I come from a family of drinkers who are also medical professionals. With this lineage, you might think I’d have some expertise curing hangovers, and yet, I have never encountered a truly successful hangover cure in all of my drinking life. Unless you have access to a 24/7 saline drip, or you’ve managed to unearth the best pickle juice in existence, they just don’t work. So when a sample box of Never Too Hungover, a single-shot product claiming to prevent hangovers, arrived at The Stranger HQ, I had my suspicions.
According to the product’s website, “a primary cause of hangovers is the result of a toxin called acetaldehyde. Never Too Hungover helps neutralize this toxin and supports the body to defuse it, therefore helping reduce the effects of a hangover. Never Too Hungover also rehydrates the body and restores vital nutrients, so it provides benefits even if you're not trying to help prevent or recover from a hangover.” Okay, sure, thrill me with SAT words. But does it work? I decided to find out. By getting drunk. For science!
First impressions: The color is a fleshy pinkish-red, not unlike when you puke Gatorade. The whole bottle reeks of Fruity Pebbles diarrhea.
5:23pm — Dark Bar
I chug the whole thing in one go. It tastes like Sweetarts. Or Tylenol Chewables. Or if you used cotton candy like a Brillo pad and then drank your dishwashing liquid. It’s powdery and florid, and I feel like my mouth is vibrating a little bit.
5:27pm — First drink: Rhubarb and Orange-Infused Gin
I feel like this taste is going to be a part of my body forever. Maybe that lingering taste serves as a deterrent to drinking, and that's how you prevent a hangover? What a reach-around.
I also feel like I’m developing more mucus. Or maybe I’m just developing an increased sense of paranoia about my body now that this “great berry taste” is inside me.
6:20pm — Second drink: Spokane Hathaway at Tavolata
My dad is in town and he’s taking my sister and me out to fancy dinner. I happily nosedive into this drink and wait patiently for him to drop his usual bomb of whatever he’s into these days.
Yahtzee: my dad declares he is really into evolution, and now he’s telling me about the fossils he’s purchased this year.
6:51pm — Dinner: Lamb gnocchi; third drink: Whatever Dude
Now he’s telling me how to buy a dinosaur.
Apparently most assembled dinosaurs are 85 percent real, and the rest of their skeleton is assembled from a bone mesh cobbled together hot dog-style from other miscellaneous fossils, dead animals, and random bonery.
He's thinking he’ll casually mount a dinosaur above his mantle—a Psittacosaurus, to be exact. Its name means “parrot lizard,” which becomes obvious when we look it up on Wikipedia.
8:08pm — Fourth drink: Elk Cove Pinot Grigio at the Triple Door
Now we’re discussing what you’d have to give up in your personal life to work for the CIA.
8:25pm — Fifth drink: Elk Cove Pinot Grigio
My sister has started to gently cry as Mackenzie Mercer of The Young Evils sings Patsy Cline’s “He Called Me Baby.”
I drunk-text Mercer’s husband when I realize he’s hosting the show I’m at.
9:09pm — Sixth drink: Elk Cove Pinot Grigio
The show is now over, but we’ve reached the part of the evening when my dad asks about our love lives, so that leads us to:
10:35pm — Seventh drink: Pink Skies at Night at the Dunbar Room
This is a cocktail to be savored, as is pretty much everything at this bar, but we’ve started talking about my workload, which again leads us to:
11:09pm — Eighth drink: Maple Bourbon Old Fashioned
It has a freeze-dried kiwi in it? Or like a calcified pansy? Do rich people eat different fruits than I do?
12:01am — Home
The night ends with me googling “good lunch?” while my sister peels our cats apart and we listen to the samples a publicist emailed me of Molly Ringwald’s jazz album and eat a birthday cake-flavored ice cream sandwich.
I drank maybe two or three glasses of water throughout the night, which is less than half what I would have normally imbibed with that amount of alcohol.
9:37am — Home
I wake up and feel… fine? No headache, no nausea, but a little shaky and tired. Definitely no tangible hangover.
So I guess it works, which shits all over my initial thoughts. If it weren’t $23.99 for six bottles on Amazon, I would probably try it again. Now that I’m no longer college-age and my body has decided to lean in to hangover territory, I am tempted, but maybe I'll save it for the holidays. You know, for when my dad tells me about his new hobby, Segway polo.