Hair of the Dog
The Wildest Hangover Cures From Around the World
From ceviche marinade to pickled sheep eyeballs to ground rhino horns, here are the craziest hangover cures from around the globe.
A Bloody Mary may be America’s tried-and-true hangover cure, but New Year's Day may require a stronger concoction. Take some cues from around the world—if you can stomach it. Just be glad you didn’t wake up in ancient Rome, where the traditional cure was a deep-fried canary, eaten whole.
After a night of too much sake, the Japanese rely on a type of dried sour plums called umeboshi. To dilute the bitterness, the less-than-brave steep them in green tea.
The Germans have a word for everything, even hangover breakfast: katerfrühstück. It features a pickled herring wrapped around pickled cucumbers and onions, and sometimes includes a beer.
Poles down a glass of brine from sour pickles or sauerkraut to ease the vodka-induced morning doldrums.
Russians believe the best way to dry out from vodka saturation is with a sauna session and a beating with birch branches. Another cure is Kvass, a slightly alcoholic beverage made by soaking dried rye bread with sugar and yeast.
Perhaps this is meant as a way to induce vomiting? Mongolians bravely swallow a glass of pickled sheep eyeballs mixed into tomato juice to chase away their morning-after blues.
Mexico, Turkey and Romania
These seemingly disparate countries count on a tripe soup to ease the pain of a hangover. In Turkey, it goes by the name iskembe corbasi and has a tangy vinegar or lemon base. The Romanian version is ciorba de burta, a salty dish of root vegetables. In Mexico the cow stomach concoction is called menudo and is made with garlic and onion. There’s another Mexican cure, vuelva a la vida, or “return to life,” which is a seafood cocktail mixed with tomato juice and pico de gallo.
A traditional mix of buttermilk, corn flour, salt and pepper dubbed “The Highland Fling” has been known to do the trick in the homeland of whiskey. But nowadays the Scots swear by “Irn-Bru,” a carbonated orange beverage, to revive them after a big night out.
Pub-weary Brits soak up the pints with a heaping bacon sandwich. They’re taking the scientific approach: in 2009, a Newcastle University study found the combination of bacon and bread really can cure a hangover by providing amino acids.
Leche de tigre is the leftover marinade from ceviche. The combination of lime juice, lemon juice, fish stock, fish scrap, garlic, and ginger is thought to ease that throbbing pain in your head and also serve as an aphrodisiac.
Taking the old “hair of the dog” saying to heart, Namibians drink a mixture of clotted cream, dark rum, spiced rum cream liqueur, and whole cream. It’s deceptively named “buffalo milk,” but is more alcohol than milk.
Though it sounds more gag-worthy than helpful in keeping your stomach settled, a dried bull’s penis is apparently the traditional snack of choice for hung-over Sicilians.
Though trading rhino horns is illegal, ground rhino horn soaked in hot water has been considered a remedy for not just hangovers, but also cancer. The mythic properties of the sought-after horn mean each one can sell for as much as $300,000.
Eggs have been thought to ease the next-day pain of overdrinking, but Filipino sufferers are advised to eat a poached, fertilized duck embryo called balut—if they can bear swallowing a partially formed bird with beak attached.