Nine hangover cures from around the world

Whether you choose ‘midnight spaghetti’ on New Year’s Eve or a seafood-spiked cocktail the morning after, there are plenty of ways to cure — or prevent — a hangover.

By Lauren Shockey
Published 22 Dec 2020, 08:00 GMT, Updated 22 Dec 2020, 10:14 GMT
In Colombia, eggs are poached in milk and topped with coriander and f stale bread to form ...

In Colombia, eggs are poached in milk and topped with coriander and stale bread to form a stew known as changua.

Photograph by Alamy

This festive season may feel a little different to in previous years, with celebrations much smaller and largely taking place at home. Yet, there’s no denying it — you can still overdo it on the alcohol front without setting foot outside your door.

This New Year’s Eve, many of us will be cracking open the bubbly, and while the night might be less raucous than usual, a hangover the next morning is still a real possibility. Pounding headaches, sluggishness, dehydration, queasiness. It’s not the way anyone wants to start 2021, but there are ways to cure what ails you. Here are some of the most delicious remedies from around the world to try.

1. Colombia: Changua

There’s a reason why egg dishes are popular hangover food: they contain cysteine, an amino acid that some research suggests can relieve nausea and headaches. In Colombia, eggs are poached in milk and topped with chopped coriander and cubes of stale bread called calado, forming a stewy, soupy breakfast known as changua.

2. Canada: Bloody Caesar

You can’t discuss hangover cures without mentioning a hair-of-the-dog cocktail, and Canada’s favourite, the Bloody Caesar, is a prime example. Created in Calgary in 1969, the riff on the Bloody Mary features vodka, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a large splash of briny clamato juice in lieu of the more traditional tomato juice.

You can’t discuss hangover cures without mentioning a hair-of-the-dog cocktail, and Canada’s favourite, the Bloody Caesar, is a prime example.

Photograph by Getty Images

3. South Korea: Kongnamul gukbap

South Korea’s drinking culture is so established it’s even spawned an entire genre of food known as haejangguk (‘hangover soup’) and restaurants that specialise in these nourishing bowls of broth. The morning after a night out in the city of Jeonju, kongnamul gukbap is one of the most popular varieties to order, a tangle of beansprouts, spring onion and sliced chilli in a light anchovy-kelp broth.

4. Czech Republic: Utopenci

Pickles have long been viewed as a hangover cure, especially in eastern Europe. In Russia and Poland, for instance, drinking shots of pickle brine have been said to cure a throbbing head and aching body. In the Czech Republic, meanwhile, utopenci (pickled sausages) are not only popular pub grub, but are believed to cure a hangover too. To make them, you simply soak pre-cooked pork sausages and onions in a mixture of vinegar, bay leaves, salt and other pickling spices for about a week, until tangy enough to revive you.

Read: The inside guide to Brno, the Czech Republic's quirky second city

5. Hawaii: Loco moco

Loco moco is a Hawaiian brunch staple invented at the Lincoln Grill, in Hilo, on Big Island. A mound of hot, steaming white rice is topped with a hamburger patty, fried eggs and a rich meat gravy to create one of the state’s most popular lunches, hangover or not.

Loco moco is a Hawaiian brunch staple invented at the Lincoln Grill, on Big Island.

Photograph by Alamy

6. Italy: Midnight spaghetti

If while drinking you still have your wits about you at the stroke of 12, do what the Italians do and throw together a spaghettata di mezzanotte. ‘Midnight spaghetti’ is believed to help absorb excess alcohol in the body, and there are many easy-to-prepare-when-tipsy variants, such as spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilli.

Read: Learn to cook like an Italian in these four culinary hotspots

7. Puerto Rico: Sancocho

Sancocho is a popular hangover stew found throughout Central and South America, as well as in Puerto Rico, where it usually features beef along with a bounty of starchy vegetables such as yucca, potatoes, pumpkin, chayote corn and plantains. The dish illustrates the influence of African cuisine in the US territory.

8. Mexico: Vuelve a la vida

Mexican cuisine is awash with hangover-friendly dishes, from birra (spicy goat stew) to chilaquiles (tortilla chips cooked in salsa). One favorite, hailing from the port city of Veracruz, is a spicy seafood cocktail known as vuelve a la vida. The dish, which aptly translates to ‘come back to life’, features assorted seafood such as shrimp, oysters and octopus in a chilled, spicy, lime-lashed tomato sauce, designed to jolt you back to reality.

Read: From agave to Zacatecas: the A to Z of Mexican food

9. Uganda: Katogo

Uganda’s favourite hangover breakfast showcases the country’s staple crop, matooke, a green banana akin to a plantain. The matooke is cooked and either left whole or mashed, and then topped with a spiced stew of either goat or cow offal (usually intestines and stomach).

Lauren Shockey is the author of Hangover Helper: Delicious Cures from Around the World, published by Hardie Grant. RRP: £12.

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