That immortal phrase, ‘Never again, not ever’, when you eventually wake up at some unholy late in the day time with all the classic symptoms of the dreaded hangover. The often flippant reply of ‘ Until next time’, usually uttered by an unforgiving partner. Your head is thronging and you can only distinguish your surroundings in black and white as colour vision is still a few hours away. Your body feels like it has been pulled backwards through a hedgerow, your mouth is drier than the Gobi Desert, your breath can strip paint off doors and all your attempts to move are all in slow motion. As you try to get up from the bed you kick the sick bucket conveniently placed as back up as you have already destroyed the bathroom earlier when you fell in the door at some ungodly hour you strive to return to the magically clean bathroom your partner was forced to hose down you begin to feel all the delayed pain accumulated from the night before. Your knee throbs, your hands hurt, one shoulder has no skin and a searing pain running from your neck down to your toes makes your forget your thronging headache.
Here are some more popular remedies that supposedly cure your hangover from around the world.
1. In Poland where vodka ranks high for every social occasion and happening the experienced drinkers prepare for a heavy session. Like any athlete, training and preparation for the event is essential and with vodka drinking you start with a good night’s sleep followed by a traditional Polish Kielbasa & Jajecznica or sausage and scrambled eggs in the morning then lunch and dinner with plenty of gherkins on the side. Alternatively you can also try traditional Polish lard.
Whilst drinking the vodka platters of oily and greasy snacks and pickles help increase your tolerance levels. The Coup de Gras though is a cool large glass of water late at night maybe with some mint leaves in it, this technique will hold in you in good stead the next day and you will suffer less and recover rapidly no matter the amount you drank the previous evening and you can enjoy another plate of jajecznica without the conveniently place sick bucket.
The traditional “day after remedies”, well known in the country of vodka origin is sour cucumbers water and bread sourdough. Cucumber water is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and B, and it also contains probiotic bacteria which helps which digestive problems. And when it comes to dinner hangover remedies, a Pole would tell you to try “rosol” aka broth/chicken soup with noodles, and chopped pork with potatoes and friend cabbage, or sour "zurek" soup with boiled eggs, a pint of fresh horseradish, smoked bacon and sausage - mhmm- tasty !
Btw - if you'd like to try zurek on your stag do, we recommend booking the Brewery Feast
2. Anglo-Saxons, (Brits, Americans & such like) - ‘I need to drink something’, you say to yourself, at this point you have a 50/50 choice as according to some one of the remedies is to get yourself the worldwide known cure of The Hair of the Dog which by the way has been translated syntactically into over 180 languages. There are many remedies to alleviate a hangover and the Hair of the Dog means to drink more alcohol if your hand is not shaking too much. This practice is efficient in delaying your symptoms that will inevitably return at a later point in time. It could be useful if you have some kind of engagement to attend but be prepared for the onslaught further down the road. This is an interim measure in my view and don’t forget the mints to cover up your paint-stripping breath. There is also the discourse to try prevention rather than be obliged to look for a cure.
3. In the USA everybody looks for a glass of Tomato Juice & Raw Eggs with a spicy sauce and pepper, plenty of protein as you saw with the boxing legend Rocky Balboa cracking with his raw egg routine.
4. The Brits go one further and add a drop of vodka plus horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, celery and salt to the tomato juice which is called a Bloody Mary named after Mary, Queen of Scots remembered for executing non-Catholics rather than tomatoes. For many the top choice is a Bacon Sarnie with Brown Sauce, sarnie is a colloquialism for sandwich or the English Brekki (breakfast) which has not only bacon but fried eggs, sausages, black-pudding, beans and toast, good luck in keeping all that down if you are really hungover.
5. In China they drink Green Tea for hangovers, however, green tea is associated with many magical cures through its 4,000 year history as a cure for baldness, cancer and skin diseases.
6. Russians, also great vodka drinkers prefer to recoup in the Sauna with the occasional cold shower. Like Polish they adore the gherkins and its pickle juice, but Russian cuisine is famous for fatty foods- to the point that in order to assist one in recovery, he can be recommended to drink a shot of oil !.
7. In Japan the most common cure used are Pickled Plums or Umeboshi in Japanese, certainly chewing on these extremely sour tasting fruits will make you look like a bulldog chewing a wasp or a baby tasting a lemon for the first time but in Japanese culture this is a sure fire way to overcome the symptoms. Japan has to be the most commercial country in hangover cures as this market niche rakes in £150 million a year in products available to buy. It’s similar to homeopathic medicine with the wonder root vegetable turmeric its leader sold in many different forms from pills to potions. Closely followed by Miso Soup which contains Shijimi Clams, it is believed that the high amount of amino acid present in them reinforces your liver and breaks up the alcohol faster than usual. Yes, in Japan it is a scientific and very commercial approach.
8. In the continent of South America or Latin America the most popular cure even though the ingredients vary from country to country is Sancocho. This soup concoction with plenty of vegetables and spices served piping hot is enough to make any stubborn mule run metaphorically speaking.
9. Something similar is Menudo, particularly liked by the Mexicans is a chili based soup with vegetables and tripe!
10. Puerto Ricans call their version Asopao with chicken added.
11. Then there are hydrating drinks such as Clamato with beer, lime and a hot sauce with chili powder and salt on the rim of the glass. Mainly found in Brazil the morning pick me up drink is Caldo de Cana, as everyone knows the Brazilians love a celebration so to get over the night before is important during Mardi Gras, so a glass of sugarcane juice, Caldo de Cana accompanied with a hot flaky pastry called Pastel will make you right as rain again.
12. Over in Peru they prefer their liquified fish with lemon, onion and aji which is rumoured to be able to wake the dead called Leche de Tigre or Tiger’s Milk, I would take a rain check on this one, drinking fish would send me back to the conveniently placed bucket!
13. Whereas in the Antigua and Guatemala regions a more discreet hangover tonic is first choice of Picosita. Take a can of beer and add a mix of lemon, chopped onions, salt, chili and vinegar and to finish it off a dash of hot sauce on a shrimp drenched in lime juice for a punchy but in comparison to liquified fish more moderate.
Coming back to Europe there is an abundance of cures to your morning after the night before ailments. Let’s swiftly give an honourable mention to some of them.
14. In Iceland and Italy they choose to put their faith in animals Icelanders chomp on a cured sheep head
15. Italians go for more productive animal parts such as Dried Bull’s Penis and greasy Donkey Testicles, not joking, honest. Bucket, bucket wherefore art thou!
16. Meanwhile in Turkey, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria they plump for Tripe or Offal (udder, guts and kidneys). This delight was a weekly meal in war and post-war times in many countries but today the Turks eat it with beer for hangovers and more commonly in a soup version for the others.
17. Spain recommends Churrerias or churros fries and Croatians eat greasy baked goods.
18. Hungarians do have an odd remedy Brandy with Sparrow Droppings - don’t kick the bucket I need it.
19. However, in Austria a good ol’ Meaty Goulash and in grand style the French a Cassoulet of white beans and sausage with goose fat.
20. Fish is the main chosen cure for exaggerated alcohol drinking in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. They all use the oily herring in different presentations, the German Katerfrühstück (also quite popular in Poland and referred to as “rollmops”) is a raw pickled herring wrapped around a gherkin but the Dutch simply serve herring on a bread bun while in Belgium it’s offered in a classy salad which is totally opposite to how Norwegians cure a hangover. Dried whitefish soaked in lye which is a metal hydroxide but becomes edible when cooked in an oven, phew! Apparently, the smell of this recipe called Lutefisk is described politely as not good, so the aforementioned bucket would be a handy thing to have after a night out in Norway.
So, whether you are celebrating with your mates down the pub or abroad on a Stag Do pub crawl make sure you at least get a late night glass of water to alleviate the horrific hangover you may be subjected to, especially in Turkey and Norway. Avoid the conveniently placed bucket by hydrating sooner or as my Mum would tell me, drink milk before you go out, it works for me.