15 Far-out Hangover Cures from Around the World
'Yeah, I'll have one more drink. What's the worst that could happen?'
We’ve all been there before; waking up bleary-eyed on a Saturday or Sunday morning with a pounding headache, a mouth like the Gobi Desert, and the feeling that you may have done something rather embarrassing but you can’t quite remember. You feel about as far from normal as you possibly could feel, and there is just one thing on your mind; combating the horrific hangover that has kicked into life the moment you opened your eyes.
Many countries around the world have their own tried and tested hangover cures, some of which sound fairly nice, whilst others will have you gagging at the thought of trying to ingest such a concoction. I mean, how does eating a bull’s penis get you through a hangover?
I thought it would be a good idea to find some of these cures because if there is one thing guaranteed to happen on a hen do it is a hangover. Especially when our Cocktail Masterclass weekends are so popular!
Here are some of the best cures I’ve discovered, and I am going to try and work my way through all of these (ok, maybe not all of them) in order to discover which cure works best over the course of my next 15 hangovers.
Where else could I begin but the place we call home? Good old Blighty. Oh yes, it’s no secret that we love a little tipple at the weekends, and so it comes as no surprise either that we’ve got hangover cures coming out of our ears. However, the ultimate hangover cure has to be the cooked English breakfast, in all of its greasy, fatty, awesome glory.
Sausage, egg, bacon, beans, mushrooms, black pudding, grilled tomatoes, chips, fried bread, toast, bread and butter, hash brown, or any combination of that list is what constitutes the great British fry up. It’s been sorting out hungover heads every single day for as long as we can remember. Grab a can of Sprite to go with it and you’ll be well on your way to feeling right as rain.
If the fried breakfast is not an option you should at the very least try to get a bacon sandwich, as this study found the bacon sarnie to be the best hangover cure there is.
They seem to have the whole hangover food thing down over the pond in Canada, especially if this Canadian dish is anything to go by. Although not strictly just a hangover cure, poutine is often consumed by those with a sore head.
So what is poutine then? It is, at its most basic; chips, cheese, and a sauce not too dissimilar to gravy. That’s it! Of course there are more gourmet options on offer at some establishments, but you can’t go wrong with the three main ingredients. Not only that, it’s really easy to make yourself and you can add all manner of ingredients to make it more interesting. For instance, try adding bacon, or mushrooms, or even broccoli (trust me).
While some American hangover cures are borrowed from the Brits (greasy food) they’re also partial to what they call a prairie oyster to get them back on track the morning after a heavy night on the sauce. The main ingredient in a prairie oyster is a raw egg, along with a little bit of Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and some tabasco sauce. It gets its name from the fact that the drink has a similar texture to an oyster, and is meant to be knocked back in one.
For a hangover cure / hair of the dog cocktail you can leave out the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and add vodka or whiskey to create an Amber Moon; if you like that sort of thing.
Staying with the Americas for our next hangover cure, and Mexicans know how to do it right with their huevos rancheros; eggs with chilies, tomatoes, and peppers served in tortillas a bit like a breakfast burrito. It tastes simply amazing when done right and even better when you’re suffering from a horrific hangover. You can go all out and serve them with refried beans, rice, and guacamole. It’s great because if you’re in a bit of rush you can just roll the tortilla up and eat it like a burrito.
Like the sound of this? Give Jamie Oliver’s easy huevos rancheros recipe a go.
They keep it fairly simple in Ecuador though, instead choosing oregano tea as their hangover cure of choice. Simply brew a mug of this, sip away and wait for a feeling somewhat resembling normality to wash over you. It’ll settle your stomach, meaning that normality will be within sight and your entire day won’t be wasted lying around in bed wondering whether you may or may not vomit.
Italians supposedly consider drinking and hangovers to be part of their culture, so you won’t find many complaining of a sore head in the morning. Instead, you’re much likely to see them grabbing an espresso to get them through the tough part of the day. Coffee will act to dehydrate the body a bit more, so the many espressos are often drunk alongside some fruit juice.
Poland, Russia, Holland, and Denmark
Throughout Europe you’ll find plenty of differing hangover cures, some of which I can imagine to work quite well and others that to be honest sound pretty disgusting. For instance, if you’re trying to shake off a hangover in Poland you’ll be given some pickle juice to sip on as this apparently helps alleviate the symptoms of a stinking hangover.
Meanwhile over in Russia you can try nikolashka, which is a slice of lemon covered with ground coffee and sugar. This is also used to accompany an after dinner drink, but is sometimes used as a hangover cure as well.
Drinkers in Holland and Denmark meanwhile choose to simply get on with things and will choose more alcohol as their chosen method of stopping themselves feeling like a bear with a sore head. The Danes call this reparationsbajer, a ‘recovery beer’. I’ll drink to that.
You’ll find a word for almost anything in the German language, and if you’ve had a heavy night on the sauce you can opt for KaterFrühstück, which means ‘hangover breakfast'. This hangover breakfast is a fillet of pickled herring wrapped around onion and sliced gherkin. Yum.
Very similar to the Ecuadorian method, the Chinese swear by green tea as their go-to hangover cure which was great news to me as I love green tea! I’ll be incorporating green tea into my hangover routine from now on, don’t you worry.
Japanese have their own word for hungover – ‘futsukayoi’, which translates as ‘two days drunk’ or ‘second day drunk’. Should you find yourself second day drunk in Japan then you can reach for the umeboshi, a dried, pickled plum like fruit called ume. It is apparently very, very sour so I’m not entirely sure how I would get on trying to eat one of these on an empty stomach.
In South Korea you’ll find a dish that has been created specifically for the morning after; haejangguk is sold out of street carts each morning and roughly translates as ‘soup to remove a hangover’. Whether you want to give it a bash is another matter though, the soup consists of ox blood, cabbage, cow bones, pork spine, and vegetables.
I think I’d save the two most bizarre hangover cures for last. Should you ever wake up in Mongolia with a hangover you best be prepared for what native Mongolians will offer up as their cure. If it doesn’t freak you out to see your food staring back at you chances are you might even like the pickled sheep’s eyes in tomato sauce that is a common hangover cure here. I can’t say I’m sold on the idea of eating pickled sheep’s eyes to settle my stomach, but you never know. As they say; when in Rome…
You might want to just avoid drinking altogether in Sicily, unless you want to eat a dried bull’s penis to offset your hangover. Apparently it is good for you and who am I to judge? I can’t say that this one is going to be high up on my list though.
I probably wouldn’t recommend all of these hangover cures, but then you may find that dried bull’s penis is the best hangover cure you’ve ever tried so I’ll leave it to everyone to decide which cures they want to try and discover which ones work best.
As for my own cure? It goes in this exact order; water, brush teeth, coffee, water, bacon, water, sprite, coffee, shower, brush teeth, and finally, a nap. It works (almost) every time.