There are many different kinds of hangovers. There is The Hangover hangover, when you're not quite sure what happened, only that you're missing a tooth or your brother-in-law, and for some reason an entire city is angry with you. And then there are milder hangovers, when you just want to stay in bed with a large bottle of pain reliever.
No matter which one I get, I always end up wishing someone could diagnose my hangover and bring me the perfect snack to help me cross back over into the land of the living. Being as I'm the mom/chief caretaker and I don't happen to have a personal valet, I rarely receive this kind of service. But if I did have a valet, here's what would happen.
First, the valet would ask a few gentle questions to gauge how I'm feeling. The valet would depart to a kitchen for a few moments and bring back exactly what I need, perhaps a peanut butter and banana sandwich, or huevos rancheros. Thus fortified I would claw my way back into the day, headache banished, stomach soothed, my dignity back intact.
The next best thing is this useful little handbook, The Hungover Cookbook. You may be familiar with the archetypal English valet Jeeves from the P.G. Woodhouse stories. Jeeves always saves the day for his airhead employer, the young gentleman Bertie, and is especially handy with hangover remedies. The Hungover Cookbook is organized around six hangovers from the Woodhouse books: The Broken Compass, The Sewing Machine, The Comet, The Atomic, The Cement Mixer, and The Gremlin Boogie. You answer a quiz and that tells you what kind of hangover you have -- and what the best recipe for that hangover is.
Unfortunately, the book doesn't cause Jeeves to magically appear and cook that recipe for you. You're on your own there, I'm afraid.
At any rate, here's a cool, soothing summertime recipe for The Comet hangover. And remember, as the author Milton Crawford says, "A hangover is an opportunity to see and taste the world in a new way." Ah yes, thank you, Jeeves.
The author recommends mixing by hand for a creamy, rather than thin and grainy, texture.
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
Juice of 1 and zest of 1/2 lemon
2 1/4 cups plain natural yogurt
1/4 cup water
Handful of finely crushed ice
2 thin slices lemon, for serving
Mix the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until the sugar is absorbed by the juice. Transfer to a larger bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly, but not violently, with a spatula. Serve immediately in tall glasses and garnish each glass with a thin slice of lemon.
Recipe from The Hungover Cookbook by Milton Crawford, Clarkson Potter 2011.