Today is one of those days you need to spend with the curtains drawn and the mirrors covered. We’re right there with you. As a public service to the hungover, every week we track down the best bartenders in America and ask them to share their favorite hair-of-the-dog remedies. This week we’ve got a warm and woody gin cocktail that includes a secret hangover weapon.
THE SPECIALIST: Jordan Wyatt Hubner, mixology master at Forest Room 5 in Denver, Colorado
HIS ELIXIR: Morning Wood
ITS ORIGINS: DRAM Apothecary, based in Colorado, makes herbal bitters specifically for curing hangovers. The company’s Hair of the Dog tonic includes a warm and woody blend of herbs and spices such as ginger, fennel, citrus, gentian root and wintergreen. Shae Whitney, DRAM’s founder and herbal alchemist, says she selected these ingredients both for their flavor and their homeopathic ability to ease hangover symptoms. “For example, fennel is really wonderful for easing stomach problems, meadowsweet will help calm headaches, and ginger and cinnamon assist in eliminating nausea,” she says. “We added kudzu root and butternut bark to remedy symptoms of anxiety and nervousness. Blessed thistle is wonderful for cleaning the liver and supplies support during the detoxification of the body.”
ITS HEALING POWERS: Jordan Wyatt Hubner of Forest Room 5 in Denver often adds a few drops of DRAM’s Hair of the Dog bitters to seltzer water or tea in the morning. But he came up with a special cocktail using the bitters just for us. His drink includes a Washington state gin, his choice spirit for A.M. cocktails, lemon juice, ginger beer, cucumbers and apricot-cayenne pepper simple syrup. “This cocktail is packed full of nourishing ingredients and will set you straight,” he says. “The cucumbers hit you in the face with a refreshing element while the lemon juice seems to bring out the bitters. The apricot-cayenne simple smooths it all together to make it go down easy like Sunday morning.” And because it includes so much bark root, he named it Morning Wood. Clever. Very clever.
DID WE MENTION HE’S IN COLORADO?: Hubner’s personal hangover prescription: “A cocktail, laughter, sex, and marijuana. It releases dopamine and clears your head,” he says.
3 oz. Captive Spirits Big Gin
2 oz. ginger beer
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. apricot-cayenne pepper simple syrup (recipe below)
2 dashes Dram Apothecary Hair of the Dog bitters
3 slices cucumber
THE METHOD: Make simple syrup: Boil one part water with one part sugar. Add apricot preserves and cayenne pepper to taste. Make drink: In a cocktail shaker combine ice, gin, bitters, lemon juice, simple syrup and one slice of cucumber. Shake well. Fill a rocks glass with ice. Strain drink into glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with cucumber slices, a tangerine peel and wheat grass.