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Top Bartenders Tell Us Their Favorite Hangover Cures

Photo: thomashawk/Flickr

hangoverPH.jpgEven professionals sometimes manage to overdo it on the drinking—especially when they're partying with each other. We've turned to some of the city's top bartenders, survivors of Tales of the Cocktail, SF Cocktail Week, and other party-hearty events, to get their tips on what to do when it comes to mitigating a very painful morning after.

Scott Beattie, Goose & Gander: "Fresh grapefruit juice and blanco tequila."

Shawn Vergara, Blackbird: "The best hangover cure is a double shot of Fernet-Branca with a ginger ale back. NO LIES! Here is the story: I showed up to work with a headbanger of a hangover. I tried to power through my shift. I wasn't having any success with water and aspirin. Someone I worked with said, "You know what you gotta do." What was funny about this, they said it as a statement and not a question. The thought of drinking again made me cringe. However, at this point, I was desperate enough to do anything. So, I reluctantly grabbed the bottle of Fernet and poured myself a double. In about 20 minutes, like magic, I felt like maybe I could do it all over again! Not really. The only thing I wish I had done differently was to do it about five hours earlier. That is the whole truth, and nothing but!"

Brian Means, Fifth Floor: "Pedialyte and a big bowl of ramen."

H. Joseph Ehrmann, Elixir: "A large cup of Philz' Jacob's Wonderbar, a chocolate croissant from Tartine Bakery, and my secret remedy shot, a 'Cincuenta-Cinquanta' (1oz Del Maguey Vida and 1oz of Fernet, in one shot)."

Nora Furst, Lolinda/El Techo de Lolinda: "Cartoons in bed, pho with ungodly amounts of sriracha, ferry rides in the rain, seltzer water, cuddling, and a michelada."

Ethan Terry, Alembic: "No one wants to hear this, but everyone knows it's true. There is one, and only one, true cure; in the purest sense of the word, for a hangover. No matter how queasy you wake up, how fast the room is spinning, and how much you swear to your chosen deity that you'll never drink again, the only thing that will save you is Hair of the Dog.

The art of drinking as a hangover cure lies in choosing the appropriate alcohol delivery vehicle. When a hangover calls for a little bubbly and juice or a similarly masked booze injection, a shot of tequila won't do you any favors. And vice versa. Regardless, no matter how bad you think you feel, and are convinced that booze is the last thing you need, you're only seconds away from feeling like Superman.

Sure, take your nutrients in at the same time, if that puts your mind at ease. If a Bloody Mary makes you feel better about drinking two ounces of vodka first thing in the morning because of the "vitamins", more power to you. Whatever helps you justify your budding alcoholism. I like to wear it on my sleeve and throw down two or three ounces of bourbon. I keep it on my nightstand for just such an occasion.

I firmly believe that the intensity of a hangover is inversely proportionate to the amount of fun one had the night before. So, here's to feeling like utter shit tomorrow, my friends. Cheers."

Dominic Alling, Beretta: "Pho, all day. My Father's Kitchen [on Divisadero, in lower Pac Heights] is very traditional, with super-high-quality broth, meat, and noodles. Add a squeeze of lemon and jalapeños, and I'm good to go."

Zack Hirsekorn, 25 Lusk: "Carrot juice + yoga + lots of cold beer = hangover relief. That, or copious amounts of champagne."

Jeff Lyon, Range and the forthcoming Third Rail: "A lot of people plug food at restaurants. My cure is not quite as commercially sexy, but here goes:

---2 ibuprofen flushed down with
---2 pints of water followed with
---2 more hours of sleep followed with
---2 tortillas and a tasty layer of melted cheese followed with
---2 cups of coffee

If hangover persists, drink
---2 pints of the coldest lager possible with
---2 shots of Angostura
(and maybe some more water, if your stomach allows.)"

Greg Quinn, Alembic: "Shower...gotta shower. Then consume about a gallon of water. Then head to Tadich Grill and get the Hangtown Fry and an old-school Bloody Mary. At that point, I'm all set up for a productive afternoon of napping and watching movies."