THE shortlist; TEN UNUSUAL HANGOVER CURES

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The Prairie Oyster is more of a hangover displacement, taking your mind off existing troubles with something a little worse. It combines raw egg, lemon juice or vinegar, pepper, and a spicy sauce such as Worcestershire. Don't break the yolk; swallow it whole.

Keith Floyd has a bookload of hangover recipes to combat one of his great loves with another. Soak some salt cod in fresh water and poach it in milk for 20 minutes. Whisk the fish in a mixer with crushed garlic and olive oil. Serve on toast.

Mr Harris's Original Pick Me Up is favoured by the Queen Mother and is available exclusively at D R Harris & Company, chemists to the gentry for more than 200 years. The basic recipe sounds like O-level chemistry, but three spoonfuls a day was apparently what kept the Empire ticking. Contents include cardamon tincture, spirit of ammonium, compound tincture of gentian, and oil of cloves and camphor.

A breath of fresh air may be all that is needed to relieve the compressed cranial blood vessels (aka headache). The Swiss-made O-Pur consists of a can of pure oxygen and a disposable face mask. pounds 8 for 10 minutes' airtime.

Fight fire with fire: a Bloody Mary mixes tomato juice with vodka. The Suffering Bastard mixture was born in Shepherd's Hotel, Cairo. It consists of equal measures of brandy, gin and lime juice with a dash of Angostura bitters. Buy now, pay later.

Broth lays a claim to the throne of relief. In Russian markets you can buy a glass of rassol - basically the juice left behind after pickling salted cabbage or cucumber. The Chinese boil banana peel in water and drink the liquid. Icelanders drink a glass of cider vinegar mixed with honey. Roman emperors went straight for boiled cabbage water.

Strong coffee with a pinch of salt: recommended by the French. When in Germany, try bananas, red meat and milk or raw herring pickled with mustard and juniper berries.

Shakespeare maintained that drink provokes nose painting, sleep and urine, which is probably why most people never get round to the easiest answer of plenty of water before sleep. Prevention is better than cure, but the logistics of the operation seem quite baffling under the influence.

Chemists' remedies: good old paracetamol and water or ibuprofen before sleeping are rated higher than fancy fizzy numbers; vitamins C and E are said to mop up the poisons.

If all else fails, try the classic Puerto Rican cure of rubbing your armpits with the juice of lemons and limes for 24-hour protection.

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