Hair of the Dog

And there's lot of that in our household, especially during akita moulting season.

I haven't drunk much since the first of the year. On New Year's Eve I drank a champagne cocktail - a sugar cube doused in bitters, topped with champagne - and a guiness and champagne, the last recipe in my calendar for 2008. Guiness and champagne are best drunk on their own.

Since then I've had only an occasional bottle of hard cider or ale, drinking my way through the six packs I bought for the wassail recipe a week or so ago.

What's the best remedy the morning after you've drunk a little too much? I've rarely had a hangover, despite more than one night of excess in my life, so this isn't a burning issue for me. But both the New York Times and Men's Health have some suggestions.

Men's Health (aka the nice folks at Rodale) first. Their first suggestion is to stay hydrated while you're drinking. So you're supposed to alternate Buds and water? That sounds like a Men's Health suggestion, good for monks or power jocks but not always sensible. Or, they say, drink a bottle or two of Gatorade or something similar at the end of the evening. A comment on the NYT article says that works for them.

Another option is eating saltines to soak up the alcohol. I think my version of this has always helped me feel better the next morning: eat potato chips at the end of drinking. The salt and the grease are what I'm hankering for by this point.

Hair of the dog: they claim it doesn't work and could lead to alcoholism. Bull's eye, aka OJ and a raw egg - well, you might get salmonella! You might get OJ poisoning too. Your skin turns hard and orange, but you're pretty darned juicy.

Aspirin: they say it works, with the usual caveats about possible effects of aspirin on the gastrointestinal tract. Their number one suggestion: exercise. Should we be surprised? The complete list is online at

Now to the real-life, and entertaining, suggestions from the comments to the New York Times article. One poster takes excedrin and a mixture of water and Gatorade. Another takes a multivitamin with his water. Another one sets his alarm an hour before he wants to get up, takes an ibuprofin and water, and goes back to sleep. If you can.

Someone claims that paracodeine is his miracle hangover cure. Of course, it's not available over the counter here in FDA land. Aromatic bitters in club soda and a nice greasy breakfast (see my potato chip suggestion) works for another guy. It sounds like all these commenters are men, but I may be wrong. A big breakfast featuring eggs gets a recommendation from a couple people (gender neutral).

One poster's 88-year-old uncle takes his hair of the dog in the form of a beer with a raw egg and several dashes of Tabasco. But, wait, Men's Health claims that can lead to Tabasco abuse! Last, there are a few reformed drinkers who rail against drinking anything at all. If it works for them, that's great.

I'll stick with my Lay's.