Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Trollied Tuesday: The Hangover Cure

New Year's Day is boom time for sellers of Alka-Seltzer, fizzy drinks like Lucozade and Irn Bru and the like; but we all know, do we not, that while these might dull the pain of a hangover, and may help you get through a day at work, the only thing that works is the hair of the dog. For the true drinker a hangover is a punctation mark, not a full stop. Ideally, one would not get hangovers. This is not, however, an ideal world so we must face it as best we can.

Personally, I tend to stick to the Bloody Mary, but we all have our prefered pick me ups; there is always a case to be made for a champagne based reviver. The discussion in this Guardian books blog alerted me to Evelyn Waugh's preferred reviver: a dash of gin and a bottle of stout which is all topped up with ginger ale. I must say, it sounds rather cheering.

The one thing that can be safely said is that in this imprefect world there is no perfect cure for the hangover (rumours tell me that there may, in fact, be a perfect form of the dry martini, but we must leave that for now). We have, however, the concept of the perfect hangover cure, thanks to the genius of PG Wodehouse. I refer, of course, to Jeeves's magical concoction. The effects of which match the Platonic ideal of the hangover cure. Some observers have suggested his cure bears some relation to the Prairie Oyster; I doubt however that that concoction could ever have the same effect as Jeeves's.

For a moment I felt as if somebody had touched off a bomb inside the old bean and was strolling down my throat with a lighted torch, and then everything seemed suddenly to get all right. The sun shone in through the window; birds twittered in the tree-tops; and, generally speaking, hope dawned once more.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stronly recommend Kingsley Amis's consideration of the hangover in his excellent On Drink (from which I took the recipe for the Noon Day reviver for that Guardian comment). Not only is it extremely funny, there is plenty of fruitful exploration of the physical and metaphysical hangover, and it also contains instructions for three failsafe hangover cures, as told him by others.

I've put up another Evelyn Waugh hangover cure, as taken on A Mediterranean Cruise, here -


All the best, and down the hatch!


5:53 pm  

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