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December 16, 2016
Vodka socks: bound to work.
Vodka socks: bound to work.

Every year, the 5pm Dining blog pens a column discussing hangover cures. And every year, we come no closer to actually discovering the Holy Grail that is the guaranteed 100% effective hangover cure.

Of course, as we all know, it’s easy to avoid a hangover. Simply avoid alcohol.

Failing that, bitter experience has taught us that some drinks do more damage than others come the morning.

In general, the darker the drink, the more grim the hangover. This may not hold true for everybody but a night of brandy and port leave us feeling rather worse than a night of vodka and white wine.

Drink beer

If you are a beer drinker then sticking to beer can help you body-swerve the worst of alcoholic aftermaths. Or at least, it used to back in the day when a 5% ABV was considered strong.

The rise of turbo-charged craft ales has made it a lot easier to skull one schooner too many and wake up with a howling void where your brain used to be.

Still, even a session on a 6% saison beer is easier on the head the next day than doing shots. That way, madness lies.

First, find a sparrow...
First, find a sparrow…

As we noted at the beginning, the definitive hangover cure continues to elude us. However, we have developed coping strategies.

If possible a cup of tea before bed seems to help although it seldom seems a top priority at 3am.

More feasible is one paracetamol and one ibuprofen washed down with a pint of water when you first wake up.

Sleep is your friend

If you have the luxury of going back to bed then do so. Another couple of hours kip can take the edge off even humdinger hangovers.

As we pointed out last year, those sachets of oral rehydration salts do help although there are drawbacks. Drinking something which is meant to help after severe vomiting and diarrhoea seems like an admission of a drinking problem rather than a cure.

Still, while drinking oral rehydration salts may not do much for your self esteem, it’s better than some of the weird and wonderful hangover cures practised in other parts of the world.

Ebookers have pulled together a list of one hundred hangover cures from around the world and placed them on an interactive map.

From soaking your socks in vodka before going to bed to nibbling on a dried bull penis, there are a hundred reasons to say ‘Make mine a softie’ the next time someone asks what you want to drink.