Sometimes Sunday brunch calls, but your head is softly barking.
You aren’t porcelain princess hungover. That’s when you need a bed, water, maybe a Gatorade and a reminder not to overdo it. But you’re dragging a little from your Saturday night shenanigans. Even after you hydrate and are ready to get out, you’re moving slow. Maybe you need a little hair of the dog.
Caitlin Corcoran, CaVa manager and a seasoned bartender, says it’s all about moderation and settling the stomach. You want a little something, not a binge fest. For her, that means a Spicy Bloody Mary with an oyster. (With a shot of beer, too).
“I like spicy. It gets me going. And with the oyster you get the saltiness of the ocean. The ocean tastes like life and it brings you back.”
But if you ask Barry Tunnel, manager at Tannin, people should just drink good, natural wine to prevent a hangover.
Me? I haven’t been hungover in years, but I do like to drink at brunch. I go for something easy on the belly with a boost, like Blvd Tavern’s Reboot. It’s a tall glass of Oddly Correct Hop Toddy, El Dorado rum cream, toasted almond syrup and bitter chocolate liqueur served on ice.
My friend JC prefers a grapefruit mimosa for her hangover blues. And Port Fonda’s Michelada (housemade hot sauce, lime, Mexican lager, Serrano salt) is a popular pick, too.
Sometimes you need an assortment. Caitlin says it’s important you order something you aren’t going to chug.
In addition to her Bloody Mary combo, she’ll typically have water, orange juice and maybe coffee, too. Makes sense: hydration, Vitamin C and caffeine. Win.
Here’s a breakdown of what some other KC bartenders drink to hang up their hangovers:
Panther and Soda
“The bartender who mentored me turned me onto something most drinkers would never dare touch: Panther, a shot of straight Angostura bitters,” says Evan McConnell, public relations and social media director for the Kansas City chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild. “Once you warm up to it, it’s the best shot you’ve ever taken, and as an effective stomachic (tummy tonic), you’ll feel fantastic soon after.”
Make it yourself: Combine 1 ounce of Royal Trinidad Fizz, 1/2 ounce of Angostura bitters, 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, 1/2 ounce of simple syrup and 1 whole egg. Add ice and shake. Strain out your cocktail, dump your ice and shake your cocktail again for another 30 seconds. Double strain your cocktail into a Collins glass. Pour soda water into your shaker, swirl it around and top up the Collins glass.
Snow & Co. owner Jerry Nevins has a long list of hangover creations, but the Sawyer is top dog.
“I like something with a bit of milk to coat my stomach,” he says. “You could even have this one with breakfast or pour it over your cereal.” I wish I could tell you he’s exaggerating. I tasted it and let me tell you: It’s like ice cold cereal milk and I love it.
Make it yourself: One pint glass full of ice, equal parts (3/4 ounce each) of Frangelico, Baileys, Kahlua and 360 Huckleberry vodka. Top it off with whole milk. Stir, drink and the day is golden.
Dave Kaleba, assistant manager of La Bodega on the Boulevard, swears by this sexy cocktail. “It’s got just enough of a kick to wake you, put some good juju back into your blood, and it’s refreshing,” he says.
Make it yourself: In a mixing glass muddle 3 grapefruit wedges, dried hibiscus flowers, a 1/2 ounce of agave nectar and 1/2 ounce of lime juice. Add 1 ounce of Mezcal Vago Espadin, 1/4 ounce of Solerno Blood Orange and 1/4 ounce of Bitter Truth Crème de Violette. Fill with ice, shake hard. Double strain into chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with grapefruit wedge on rim.
Spicy Bloody Mary and Friends
Caitlin Corcoran’s Spicy Bloody Mary at CaVa comes with an oyster and a shot glass of Miller High Life beer. “Hair of the dog is not about getting drunk again. When I get to go out to brunch, I like to have my drinks with a heavy breakfast like the croque madam or biscuits and gravy.”
Make it yourself: Fill a pint glass with ice and add 11/2 ounces of pork-washed J. Rieger vodka (if you don’t infuse your vodka at home, just use the basics), 3 ounces housemade Bloody Mary mix (at home Zing-Zang Bloody Mary mix would work), 1/3 ounce lime juice and a couple dashes of hot sauce (she likes Cocobolo’s Habanero sauce). Roll in a shaker. Serve in a rocks glass garnished with a salt-and-pepper rim. Add an oyster on the side and fill a shot glass with your favorite beer.
Up and At’em
Courtney Crockett, bartender at the Brick, says this spiked cool coffee gives you that caffeine kick.
Make it yourself: Combine equal parts (3/4 ounce) of RumChata, simple syrup and Creme de Cacao. Serve over ice and top it off with Thou Mayest cold press toddy.
If you want something easy and refreshing, she suggests a Boom Boom Cool Breeze: Pour 11/2 ounces Aperol over ice and top it off with Stiegl Radler.