Collecting hangover cures is like collecting collar stays – they don’t really come in handy until you get absolutely hammered and realize you threw your dress shirt onto the hotel couch rather than nicely hanging it up like a responsible adult. Until now, I thought I’d tried them all – coconut water, greasy foods, retox, dying – but none of them really worked. I have yet to find something that makes me feel 100% and helps forget the anxiety-riddled memories I can barely remember in the first place. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying.
Afar featured several European hangover cures, many of which I’ve never heard of before.
1. Sweat out the toxins in the sauna.
Russia and Finland
Completely in on it, especially if this act occurs in Russia and/or Finland. I imagine Finland being the land of blonde ski bunnies, luxurious mountaintop resorts, and enough saunas that all your troubles will evaporate away. Sure, I’ve entertained curing my hangover in the sauna at my old gym, but that’s a scummy American sauna. I need that European luxury vibe.
2. Eat something fishy.
Germany, Norway, Belgium, and The Netherlands
I’m never going to turn down some good, fresh fish. Crabcakes Eggs Benedict? Yeah. Smoked salmon? Tossing all of that on some Carr’s Water Table Crackers. Lobster? Sure, I’ll take two.
Sure, that’s not what the German’s are talking about (they claim to eat “raw pickled herring wrapped around a gherkin and a raw onion”). But I ain’t eating no raw pickled herring wrapped around a gherkin and raw onion. Those are bloody mary garnishes – not main courses.
3. Battle the booze with beans and eggs.
The United Kingdom and Ireland
Ah, the full English breakfast that couldn’t be more English if it tried. The last thing I need when I’m hungover and bloated is a plate full of beans, so this is going to rank low on my scale when it comes to what I’m trying first.
I can tell you, though, that drinking an Old Speckled Hen draught when I was on the struggle shuttle last weekend. Didn’t make matters worse which is a win in my book.
4. Ward off any post-drink dizzy spells with offal.
Iceland and Italy
Yeah, I didn’t know what the hell that said either. And I wish it would’ve stayed that way.
“In Sicily, there’s the traditional remedy of pizzle, which is dried bull penis,” they say. While I’m all about local delicacies, I’m not trying to bite on some penis jerky. “In Iceland, some locals swear by sheep’s head terrine called sviðasulta,” they go on. I’m no slut for sheep’s head, so maybe this slides just beneath that boring English breakfast that’s going to make me feel like I’m in a Dutch oven all day.
5. Soak up the alcohol with stew.
Austria and France
Some goulash and cassoulet? Works for me. It’s like the heartier version of my tried and true cure, pho, but more nap-inducing and with less health benefits. Either way, it all sounds better than Campbell’s Chunky, which I can confirm, does not do anything for your hangover other than confirm you spent too much money the night before and can’t afford anything else.
6. Cure what ails you with grease and carbs.
Spain, Croatia, and Hungary
While I’ve never been a fan of cheeseburgers and pizza when I’m grasping for dear life (make me feel too sluggish), I can fuck with the “deep-fried calamari rings, croquettes, and other typical tapas” that they’re referring to here. I’m not sure whether or not there are Pizza Hut and In-N-Out equivalents in Spain for calamari and groquettes, but I’m not opposed to overspending on the coast for them.
7. Calm your stomach with tripe.
Turkey, Romania, Greece, and Bulgaria
In the same breath as that penis jerky from earlier, I wasn’t totally sure what “tripe” meant. Turns out, it’s not that far off. It’s “edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals,” which is concerning considering it makes me uncomfortable that it doesn’t come from one single animal. I guess this is why Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria aren’t exactly known as the romance countries in Europe.
8. Rehydrate post-binge with pickle juice.
Poland and Parts of Eastern Europe
I pretty much live my life meal to meal wondering if someone will offer me their pickle after I eat mine, so yeah, you could say this is right in the wheelhouse. Do I currently have an empty jar of pickle juice sitting in my fridge? Yes, I do. Did my girlfriend’s mom find it and ask why I had it only for me to lie because I didn’t want to admit it was for hangovers? Of course.
But until my hangover’s really bad, I’m sticking with the Finnish and using their saunas. Blonde ski bunnies (probably) not included. .