It’s quite possible that I’m once again writing this from a place of recently acquired wisdom. OK, so it’s more than just quite possible. A very long week with short sleep, what I thought was a filling dinner of pasta, and a shiny new bottle of Wild Turkey 101. Wild Turkey and I have been passing acquaintances, after a run-in a long time ago at a wedding. Oh, did I mention it was my sister’s wedding? OK, let’s not talk about that anymore. Suffice it to say, I was pretty sure that was in my rear view, so I grabbed a bottle and we were off.

My neighbor’s nephew just moved into the complex, so I hosted an impromptu dinner party (which mainly involved them eating what I’d just made). It’s still summer-y here, so I wanted something refreshing, but not sweet – a Bourbon Paloma sounded perfect! You might know the regular Palomas, made with tequila, but since I’m not a huge fan of it, my favorite bartender introduced me to his version, involving my favorite. The Bourbon Paloma was born! My home version, in case you’d like to try it out: Rim a glass with salt, set aside. Fill a shaker half way with ice, add 2 ounces Bourbon, a couples of dashes of grapefruit bitters, a couple of ounces of fresh grapefruit juice. Shake til the shaker feels pretty cold, 15 seconds or so, pour into your salted glass. Top with either club soda or an artisan grapefruit soda, quick stir (if you don’t want to salt the rim, a quick shake of salt directly into the drink mostly produces the same result). Yum! But only if you don’t have 292838 of them, like I apparently did. If you do that, you *just* might regret it, like I did. But lucky for you, it does help me write this post and so hopefully you’ll learn a bit for your next night out.

Before you start drinking:

Hydration is key. If you start out behind, you’re totally screwed later. The tiny creatures with big hammers inside your skull? That’s dehydration talking, plain and simple. A handful of aspirin isn’t going to help, unless it’s chased with a ton of water. Coconut water is also a great choice. I happen to like the taste no matter what the temperature, but if you plan ahead and put it in the fridge, a cold, refreshing, hydrating beverage will await you. Just what your brain ordered and will thank you for by no longer attempting to leave your head via your ears.

Food! Eat a good meal before you start. (ie, not just salad). One thing to note though – give yourself a little time to digest. The alcohol pretty much stops digestion and that can come back to bite you later. (that’s a literal statement, not a figurative one). The 2am tacos (or cheeseburgers or whatever) – not a completely horrible idea, but sometimes not the best. The stuff you’re drinking has calories – and stuffing another 500-1000 into your mouth and stumbling to bed isn’t exactly helpful.

While you’re sucking down drinks:

Water. Yep, you’re sensing a theme, aren’t you. Most recommendations I’ve seen are 1 glass of water per drink. That’s a nice thought, but honestly, I’ve never seen anyone do it, including yours truly. But if you’re not having water in between drinks, at least try to pace yourself. It takes a minute for the alcohol to hit your bloodstream, but once it does, it’s hanging around for awhile. So if you drink too quickly, it may be a short night.


You’ve made it home. And please, don’t imbibe and drive – while Uber has come up short on background checks recently it seems, but there are cabs, public transportation, a friend that needs some cash so will drive your drunk ass around all night – whatever that is, do it. No driving.

Before you fall into bed (or onto the couch), do yourself a favor and finally have some water. You can try a couple aspirin now – I’ve found that can be helpful. Keep that water by your side, you’re going to want it.

Anyone get the license plate of that truck!?

And before you know it, it’s morning (or perhaps early afternoon, who’s to say). If you did your prep, hopefully you’re a reasonably fresh daisy. For those of you (and me) that didn’t, it’s time to assess and repair the damage. Hydration is your BFF right now. Remember earlier when I said that alcohol was working its way around your body and it took time to really hit? Well, it also takes time to be flushed completely out. I’ve read suggestions on saunas or hot showers, to help that process along. If you can handle it, go for it. Personally the heat is a little too much for me, so I tend to skip that.

Greasy food! For me, that’s a go-to meal. Burgers, huevos rancheros, whatever I can get near. Now, if your stomach is unhappy with you or you don’t normally eat that way, now is likely not the time to start. Though eggs have amino acids in them that will help, if you can’t tolerate them on a good day – this isn’t even a so-so day, so let’s not tempt fate.

“Hair of the dog” – leave it to the Norwegians to come up with a catchy phrase that translates to “push your hangover off til later and make 10x worse”. Yes, in the short term you’ll feel a bit better. And if you don’t drink 15 Bloody Marys or mimosas, you might even survive it. But as a rule – leave the hair on the dog and leave drinking more as a “cure” for already drinking too much, to frat boys.

Coffee might seem like a good idea (there’s caffeine in Excedrin, so that must fix headaches, right?). But it’s another dehydrator. Leave the latte til later. You might also skip your morning OJ – the acid might be hard on your stomach right about now.

Time is the only thing that will truly help, and the only thing you can’t change or hurry along. Drinking water, eating something that works for you: you need to do those things, and also give your body a minute to regroup. Grab a book or grab the remote and have a seat. Your body will thank you for it!

Article by: Jeanne Runkle

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