A revolutionary drink you’re going to love
“Boss, I’ve found a company in America that claim to have created a drink that severely lessens the after-effects of drinking alcohol.” “Right…”
“It stops you getting a hangover, apparently. I want to get drunk, test it out and write about it.”
“OK, but you need to get really drunk.” “Sure thing, boss.”
So I got really drunk. The kind of drunk that takes a full day to arrive. A sweaty, sad drunk that comes from wine at lunch, beer in the afternoon and gin in the evening. I ate only crisps. Normally, I hit something of a wall after a few hours; the floor spins, everything becomes just out of reach, and if anything more goes in then there’s a good chance it won’t stay in for long. But this was work, and I’m a hard worker, so the drinks kept coming.
Earlier in the day, I’d spoken to Rosy Zhao, who works at 82 Labs in Los Angeles, the drinks company behind Morning Recovery. I asked questions about its effectiveness, whether there were any side effects and if there was a limit to how much I could drink before it was redundant. If I stayed up all night on the Dubonnet and sodas, could the potion have me square for a 9.15am breakfast meeting?
“I think you’re trying to figure out the relativity of how much you’re trying to take the pain away, right?”
Somehow, over the phone from over 5,000 miles away, she had looked into my very soul. But, yes, I wanted to know the limits of its succour. “You’re not going to feel 110 per cent [the morning after], but it will get you to 80 per cent,” asserted Zhao.
The drink uses electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids and Hovenia dulcis (DHM), a Japanese raisin tree extract that is used as a remedy for liver ailments (and hangovers) throughout Asia. It speeds up the liver’s ability to flush out toxins. So it’s best taken while you’re drinking, or within an hour of your last drink, which I deemed the best option.
My usual pre-bed, anti-hangover prep consists of a pint or two of “London springs” and a couple of Nurofen. But this time I simply pulled my chilled Morning Recovery from the fridge, slung the 100ml of slightly viscose, peachflavoured elixir down my gullet and got into bed.
Did it work? Yes! (And no.)
Seven or so hours later, the sun streamed in on me, and I was hungover. But the familiar post-boozing fog wasn’t as thick. I was sluggish, but my insides felt clean, like a chip van after an oil change. I had a small but very real headache, but I’d say that I was at 60 per cent. Less than Zhao had promised, but not bad.
“It’s not an energy drink,” she had explained, “you’re waking up with the intention of an absence of something, versus a kick. So people are a little confused.”
Would I use Morning Recovery again? Probably. Maybe at a festival or something, but I’m not going to bank on it swatting away the backlash of an eight-Martini dinner. I’m a firm believer that you get the hangover you deserve, and if you can’t handle the punishment, don’t commit the crime.
“If you actually want to feel something physical, then that would be associated with drinking.” I’d asked Zhao if Morning Recovery would have any effect if you hadn’t already consumed alcohol. But I think she hit upon a wider truth. Booze is the great, visceral leveller, and the “something” isn’t anything without the nothing that comes after.
£54/12 bottles (100ml each); int.morningrecoverydrink.com
The familiar post-boozing fog wasn’t as thick. I was sluggish but my insides felt clean… I had a small but very real headache
‘Three more large ones for the road!’: John Goodman, Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin as hard-drinking salesmen on Saturday Night Live, December 1998