Bloody Mary at the bar counter. Classic cocktail.

Bloody Mary at the bar counter with festive holiday bokeh. Classic cocktail. Dark background. Horizontal, lightly toned

I know it’s the middle of January, and chances are if you had a hangover from New Year’s Eve you have, I sincerely hope, recovered by now. In fact, you may have resolved to cut back on your imbibing in 2022. Good luck with that.

In case you relapse (or “backslide” as my boyhood Baptist preacher used to call it), I thought I’d offer, as a public service, some time-tested tried-and-true hangover remedies. Often called “hair of the dog,” there have been improbable hangover cures bandied about as long as there was liquor to be overindulged in.

In case you are curious, the phrase “hair of the dog” refers to a belief quite a while back that one could avoid getting rabies by taking hair from the dog that bit you. As time passed, the expression transitioned to meaning a hangover could be cured (or at least lessened) by ingesting more of what caused the hangover to start with. Hmmmm, quite a transition.

Now, there are nonalcoholic “cures” such as hot black coffee, particularly with the addition of salt – combined with a cold shower (yikes!). Friends from college always claimed eating a half-dozen Krystal burgers would immediately make a fellow feel better (oh wait – that wasn’t a hangover remedy, that was the munchies). But it’s the alcoholic remedies that people seem to enjoy most. I cannot imagine why

BLOODY MARY

I’ve used Zing Zang mix for years, but recently tried one from Stonewall Kitchen that adds an extra zing (or three) of spice. This will, if nothing else, wake you up. Especially your taste buds!

5-½ oz Stonewall Kitchen Peppadew Sriracha Bloody Mary mix

2-½ oz vodka (I always use Absolute Citron)

Mix together and serve over ice. If you are able, assemble an impressive mix of garnishes – folks these days use bacon, jerky, olives, limes, okra, pickles, pearl onions, and (required) a celery stalk. I would frankly submit, however, that if you feel like garnishing in this elaborate fashion you are not truly hungover.

The beauty of using a quality Bloody Mary mix is the ease of preparation. With a pounding head and blurry vision you probably don’t want a lot of clanging and banging, or feel the need to track down the bitters and oleo saccharum for a complicated libation.

ESPRESSO MARTINI

A bit more complicated, but with the distinct advantage of providing caffeine, this is a good one if you happened to receive an espresso machine for Christmas. Supposedly, this now classic cocktail made its debut in the early 1980s at a London bar when a famous (but unnamed) model asked the bartender for a drink that would “wake me up and mess me up.” Except she didn’t say “mess”.

2 oz. vodka

½ oz. Kahlua

1 oz. espresso

½ oz. simple syrup

Put everything in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled (or until your aching head can’t stand another second). Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

Both of these concoctions are delicious, but truth be told will not alleviate a hangover. Nothing but time will do that. Drinking a lot of water is said to help too – but where’s the fun in that?