Getting back in the saddle after a long night of drinking is never easy. Potential hangover cures have been researched and tested by scientists, bartenders and drinkers for generations (who are all well aware of the obvious solution—avoiding overindulgence—yet also aware of how easy it is to have an extra Martini or two from time to time). Yet nothing seems to be a silver bullet for the aftereffects of intemperance.
Aspirin, vitamins, greasy food and lots of water can certainly help, but a far more enjoyable solution is some hair of the dog, another drink or two to set you right (or at least to help delay the onset of a full hangover). Savory or caffeinated drinks are the directions to go. A sidecar of water is always recommended too.
These are a handful of the best classic hangover-cure cocktails to keep in your back pocket the next time you’re in need of some hair of the dog.
The Michelada is the beer-based cousin of the beloved Bloody Mary. Not to be confused with its close relative, the Chelada (a mixture of beer, lime and salt), the Michelada adds hot sauce and a tajín rim. This Mexican tipple can be found all over its country of origin and is especially popular in places such as Mexico City, where it can be found at bars and offered by street vendors. When you’re really hurting in the morning following a night of drinking, it’s still easy to make since it uses ingredients you likely have in your kitchen, all thrown right into a glass. A lime wedge is the classic garnish, but you can add any additional ones you like, so get creative and chase (or replace) your breakfast with this spicy sip.
The Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee
It’s possible that some hangovers may render you too fragile to properly mix up an Irish Coffee, but if you merely require a little pick-me-up from the night before and can brew a good cup of coffee, this drink—the house recipe from one of the world’s top bars—should do the trick. First, you’ll need heavy cream, which you’ll whip to create a light, fresh froth to float on top of the drink itself—a blend of Irish whiskey, demerara syrup and hot coffee. It all gets topped with freshly grated nutmeg. Repeat these steps until the caffeine has kicked in sufficiently to beat away any lingering discomfort.
Another caffeinated cocktail to pick you up when you need it most, this modern classic was concocted by the late London bartender Dick Bradsell and comprises a mix of vodka, coffee liqueur, a sweetener and freshly brewed espresso. It requires a bit of technical ability and expertise to produce a truly perfect version. The ideal Espresso Martini has a frothy head, the product of shaking a quality espresso that has a great crema (the brownish froth on top that has fatty oils that expand once aerated). You’ll need good ice and good espresso to really make this one worthwhile. But ultimately, if the cocktail gets you to your destination (which is to say, less hungover), then you’re golden.
Granted, this drink isn’t traditionally thought of as a morning go-to; it’s more commonly a summer sipper at cricket or tennis matches. But the low-ABV combination of Pimm’s No. 1 Cup liqueur, lemon juice and ginger ale (or lemon soda if you prefer), plus an array of fruits and vegetables as garnishes, seems tailor-made for curing what ails you. The ginger ale acts to soothe an uneasy stomach, while 50-proof Pimm’s gently eases you upright. Traditional garnishes of mint, strawberry and a cucumber slice provide eye-opening refreshment to get a rough morning started on the right note.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
The classic Bloody Mary is great, sure, but the Bloody Maria is the real winner as a hangover cure. The drink takes many forms, with spices, sauces and other ingredients that tend to vary depending on who’s making it and their individual preferences, but the defining element of a Bloody Maria is its tequila base, versus the Mary’s vodka. Agave spirits pair perfectly with the drink’s savory components that include hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and various vegetables and spices, so tequila seems a natural fit. An upgrade tip: If you enjoy the earthy and smoky characteristics of mezcal, go ahead and pour a bit of it in your Bloody Maria. You’ll never look at the savory drink the same way again.