There’s no hangover cure. There are things that can help – like loading up on carbs and fat, avoiding dodgy alcohol and drinking lots of water – but there is no cure. If one had been found the windfall would be so astonishing that we would all know about it. So forget about concoctions of eggs, fruit, coffee and painkillers; ignore the claims of willow bark, charcoal, sour plums and pickled sheep’s eyes – all should be taken with a pinch of salt (another dubious hangover cure).
The most stubborn hangover cure myth is to drink more alcohol, the infamous "hair of the dog”; so named because our ancestors’ treatment for a bite from a rabid dog was to pluck one of its hairs and stick it in the wound. Thankfully, we now have vaccines for rabies but no better treatment for a hangover beyond, “I’ll have another drink”.
Central to the myth of the hair of the dog is one of the most famous cocktails on the planet – the Bloody Mary. It’s a cocktail with something of the Marmite about it. I was a hater – until I met Alex Kammerling, who is one of London’s foremost cocktail and spirits experts and the creator of Kamm & Sons.
Kamm & Sons is a complex ginseng spirit with a cacophonic punch of citrus, floral, anise, sweet and herbal flavours (easier to taste than describe). Good spirits demand good cocktails and as one of the best bartenders in the business (although he has largely hung up his shakers now) Alex has come up with a few.
The Sunshine Mary is a Bloody Mary 3.0. Kamm & Sons adds complexity where a Bloody Mary’s vodka just adds alcohol. The yellow tomato juice – Sunshine Yellow Tomato Juice from the Isle of White in the versions I’ve tried – is sweeter, less viscous and tastier than any red variety I’ve tried. And the jalapeno based Green Tabasco gives a distinct kick compared to the red pepper based Red Tabasco.
So next time you’re in Hawksmoor, or anywhere with the Sunshine Mary on the menu, it’s worth a try. It can transform the spirits of even a Bloody Mary hater with a throbbing hangover.
■ 35ml Kamm & Sons
■ 150 Yellow tomato juice
■ 15ml Lemon juice
■ Pinch of salt
■ Pinch of pepper
■ Pinch of celery salt
■ Pinch of fresh horseradish
• Build over cubed ice in a highball glass
• Garnish with a yellow capsicum pepper