This classic dish is credited in Mexico with all sorts of healing powers. From hangovers to severe colds, Mexicans will often tell you that a bracing pozole will do the trick. Still largely unknown abroad, this pre-Hispanic dish is a spicy broth that typically contains pork or chicken and large kernels of corn. Pozole is found throughout the country and the recipe varies from region to region. From a hangover standpoint, the spicy dish should help you sweat out the tequila, while the steam should clear your throat and revive you.
Although many Mexicans swear by it, this hangover remedy is not for the faint-hearted and could either aid a miraculous recovery or leave you feeling queasy for days. The famous dish consists of beef stomach (tripe) in broth with red chili peppers. The dish is often prepared at large gatherings such as the Christmas holidays or at other family events, since the tripe takes up to seven hours to cook. An early morning bowl of menudo has a potent taste and smell, and is widely believed to be the most efficient hangover cure available.
A goat stew seasoned with dried, roasted peppers, birria de chivo originates from the western state of Jalisco. Like menudo, its preparation is very labor and time-intensive, so birria is typically served at big celebrations such as weddings or baptisms. In Jalisco state, the dish is hailed as a powerful hangover cure and since this is the home of tequila, it’s safe to say that locals have a certain amount of expertise in the matter.
Tortas ahogadas, or drowned bread rolls, are another Jalisco specialty. A spicy dish made with a birote bread that is much like the French baguette, the torta is stuffed with cuts of meat or prawns and submerged in a spicy tomato sauce. Guadalajara locals will tell you that there is no finer resolution to an all-night party than a freshly-made torta ahogada. But be cautious with the sauces – Guadalajara restaurants are catering to a crowd of hardened chili-veterans.
Fried, fatty tacos de barbacoa might just be the answer to a night of heavy drinking. Often served by street vendors at breakfast time, the meat-filled tacos are folded in the middle and dipped in spicy sauce, before being placed in a frying pan. You can ask for the tacos to be golden (doraditos) which means fried until they harden, or soft (blanditos).
This much-loved Mexican comfort food is a big scramble of fried corn tortillas and sauces, often served with mild cream and a sprinkling of cheese. The dish is popular across Mexico, and is widely believed to be an excellent hangover remedy. Most breakfast menus feature an option to combine chilaquiles with shredded chicken or a fried egg, and it’s a great idea to consume some protein along with all those carbs.
If meat is not for you and you’re looking to the ocean to wash away your hangover, then this dish is a good bet. Vuelve à la vida translates as “return to life” in English and originates from the port city of Veracruz. The spicy seafood cocktail is typically served cold, in a salted cocktail glass with avocado slices on the rim. Inside, is a tasty blend of seafood, tomato juice, citrus, celery and spice. The drink has the power to revive even the most skeptical soul, forcing you to sweat out the toxins while also re-hydrating you.
If you’re feeling like a corpse this morning, then this is the dish for you. Aguachile is a light but spicy dish containing shrimp in a clear soup seasoned with chili peppers, lime juice, coriander and onion. Originating from the coastal towns of Sinaloa on Mexico’s pacific coast, aguachile is certain to put the color back in your cheeks.
Mezcal drinkers in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca believe that the effects of the potent spirit can be countered with a minty tea called te de poléo, or pennyroyal in English. Served both hot and cold, the refreshing drink provides much needed hydration and has a soothing effect on the stomach.
Followers of the hair-of-the-dog philosophy will be pleased to know that one of Mexico’s favorite hangover cures contains beer. Micheladas are made in a huge variety of ways, but typically contain icy beer with lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Maggi seasoning and hot sauce, all served in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. The finished product is greater than the sum of its parts: a spicy, refreshing beer that will defy any hangover.