Everyone has their own trick to curing a hangover that they swear by. I have a friend who — for some reason — thinks a balsamic salad is perfect after a night out. For many Americans, it’s common to grab a greasy McGriddle and knock back an energy drink.
Whatever your hangover remedy is, one day, it will stop working, and you’ll have to try something new. When that happens, expand your horizons and experiment with a morning-after cure from around the world. If you want to play it safe, then Canada’s hangover cure is for you. If you like an adventure and have a strong stomach, try mixing up a Mongolian Mary.
Katerfrühstück is a version of pickled herring rolled up with a pickle or cucumber on some type of grain. Katerfrühstück breaks down to “kater,” the word for a hangover, and “frühstück” the word for breakfast. The salty, sour taste is believed to restore electrolytes.
It’s no surprise that Germany’s hangover food of choice involves pickled herring. The word for a pickled herring, Bismarckhering, is even named after Germany’s first Chancellor Otto von Bismarck because he loved them so much.
The United Kingdom: Full English Breakfast
The full English breakfast is a must-have for any tourist in the United Kingdom. It may be English, but the Irish, Welsh, and Scottish love it too. Traditional English breakfast includes bacon, sausage, eggs, blood sausage (also known as black pudding), toast, and baked beans.
People will order a full English breakfast any day of the week, but it’s believed that all the grease helps absorb extra alcohol in your system.
Australia: Vegemite On Toast
In the United States, a slice of toast with peanut butter is a common morning-after snack, but the Australians swap out the PB for the food spread Vegemite. Vegemite is a thick, black spread that is made from leftover brewers yeast and spices.
The taste can be overwhelming, so most experienced Australians know to pair the Vegemite with butter to dilute some of the flavors. It’s an acquired taste, so if you’re desperately hungover, be careful with this Australian cure. Keep reading to see what “crack-like” drink is a favorite for the Danish.
Peru: Leche De Tigre
Leche de Tigre is a Peruvian cocktail that is believed to reenergize you after a night of drinking. The cocktail is made with lime juice, coriander, garlic, onion, chili peppers, salt, pepper, and fish. The name is believed to come from the orange color it turns from the chilis and fish.
The name directly translates to “Tiger’s Milk” which makes it even more intimidating. Oh, and it’s said to be an aphrodisiac, so a (positive?) side-effect is that your sex-drive might increase as your hangover decreases.
Poland: Pickle Juice
Everyone has that weird friend who drinks pickle juice for fun, but the Poles take their pickle juice very seriously. Polish people don’t just wait until all the Vlasic pickles are gone — they make their hangover cure from scratch.
Many Polish families have a stash of jars containing pickles, vinegar, water, garlic, and a lot of salt. Science supports the remedy because all the water and salt will rehydrate your body and boost your electrolytes.
Denmark: Cocio Chocolate Milk
Most of us would shudder at the idea of drinking a glass of thick lactose the morning after drinking, but it’s a genuine phenomenon in Denmark. But the Danish don’t just drink any chocolate milk. They drink the national brand Cocio.
Many Danes insist that Cocio is the best chocolate milk in the world, and pairs perfectly with a street-vendor sausage the morning after a night out. Keep reading to see the larger than life hangover food South Africans will fry up.
Canada: Breakfast Poutine
Standard poutine is traditionally made from french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. While the grease and carbs from a normal poutine would be a good enough hangover cure, Canadians went the extra mile to invent the breakfast poutine.
The breakfast version of the dish is made of home fries, breakfast meat like sausage or bacon, with a poached egg on top. Then instead of just gravy, you add hollandaise sauce as well. They literally combined eggs benedict with poutine. Genius.
Bangladesh: Coconut Water
On the other side of the world, Bangladesh is one-upping Canada by taking the healthy route and opting for a fresh glass of coconut water the morning after a night out. If you didn’t figure it out from pickle juice and Leche de Tigre, hangover cures are all about staying hydrated.
Coconut water has a lot of sodium and potassium in it. It’s not only hydrating, but it restores any vitamins and minerals your body lost doing those six tequila shots last night.
South Africa: Ostrich Egg Omelet
Any egg is an eggcellent choice the morning after a night out. They give you energy, protein, and contain a substance called cysteine which breaks down a chemical called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is the cause of your hangover because it’s what your liver makes when it’s trying to process all that alcohol.
South Africans go big and choose to scramble up an ostrich egg. For context, one ostrich egg is equivalent to about two-dozen chicken eggs. The Italian hangover cure coming up is as classy as it gets.
South Korea: Haejang-Guk
Like the Germans, South Koreans don’t try to hide the meaning behind their morning-after dish of choice. Haejang-guk literally translates to “soup to chase a hangover.” There are a lot of regional variations, but the soup always contains various local vegetables and meats in a beef broth. It’s commonly served hot with rice.
Haejang-guk has even been part of Korean tradition since the Goryeo Dynasty that was established in 918.
Soup isn’t just a popular hangover cure in South Korea. Mexico makes a similar variation with a bit more kick to it. Their hangover cure, menudo, is made of beef stomach in a broth. It is topped with chili flakes, lime, oregano, and onions.
The soup takes somewhere between four to seven hours to prepare, so if you’re going to have a wild night out, you need to start preparing your hangover cure the day before.
Italians are so quaint and delicate, so it’s no surprise that they choose to conquer a hangover with a soft Italian pastry and a few cups of espresso. The remedy is not only classy, but science is on its side. Caffeine dilates blood vessels which can actually help get rid of that hangover headache faster.
Italians will spend more than an hour sipping on a cup of espresso, but I have a feeling they can knock them back pretty quickly when the time calls for it. You’ll never expect which fruit the Japanese love to pickle to cure their hangovers.
Mongolia: A Mongolian Mary
After a long night of knocking back Bloody Mary’s on the patio (or caesars, if you’re Canadian) you can drink a Mongolian Mary the next day to pick yourself back up. The Mongolian Mary is essentially a pickled sheep eyeball in a glass of tomato juice.
Tomato juice has been proven to help your liver digest leftover alcohol, so it makes sense why they keep it around. Science doesn’t have any explanation for the pickled sheep eye though. This drink just sounds like a baaaaaa-d idea.
Ecuador: Oregano Tea
Oregano tea is a catch-all remedy in Ecuador. They will brew the Mediterranean oregano plant in hot water and drink it with everything from citrus to sweetener. In terms of curing a hangover, it will help you hydrate and settle your stomach.
Ecuadorians swear by the healing properties of the tea too. They will suggest drinking oregano if you have bad gas, and they even serve the tea to young children with diarrhea.
Another hangover remedy that’s considered a “cure-all” is umeboshi in Japan. Umeboshi is the Japanese word for pickled sour plums. Many Japanese people believe the pickled plums help digestion, prevent nausea, and cleanse your system of last night’s toxins.
Umeboshi is so popular that they even come in sweet versions and are sold as snack foods around the world. Keep reading to see which ironic hangover cure many Spaniards use.
If you haven’t had a burek before, I strongly suggest you go and find a local Eastern European baker in your town. A burek is a thick, yet flaky, pastry that is filled with cheese or meat. You can also get veggie and dessert versions.
Many Croatians snack on a burek after a night out because they believe the oil from the pastry dough and the carbs for the snack will absorb the leftover alcohol. It’s the same reasoning behinds the full English breakfast.
Indonesia: Kaya Toast
Kaya toast is one of the most popular breakfast foods across Indonesia, and it’s for a good reason. The toast is made by combining bread, coconut jam, coconut milk, and eggs. After it is baked, kaya toast is topped with sugar and served with coffee.
This toast sounds delicious enough to eat every day, but it’s multiple coconut ingredients means it’s sweet, sugary, and still includes that sodium and potassium.
Spain: More Alcohol
You’ll always have that one friend who insists the only cure for a hangover is having more alcohol. Usually, we just laugh it off and grab a Gatorade. In Spain, they take that urban legend to heart. Spaniards will grab something to eat and pair it with another alcoholic drink.
Sadly, science isn’t on their side. Alcohol only makes it seem like it’s cured your hangover because it dulls your senses.
China: A Bowl Of Congee And Cup Of Green Tea
The Chinese hangover remedy of pairing a bowl of congee and a cup of green tea is all done with the intention to rehydrate you. Congee is a popular rice porridge dish that is used for rehydration when you have stomach nausea, a common cold, and a hangover.
Green tea is a well-known miracle drink. Science has studied the effects of green tea on everything from Alzheimer’s to hangovers. The jury is still out, but it can’t hurt to try it.
Eating a quick bowl of an extra-fatty soup like borscht is a common hangover cure in Russia and across Eastern Europe. The soup is made of beets and originated in Ukraine. It also usually includes cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and other hearty vegetables.
Borscht is high in fat, sodium, and potassium, so it will help your body flush out toxins, replace lost vitamins and minerals, and be gentle on your digestive system.