When it comes to hangovers, most of us know that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.
We know that… intellectually.
In reality, there’s rarely a time between those pitchers of Margaritas and shots of whiskey when even the most conscientious person takes all the necessary steps to ward off the bleary-eyed, skull-pounding feeling that will arrive the next morning.
Instead, one finds themselves watching Before Sunset for the umpteenth time, sprawled out roadkill-style on the couch, shoveling strawberry ice cream straight from the tub.
Or, if you’re bartender Ivy Mix, you go straight for esoteric foreign remedies.
“I take these pills that you can’t get in the United States that you can get in Canada… They’re caffeine and codeine,” she laughs. “You feel like a million bucks when you take them.”
Mix, the celebrated co-owner of Leyenda in Cobble Hill and 2015 Tales of the Cocktail Bartender of the Year, is something of an expert on how to fight hangovers on the go. Her voracious appetite for travel ensures that she’s constantly in motion, whether fueling her ongoing love affair with Central and South America or providing female bartenders a place to go head-to-head in a test of speed and skill as the co-founder of the acclaimed international cocktail competition Speed Rack.
When caffeine and codeine alone can’t cut it, Mix has one other go-to remedy: finding someone, anyone, to join her in her misery.
“Being alone and hungover is just the worst. I’m always just like, ‘Please get me around everyone. Who wants to hang out?’ I can’t be alone.”
Below, Mix lays out a roadmap for how to fight the after-effects of a night out, if you haven’t been diligent enough to prep on the front end.
Ivy Mix’s Hangover Toolkit
“I drink Pedialyte, of course.”
Pedialyte is, without a doubt, the current de facto choice for the hungover masses. Its popularity has grown so much in recent years that the company expanded the product’s range of flavors (orange, strawberry lemonade) to cater to the tastes of an adult, morning-after crowd.
The sticky liquid’s actual chemical usefulness might be dubious, though. “Is it really improving the outcomes? I doubt it,” kidney doctor Stanley Goldfarb told The Atlantic earlier this year. “[People] would probably do as well drinking any kinds of fluids.”
“Ski More” Pills
“My dad calls them ‘ski mores’ as in, take some and you can go ski more… I highly recommend picking them up in a pharmacy when you’re outside the U.S. They definitely cure what ails you.”
A type of bubbly, effervescent tablet comprised of caffeine and codeine, the pills give a one-two punch of pain relief and immediate pep, making them ideal for rallying after a party-heavy night. Marketed across Australia, Europe and Canada as the quick fix for migraine sufferers, the United States has yet to determine that their potential benefits outweigh the risks.
Mexican Coke, Salt and Lime
“I like to drink a Mexican Coca-Cola—one with the sugar—then add a bunch of salt and a bunch of lime. It’s a Mexican thing to do that really works. I especially do this when I’m traveling.”
In the Mexican town of Tequila, a well-known cantina called La Capilla (“the chapel”) is famous for the batanga, a simple mixed drink which combines tequila, coke and fresh lime in a tall, salted-rim glass. This booze-free version retains the sugary, sharp mashup of cane sugar and citrus—without any actual hair of the dog. Not to mention, this virgin riff is an efficient delivery system for that classic hangover remedy trifecta of sugar, carbonation and salt.
“I also tend to go for a run when I can. Any sort of exercise at all helps if I can motivate myself to do it.”
Drunk running is a hobby shared by many of us who enjoy the combined effects of slight tipsiness and runner’s high endorphins. And when the head-in-a-vice grip of a hangover is in full effect, it’s cathartic to feel the toxins literally oozing out of your body.
Sure, science might say that the alcohol has already metabolized within an hour of drinking it, and you’re not really sweating out a thing, but when your blood’s pumping and the fresh air hits your nostrils, it’s a nice reminder that you’re almost—just almost—back from the brink.