Head aching? Intense nausea in the morning? Difficulty sleeping? Feeling weaker than usual? More anxious? Sweatier? Sensitive to light and noise? Lethargic? Maybe you’re pregnant, or perhaps you’re hung over. Let's hope it’s not a combo of the two.
The word “hangover” didn’t come into vogue until around 1904, when it was used to refer to “something left over from the night before.” Curious, considering people have likely been suffering the aftereffects of too much drinking long before the terms “cocktail,” “hooch,” “moonshine,” “shot,” and “Fuzzy Navel” were created.
Isn’t there something a tad unfair about the fact that the more fun one might have while carousing with one’s closest friends, the more one might have to pay for it the next day? I mean, sure, one could switch to “mocktails” or abstain altogether—but you won’t find that recommendation in this space.
We want it stirred, swizzled, blended, spritzed, swirled, and flamed; muddled into a highball, shaken into shots, mixed into a martini, layered into a lowball, floated in a flute, or served up in a shoe if nothing else is available.
Though there is a select group of people who are spared the symptoms of a hangover, most of us are susceptible to this self-inflicted affliction. Ask a few friends, poke around online, heck, even ask your doctor if you feel so inspired, but the sworn fixes for a hangover are diverse and plentiful.
While doing the press for the first Hangover film, star Bradley Cooper told People magazine that he used to think exercise was the hangover cure-all, though he eventually concluded that it's “the most nonsensical way” to do it.
Then there’s everyone’s favorite “Guidette,” the appropriately nicknamed pint-size Snooki, who built the base of her party-girl persona on multiple booze-filled Jersey Shore episodes. The reality star advised Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year that “the best cure is to drink margaritas the morning of, and you’re fine. Or mimosas with your eggs.”
On the other end of the highbrow/lowbrow spectrum is Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, a darling of the foodie community who was enlisted by Campari to host a Year of the Negroni party during the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, one of the most anticipated cocktail-centric festivals in the U.S. At the event, Lakshmi promised the crowd she had the “best hangover cure ever … You take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C with two Advil and one liter of water. Consume that in entirety before you go to bed. And … a falafel. Or an egg in a hole, with hot sauce … and preferably cheese. If you can follow those instructions, you might feel good enough to go to the gym the next day, which you should do. But don’t take a spin class. It’s too hard with all the music and those screaming women.”
Our cocktail takes a bit of inspiration from the sequel’s Bangkok setting and the furriest member of the gang.
Um, OK, Padma. Maybe she’d already been inside the event pre-carpet and helped herself to a few Negronis, the classic punch-packing cocktail that features Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, with nary a bit of juice or soda to water it down.
If ever there were an appropriate time to herald the debut of a film with a cocktail this season, this weekend would be it. If you were to feel hung over after celebrating the release of any film, you’d be hard pressed to find any movies more appropriate than the Hangover films.
In need of the right cocktail to shake up a tribute to the hotly anticipated sequel, we asked for a suggestion from Josh Pearson, the admirably creative mixologist of Sepia restaurant in Chicago. Pearson took a bit of inspiration from the sequel’s Bangkok setting and the furriest member of the gang of guys (though it was a close tie with Zach Galifianakis on that one) to create his Hangover Part II homage. Plus, he added his own two cents about what might best help someone combat a hairy morning-after experience. We can’t guarantee that a couple of these cocktails won’t leave you with a hangover in the morning … particularly if you decide to chase each one down with an Irish Car Bomb, Alabama Slammer, Cape Cod, or Singapore Sling—just in case you’re feeling inspired to make it an international experience for your taste buds.
“This cocktail is designed to help you shake that ‘monkey’ of a hangover,” Pearson says. “The flavors of Thailand are incorporated into a michelada-style cocktail—one of the best hangover cures I know. I opted to use fresh cherry tomatoes and fish sauce instead of Clamato or tomato juice, to give it a fresher Thai flavor. The Tanqueray Rangpur gin gives a wonderful exotic aroma, and cilantro and the Thai Chang Beer finish the cocktail. Although this cocktail may not help if you wake up in Thailand with an actual monkey, it certainly will help a hangover … or a Hangover II.”
Monkey Off My Back Created by Josh Pearson of Sepia
4 cherry tomatoes 1 sprig cilantro 2 oz. Tanqueray Rangpur gin ¼ oz. lime juice 1 dash fish sauce 1 bottle Chang Beer Sea salt mixed with crushed red pepper (to achieve desired spiciness)
Rim a Collins glass with salt. Muddle cherry tomatoes and cilantro in a shaker. Add all remaining ingredients except beer and shake well. Double strain into the Collins glass and top with the beer. Garnish with a cherry tomato and cilantro.
Brody Brown has studied fashion crimes, examined social issues, and carefully considered cocktails in Montreal and New York. He now continues his exploration in Los Angeles, where he writes about spirits, music, LGBT subjects, entertainment, and nightlife.