Have you ever heard the term “dog hair”? This time of year is especially common. They are drinks intended to treat hangovers, and the idea is that small amounts of alcohol help the body adapt to situations caused by too much alcohol.
You may have used this term yourself, but do you know where it came from?
The concept of dog hair was originally a folk remedy for rabies. The idea was to put an infected dog’s hair into a bite wound inflicted by that dog. If you scoff at that notion, you might want to look into what biodynamics means in relation to wine – moon phases and cow horns involved.
But dog hair didn’t work against rabies. In fact, rabies was almost always fatal, both to animals and bites, until at least 1885. That’s when Louis Pasteur (inventor of pasteurization) and Emile Lou (inventor of diphtheria his vaccine) finally developed an effective vaccine against rabies. Ironically, a cure was devised using rabies bits to cure rabies. Likes indeed canceled likes.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the medical term for “hangover,” veisalgia (a portmanteau of the Greek word for pain and the Norwegian word for “anxiety after debauchery”), folk remedies are at least not yet effective. . But that doesn’t stop people from coming up with them. Maybe you need more cow horns?
Either way, I’ve taken the liberty of collecting recipes for some of the most popular so-called “hangover cure” drinks. And they are all localized for your consumption.
Jeff Burkhart, Twenty Years Behind Bars: The Spirited Adventures of a Real Bartender, Vol. I and II, is the host of the Barfly podcast on iTunes and an award-winning bartender at a local restaurant. Follow him at jeffburkhart.net and contact him at jeffbarflyIJ@outlook.com.
Corpse Reviver No. 2
Alamea Spirits London Dry Gin 1½ oz
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz Fine Triple Sec (Cointreau, Combier, Citronage)
¼ ounce simple syrup
Barbour Lee Spirits Absinthe Blanche 1/2 oz
1 lime peel
Place the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Float absinthe on top and garnish with lime zest.
Note: Some might think that Zombie Cocktail and Corpse Reviver are related because the ideas are so similar. is not. Zombie is a concoction of multiple rums (including High Proof) made to put you in a state. The other is Corpse Reviver, designed to get you out of there. One works, the other doesn’t. As a side note, no one called this drink No. 2 when these drinks were invented. That’s after it was listed as the second version of this drink in the Cocktail Guide. No one has ordered No. 1 now.
Zimmeri (Red Snapper)
1½ oz gray whale gin
6 ounces organic tomato juice
¼ ounce Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes of Tabasco
1 teaspoon fresh pepper
¼ tsp prepared wasabi
A pinch of celery seeds
a dash of ground cumin
1 lemon wedge
1 dill pickle
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a mixing glass without ice. Mix. Gently add ice to fill. Squeeze lemon on top and garnish with pickle spears.
Note: Vodka-based Bloody Mary came first, but Gin Mary (or Red Snapper) is much more interesting. I mean, this drink has gin in it, so who are you really kidding?
12 oz Sonoma Springs Brewing Co. La Morena Dark Mexican Lager
2 ounces chilled organic tomato juice
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash of Tabasco
1 dash of Thai fish sauce
1 pinch freshly ground pepper
1 lemon wedge
King Floyd’s Black Lava Salt for Rimming
Wet the rim of a beer glass with a lemon wedge and dip it in salt. Shake off excess. Add tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, fish sauce, and pepper. Mix gently. Using a small ladle or spoon (right side up), pour the beer into the “belly” (not the back) of the ladle or spoon, lifting the beer as the liquid rises. Create a clear line between beer and juice.
Note: If you don’t want to make a blended juice, you can substitute clamato juice. Neither have a “fishy” flavor, but both provide the umami needed.
1½ oz Moylands Distilled Single Malt American Whiskey
2 ounces heavy cream (or non-dairy cream substitute)
½ ounce cinnamon honey
½ ounce hot water
break vanilla beans
Add honey and hot water to a reinforced mixing glass and dissolve the honey. Add ice, then whiskey and cream. Shake gently to mix and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with split vanilla beans and freshly ground nutmeg.
Note: Originally made with scotch, this drink might go well with American whiskey. As for its restorative properties, well, whatever we need to say to ourselves.