Do Bloody Marys Really Cure Hangovers?
Can your favorite drink save you after having one too many?
The best cure for any hangover is to drink more alcohol. The Blood Mary is the most popular brunch drink in America and there are several reasons for this. Besides the fact that it incredible easy to just pick up a premade mix at the store, Bloody Marys are just as easy to make from scratch. It is also basically a meal since you can add celery, carrots, a dill pickle spear, bacon, smoked oysters, olives, pepperoni sticks and so much more as a garnish. The tomato juice is also healthy because it provides vitamins A and C but people also like to feel like a rebel for drinking so early in the morning. However, the reason the Bloody Mary is the most popular brunch drink is because it has been said to cure hangovers. But is this really true?
The Bloody Mary was created in Paris in 1920 by bartender Fernand Petiot. One of the regulars at the bar, an American entertainer named Roy Barton, christened it Bloody Mary because it reminded him of a Chicago nightclub called the Bucket of Blood and his girlfriend, Mary. The drink didn’t catch on in Paris, but in 1934 Petiot landed the job as head bartender at the St. Regis in New York and he reintroduced it. There, he called the drink the Red Snapper because the owner, Vincent Astor, thought the original name was too indecent. President of the hotel Serge Obolensky found the drink too bland so Petiot added salt, black pepper, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce.
However, no other drink allows for so much variation than the Bloody Mary. You can easily change the taste by adding half teaspoon of horseradish can turn up the heat and open your sinuses while adding soy sauce, A.1 or HP steak sauce in place of the Worcestershire sauce can bring about a different end result. A little bit of chili powder or a base of gazpacho can go a long way with this drink. Instead of spices, Old Bay seafood seasoning as well as can Angostura bitters enhance the taste and texture of the drink. For the finishing touches, celery salt is might be better than celery flakes because the flakes might get stuck to your lips when you drink from the glass.
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However, the star of the drink is the alcohol. Generally, Bloody Marys are made with any kind of vodka but there has been some experimentation over the years with other alcohols. Adding gin makes the drink a Gin Mary while adding tequila in place of the vodka makes a Bloody Maria. Some bartenders have used caraway-flavored aquavit and others have made a French Bloody Mary using Pernod instead of vodka. There is also the Myer’s Mary which substitutes the vodka for rum and the Bacardi Bloody Mary which uses Bacardi. California Brandy even has their own drink named after them called the Brandy Bloody Mary. The drink seems to work with just about everything but scotch.
But does this magical drink cure hangovers? One of the major causes of hangovers is reported to be methanol, which your body metabolizes into toxic formaldehyde and formic acid. This process can be combated by putting more ethanol into your system in the form of my alcohol because it will convert the formaldehyde back into methanol. That being said, drinking a Bloody Mary may increase the methanol in your system but that only means there will be more formaldehyde when the methanol changes. A Bloody Mary is actually just a short term relief from hangovers but they can cause damage down the road that can range from a worsened hangover tomorrow or harmed organs in the future.
The best way to combat a hangover is by drinking twice as much water than the alcohol you ingested and the worst thing to do is to have another drink. Other hangover remedies include Alka-Seltzer which soothes nausea and aspirin or ibuprofen to lessen your headache. Sweating out the alcohol in a sauna has also been reported to help. If you can manage some exercise, getting yourself up and moving has been proven to ease the achiness of hangovers. Overall, sleep is probably your best bet.