The hangover is the curse of all who enjoy a drink. Every time we mutter to our friends at 3am: “Oh go on then, just one more drink” we will, most likely, wake the next day with a head that pounds like a mosh pit and a craving for salty, fatty food that we fool ourselves into believing will instantly makes us well, or at least allow us to fall back to sleep. There are countless personal cures and fail-safe remedies, whether a cup of black tea and vegemite toast or a bucket of fried chicken. But what if you run a restaurant and need to cure your customers? What is it that they require?
Casey Wall, chef and co-owner of Rockwell & Sons on Smith Street, has got it sorted. “I feel we are pretty geared for eliminating people’s hangovers,” he says. “We have a house blend coffee from Clark Street Roasters, a great list of beers and Manu (Potoi, Wall’s business partner) makes a pretty good Bloody Mary.”
The Bloody Mary never dates when it comes to a reliable hangover remedy. Clint Hyndman from The Woods Of Windsor on the Windsor-end of Chapel Street swears by the restaurant’s Prairie Oyster, based on the classic American cure-all. Order one in the morning after a late night and you’ll receive a shot glass layered with whole egg, lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and Writers Tears Irish Whiskey. To accompany this, Hyndman suggests “a couple of our pig’s trotter fritters with onion marmalade and a soft quail egg”.
Lisa Jenkins, head sommelier at City Wine Shop on Spring Street is all too familiar with dealing with hangovers. “We deal with all sorts of hangovers, as you could imagine!” she laughs. While Jenkins couldn’t offer any current updates on her own cures (as she’s four months pregnant), she was forthcoming on the customers she looks after and what she enjoyed before parenthood took hold. And again, the Bloody Mary wins. “There is something so perfect about having a really spicy Bloody Mary,” she says.
The alcohol in the drink helps prolong the onset of the hangover, but also the tomato juice fools you. “It tricks you into believing that you are actually doing something healthy for your dishevelled soul.”
Customers at the City Wine Shop often tuck into a chicken schnitzel to melt away the pain with “a few cold beers to wash it all down”, Jenkins says.
So if it’s salt, fat, spice and more alcohol in a Bloody Mary, a little caffeine is almost a must. “I reckon smash a double espresso and then get onto one of the Mountain Goat beers we have and put down a burger,” says Casey Wall. “By the second beer, your hangover will be a distant memory.”
So it’s likely there’ll be more long nights of drinking ahead, and it’ll all be worth it the next day, even if only to seek out another cure or two in the morning.