A tryptophan hangover can be just as brutal as a whiskey one. 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 an antioxidant-rich punch that’s easy to make and hopefully share.
THE SPECIALIST: Steve Laycock, partner and resident cocktologist at The Gilroy on New York City’s Upper East Side
HIS ELIXIR: Cranberry Sauced Punch
ITS ORIGINS: Native Americans were the first to consume Sassamanash, or cranberries, in North American. The Algonquians, who populated the territory now considered the northeastern U.S. and Canada, used cranberries in protein bars known as pemmican, as wound medicine and as clothing dye. Today cranberries are a major cash crop in the northern U.S. and Canada and are considered a superfruit because of their antioxidant qualities.
ITS HEALING POWERS: Steve Laycock, partner and resident cocktologist at The Gilroy in New York City, makes a warm punch the morning after big holidays. “You don’t want something that’s too complicated,” he says. “You can make punch with other people. It’s fun.”
His warm Cranberry Sauced Punch includes a bunch of familiar ingredients you probably still have laying around from Thanksgiving like apple cider, cranberry juice and whiskey. “With hangovers, you just want to put a lot of liquid and vitamins back into your body,” he says. He prefers to drink sippers with friends.
“Who wants to experience a hangover alone in bed?” he says. “The only thing that makes the hangover worth it is the memories from the night before. Around a bowl of punch, you and your friends can reminisce and have a good laugh and it eases the pain.”
CURRENTLY BOOKING A FLIGHT TO GUATEMALA: “At this bar in Guatemala they serve a ‘musician’s breakfast,’ which is like the hangover cure,” Laycock says. “It’s mezcal, coffee, two cigarettes and two Advil. I put it on my menu for a minute and then I was like, 'I’m going to get sued,’ so I took it off.”
CRANBERRY SAUCED PUNCH
THE METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a pot. Warm on the stove. Serve in a punch bowl.
Combine 3 sprigs rosemary, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 star anise, 8 cloves and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in cheesecloth and tie to create a spice bag. Add ½ liter water and ½ liter sugar (1:1 solution) to a pot. Drop in spice bag and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove spice bag.
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep