids rehydration so during a shift I won’t be repulsed by the smell of any liquor.” Here’s the recipe so you can try Downer’s cure the next time you need one:
Jeremy’s Hangover Cure
1.5 oz coconut water
1 oz ginger syrup
.75 oz lemon juice
6 dashes Angostura Bitters
Mix all in a tall glass filled with ice and top with club soda.