You had a couple of drinks last night and now it feels like your left eye is bulging out of the socket. We’ve all been there. 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 refreshing, no-fuss cocktail to help you get back out there, head held high.
HIS ELIXER: Water Tower
ITS HISTORY: Vermouth, an apertif (appetite stimulator), is wine fortified with alcohol, wormwood, botanicals and sugar. It comes in two varieties: bianco or blanc (white) and rouge (red). They both originate as white wine; caramel is added to the red for sweetness and color.
ITS HEALING POWERS: Eben Klemm, a biologist turned cocktail expert, says hangover cures remain elusive. “Hangovers seem to be partially caused by dehydration, but alcohol also messes up other biological systems,” he says.
He tends to reach for a light drink in the morning. “There are times when you want to go full-on into a Bloody Mary,” he says. “But I like to dip my toe in the pool. Refreshing drinks are a good way to help me figure out which way the wind is blowing for this particular hangover.”
For his Water Tower cocktail, he goes super simple: just watermelon juice and white vermouth. The fruit juice includes tons of vitamins and the white vermouth, which Klemm says is an underutilized spirit, adds just a bit of alcohol. “I call this a Trojan Horse cocktail,” he says. “You use an ingredient that’s very approachable (watermelon) to introduce something that maybe isn’t quite as approachable (vermouth). The Water Tower is like an intellectual sangria. It has a little bitterness, a little grip.”
SHAKE AND DUMP FTW: “Who wants to go through the process of making a labor-intensive cocktail when they’re hungover? I certainly don’t,” Klemm says.
2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry
1 cup watermelon chunks
Splash orange juice
THE METHOD: Purée watermelon chunks with a splash of orange juice. Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add vermouth, fruit juice to top and a pinch of sea salt. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Alyson Sheppard is a writer and hangover specialist at Playboy Digital. Her work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mental Floss, McSweeney’s, National Geographic Adventure, Jezebel, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep