No matter where we call home, we share one thing in common: gathering around the table to break bread and crack open a bottle or two. Sometimes when the conversation and local liquor get flowing, the result is a big old headache the following morning.
Approaches to alleviating the hangover vary by destination. Some are healthy, some are indulgent, and some are plain crazy – while others turn to a cheeky afternoon drink as the ultimate cure. Here are five hangover cures from around the globe.
1. Dublin, Ireland
There are a few ways in Dublin to cure a hangover and each local has their favorite. The most extreme is a swim in the icy Irish Sea, a tradition said to clear the mind, stimulate circulation, and improve the immune system. Those that would rather not take the plunge, instead choose a breakfast full of rich foods including eggs, sausages, rashers (bacon), and black pudding. It's also rumored that nothing "sets you straight" like a pint of Guinness and half dozen Irish oysters.
2. Athens, Greece
In Athens, the Greeks rely on a healthy strategy to cure their ailments: Brewing a cup (or several) of mountain tea, made from a combination of wild herbs, is said to kill a headache, soothe the stomach, and re-hydrate (Greek Mountain Tea, Tsai Tou Bounou is available at Dean & Deluca). Alternatively, they finish their night out with a generous helping of Patsas (tripe soup) before bed to prevent a hangover. Go to any taverna in the old central market of Athens at 5 or 6am and the locals will be slurping it up.
3. Cartagena, Colombia
Two hangover cures seem to cross borders: soup and anything fried. In Cartagena, locals often sit down for caldo de castilla, a soup made of beef ribs and potatoes with a touch of coriander, rumored to alleviate dizziness (the beer that is often served on the side might help, too). Fried dishes are also popular, including everything from empanadas to carimañola (stuffed yucca fritter), or arepa de huevo (fried corncakes filled with an egg). The local abundance of freshly squeezed juices is helpful, too.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Another soup-as-hangover-cure is devoured in Prague, where after a night of sampling the local brews, people turn to česnečka, or garlic soup, for a hearty bowl of comfort food. The savory broth has long been depended on to banish the common symptoms of a hangover. It isn't fancy, but it is delicious.
5. New York City
There are brunches and bagels and big glasses of bloody marys, but the most widespread hangover cure in New York City has to be the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from every nameless corner bodega in the five boroughs. These affordable, filling, appropriately greasy sandwiches do the trick every time, and you never have to travel far to find one. Wrapped in tin foil they travel well, making this sandwich the perfect breakfast delivery on a Sunday morning.
What's your ultimate hangover cure?