How a Professional Hangover Expert Cures a Hangover
Cara Nicoletti is the host of "The Hangover Show," so you can trust her with your aching head
Say you wake up with a nasty hangover. Your head is pounding, your stomach churning. Do you reach for the coffee or a frosty Gatorade? Or should it be coconut water? Or maybe a giant burrito and a bloody mary? Any time I’ve been hungover lately I haven’t made it much further than an Advil and toast, and that can’t possibly be good. So I decided to consult an expert in the art of the hangover cure.
Cara Nicoletti is a butcher and the host of The Hangover Show series from Munchies. “First thing I drink is a Pedialyte or a Gatorade—orange flavor,” she told me in an email. Nicoletti, who creates elaborate relaxation parties complete with head massagers and coconut-water fountains for the show, is a veritable expert in helping folks become human again after a rough night. She recommends against starting out with caffeine or embracing the hair of the dog. “Coffee and booze are going to dehydrate you more, which is not a good idea. You can do those things after you rehydrate.”
Next up: food. While Nicoletti has made her guests on the show everything from avocado toast pizza to bacon, egg, and cheese wontons, you don’t have to be a chef to cure your aching head. For those of us who don’t have the luxury of going to Nicoletti’s house for a hangover brunch, there’s still a way to cure your hangover. “Grease and carbs seem to be the ultimate cure, and potatoes in any form,” Nicoletti says. “If you can get all three in there, the holy trinity, you’re gonna be OK.”
While she confesses she doesn't get hungover much these days—“I’m not sure if this is something I should admit, but I’m 32 now and my partying days are pretty much over”—Nicoletti still knows what she needs to get through the worst of it. If she could have a dream hangover meal cooked for her, Nicoletti says it would entail “extremely cheesy mashed potatoes, good sourdough toast with salty butter, and a super cold orange Gatorade.”
Realistically, she knows if she really woke up with a hangover, she’d probably be without a cook nearby, in which case the ideal meal gets a little simpler (but no less delightfully greasy). Nicoletti says the first thing she’d eat is an egg sandwich on a poppy seed bagel—ordered through Seamless, of course, “to hide my shame face from the world.” The sandwich would need extra American cheese and ketchup, she says. To any egg and ketchup haters, she has one final word of advice: “Don’t @ me.”