Last night was fun. At least, the bits you remember were fun. This morning is a screeching, atonal symphony of nausea, paranoia and brainache – and those hastily boshed Rennies, paracetamol and water have barely turned the volume down. There’s one prediction most of us can safely make about the festive season: one of these days, you’re going to wake up with a hangover. And here at Time Out, we live to serve. So this year, our critics have nobly gone out and got drunk early in order to test a variety of cures for you. Here’s what our intrepid team made of these so called cures…
I’m on my back, the lights are blinding and someone’s thrusting a needle into my arm. Dear Lord, what did I do last night? Oh yeah, I downed enough alcohol to make a small rhino woozy and that rhino is now taking revenge on the inside of my head. I’m hoping the Medispa Clinic can shoo the pain away. According to the nurse, it’s a great boost for jetlagged businessmen. However, given that she’d previously failed to hook one of our other writers up to the drip, because his ‘veins kept collapsing’, I’m nervous. The nurse brings over a drip bag full of alarmingly fluorescent yellow liquid, swabs my arm and says that cancer patients find a Drip & Chill relaxing too. ‘Really?’ I ask, glancing nervously at the inch-long needle. She smiles and jabs me. An uncomfortable cold sensation runs through my arm. It’s not painful, but it is weird. Twenty minutes later, I still feel exhausted, but the rhino has definitely vanished. Danielle Goldstein
Alcohol guzzled: Winter Pimm’s, Jägermeister shot, Disaronno shot, two double gin and tonics, two small white wines
Price of cure: £225
Cure rating: 8/10
THE BOTTOM LINE: Stabbing pains cure a throbbing headache.
After an evening extensively sampling vodka at a Polish wedding, I feel, to quote Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, as if my mouth ‘had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night’. According to a doctor friend, the best remedy is Dioralyte, a rehydration powder commonly used as diarrhoea medicine for kids. It combats low blood sugar levels, which cause headaches; and replaces lost fluid, minerals and salts, which are depleted by alcohol. I empty the white powder into a glass of water and glug it back. Its sickly, blackcurrant flavour is offset by an overpowering taste of salt. Ugh! But within minutes the turmoil in my stomach has dramatically subsided and the pounding in my head is fainter. A few hours later and I’m almost feeling perky. Rebecca Taylor
Alcohol guzzled: five vodkas and two glasses of champagne
Price of cure: £coming from RT
Cure rating: 9/10
THE BOTTOM LINE: All hail the mighty Dioralyte!
A Bracing Dip
The tradition of the freezing swim as hangover cure is a long, noble and international one. It’s also always struck me as an exercise in abject masochism practised by smug neo-hippies, misguided old folk and people who are still in fact drunk. The reason for indulging is simple: the stinging slap of chilly water makes you feel more alert – for a little bit. Anyway, I find myself on day two of a music festival in Camber, having had a solid amount of booze the day before, and with the Sussex sea beckoning. Unfortunately my superior Eastern European bodily chemistry has left me feeling… all right. I look at the sea. It looks horrible. I paddle in it. It feels like two wolverines chewing on my feet. I go and take a cold shower instead. The gentle burble of my hangover is now replaced with a warm throb. Which, that evening, turns into a cold. Andrzej Lukowski
Alcohol guzzled: eight pints of watery lager, two small glasses of wine, six spirits with mixer (over 14 hours).
Price of cure: Free
Cure rating: 2/10.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Swimming in the sea in winter is exactly as stupid as it sounds.