Hangovers can feel like a nightmare: if your head isn’t pounding, then you can’t stomach any food. How many mornings have you spent regretting the mixed spirits and the shots you so willingly took from strangers? Recollecting cringeworthy memories from the night, how many brandy specials did you really have? Not only did you spend half of your savings, but you now have a headache that won’t release its hold on you.
There are a few things you can do that will make you feel a bit better, and nothing beats some of these weird and wonderful babelaas cures that have stood the test of time.
‘n Koppie Boeretroos
Let’s start with a classic: coffee! We all know that a strong cup of black coffee can fix most things, even if it’s a roaring hangover. According to Little coffee place, “You can begin to feel its effects in as little as 30 minutes. When you have a hangover, you want quick relief. And best yet, you’ll continue to feel it for up to four hours after that first sip.” ‘n Koppie boeretroos is perfect for a quick fix. But the right roast is key for choosing the best coffee for a hangover – the last thing you want is to upset a sensitive stomach with a challenging flavor.
Medium roast coffee shines as a hangover cure: it’s got enough body and substance to satisfy, without the risk of too much heaviness or bitter flavor and less acidity than light roasts.
- Give it a go: Deep, Dark & Twisted, mild acidity, with a rich, deep and full-bodied flavour.
- Location: 36 Buitenkant St, Cape Town City Centre
- Give it a go: Vietnamese Iced Coffee
- Location: 28 Hudson St, De Waterkant
- Give it a go: Single origin americano
- Location: Artem Centre, 277 Main Road, Sea Point
The “groen ambulans”
Apart from being a tasty household favourite, there is something about an ice cold Crème Soda the morning after too many tequilas. South Africans swear by this one, noting that it settles nausea and gives an energy boost! Add a scoop of ice cream to go in a complete different direction, and enjoy a soda float.
Try the healthy route with a good juice
What better way to counter the glasses, bottles and cans of the previous night’s drinking than with a healthy, wholesome, fresh juice? Cape Town’s juice scene has all the ‘cleansing’ options you may need to wash out all the alcohol from a late night’s hoorah.
- Give it a go: Recharge, a freshly sqeezed juice of cayenne pepper, lemon, ginger and apple.
- Location: Shop 2, Ocean Breeze, 6 St Johns Rd, Sea Point
- Give it a go: Frutti Tutti, a hydrating and anti-oxidizing juice of grape fruit and pineapple.
- Location: 177 Kloof St, Gardens
- Give it a go: The Cure, a shot of apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric and orange.
- Location: 48 Canterbury St, District Six
Hair of the dog
Maybe you haven’t tried it before because curing a hangover with more alcohol sounds mad, right? This age-old favourite amongst South Africans is popular for a reason: it works! Go for the classic Bloody Mary, or a classy mimosa, or simply crack open another beer to ease that throbbing headache.
Indulge in a big brunch
After you’ve finally rolled out of bed, a Sunday pick-me-up in the form of brunch will slay even the most hardcore of hangovers. Try the classic favourite farmstyle breakfast, or something fluffy and sweet like flapjacks, waffles or french toast.
- Give it a go: Shally’s Pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, banana, raspberries, salted caramel butter, and warm maple butter
- Location: 12 Pepper Street, Cape Town city centre
- Give it a go: Boerie Breakfast, two eggs, bacon, boerewors, tomato relish, avo and rocket, served with roosterkoek
- Location: 25 Church Street, Durbanville
- Give it a go: French Toast, Nutella stuffed croissant with honey and bourbon bananas
- Location: 133 Bree Street, Cape Town city centre
A pie from the garage
Been there, done that and had the car full of pie crumbs. There are no pies as delicious as the ones you buy at the garage, half drunk. It’s the true South African experience, after one too many brandy and cokes.
Nothing cures a hangover like a Gatsby, this matter is not open for debate. The one-of-a-kind dish, filled with everything from steak, slap tjips, tomato and slaw. Best enjoyed with a glass of Coca-Cola, while discussing the bad decisions made the night before. A few bites in and notice a spring in your step. Suddenly, the hangover almost feels like something from the past.
- Give it a go: Vienna Gatsby
- Location: 86 Ottery Road, Wynberg
- Give it a go: Calamari Gatsby
- Location: 63 Old Klipfontein Road, Athlone
- Give it a go: Full House Chargrilled Rump Steak Gatsby
- Location: 119 Ottery Road, Wynberg
Slap tjips drenched in salt and vinegar could cure the most advanced hangovers, according to those who have tried it (even though it seems like a selective method). The idea is that these delicious potato snacks soak up the alcohol content in your stomach. Speaking for the beloved country, slap tjips can truly cure it all.
- Give it a go: Ye Old Fish and Chips
- Location: Harbour Rd, Hout Bay Harbour
- Give it a go: Yellowtail and Chips
- Location: 1 Harbour Rd, Hout Bay
- Give it a go: 2 Piece Hake and Chips
- 157 Main Road, Kalk Bay
- 80 Beach Road, Muizenberg
A good burger
There is nothing like a good juicy burger when your head’s pounding with the previous night’s questionable decisions. Butter-covered buns and a juicy, medium rare patty topped with a generous amount of cheese, pickles and onion: hangover = cured.
- Give it a go: The Jack D, a delicious sticky Jack Daniels basting with caramelised onions and bacon.
- 1st Floor, Portico Building, 1 Athens Road, Bloubergstrand
- Heritage Square, 98 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town City Centre
- 123 Lower Main Road, Observatory
- Shop G82, Willowbridge Centre, 39 Carl Cronje Dr, Tyger Valley
- Give it a go: The B&L Burger, 180g or 250g steak beef burger with streaky maple bacon and cheese, served on a warm, toasted brioche bun.
- Location: 105 Bree Street, Heritage Square, Cape Town city centre
- Give it a go: The Peaky Blinder, toasted sesame bun, 200g beef patty, caramalized onion, mozzarella slice, chorizo, jalapenos and burger mayo
- 27 Main St, Durbanville
- Stellenbosch Square, Webers Valley Rd, Jamestown, Stellenbosch,
- 12th Avenue and Duminy St, Boston
- 38 Kasteel Straat, Boulevard Square, Paarl
- 2 Haasendal Rd, Kuils River
Try an interesting volks vreemde concoction
People all over the world have tried all sorts of strange potions to spell away their headaches. And hey, who knows? Maybe they actually work. Here are a few peculiar ways to deal with your hangover, as tried and tested around the world:
- Namibia’s Buffalo Milk: a large cup of clotted cream (from cows, not buffaloes), dark rum, spiced rum, cream liqueur, and whole cream.
- Germany’s katerfrühstück, or ‘hangover breakfast’: raw, pickled herring wrapped around pieces of gherkin and onion.
- Ancient Greek remedy: a breakfast of sheep lungs and two owl eggs.
- The Turkey cure: tripe soup, where the innards are boiled with garlic, onion, and sometimes cream.
- USA’s Prairie Oyster: there are many variations, but they all include Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper, and a whole raw egg down the gullet.
And finally, just go to bed
Honorable mention, sleep! This is not a South African remedy, but it’s probably something you need to hear if you are hanging right now. If you are lucky enough to experience your hangover close to your bed then make full use of it. Getting plenty of sleep is one of the most effective ways for the body to recover.