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Hangover Cures

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas presents for any wine lover. Here we look at hangover cures…

Let’s all be terribly grown up and honest with ourselves for a moment. We all understand the perils of over-indulging – the effect too much alcohol will have on our bodies. We are reminded daily of the dangers of binge drinking, the short term damage, the long term health issues that will no doubt befall us if we drink like there is no tomorrow. You can’t open a newspaper or switch on the television nowadays without being told of some drink-related horror story and yet… The problem is that we do still love a drink. Many of us will be over-indulging over the next few weeks – that is hardly in question.

The question is just how do we cope with the morning after? Yes, hangovers, even for the most saintly among us, are an occasional fact of life. The pounding head, the churning stomach: we’ve all been there done that and thrown away the Southern Comfort stained T-shirt. ‘Never again!’ we cry, at least until the next time. Still, we need not despair entirely. The traditional relationship that we in these Isles have with the odd tipple at least means that we’ve devised myriad ways to cope with feeling a touch below par. So read on overleaf for the best ways to

Keep It Fluid
As we all know, alcohol dehydrates and the disco beat in your head that you hear long after the music has stopped could well be a headache brought on by lack of water. Drink cool water steadily throughout the morning and you will soon feel brighter. This can be easier said than done, particularly if you feel a little queasy or crave only hot, strong coffee (more dehydration), but stick with it, the results will be worth it.

Pep Up Pills
No, nothing remotely illegal, just a good healthy dose of vitamins. The chemical action of alcohol on your system causes the depletion of vital vitamins, particularly vitamins A, B (especially B6) and C. Take vitamin tablets washed down with a nice big glass of water and this will start to rebalance you. Better still, if you can plan ahead for the next time, take a Berocca before you go out and keep up the vitamin B levels.

Eat For England – Part One
Carbs. We have all had that feeling when your body is telling you in no uncertain terms that if you don’t give it something hot and stodgy it will never speak to you again. Forget the diet, if you’re on one and give in just this once. Some cherished suggestions are: the good old English breakfast with some OJ, although go heavy on the toast and easy on the grease; cold pizza apparently works a treat; a steaming bowl of your favourite pasta; or, if you are feeling really ropey, dry toast. Must be followed by crawling back into bed or the sofa for a long snooze.

Hair of the Dog
Now if you are taking this route, you need to know what you’re doing. If you start trying to down tequila or glug champagne, the chances are you’ll end up worse off than before.

No, what’s called for here is a Bloody Mary, the Sunday morning drink of choice for the discerning hangover sufferer (also a great winter drink, even when you’re not suffering from a hangover!). Try our editor’s favourite recipe below:

1.5 fl oz vodka
1 fl oz fino sherry
Dash of lemon (or lime) juice
Good glug of Worcestershire sauce
2 or 3 drops Tabasco sauce
Freshly ground pepper, salt and celery salt
5 fl oz tomato juice

In a tall glass add ice, then seasonings, then vodka and fino sherry. Fill with tomato juice and stir. Garnish with celery stick and lime wedge. Simple.

The tomato will replenish your vitamin C and the spices will perk you up, plus the alcohol will soothe and fool your body into thinking everything’s fine (not strictly medical advice!) You’ve got to love the Bloody Mary. It’s basically food… but better.

Pamper Yourself Better
When your body has been through the trials of a serious shindig, you owe it a bit of a treat. Head to Champneys in Forest Mere and atone for your sins in a haven of tranquillity. This lovely spa is hidden in the heart of Hampshire, within the midst of mysterious woodland that leads to the magnificent lake framing the Mansion House, giving it a secluded quality that attracts those looking for complete peace and privacy. Utter bliss awaits if you call 01428 726000 – put them on speed dial.

Eat For England – Part Two
If a fry-up doesn’t do it for you, then perhaps something else will do. A banana sandwich may be slightly unorthodox but it is comforting and good for sugar levels. Apparently, others swear by this cure – drink half a pint of milk with three raw eggs in it and a dash of Tabasco. Sounds worse than the hangover itself! Still, it beats the deep-fried canaries which they believe did the trick in Ancient Rome.

Doctor Knows Best
Many people swear by remedies such as Alka Seltzer Morning Relief. It contains a strong pain reliever and caffeine, combined to both soothe aches and give you an energy boost. Plus it is gentle on the stomach. Try it before you load up on the carbs.

Just Plain Weird
Apparently Haitian voodoo practitioners like to stick 13 pins in the cork of the offending bottle to lift the ‘curse’. This could be problematic – what do you do about beer, or gin? Not recommended.

So there you have it, a whole host of ways in which to ease that horrid hangover. Of course, prevention is better than cure so if none of the above appeals, simply drink lots of water beforehand and watch your alcohol intake. However, if you do happen to get a teensy bit carried away, at least you can have fun trying out the best cure for you.

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