Happy Table Hangover Cure

The Happy Table of Eugene Walter: Southern Spirits in Food and Drink, edited by Donald Goodmand and Thomas Head

“What gentlemen feel when they’ve imbibed slightly too much the evening before and are awakening with throbbing temples and a heightened sensitivity to certain sudden noises has had many names through the centuries. ‘Rumstroke’ was an early name for the unhappy moment, and ‘effects’ was a favorite expression. ‘The morning after’ is still current, although less frequently employed than ‘hangover.'”

With the New Year just around the corner, we thought the section titled “Hangover Cures” (yes, there’s a whole section dedicated to them) from Eugene Walter’s The Happy Table of Eugene Walter would be particularly appropriate. Rather than focusing on fancy drink concoctions for the night of December 31st, Eugene is here to help you survive the morning of January 1st:

“Many are the remedies. Most agree on rest, darkened rooms, lots of liquids, hot soups, and especially, of course, ‘a hair of the dog that bit me.’

[ . . . ]

No matter what remedy you choose, remember to recline in cushions, contrive total silence, and eat something simple as soon as your head stops throbbing!”

The following recipe is the easiest and requires minimal thought and execution, which is essential when you’ve had a bit too much:

Black Velvet

David Embury, writing on hangover remedies, highlights the drink known as Black Velvet, saying, “The combination of champagne and stout sounds terrifying—something like molasses and horseradish. Actually it is excellent.” He prepares it like this. . . and here follow other tried-and-trues for the throbbing moment.

4 parts well-chilled English stout
4 parts extra-dry Champagne (brut)

Pour stout into very cold Champagne glasses, then add Champagne without mixing. Serve at once.


Recipe and excerpts from The Happy Table of Eugene Walter: Southern Spirits in Food and Drink, edited by Donald Goodman and Thomas Head. Copyright © 2011 by Donald Walter Goodman.