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To Prevent A Hangover, Develop A Pre-Drinking Plan


Dave Arnold runs the bar Booker and Dax in Manhattan. And back in November, he was on this program showing us how to step up our holiday parties with shaken cocktails and liquid nitrogen. And he even brought a saber to show a how to dramatically open a champagne bottle.


DAVE ARNOLD: Two, one...


ARNOLD: Woo...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In short, Dave Arnold is an expert at creating memorable drinks and helping people enjoy themselves. Well, we asked him back to find out if he has any tips for those who have over-enjoyed. Welcome again, and happy New Year.

ARNOLD: Happy New Year. Thanks for having me back.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So this ship has sailed for many listeners, but the best hangover remedy, of course, is prevention, right?

ARNOLD: Exactly, you shouldn't drink as much the night before. That's the easiest way to not have a hangover. I think also, you know, I in general like to drink something nonalcoholic between every alcoholic drink. That's the kind of best prevention is to have a good pre-party drinking policy of alternating strong with weak, and just not taking those extra shots after you've already consumed the fill that you thought you were supposed to consume.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, that last thing of tequila probably not such a good idea at the end of the night. So some people might, though, want to keep on celebrating. And if they want to ease their way back into this evening's festivities, what would you recommend?

ARNOLD: I would recommend taking it easy. I'd recommend, you know, something delicious that you can consume in moderation. Stay away from the tequila shots, you know, the boilermakers. Go light, have some champagne. Champagne is delicious and, you know, not that high in alcohol. It hits you fairly quickly because of the bubbles - bubbles make it hit harder - but something nice and festive. You probably have some bubbly left over from the night before. And really, it's always kind of in season - a little bit of bubbly - in my opinion. If you're going to go for a cocktail, if you can sip it, go for a nice old-fashioned. It's easy to make and something you can savor over time.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What's in an old-fashioned?

ARNOLD: Old-fashioned, the name tells you. It's been around for a long, long time. And it's simply about three-eighths of an ounce of simple syrup with two ounces of whiskey of your choice and a couple dashes of Angostura bitters, an orange twist served in an old-fashioned glass with a nice, big ice cube.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Dave, before you go, I wanted to get your opinion on this hangover helper attributed to Ernest Hemingway. He says poor one jigger of absinthe into a champagne glass, add iced champagne until it attains proper opalescent milkiness, and then drink three to five of these slowly.

ARNOLD: This is a huge error in judgment for anyone but an inveterate alcoholic inveterate. This is...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Come on, man. It's got champagne in it. You were talking about champagne just a minute ago.

ARNOLD: I'm very pro-champagne. But all the drinks, like, that are historically attributed to Hemingway, I find to be, in general, repulsive for one reason or another. The Hemingway Daiquiri being violently sour. Here, even for those that love absinthe - and there are many - I think they would add a little bit of sugar to that to balance it out with the champagne. But as written, I think that's an abomination. And five of those is going to hose you because drinking five glasses of champagne is a terrible idea the next day when you feel bad. There...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: No advice from Ernest Hemingway is where you're going with this, I'm feeling.

ARNOLD: Writing advice, perhaps. But, I mean, you don't want to take life advice - much less drinking advice - from Ernest Hemingway.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Dave Arnold runs the bar Booker and Dax in Manhattan. Thank you so much for joining us.

ARNOLD: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Dave Arnold's new book is "Liquid Intelligence: The Art And Science Of The Perfect Cocktail." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.