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Ho, Ho, Hurl. How to Cope with Holiday Hangovers

By Nicole Bode | December 10, 2010 11:09am | Updated on December 10, 2010 11:08am

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

I could really use a higher alcohol tolerance. That way, I could keep up with the number of wine- and beer-fueled holiday and office parties on my calendar this month.

It's been a long time since college keggers left me with bed spins and dry mouth, but at this age, all it takes is a couple of glasses of wine, too little sleep and not enough water and I'm nursing a wicked headache and stomach ache in the morning.

Which brings me to this week's column: the best hangover cures.

After a blanket survey of all my friends, colleagues and the collective wisdom of Facebook comments, I’ve come to the opinion that there are essentially two kinds of hangover cures.

In one, you drown your hangover in greasy food and a new round of drinks, preferably consumed as close to waking up as possible.

And then there’s the detox cure where you try to flush out the toxins from the drinks that got you hung over in the first place.

The choice might seem like a no-brainer at first — who who wouldn’t take the opportunity to wolf down bacon, egg and cheese on a roll and then wash it down with a Bloody Mary?

"I don’t know if it’ll actually take your hangover away but it’ll make you forget about it," said Bill Judkins, the general manager of Great Jones restaurant in NoHo. The restaurant’s signature drink, the "Cajun Mary," is made with jalapeno-infused vodka.

Judkins said his bar fills up on the weekend with patrons nursing their brand of Bloody Mary as they wait for their table, but he recommends people lap up a healthy dose of H2O to go along with the hair of the dog.

"I haven’t done any scientific research on that," he said. "But usually they’re dehydrated … so they need a big glass of water, and a Bloody Mary."

But morning drinking just postpones the inevitable.

"Hair of the dog definitely works, but they problem is you just end up drunk again. Is it a cure if you just get wasted again?" bartender Adam Conrad, who works at the 12th Street Ale House in the East Village, wrote in an e-mail.

Conrad, 25, wrote the next-day drinking spree "only really works if you can be day drunk (or are in college)."

If the idea of drinking more alcohol after a night of overdoing it is too much, you may be better off stockpiling Gatorade and Saltines in the pantry or keeping Pedialyte in the freezer.

"Hydration is key, definitely," said Liquiteria juice barista Christianne Manzano, describing the first part of her hangover remedy plan.

Manzano said she recommends Liquiteria’s Royal Flush juice, a freshly-blended mix of golden pineapple, pear, ginger, aloe vera, and a special herbal mix called "liver detox."

The frothy drink is a blend of sweet and spicy and goes down very easily even when sober, as I found during a recent visit.

Manzano also urges people to try coconut water, a hangover-fighting tip I’ve heard about a lot during recent polls on Facebook and over e-mail.

"It’s also really good, anytime," Manzano said, but added, no matter what your water of choice, "You gotta drink something before you go to sleep."

If all else fails, there are always the old standbys.

Try popping a couple of Advil and gulping down as much water as you can stomach before bed.

Or you can plop some Alka-Seltzer into your water, like I did after eating and drinking too much at a recent Hanukkah dinner. The upshot of taking the fizzy meds is you can eliminate your stomach ache and your headache simultaneously.

If the litany of cures seems overwhelming, don’t fear. As with anything else, practice makes perfect.