A traditionalhangover cure from the Philippines called balut. This is a baby duck boiled inside it’s own egg.
The biggest downside of heavy drinking is of course a major hangover the morning after. The Lords of the Drinks are always looking for new ways to fight this eternal enemy. That’s why in one of our first posts we gave you handy tips when you’re having a rough morning. And to make the ‘hangover experience’ a little better, we collected recipes for delicious hangover food from all over the world. Now it’s time to check out some traditional ways to fight a hangover that may seem pretty weird to you. We can’t guarantee they all work properly, simply because we found some of them too disgusting too try. But maybe you can give us some feedback here.
1. Dried bull penis (Sicily, Italy)
So we start off with a delicious kind of traditional hangover food. For centuries the people of the Italian island Sicily ate a dried bull penis when they felt hungover. Maybe not something your local butcher would sell but the average pet shop might have it, since it’s also a popular snack for dogs. Since these energy drinks called Red Bull are not exactly good for the heart, this might be a nice alternative.
2. Pickled sheep eyes in tomato juice (Mongolia)
Another dish that will make your stomach move in mysterious ways. Sure we have suggested you a delicious hangover soup from Mongolia named bantan. But if you really want to join the local culture, you cure your morning sickness with a ‘Mongolian Mary’. The biggest difference with a bloody Mary is that this cocktail contains pickled sheep eyes.
3. Duck embryo in the egg (Philippines)
Now this is a hangover cure that yours truly actually tried himself. Tried, cause this treat from the Philippines called balut just wouldn’t go down well. Not even with beer to flush it. Balut is a duck embryo that is boiled in the egg. First you make a hole in the egg and suck out the juices, then you can feast on the yolk and the young duck that already has feathers and everything. Really a once-in-a-lifetime-experience in my case.
4. Deep-fried canary (Ancient Rome)
From eating whole baby ducks it’s a small step to eating whole canaries. In ancient Rome this was considered to be the best way to revive after a bacchanalia. The small birds were deep-fried in oil and served to the Romans, who were known for their drinking orgies. So who are we to argue their methods?
5. Pickled ‘plums’ (Japan)
Ume is a fruit quite similar to a plum. In Japan they are pickled in a very salty and sour brine. The dish created in this way is called umeboshi. It seems a bit weird to pickle plums but in Japan it’s an absolute treat for people with a hangover. Also a great alternative for the more boring hangover soup misohiru.
6. Voodoo (Haïti)
No hangover food in Haïti but some good old black magic. The island is quite well known for it’s voodoo rituals. But it’s not just for torturing people by sticking needles in little dolls. Almost the same strategy is believed to work against hangovers. If you suffer from a massive headache after drinking, just stick some needles in the cork of the bottle that caused it.
7. Get burried in river sand (Ireland)
Another cure that doesn’t involve food. An old Irish way to fight the hangover is to get burried neck deep in river sand. We understand how the fresh Irish water can hydrate the body but still it seems like one could catch a nasty cold here. Probably that’s where the whiskey comes in handy afterwards.
8. Powdered rhino horn (Southeast Asia)
Unfortunately there is still a lot of folkloric superstition in Southeast Asia that puts a lot of endangered animals in even greater danger. The horn of a rhinoceros is supposed to work miracles when you have a hangover. In powdered form and mixed with water the ivory is believed to be a decent hangover cure in countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. Total bullocks of course. Just like the burned whiskers of a leopard are not gonna help a man find a pretty girl to spend his life with.
9. Sparrow droppings in brandy (Hungary)
And here’s another delicious treat. Popular hangover food from Hungary is of course lángos but there is also another way to get back on your feet. Just mix sparrow droppings in a glass of brandy and you should be good as new in no time. That’s right, who needs ice cubes when you’ve got perfectly good bird shit from the own backyard?!
10. Sheep lungs and owl eggs (Ancient Greece)
Long before the good people of Greece ever thought about making patsas they had a dish that may even seem weirder to you. When Aristoteles, Plato or Homer didn’t feel right the day after drinking they had sheep lungs with owl eggs. Even though it might be hard to get your hands on owl eggs these days, we can believe that this combination of organ meat and eggs would actually help.
11. Lemmon in the arm pit (Puerto Rico)
Now this is a trick you must perform before drinking, rather than the morning after. But in Puerto Rico it was a tradition to rub a slice of lemon or lime in the arm pit of your drinking arm. It was believed that this ritual would protect you from dehydrating.
12. Running and licking sweat (Native Americans)
Now this is another hangover cure that might make your stomach turn. But remember that some Native American tribes have done this for centuries and since they are masters of natural remedies, who are you and me to disagree with them. When hungover these Indians would run like hell to sweat out all the poison. Another tribe member would then lick the sweat from his friend’s body and spit the toxic out. Yummy.
13. Tea with rabbit droppings (cowboys Wild West)
For the next cure we stay in the Wild West. If you were not a big fan of the sweat licking, don’t think the cowboys had a much tastier solution for when they were hungover. Their remedy was tea with rabbit droppings. After the Hungarian brandy this is the second hangover cure with poop in it. Makes us suspect that maybe poop indeed has some special powers.
14. Sausage in soda (Scotland)
What can you expect from people who eat deep-fried Mars bars and haggis? Well of course they have an awesome Scottish breakfast but besides that there is a typical hangover cure called Irn-Bru sausages. Irn-Bru is a typical Scottish soda drink in which the sausages are cooked. Like a deep-fried Mars not something you would find in a 3 star restaurant, but it’s supposed to be quite tasty and a solid way to cure hangovers.
15. Sauna and birch branches (Russia)
Of course Russia is one of the biggest countries in the world and we already discussed some eatable hangover cures like Malosolnije ogurtsy and Solyanka but there’s also a cleansing ritual the Russians like to do. First you hit the sauna to sweat out the toxics and then you slap the body with birch branches. These twigs are supposed to have a healthy effect on the body. And if not, you can always start drinking vodka again.
Related articles on Lords of the Drinks:
Tips and tricks to cure a hangover fast
7 cocktails that will cure your hangover fast
Recipes for hangover food from all over the world
The world’s worst hangover