The Webtender
Bartender's Handbook

Dr. I. M. Bibe's Anti-Hangover Tips

Well, having done YEARS of research (;-D) on hangover cures, here are my scientific findings:
  1. There is one preventive measure that is absolutely foolproof for every person in the world:
    Don't ever drink. You'll be guaranteed to avoid hangovers for the rest of your life.

  2. Since 99.9% of the people who are concerned with hangovers will never follow method #1, then the next best preventive measure is this:
    Never drink enough to get really drunk. That way, hangovers will be rare, if not nonexistent.

  3. Methods #1 & #2 apply to ALL people. From this point on, we enter the mysterious realm of experimental preventives:
    The problem here is that all people are not alike in such things as size, weight, metabolism, chemistry, etc. So, what works for me may not work for you. But I offer these as good ideas to try when you've done what 89% of us do - namely, said to hell with methods #1 & #2.
    You've just opened your eyes to find yourself crumbled into a collapsed mess, hopefully in a bed, hopefully in somewhat familiar surroundings, but, worst of all, awake. Your mind gradually manages to reconstruct some sort of memory of some portion of the previous night's activities. You feel like the worst part of hell (this is the cue for the proverbial "I'll-never-drink-again" declaration, one of the most pitiful demonstrations of bull$#!+ in all of human behavior). You need help. Quick.
    A little understanding of what a hangover actually IS really comes in handy here. It's a combination of a few physiological things:
    1. Dehydration - the alcohol has forced evaporation of a certain vital portion of the body's water.
    2. Nervous shock - you're coming off the effects of a mild overdose of a depressant drug, so your nerves are displaying the great Newtonian natural law of action/reaction by going into a relatively hypersensitive state.
    3. malnutrition - pumping all that alcohol and liquid through your body has effectively flushed away a significant supply of your storage of vitamins and nutrients, chemicals which would stimulate natural defense systems, but you're running seriously low on them now.

    What you need to do is take some restorative steps to begin a recovery process. This means doing the same things that you should've done in method #3 (it's really too late now, but it can't hurt). It means rest and as little nervous stimulation as possible. It also means trying to eat something that will help to replace the nutrients you've lost. That really should be in the forms of fruits/vegetables, NOT fatty, greasy junk, not dairy foods, something that isn't too tough on the already beat-up digestive system. Bananas are great for key vitamins. But I'll tell you what I've found to be a real miracle medicine for me - tomatoes!
    Strange but true. This came to me by pure accident. I was a suffering bastard one day following a night of revelry, and I knew I needed some food, but I found myself in a situation where I didn't really have any choice about the lunch that I'd been served. It was a basic Italian-American dish that included a tomato sauce (something like lasagne or spaghetti). In less than an hour after eating, I felt rejuvenated, almost back to normal! I couldn't believe how quickly I had gone from hangover hell to basically ok. I figured it was just a fluke. But the next time I was in a similar situation, I deliberately tried it again, and it worked! This sort of explains half of the reason that a Bloody Mary is the standard morning-after drink. (The OTHER half, of course, is that more alcohol - "hair-of-the-dog" - acts to relax your shattered nerves and numb the pain in the head, but more alcohol is also a great step on the road to alcoholism, not a habit I'd suggest.)
    So, next time, try it. Maybe a little light pasta with a meatless, greaseless, tomato sauce. Cold gazpacho or a mild salsa may work too, but your stomach will be in no mood for onions and peppers. A glass of V8 may be just the thing. Citrus juices tend to bother the stomach too; but tomatoes are highly acidic, so I can't explain that part.


If you know you're going to be drinking a LOT of something, there are certain definite DON'Ts:
  1. Don't mix a lot of different types of alcoholic drinks (liquor, then wine, then beer). Loudon Wainwright wrote a song about this:
    Drinks before dinner and wine with dinner and after-dinner drinks
    Single-entendre
    Help me, Rhonda
    Locate my cufflinks
    Come with me and you all will see that it all be alright
    Rudolph the red-nosed wino will guide our sleigh tonight.
  2. Don't overdo it with colored liquors (red wine, whiskeys, cordials, dark rum). A cheap red wine hangover is absolutely THE WORST. Death without actually passing into the next world.
  3. Don't overdo it with sweet blended concoctions. This is the classic mistake of high-school idiots, dumb college undergrads, and basic novice drinkers (who will probably never drink again). All of these sick sugary trendy drinks with cream of whatever, and doughnut-flavored schnapps, and layers of nifty floating colored syrups and liquers. Oh, please. Gag. Gallons of Coca-Cola mixed with hard liquor. Imitation raspberry-flavored margaritas and "daiquiris". (Raise your hand if you've ever even SEEN a real daiquiri.) The combination of all of that sugar in the stomach with the mandatory alcoholic kick in the head - the end-result is almost always the same. (I STILL remember the sight of the sidewalk outside of a cheezy teen bar in Underground Atlanta back when they served 18-yr.-olds.) Most kids still have to learn the hard way. Some people think it's a rite of passage to "adulthood". Yeah, right.
   

Note that this text was NOT written by The Webtender, but has been slightly edited and included here as a service to those of you who hate the day after.
How do I pour? What is 'cl', 'oz' and 'pt'? How should I handle glassware?.
Find the answers in The Bartender's Handbook.

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