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When in Rome: Hangover Folk Cure

By September 28, 2018Folk Hangover Cure

No one in Key West can provide hangover relief as well and as fast as we do. We have years of modern medical experience and schooling that back up our approach, but that doesn’t mean that others haven’t tried to cure hangovers themselves.

Ancient Roman ragers were fairly common 2000 years ago. They may not have had keggers as we know them today, but they definitely knew how to throw ‘em back. They generally imbibed what they thought of as more sophisticated indulgences, such as the drinks calda and mulsum (recipe below), which were spiced wines with warm water. They looked down on simple wine drinking as barbaric (kind of the way society looks at boxed wine today – we won’t pass judgment, though).

After eventful nights of their upper-class booze, women, and music, their hangovers probably felt like the rumble of a jeering Colosseum crowd awaiting a gladiator’s death – Russell Crowe excluded.


Their go-to cure in these types of situations was nothing less than Roman ingenuity and excellence: fried canaries.


These little, yellow birds were believed to be the solution to a hangover in ancient Rome, and although we aren’t sure exactly why this was the case, Romans would take a canary and eat it whole after deep frying it like a KFC chicken tender.



There is some debate as to how the canaries were fried. Some believe that the Romans dropped the birds in whole, feathers and all, while others assume they cut off the birds’ heads and feet before cooking them. Whether the birds were cooked alive or not is also unknown, but as we know, Romans aren’t exactly famous for their ethics. As their canary chaser, they would also soak owl’s eggs in more wine and guzzle them down to complete their well-rounded breakfast.


We don’t know how long this hangover folk cure lasted, but you could argue that Italians today practice even stranger remedies. Despite how odd this practice is, it should be noted that there is a reason that Romans don’t use it anymore (and it isn’t because they stopped drinking). Fried food doesn’t work to cure hangovers. In fact, it dehydrates you even more, which is one of the leading causes of a hangover, to begin with. So instead of doing as the Romans do, give our Key West hangover relief specialists a try first. We will come right to you, give you a 45 minute IV treatment, and get you back on your feet faster than you can say “canary”.


Mulsum Recipe

  • ½ cup of honey
  • ~3 cups of dry white wine

Warm the honey in the microwave for 1 minute. Mix a cup of the white wine into the honey. Pour another half cup of the white wine out. Pour the honey and white wine mixture back into the wine bottle and chill for up to an hour. You now have Mulsum, and though you may not be Roman, you can still enjoy it at your toga party.