Koreans are not joking around when they say that they have a drinking culture. I thought my college days were bad, but Koreans make frat parties look like bingo night at the nursing home. Seriously, we are talking required nights out with your coworkers and boss trying to keep pace with them pounding back shot after shot of soju. We are talking seeing full grown men passed out at eleven in the morning on the sidewalk because they just forgot that sleep was a necessity and just stayed out all night. Korean alcohol consumption only comes second to countries like Russia where it is so cold that drinking is required just to keep your blood from freezing. What’s the freezing point of blood, you ask? -2º Celsius. How cold does it get it Russia? -72 freaking degrees Celsius!
But I digress. With all this drinking comes some pretty spectacular hangovers from hell. How are we supposed to drag ourselves back to work and be remotely productive after a marathon of consumption on a random Tuesday night with our coworkers? Cheer up my shwasted friends because Korea is also the land of the hangover cures! Better yet, we decided to be super scientific and put the most famous ones to the test for you after getting housed on Korean soju, beer, makgeolli, and a good old fashioned norebang (karaoke) session. Check out the video for the results or continue below for more information on each of the remedies we tried.
Hangover Cures Used
The Dawn 808 can has a smiling ajushi on the front which can either mean that’s the dude who invented it, or it’s ajushi approved. If this little bottle can cure a full on ajushi quality hangover, then I’m in. The taste could definitely be improved though. Really anything other than “traditional Chinese medicine” flavor would probably be a better choice. Perhaps it’s the awful taste that jolts your body into super recovery mode? Who knows?
Heotgaesu (Raisin Tree Tea)
This is a full on beverage and WILL make you need to pee approximately 100 times throughout the night. It tastes like you opened your mouth in the middle of a dust storm, but wetter (if that makes sense). On the plus side, you are drinking five hundred milliliters of tea, so you are hydrating before you go out to dehydrate with mass amounts of alcohol. This alone makes this tea a legitimate contender amongst Korean hangover cures.
Condition has been around since 1992 and it seems these days to be everyone’s go to hangover drink. It uses the same raisin tree extract as the tea, but in a more concentrated manner. By far the best tasting of the three drinks we tried, but then again it’s not hard to compete against “Dust” and “Traditional Chinese Medicine” flavors. These days you can apparently get “Condition Ladies” because, you know, women are weaker than men and need extra vitamins. Thanks, Korea!
Seolleongtang (Ox Bone Soup)
We tried Seolleongtang, but the basic idea is any warm soup in Korea can be a hangover cure. We thought the broth of this soup was light enough for us “weak women” and also our sensitive hungover tummies. It is created by simmering the bones for hours on end until you are left with a cloudy broth. Then just add cellophane noodles, beef, scallions, rice, salt and pepper. Definitely a perfect comfort soup for when you feel like you just want to lay down and die.
For Best Results
We’ve heard a lot of different things for how to get the best results for these hangover cures. What we tried was drinking two of our respective drinks. We downed the first ones before going out for our night of debauchery and fun and then, somehow, managed to get our shit together afterwards and drink another before bed. The second one almost didn’t happen, but I blame the dumplings for distracting us. Totally the dumplings.
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Time for us to go pop some Advil. Know any other hangover cures for us to try in Korea?