Samantha Weigel/Daily Journal
Jeff Peterson pours a shot of Fernet, a digestif many swear helps with hangovers at Barrelhouse Pub in Burlingame.
Now that the holidays are wrapping up, people are looking forward to exiting 2013 with a bang. New Year’s Eve celebrations, champagne toasts and the beloved countdown to midnight while wearing a party hat is on the minds of many.
But waking up with a raging headache, upset stomach and dark bags around the eyes is no way to greet 2014. So the experts at some of San Mateo County’s favorite watering holes have suggestions on how to relieve the previous night’s indulgences.
Plan on having a smashing new year
Staying hydrated and managing sugar intake is key to avoiding a hangover, said Kristen Snow, a bartender at Yuppie Bar on San Mateo’s B Street. Although most people are rightfully caught up in the holiday celebrations, New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be amateur night, Snow said.
“You should always hydrate with good old-fashioned water. But people don’t always think about that when they drink,” Snow said.
Be conscious of what you drink and avoid overlapping different liquors. If you start with a clear alcohol, don’t go throwing wine in the mix, Snow said. Avoiding the sweet chasers and sticking with something like a vodka soda is typically a better choice, Snow said.
“The sugar is really what gives you that screaming hangover in the morning,” Snow said.
Making sure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach can make or break Jan. 1 for those who start to party early, said Juan Loredo, co-owner of Barrelhouse Pub in Burlingame.
“Really hydrate and eat well. A lot of customers that come in and are worried about their physique, don’t eat before and a lot come in and get really drunk right away,” Loredo said.
For those who can’t afford to spend a night on the town and wake up exhaustedly dragging their feet to work, Loredo said taking a nap ahead of the celebration and making sure you’re well rested before counting down to midnight can help stave off the hangover.
When you know you’ve gone too far
The two most excruciating hangover symptoms are the crippling headaches and the unprecedented bubble tummy, Barrelhouse bartender Jeff Peterson said. When serving up a morning-after hair of the dog remedy, anything with a kick will help. Adding something spicy like Tabasco sauce to even a basic tequila shot can get the sweat dripping and ease one’s suffering, Peterson said.
When it comes to the bubble tummy, there are pre- and post-drinking remedies.
If you’re truly desperate for a quick hangover fix, you might have to wait to start your New Year’s diet resolutions until Jan. 2.
Anything fatty or greasy will help absorb the leftover liquid courage coursing through your body. Although it’s typically served on a Sunday, slopping up a delicious bowl of menudo during this mid-week New Year’s Day is his go-to cure, Loredo said.
“It has a lot of fat, so that’s what I think absorbs the alcohol. Anything with fat or a fatty food helps. I think it just makes you feel better,” Loredo said.
Dehydration not only gives your stomach the turns, it can also dumb you down. To combat the hangover haze, a pinch bit of salt can go a long way, said Tim Lamberg, a Barrelhouse patron.
“Your brain, from when you’re dehydrated, is severely inhibited because of the lack of salt,” Lamberg said.
He usually indulges in some pickles or mixing a spoonful of salt into a glass of water, Lamberg said.
When all else fails
If you’re able, heading to the gym may ease your haggard feeling and help start your resolution to get into shape. Stepping into a sauna to sweat out the toxins or jumping into cold water can do the trick, Mike Fitzpatrick said.
If you’re lucky enough to know a paramedic or a doctor, hit them up for a favor. In the country’s drinking mecca Las Vegas, there’s a mobile truck that services the most brutally hungover by giving a saline IV, Loredo said. But a more viable option is to try some charcoal pills that can help absorb the booze, Loredo said.
Everyone agreed the best go-to hangover remedy is digesting electrolytes. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re in need, Loredo said even children’s Pedialyte turns into a day-after adult drink.
Taking a shot of the licorice tasting Fernet can help ease your tummy’s woes, Loredo said. It’s a digestif that is extremely helpful after a meal and sometimes it helps as a hangover cure. It’s extremely popular and San Francisco is one of the world’s largest consumers, Loredo said.
Fernet has been around for decades, was the only thing allowed during Prohibition and has been considered a cure-all, Snow said. Fernet used to be standard in the ’40s and ’50s kitchens and bathroom, Snow said.
“A lot of people can’t stomach Fernet. So when you drink it don’t smell it, especially if it’s your first shot of Fernet; it’s pretty intense,” Snow said.
One of the more easy to stomach and widely distributed electrolyte drinks now a days is coconut water. It tastes good and will help ease you into the new year, said Barrelhouse bartender BreAnn Hanna.
“Coconut water is more hydrating then water,” Hanna said. “And it goes down smooth when nothing else will.”
San Mateo County police officials remind everyone not to drink and drive. SamTrans is offering free rides on New Year’s Eve and BART will be running until 3 a.m.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106