Hair of the Dog

7 drinks to get you through your hangover


It's the great equalizer, really. The morning hours don't care whether you started last night with a Manhattan or a martini, a tequila shot or a g&t -- they're brutal all the same. But there's good news: For as long as there have been hangovers, people have been developing hangover cures.

The supposed solutions range from the odd (rubbing lemons under one's armpits before imbibing) to the fowl (ancient Romans supposedly spent the mornings-after snacking on fried canaries), and hit everything in between (tripe soup, a good sweat). We're sticking to the stuff you can drink; here's our 7 sippers that aim to get you back on your feet.
1.) Fernet Branca

This powerful Italian bitter is a blend of 40 aromatic herbs and spices, and has long been valued for its curative properties. You can do it as a shot, or sip it slowly; if it's a cocktail you're after, the 1950s version of the Corpse Reviver adds 1/2 oz Fernet to 1 1/2 oz brandy and 1 oz white creme de menthe. Chef Fergus Henderson has a similar Fernet-and-Menthe concoction he calls "The Miracle," for its ability to undo the pain of overindulgence.

2.) Pickle Juice

Several countries (Russsia and Poland chief among them) place pickle juice near the top of the list of hangover solutions. The salty brine has been shown to replenish electrolytes and reduce cramps in athletes.

3.) Prairie Oyster

Hey, it worked for James Bond in Thunderball. Just watch out for that raw egg.

1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco
salt and pepper

Crack the egg in a glass, leaving the yolk intact. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Consume in one quick gulp.

4.) Bloody Mary

A bit of the hair of the dog -- and you truly can substitute whatever liquor it was that "bit" you -- along with all the nutrient-rich ingredients you can cram into your glass. If you have a crowd of hungover friends to help out, try building your own bloody mary bar.

5.) Beer

The go-to hangover solution of the Netherlands, a little beer the next morning not only helps to rehydrate the body, it also does what beer does best: Takes the edge off.

6.) Harry's Pick-Me-Up

Another classic "energizer" from The Savoy Cocktail Book.

1 1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 oz Fresh lemon juice

Pour mixture into a highball glass or goblet, top with Champagne.

7.) The Suffering Bastard

Bartender Joe Scialom created this aptly-named hangover-buster at the Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo. Even if it doesn't numb you to the effects of your malady, it at least knows where you're coming from.

1 oz Gin
1 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Rose's Lime Juice Cordial
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
4 oz Ginger beer (chilled)

Shake everything, except ginger beer, with ice. Stir in ginger beer and pour into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with orange slice and sprig of mint.

Mentioned in this article


  • I am a thimble.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

  • Snooth User: dedhed
    220853 6

    420 is by far the best cure!

    Jul 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM

  • Snooth User: njwineguy
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    241083 11

    Maybe a little self discipline is the best "cure"? A shot (or two) less of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 11:22 AM

  • Snooth User: BCMarks
    327581 1

    Bill Cosby recommended Fernet Branca in a skit about 20 years ago for hangover or indigestion. While in Italy at that time I tried it. IT WORKS!!!

    Jul 28, 2010 at 11:38 AM

  • Snooth User: Carly Wray
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    196958 864

    @BCMarks: Ha! Good call.

    Bill on FB, and drinking with Italians:

    Jul 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

  • Snooth User: bsegel
    374873 1

    Reality is that the only thing that actually helps is to drink water before, during and after drinking alcohol. Stay hydrated. You may still be moving a bit slow the next day but you won't feel like death.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

  • ...i know this is a site for inspiring cocktails, but what about HYDRATE people with water!? drink water in between the alcoholic beverages... duh. it's all about hydration.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

  • Snooth User: Carly Wray
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    196958 864

    @hs, it's very true: water, rest, aspirin ... these are still your first and best stop with a hangover. and apparently coffee is a no-no, as it just dehydrates you further.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

  • Snooth User: christo93
    364857 14

    Amaro, Campari, Pimms, or Branca Menta: 3oz over ice, in a Collins glass, a splash of orange juice, fill w/ ginger ale.
    Yes plenty of H2O before bed, and a good breakfast (brunch... lunch... supper?) when you wake.
    Also 10z Bitter Truth celery bitters, 10z London dry gin, 4oz club soda, dash of grenadine... Asprin ad Tylenol can hurt you... Anyone try Emergen-C?

    Jul 28, 2010 at 1:54 PM

  • Snooth User: lissa718
    142707 3

    I need a cure right now!

    Jul 28, 2010 at 2:15 PM

  • Snooth User: mred163
    487782 5

    You are DUMMIES!! You don't get a hangover if you continue to drink!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jul 28, 2010 at 3:35 PM

  • Snooth User: nvansicklen
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    211788 552

    There are doctors in Vegas who will come into your room after you pass out and hook you up to an IV. You wake up in the morning and feel like you could run a marathon. Great concept!!!

    Jul 28, 2010 at 3:44 PM

  • Smartwater before and after

    Jul 28, 2010 at 3:47 PM

  • Snooth User: zato
    486006 20

    @mred163: so not true!

    Jul 28, 2010 at 3:52 PM

  • Snooth User: snubnose
    496751 9

    Mega B complex the night before along w/ a glass of water in between drinks.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 3:57 PM

  • Snooth User: samantha gaw
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    356700 354

    Why was this article not published BEFORE the Snooth office-warming party?

    Jul 28, 2010 at 4:23 PM

  • Snooth User: Carly Wray
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    196958 864

    All hard-partying offices should DEFINITELY keep some Fernet Branca on hand.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 4:25 PM

  • Snooth User: LuisRo69
    491913 19

    About 25 yrs ago I HAD to go to a night club early in the evening and I was still feeling miserable from the night before. I asked the waitress if they had Alka-Seltzer and she said no; I then asked for a beer. The thought of drinking that beer was very repugnant, that's how good I felt. I started sipping it slowly and by the time it was finished I felt great. (And I started drinking again.)

    Jul 28, 2010 at 4:39 PM

  • We have recently found what we consider the best hangover cure - FRS. Drink a little before going out, def. drink it at the end of the night and if you didn't do that, most definitely drink a big glass the next morning. The b vitamins and other antioxidants totally do the trick. Oh, and it tastes good too.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 5:44 PM

  • Snooth User: Philip James
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    1 12,575

    According to this random web page I just visited, the best hangover cure is, as Nick suggests:
    "intravenous D5W (dextrose 5% solution)"

    I'd not heard of doctors prescribing it

    Jul 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

  • My buddy was a medic in the Special Forces and he said you could always tell the guys that were over served the night before because they would be in the back of the morning class with an IV hooked up. Probably not prescibed by a Dr., but they knew how to do it themselves.

    Jul 28, 2010 at 9:11 PM

  • Snooth User: tinsol
    247937 10

    drink water in between drinks or at least 2 glasses before passing out. something to eat never hurt if you can keep it down.

    Sep 01, 2010 at 9:16 PM

  • As I recall, the origins of the term 'Hair of the dog" date from the middle ages. Rabies was rampant and the citizenry was desperate for a cure, trying everything from blood letting to mercury to an elixir made from the 'hair of the dog that bit you'.

    Sep 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM

  • Snooth User: tnankie
    563598 9

    Prairie Oyster - this is actually a fresh bovine testicle. I really don't think it is going to work.

    I personally favour alternate water drinks during the evening, an ibuprofen before I go to bed and powerade/gatorade/electrolyte drink the next morning.

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:44 PM

  • Snooth User: millerknt
    637575 1

    To avoid a BIG headache this holiday season, I recommend everyone to check this article:

    Nov 12, 2010 at 2:54 PM

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