You are what you eat & drink

Important Message for New Year

Everybody has a hangover remedy.

At no other time of the year is this more important than New Year.

So, I bring you The Dr Henderson and other dangerous substances.

Make your own Fernet Branca hangover cure

Feeling green around the gills from overindulging? This medicinal shot from Italy – and its variations – will sort you out

The Dr Henderson – a twist on the Fernet Branca. Photography: Jill Mead for the Guardian

In common with many people who work in the food world, I was introduced to Fernet Branca by Fergus Henderson, proprietor of the St John’s restaurant in London.

We were on a trip to Piedmont for the truffle season, organised by the chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks. Accepting any invitation from Mitch requires a certain amount of stamina: I’ve received many pathetic hungover texts reading simply, “I’ve been Tonksed”. This trip was no exception. One participant described it as a “marine-style endurance test” of eating and drinking.

On day three, I emerged for breakfast distinctly green around the gills. Fergus pulled a bottle of brown, bitter liqueur from his pocket and poured me a shot. Fergus tends to use words sparingly because of his Parkinson’s disease, but he is one of the clearest communicators I have ever met. “Try it!” he urged, and with one hand traced the imminent internal journey of the drink – warming the throat, soothing the belly, bouncing back up and splashing over the liver. And then a shake of the whole body and a large satisfied smile. I downed the shot, and that is exactly what happened.

I have previously suggested in this column that there is no cure for a hangover. That may have been too pessimistic. If you’re feeling “Tonksed” after the Christmas blow-out, try any one of these Fernet-based cocktails. They will sort you right out.

Fernet reviver

The juice of 1 lime
25ml ginger syrup (from a jar of stem ginger)
25ml Fernet Branca
25ml gin

Combine all the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and pour into a glass over ice.

Dr Henderson (pictured)

25ml creme de menthe
25ml Fernet Branca
Ice (optional

Fernet con coca

Simply combine and pour over ice. As drunk in Argentina.

50ml Fernet Branca
200ml Coca Cola
Ice

Recipes by Henry Dimbleby and Jane Baxter.

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I trust this leaves my followers and visitors fortified and ready for anything this New Year.
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