It isn't New Year's Day without a few hair of the dog drinks. Read on for some classic (and restorative) recipes.

If you're like us, you're already planning your big, festive New Year's Eve celebrations. But don't forget about the morning after. Do yourself a favour (trust us: you'll thank yourself later) and stock up on all the ingredients needed for these classic hair of the dog drinks. Before you get to mixing, though, a wee bit of history: many tipplers have heard the expression "hair of the dog," though few are aware of the expression's back-story.

History of the Hair of the Dog

It turns out there are a number of different origins of the phrase. “The hair of the dog that bit you” referred to an old-timey cure for rabies, wherein a person would supposedly be cured of the disease after drinking a dog-hair potion (we’ll skip that one). In Scotland, meanwhile, an old story said that a few hairs of the dog that bit you would, if applied to your wound, prevent evil consequences. The logic follows, then, that if alcohol has caused you pain, it might also be your cure.

Of course, the science underlying all of these stories is dubious at best – but that hasn’t stopped bartenders from concocting supposed curatives for hangovers. As early as the 1930s, hangover-vanquishing “corpse revivers” were a popular style of drink.

And then there’s the queen of all hair of the dog drinks: the Bloody Mary. The origins of the Bloody Mary – as well as the Red Snapper (which uses gin) and the Bloody Caesar (vodka with Clamato juice) – are, as with many classic cocktails, murky at best. What we do know for certain is that the combination of spirit and tomato juice has been popular in New York since at least 1929…and that hasn’t flagged much since.

No matter which of the three you’re mixing up for the morning-after, a few quick tips: be sure to use the highest quality tomato juice you can find. If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce kicking around, soy sauce makes a capable substitute. Don’t even think about shaking your Bloody Mary, as the agitation thins the tomato juice. And be sure to add a bit of heat. Tabasco is traditional, but cayenne pepper, fresh horseradish, or other hot sauces will also do.

The Bloody Mary

The go-to morning-after pain reliever, the Bloody Mary has been beloved for its hangover-fighting abilities since what feels like time immemorial. Odds are you’ve had your fair share of Bloodies at weekend brunches, but if you haven’t yet tried mixing one up at home, go for this classic recipe.

  • 2-3 dashes Tabasco
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper and celery salt, to taste
  • 50ml Sipsmith Sipping Vodka
  • 100ml tomato juice

First, get your hands on two large glasses. Combine all ingredients, excepting the tomato juice, in one of the glasses and stir to combine. Now add the tomato juice, as gently as if you were folding in whisked egg whites. To mix, pour gently between the two mixing glasses, holding them close together. Strain into a Collins or highball glass.

The Red Snapper

The Red Snapper may look identical to a Bloody Mary, but this gin-based version has its own distinctive flavour profile. That comes courtesy of the gin botanicals, which add a light herbaceousness to the mix. When it comes to hair of the dog drinks, you can hardly do better.

  • 50ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • 6 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper and celery salt, to taste
  • 100ml tomato juice

Follow the same build instructions as above.

Feature images © ejwhite/iStock; SanneBerg/iStock

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