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Bloody Marys, prairie oysters and fizzes

Getting an article in on time has never been one of my strong suits - it seems the word deadline has no meaning in my world. And as yet another went speeding by, I decided I needed to do some serious research in the field of hangover cures. Scientifically carried out of course.

The first part, getting a hangover, was the easy part. After all, t'was the season to be jolly, and I'd lost count of the number of Christmas binges, sorry I mean night outs, I'd been invited to. The second part, the type of hangover, was slightly more difficult. Should I go for the 'exploding head' hangover from drinking heavy red wine, or the 'stop the world spinning, I need to get off and barf' hangover from drinking an overdose of fruity cocktails, or even the 'I'm never drinking again, leave me in my misery' hangover from drinking anything that goes. In the end and all in the name of science, I tried them all over a period of weeks.

Next came the science - the testing of the cures. And, I decided it best to try a number of cocktail based remedies, all with a little (or a lot) of fire.

First, for the exploding head, I tried a Virgin Mary (tomato juice, lemon juice, celery salt, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces) - feeling smug for trying a rather appropriate cure for the time of year. The smugness soon passed as the blessed cocktail had no effect and I decided to add more Tabasco, more Worcestershire and a large slug of vodka and turn it into a rather hot Bloody Mary. This worked, after a fashion, as I immediately became queasy and decided to retire back to bed and sleep the hangover off.

Next came the spinning world. For this I went with the Prairie Oyster, long regarded as the cure of choice for hardened drinkers. Mine consisted of one whole raw egg, a liberal splash of Worcestershire, a few drops of Tabasco and some salt and pepper. Result: an unglamorous dash to the nearest WC and, again, the obligatory return to bed.

Finally, and in abject misery, I tried a Fizz, but with a variation. This was made with peppar vodka, lemon juice and soda water. Drunk quickly, this made me feel better for all of five minutes before a similar fate befell me as with the Prairie Oyster.

Cures - no, interesting drinks - yes. As a true Scot, I'll stick to my ice cold Irn Bru, two aspirin and lots of bed rest.

No writers were harmed in the research of this article. (M.Earl)

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