Whether you’re here for Tales of the Cocktail or find yourself fallen prey to the power of go-cups, 24-hour bars or our city’s laissez les bon temps rouler motto, discover the best New Orleans hangover cures for what ails you – from tried and true hair-of-the-dog remedies at our favorite watering holes to the best prescriptions you’ll find on a plate in the Big Easy.
“Hangover Hospital” at Café Adelaide (300 Poydras St., 504-595-3305)
Sometimes the best cure for the hangover-from-hell is a hair-of-the-dog cocktail and a rich brunch dish to soak up the booze. At Café Adelaide, conveniently located in downtown New Orleans at the Loews Hotel, chef Chris Barbato has debuted a “hangover hospital” special: a Croque Madame and a Mimosa, Bloody Mary or Brandy Milk Punch, all for $17.
“The creamy béchamel, melted gruyere, butter toasted brioche with warm sunny side up duck egg is the rich refined version of a classic hangover cure,” says Barbato. “It fills your tummy with heavy, delicious breakfast food. Combined with a cocktail, it can either alleviate what ails or get you ready to start again.”
Ramos Gin Fizz at Arnaud’s French 75 (813 Rue Bienville; 504-523-5433)
Family-owned and operated since 1918, a visit to Arnaud’s is kind of like a warm hug from mom (if mom smoked cigars and whipped up comforting hangover cures). Consistently ranked as one of New Orleans’ best bars, French 75 is the place to go to try head bartender Chris Hannah’s world-class Ramos Gin Fizz, a popular eye-opener at Sunday brunch.
“We New Orleanians often fancy a Ramos Gin Fizz in the mornings as just another anomaly of our being, forgetting its original mission to help us get through the day and over our alcohol-induced ailment from the night before,” says Hannah. “Sweet juices rehydrate faster than water can and this is where the lemon, lime juice and sugar are key in the Ramos. Along with rehydrating you’ll also attain your stomach soothing from the cream and egg white.” The frothy cocktail is shaken “feverishly” but goes down like mother’s milk.
And the Ramos Gin Fizz isn’t just good for hangovers: “On Mardi Gras Day, lady friends, one should never mask without having had one,” says Hannah.
Take 2 treatments at the new Windsor Court Hotel Spa … and call us in the morning
If you get down and dirty one night, you may have to do a major clean-up job the next day. Get back in tip-top shape — or at least look the part — after some serious, spa-centric rest and relaxation. After a $22 million-dollar facelift, the luxe Windsor Court Hotel is just the ticket. Now boasting a soothing, 4,500-square-foot spa, the hotel offers 10 treatment rooms, including one wet room and one couple’s room, a sauna and salon facilities. The plush reception area even boasts mother-of-pearl and Swarovski crystal accents.
A treatment like the Bright Eyes (30 minutes, $45) might just do the trick: a professional aesthetician will gently exfoliate and provide an invigorating massage around the eye area to reduce fine lines, then use a firming mask and cold stones to de-puff your peepers. A brow clean-up ensures you look polished, no matter how many drinks you polished off the night before.
All That Jazz Po-Boy and headache powders at Verti Marte (1201 Royal St., 504-525-4767)
This cash-only French Quarter institution is a one-stop-shop for the epically hung-over. Open 24 hours, the unassuming deli serves up sumptuous, stick-to-your-ribs po-boys and is stocked with hangover helpers like ginger ale, saltines and BC or Goody’s Extra Strength Headache Powders (a potent combo of aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine). Don’t miss filling favorites like the All That Jazz (pictured) —a heady combination of ham, turkey, shrimp, two kinds of cheese, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes and a special sauce, all crammed onto French bread.
P.S. For those who can’t stomach the thought of getting out of bed … did we mention they deliver in the French Quarter? You can thank us later.
Bitters and soda at Tujague’s (823 Decatur St., 504-525-8676)
The second-oldest restaurant in New Orleans — located in the heart of the French Quarter and just a stone’s throw from the French Market — Tujague’s may be something of a tourist trap for dinner, but don’t rule out its tried-and-true, old timey bar for a drink the day after.
Open for more than 150 years, the bartenders know a thing or two about how to treat a hangover. So pull up a barstool at the old cypress bar and throw back a bitters and soda – a classic hangover cure known to settle the stomach that offers just enough watered-down alcohol to take the edge off. Any brand of bitters will do, but we have a hometown preference for Peychaud’s, a potent blend created in New Orleans around 1830 by Antoine Amédée Peychaud, a Creole apothecary. (Peychaud’s bitters are also critical ingredient in the classic Sazerac cocktail.)
The Green Drink at Satsuma Cafe (3218 Dauphine St; 504-304-5962)
When your head is pounding and you’re feeling queasy, you might also consider bellying up to the bar for a healthy drink. At the Bywater’s sweet, eclectic Satsuma café, locals stop by the morning after for a fresh-squeezed organic juice concoction, like the Green Drink, made with apple, fennel, kale, cucumber and celery. Wonder why it’s a wonder-drink?
“Any juice is great for a hangover. First, most symptoms connected with hangovers stem from dehydration,” says Cassi Dymond, co-owner. “Drinking more alcohol will dehydrate you further and you are essentially postponing an even worse hangover. Drinking something like the Green Drink will restore some of the hydration. [It’s] chock full of vitamins C & A, which are depleted when the liver has to concentrate on processing alcohol. By restoring these vitamin levels, you will feel better, faster.”
Rumbling tummies will also appreciate wholesome breakfast dishes like the Tofu and Black Bean Scramble ($8) or the One Eyed Jack—a fried egg in toast topped with avocado and hot sauce ($6).
Curative cocktails at Cure (4905 Freret Street; 504.302.235)
This much-lauded cocktail bar — open daily at 5 p.m. — might literally offer you the cure you’re looking for. To soothe a hangover, bartender Nick Dietrich has two suggestions. One is Red Medicine (pictured above). “[It's] a great, light and savory drink. It consists of Pimm’s No. 1 Aperitif, fresh lemon juice, celery bitters, and a house-made Tabasco shrub that uses hot sauce as a bright and acidic component and makes the drink something reminiscent of a Bloody Mary,” says Dietrich.
The second hangover helper involves pickle juice: the pickleback (pictured below), a combination shot that hails as a hangover cure from Eastern Europe. “The pickleback, which has been very popular in New York over the last three years, is a shot of whiskey immediately proceeded by a shot of pickle brine,” says Dietrich. The whiskey smoothly transforms to the bright, briny and tangy flavors of the pickle juice.”
Sound far out? “The Pickleback originated in Eastern Europe as a popular pick-me-up. One of our fellow bartenders, Ryan Gannon, recalled drinking it often after working a shift at the Dockyards outside New York City around 15-20 years ago,” says Dietrich. “I recommend Bubbies Pickle Juice, as it has the highest occurrences of probiotics of pickles I’m aware of.”
Red Medicine (Kirk Estopinal)
2 oz. Pimm’s No.
1 3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. Tabasco Shrub*
10 drops Bitterman’s Orchard Street Celery Shrub
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, add five Kold Draft Cubes and shake vigorously for 3-4 seconds. Double strain contents into a Collins glass full of ice and top with soda. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.
*Tabasco Shrub: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup of Tabasco Sauce. Add two cups of Demerara sugar and stir to incorporate.
1 oz. Sazerac Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Bubbies Pickle Juice
Pour each into two shot glasses and serve.
Vacherie at Hotel St. Marie (827 ½ Toulouse St. 504-207-4532)
Painting the town red sometimes means that a big, filling brunch is in order — along with a killer Bloody Mary. Stanley on Jackson Square is the most obvious choice, but you can expect an epic wait on weekends – not exactly what you’re in the mood for when you’ve got a splitting headache. Located in the Hotel St. Marie in the French Quarter, Vacherie flies under the radar — for now — but offers one of the city’s most spectacular brunches, run by Chef Jarred Zeringue of popular EAT New Orleans. Post-bender dishes like the Boudin Benedict (think: Eggs Benedict with boudin patties and Vacherie’s excellent collard greens), Andouille Hash (local sausage, diced potatoes, onions and peppers, topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce) and Johnnycakes might be just what he doctor ordered, along with one of New Orleans’ best Bloody Marys chock-full of house-made pickles.