It's sort of inevitable that people (over)indulge during the holiday season. Christmas cocktails, parties, and events make it all too easy.
And unless you're one of those annoying people who never have the misfortune of waking up hungover, it's likely that overdoing it is going to cost you in the morning.
We asked Vancouver bartenders to walk us through their hangover routine. While many of them suggested the best way to avoid a hangover is to drink responsibly, they did share their favourite cures in the event that a good time gets the better of you.
Sabrine Dhaliwal, Beverage Director at Juke Fried Chicken and The Chickadee Room (and Justin Tisdall, Co-Owner)
"My typical routine for the hangover cure starts while the party is happening," says Sabrine Dhaliwal. "I try to have at least one glass of water for every drink, while this may be time-consuming and you do end up having to excuse yourself often, it does help the next morning. Once I get home from the night out or house party, again: more water, a snack (sometimes this is late-night pizza), and coconut water. A glass of water bedside, pending how big the night was.
The morning after a brisk walk is helpful, I have to take the dog out anyway. The fresh air is very helpful. A cup of coffee when I get back in, and I'm good to go. If the night was quite heavy, I'll reach for the Advil."
Upon hearing we were asking Dhaliwal, Justin Tisdall, Co-Owner of Juke Fried Chicken and The Chickadee Room wanted to get in on the fun. He adds: "I agree with Sabrine [for] during the night, then at home, I have two Advil before bed and I make sure to have a Vitaminwater in the fridge, along with a surprise second smoked meat sandwich from Siegel's Bagels that I inevitably forget having bought during my late night food stop."
Kaitlyn Stewart, Bartender of the Year winner
Kaitlyn Stewart won Bartender of the Year at the World Class Competition in 2017, she now consults on bar programs and shares her knowledge on TikTok. Her first tip is to not drink to the point where you give yourself a hangover. "Pace yourself," she says, admitting that it's been a while since she's had a hangover. "But if I did have one, I need a giant Coca-Cola on ice. That's my go-to and greasy foods."
Max Curzon-Price, Bar Manager at Suyo
"My cure-all for a hangover is Maruhachi Ra-men on Robson but the real guarantee to reduce the hangover is … to have fewer drinks," says Curzon-Price following up with some words of wisdom: "It’s sometimes a good idea to have a drink but, it’s always a good idea not to."
Joe Casson, Bar Manager at Bar Susu
Joe Casson says an Americano Coffee with Cynar and Strega is simple and very effective. "The blend of silky artichoke liqueur (Cynar) and honeyed alpine amaro (Strega) works oh so well with coffee," he tells V.I.A. "Coffee's bitter notes are tempered with the boldness of these Amari, really letting the floral-fruity notes of the brew shine. This makes coffee almost too easy to drink, which is a good thing if it's the first thing you're able to muster post-night out."
Casson works at both Bar Susu and the newly-opened Novella which he says has some of the best coffee in Vancouver so he will stop in to curb the headache.
"You'll find caffeine in most painkillers because of its mild pain-relieving properties, coupled with the numbing of some good and bitter booze, one sip and you'll be right as rain."
He warns that it's got to be good a Americano because "the crema is like a hug to your lips when one is feeling a bit precious."
"Don't worry about measuring too much, pour with your heart - the rest will figure itself out," he says. "The beauty of this drink is that no one needs to know you're staving off a hangover because all it looks like is a regular cup of Joe."
"One word of advice...do not let this drink be the reason for you needing one!"
Angus Porter, Assistant General Manager at Five Sails Restaurant
"So the trick is as follows: Before you go drinking have a bunch of electrolytes, then go drink. When you are about to go to bed same again, drink some electrolytes. When you wake up have yet more electrolytes and a banana. You will never have a hangover."
Jeff Savage, Bartender of the Year winner and Head Bartender at Botanist
"I’d say my cure is a hot coffee, some CBD and a spicy bowl of pho.”