We've all been there. As you lay your head on your pillow at 3 a.m., thanking your lucky stars you managed to make it home alive, you know, in the back of your drunk mind, that in a matter of hours, you will wake in supreme misery.
But those in Chicago whose careers center around the devil's liquid know a thing or two about staving off a hangover. Take this "hair of the dog" guide to heart this weekend and live your best life.
Bar manager at Jerry's Sandwiches
“My girlfriend and I have this thing called ‘the spread.’ It’s a cup of coffee, a glass of OJ, a bourbon bloody mary and a small side beer. We usually hit a place with a solid brunch and a good bourbon list. The coffee wakes us up, the OJ rehydrates us and the bloody mary and the beer brings us back a little bit.”
Beverage director at Nacional 27
“A couple years ago, I created a cocktail with a blueberry mint julep. I made a mojito out of it. That’s my go-to because it has the antioxidants and everything you need in there. I start with a blueberry honey syrup (blueberry, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and thyme) and then I muddle some mint with lemon. Then, I add ... rye and coconut water—from the coconut, but Vida Coconut Water is fine. The ginger, the blueberry, the coconut—all of it together is going to bring you back to life.”
*Ask for it at Tallboy Taco.
Beverage director at Mezcaleria Las Flores
“A pretty standard go-to is a michelada, which usually works for me, but when it’s really rough I go with a gin fizz. You'll want to look for something with salt and acid, and something low-alcohol—like vermouth—to slowly ease you into feeling like a human again.”
General manager at Remedy Bar
“I don’t have a specific cocktail, but my favorite thing for a hangover is a can of Modus Hoperandi by Ska Brewing. It’s an IPA and has 6.8 percent alcohol, so it’s got a little kick to it. So have that and then half a glass of chocolate milk and you’re good to go on any hungover day.”
General manager at The Owl
“I would say first off, anything with ginger beer is good. The carbonation is soothing and ginger has a history of being a natural digestive aide. Right now I’m kind of obsessed with this drink at Scofflaw called the Two Charlies, a gin-based drink with gin, carrot juice, lemon and ginger liqueur.”
Beverage director at Dusek's, Punch House and Thalia Hall
“I stick with one of my classics: I call it a brass monkey, but I guess classically it’d be a beermosa. Typically, I’ll get a nice Pilsner or lager and some orange juice. You have your alcohol and your vitamin C, and just those two together wake me up. We have a couple different types of beer-mosas on our menu, with different types of beer that people can use as a 'hair of the dog' drink."
Mixologist at Brando’s Speakeasy
“The Ramos gin fizz is a class 1988 New Orleans morning drink. They’re meant to be breakfast in a glass. It’s a good dose of protein, some fat to help deal with any lingering stomach acids, as well as alcohol to give you that 'hair of the dog' trick. It contains gin, lemon and lime juice, sugar, orange flower water, heavy cream and egg whites. The trick to that is it has to be very vigorously shaken traditionally for six minutes, so you're getting your morning exercise as well. And then finished off with soda water. Or you can just go with a shot of Malort and an Old Style. That’s more of a Chicago solution. More brute force.”
Beverage director at Kanela Breakfast Club
“The 'Irish Espresso.' It’s a take on the Irish coffee but it’s a double-shot of espresso instead of your normal drip coffee. It's really rich, very caffeinated and much smaller, so it’s easy to put back. You take an ounce-and-a-half of Jameson and an ounce of Bailey's, so it’s 4.5 ounces with a little bit of whipped cream if your stomach can handle it. You can just throw back if you want to launch into it and get [the hangover] over with, or you can sip on it because the flavors work really well.”
General manager at Estelle’s
“Sometimes I’ll do a shot of Malort with pickle juice and then eat a pickle. The brininess really helps, and it comes from a really weird old Polish tradition. And then I just hydrate with Pedialyte. The vinegar base and all of the spices mix together and give you that nice acid that drips down and settles your stomach.”
General manager at Tanta
"I always turn to the Leche de Tigre, like a liquid ceviche. It’s made with shellfish, fresh citrus, herbs, onion, garlic and cilantro and then you can add some pisco and Peruvian lemonade or add it to a bloody mary. You have some onion, garlic and cilantro in there, as well as some lime juice. The spices will wake you up, and the shellfish has nutrients in it. You can have it by itself or with a Peruvian beer."
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