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Got a Hangover Cure? Hit Me With Your Best Shot.

Dealing with the after-effects of drink is indeed an art. (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's "The Hangover"; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums)

This week, I dip my toe into the somewhat controversial topic of the hangover. I'd begun thinking about a hangover column after I watched the very, very funny summer film "The Hangover" — which was then followed by my own post-Tales-of-the-Cocktail hangover experience in New Orleans.

Anyhow, I could only cover so much ground in 800 words, and I know many readers already have their own sure-fire hangover cures. So I'm hoping some of you will send your best cures our way, either in the comment section or during the chat on Wednesday, or just e-mail them to me. For a more feature-length treatment of the hangover, you might also check out Joan Acocella's wonderful essay in The New Yorker last spring.

Now, I'm certain this topic will also draw comments full of scolding and finger-wagging — much like the column on nonalcoholic cocktails did a few months back. Just to be clear to the scolds: We all know that hangovers aren't good or healthy, and the smart idea is to avoid them as much as possible. They also aren't very good for the American economy, apparently, as some studies put the economic impact of hangover-related absenteeism from work (and poor job performance) at almost $150 billion a year. I have no idea how that number was arrived at (and it frankly seems a little excessive considering the economic stimulus package was around $800 billion), but that's what was reported in a June 2000 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Vampiro, a..k.a. hair of dog, is pretty easy to take. The recipe's in this week's Food section. (Dayna Smith for The Washington Post)

Beyond hangovers, it's also a good idea not supersize your french fries or drink 33 ounces of Diet Coke in one sitting or to smoke a cigarette, as our president has.

But many among us have done all of the above at some point in our lives. Yes, some of us are occasionally human and weak. Or actually, most of us are: According to the same article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 75 percent of men and women who have consumed alcoholic beverages have reported experiencing a hangover at least once.

-- Jason Wilson

By The Food Section  |  July 21, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Spirits  | Tags: Jason Wilson  
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