Pandeia’s Guide to European Hangover Cures

Kittens: Pandeia’s recommended hangover cure.

With 2014 upon us, and 12 months of parties and celebrations on the horizon, Anja Pil Christoffersen looks at the differing ways to combat the morning after throughout Europe in this one-off guide for Pandeia.

We all know it a bit too well. A state of utter patheticness, that is highly destructive to productivity, often entails a mind-numbing headache, and worst of all – is self-induced. Many of us have countless memories of waking up as a dry-mouthed goblin, who spends the entire day cursing the drinks consumed the night before. This article is written dangerously close to the deadline, only because it took an entire day for my particularly vicious hangover to release its grip on my brain. In Denmark we call it “tømmermænd”, which translates into something like “timber men” or “banging carpenters”, and relates to the banging sensation in your head after a night where the drinks kept coming.

The unfortunate condition has a physical dimension: headache, nausea, dry mouth, dizziness etc., on top of a more psychological affliction. Everyone who has been hungover, has tried being morally hungover. That drunken phone call, the particularly outrageous dance routine, or that late night declaration of love, often comes back to haunt you the day after.

Regarding the moral hangover, I’m afraid you are on your own, dear reader. But there are cures to the physical part. We have all craved that special meal that would make the hangover magically disappear. However taste varies greatly in the different countries of Europe, and the perfect hangover cure in one country might not be universal. You can be the judge.


In Germany the perfect cure for hangovers is quite a fishy affair. It is called  “katerfrühstück”, and features a pickled herring wrapped around pickled cucumbers and onions. It sometimes includes a beer, and is said to make your hangover disappear like the flick of a magic wand.


The Poles are known to down a glass of brine from sour pickles or sauerkraut to ease the vodka-induced morning hardships. Polish people swear that the sour eases the hangover, and some also say that soured milk (which is unpasteurized and has been left at room temperature for a day or tow) does the trick.


The traditional Scottish cure against hangovers has the delightful name “The Highland Fling”, and has been known to do the trick in the homeland of whisky. ”The Highland Fling” is simply a mix of buttermilk and corn flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Supposedly it gets you up and ready after a long night of good hooch. Nowadays the Scots also swear by “Irn-Bru,” a carbonated orange beverage, for post-whisky revival.


Many pub-weary Englishmen have tried warding off the hangover by the approach called ”Hair of the dog”, which simply means drinking more alcohol. However it has been proved that this merely postpones the hangover – it does not make it disappear. A better approach used by the English is eating large bacon sandwiches. It is scientifically proven that this is a clever way to fight the “timber men”. In 2009, a Newcastle University study found that the combination of bacon and bread really can cure a hangover by providing important amino acids.


Though it sounds more gag-worthy than stomach settling, a dried bull’s penis is apparently the traditional hangover cure for Sicilians. Italy is know for its delicious food, but this one might not be on the list of foreign favorites. Back in the days of the Roman Empire, the Romans had quite peculiar cures for wine hangovers. One remedy was to take snail’s heads, crush them and rub them on the forehead. Another typical roman cure for hangover was to fry a canary bird whole and eat it entirely.

Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe tripe soup is thought to be an effective cure for hangovers. Tripe is a broth made from the stomach of pigs or cows. You cook it with garlic and cream, and it is highly nutritious with high levels of fatty acids and protein. The thick stomach soup has the qualities of being warming and comforting, while providing the liquid and salt that the body craves.

The New Year has arrived and you now have a variety of Pan-European options for a perfect hangover cure in the coming months.

Happy New Year from Pandeia.


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