Hong Kong’s nine top hangover cures (some of them alcohol-free)
Put as much effort into working out how to recover from those big nights as you do in planning your holiday parties and you’ll be right as rain and ready for more
Brace yourselves, people.
’Tis the season for the festive spirit to come to town – and make itself at home for a six-week stretch as Hong Kong rolls through Christmas, New Year and then the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 8.
As anyone who actually listened to their primary school PE teacher might remind you – prior preparation prevents poor performance. Plan your party, first, but spend just as much time working out how to recover from it afterwards.
To help with the aftermath, we’ve once again turned to Hong Kong’s party people and picked their brains on the best recovery drinks in town, and where you can find them.
Read on – and let us help you ease the pain.
HAIR OF THE DOG
Bloody Tokyo at Armani/Aqua and Armani Privé
Price: HK$98 (at lunch); HK$128 (at dinner)
The muted lights downstairs are a godsend for those feeling a little sensitive and the establishment’s fusion of Italian and Japanese style has resulted in a signature Bloody Mary that truly delivers the goods. There’s a nice bite to the tomato juice for which you can thank the blended wasabi and shiso leaf (rumoured to alleviate nausea and vomiting symptoms). And a splash of sake smooths the matter down. A few of these and you’ll be upstairs, and out on the decking, ready to make the night yours once again.
2/F Landmark Chater, 8 Connaught Road Central, Central, tel: 3583 2828
Sepa Mary at Sepa: Bacaro Veneziano
Venetians have for centuries prided themselves on the fact that they live life to the full and Sepa keeps that city’s bacaro (wine bar) tradition alive, only a little closer to home. It’s the extra effort that counts, hence its signature Bloody Mary comes with in-house-produced additions. There’s a home-made Belvedere infusion along with Sepa’s own tomato juice. And the not-so-secret ingredient is the basil which brings the drink’s flavours to the fore. You can order off the menu or settle into a full-blown brunch recovery, which offers the Bloody Mary to take the edge off, plus juices, house wines and prosecco.
61 Caine Road, Central, tel: 2521 9800
Bloody Mary at Ozone
The best views in town will help take some of the sting out of the day, no matter what you got up to the night before. You can ease the worries away with a custom-made Bloody Mary. The Italian tomato juice is freshly blended (and comes infused for 12 hours with Mediterranean herbs), the house-made vodka has been blended with chilli, saffron and rosemary. Then you can enhance things according to taste with six types of Tabasco sauce and six different mineral salts.
118/F The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2263 2263
Bloody Masterpiece at Boomshack
A creation of almost mythical proportions but, yes, there are those who have tackled the challenge and, apparently, survived to share tales of the recuperative powers of the experience. It’s not so much the full jug of Bloody Mary that’ll make your eyes widen, it’s what comes as part of the package. A whole fried chicken, two cheeseburgers, two sausages, three rashers of bacon, two stuffed chillies, three kinds of cheese cubes, one “forest” of carrot, onion, olive, celery and tomato, and one lonely pretzel. If that combination doesn’t take your mind (and stomach) off the hangover, nothing will. It’s only available on weekends – and don’t ever try this alone. The drink is designed to be shared by six to eight friends.
8-12 Wo On Lane, Central, tel: 2660 5977
The Ultimate Detox Juice at Catalunya
There’s some serious science at play here, and the drink is designed to give back to the body all the vitamins you might have destroyed or are already missing. There’s celery, lemon and kumquat (“diuretics to help eliminate toxins,” we are told), lemon (“kicks in the metabolism and has an alkalising effect”), ginger (“helps cleanse body system, aids digestion, and settles your stomach”), parsley (“contains a rich array of vitamins, antioxidants, great for detoxing the kidneys and liver”), and apple (“contains high-level of pectin which helps lower cholesterol and promote intestinal health”).
Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2866 7900
Antiox 3 at Pressed Juices
Australia’s favourite pressed juice company has outlets in Central, Quarry Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui and have brought their reputation for freshness and innovation to town. The Antiox is a case in point. Blood orange and passion fruit have the Vitamin C factor covered. Acai berry helps stave off the damage that comes with age while lucuma is a fruit loved by the Inca and are good for the heart and fertility. An added attraction is the home delivery, which means you don’t have to face the world unless you really have to.
81A Hollywood Road Central, tel: 2547 7939
4B Hoi Tai Street, Quarry Bay, tel: 2387 2608
Shop B101A, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 3417 6234
Recharge at Nood Food
Hong Kong’s yoga bunnies know the score when it comes to reinvigoration and they seem to quaff down this wonder mix at a staggering rate, if recent observations are anything to go by. The decidedly citrusy base sparks you into life with its combination of orange and lemon, ginger, apple, lemon grass and carrot. So, plenty of vitamin C to fight off those oxidants you’ve been plaguing your body (and soul) with.
Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 8199 8189
1/F Lincoln House, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay, tel: 3691 3965
Frog Stomp at Genie Juicery
Great name (great album too, for those who remember) and a winning combination of celery, apple, lemon, ginger and – best of all – kale. We are latecomers to the benefits of this little leafy wonder but our body has been thanking us ever since. It’s a cruciferous vegetable packed with vitamins and nutrients and the fibre we all need the day after. The added lemon and ginger lessen the leafy taste some can’t seem to stomach, too.
Shop 2096B, Level 2, IFC mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 2644 5875
Good Morning at Brunch Club
Forget for a moment what are arguably the best scrambled eggs in town and turn your attention instead to a smoothie that packs all the necessary health-renewing punch. Strawberry, peach and mint give sweetness, while papaya adds some special magic of its own. Vitamins A and C come in abundance but it’s the fruit’s folate count that really gets to work on your recovery, not least the damage a big night does in your head. We have it on good authority that folate is a great help when it comes to beating the blues that haunt every hangover.
70 Peel Street, Central, tel: 2526 8861