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How to Prevent Hangovers (and Style Your Bar Cart)

by Arielle J on February 3, 2015


Whenever the Holidays, New Year and Superbowl rolls around (aka hangover mania) people always ask me my tips on healthier drinking.

So I’ve finally rounded up my tips on the best drinks to order and how to prevent hangovers (and style your bar cart).

I also asked Roxy Owens, the bar-cart extraordinaire from Society Social for her styling tips on how to turn our liquor cabinets into a gorgeous bar cart so our houses are party-ready all year long.

Full disclaimer – I’m not proposing drinking, I’m just promoting healthier options if you are going to drink:)

My Tips for Preventing Hangovers (and a Healthier Bar Cart):

arielle haspel healthy hangovers
Stock Your Body (Liquor Cabinet and Bar Cart) with The Healthiest Alcohols.

Lighter, distilled liquors, like vodka, whiskey and gin, champagne, and red or white wine are your best bets. If you’re really looking to prevent a hangover, always steer clear of cheaper “house” brands and order top shelf varieties. Next time you’re at the bar, don’t just ask for “a vodka soda” or sip on the glasses of free champagne. Request a specific (good quality) alcohol from the bartender and if you don’t know which is best, ask for their help! I love spirits that are minimally processed and made locally, like this Honey Whiskey. 

honey whiskey

Drink Fresh Chasers and Mix-ins.

Sodas and juices have tons of sugar and sometimes even additives that contribute to terrible post-party headaches and hangovers. Whether you’re entertaining or partying at a bar, opt for fresh liquids to pair with your alcohol of choice. Water, believe it or not is a great add-in for vodka and plain club soda is always a good bet too. Coconut water, fresh lemon or lime juice, fresh-squeezed juices like orange, grapefruit or pomegranate juice (and even green juice) make amazing mix-ins too! You can also go for some olive juice, bloody mary mixa drizzle of honey simple syrup (made with water + honey) to spice up your cocktail. Just be sure to look for brands made without corn syrup or added sugar. Remember: the fresher the cocktail, the more refreshed you’ll feel in the AM.


Make Portion Control Easy.

If you’re out at a bar or restaurant, I recommend 1 shot-worth per drink. If you’re hosting a party, display shot glasses so your guests can portion out their alcohol spending. Remember: 2-3 drinks in total is ideal and should keep you feeling “good” but not too smashed or hungover the next day.


Decorate with Fresh Drink Decor.

As with food, the prettier it is, the more enjoyable it is. If you’re hosting a party, I love decorating drinks with colorful, fresh decor, like cranberries on a toothpick, a sprig of rosemary, a few floating cucumbers, pomegranate seeds, dried citrus slices, slices of grapefruit or oranges or a few green olives. Maraschino cherries are typically loaded with sugar, but even just asking for one in your drink can make your white wine or vodka more festive. Or, just stick with the usual lemons and limes for a pop of color and freshness. Lemons and limes also provide your body with a dose of alkalinity, which will help cleanse your liver and help prevent hangovers. So be sure to squeeze them in your drinks. I suggest 3 lemon wedges per drink.

the healthiest pink palomas by arielle haspel

Order these healthier cocktails (or make them yourself):

  • White Wine Spritzer: regular glass of white wine + seltzer filled to the brim
  • Lemonade Vodka: vodka + seltzer + 4 slices lemons (+ honey)
  • Mojito: rum + seltzer + 4 slices limes + mint (+ honey)
  • Meditteranean Twist: gin + seltzer + olive juice + 2 olives
  • Rum Punch: rum + frozen pineapple + frozen strawberries + frozen raspberries + frozen peaches
  • Dark and Stormy: rum + seltzer + (honey + 1 inch ginger)

Avoid these drinks to prevent hangovers.

Energy drinks, diet soda, regular soda, tonic water, red bull, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, diet fruit juices, bar drink mixes (like margarita mix, pina colada and bloody mary mix), sweet-flavored alcohols (like sweet tea and bubblegum), cream-based alcohol (like Kahlua) and specialty cocktails sweetened with corn syrup or simple syrup.

uproot wine

Tips to prevent and cure your hangover.

  • Drink one cup of water in between each cocktail to help hydrate your body and cleanse your liver, thus preventing headaches and hangovers.
  • Always eat when you drink, even if its a brown rice cake before you jet to the bar or a few nuts when you arrive at the bar. Never drink on an empty stomach.
  • Hydrate when you get home. Chug water as soon as you get home from that party. And, keep a glass of water next to your bed-side stand so you’ll be reminded to hydrate the first thing the next morning. Coconut water is also a great way to hydrate. It’s full of electrolytes too, which will help the post-party aches and pains.
  • The best hangover food. When it comes to the best hangover food, you may be thinking greasy hamburgers and french fries. What your body really needs is most likely something easy to digest, cleansing for the liver and full of vitamins and nutrients. Greens are the best, as they help cleanse the blood, are full of fiber and help inject vitamins and nutrients into your body. I recommend having as many greens as you can – salad with colorful vegetables, a side of cooked broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, avocado and even a green smoothie if you can stomach it! Here are my favorite hangover brunch foods that I’ve healthified: chicken fingers, french toast, fries and pizza.
  • Sweat it out. You may feel like staying in bed all day, but try to move and sweat out some of the toxins. A quick jog, spinning class, yoga, walking and even stretching will make your body feel better.
  • Detoxify your body: I hate to remind you of this, but alcohol is a toxin and can be very toxic and stressful to your organs.  Get rid of the toxins (aka detox) with bitter foods, like bitter greens, dandelion tea or 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Remember, as helpful as these detoxifiers are, when it comes down to it, a detox is just a band-aid for the damage already done to your body.  Don’t overdo it and then try to overdo it with a crazy “detox” after. Be gentle with your body.
  • Treat Yourself: You only have one body so have fun and treat yourself well.

Tips for a Prettier Bar Cart from Roxy ( —

roxy owen from society social

Vintage Barware.

A found treasure always garners a second look and a chic set of mid-century marvelous highballs or dapper decanters will also be a nod to the glamorous retro ritual of cocktail hour.


Stock the Basics. 

    Don’t feel like you have to brandish every single liqueur, liquor, and mixer. Focus on the makings of your favorite cocktail (anything gin for me!) then add a special liqueur or two for a quick switch up when you’re feeling adventurous.


Blooms, Books, & Booze.

    Sticking to the basics like mentioned above affords extra area for personal touches like your favorite fresh cut flowers and go-to cocktail and hostessing handbooks.


Tray Facile!

    It’s easy. Use trays to help you divide the bar cart into zones and dedicate each to a specific essential whether it’s glassware, bottles, or a collection of your own brass menagerie! You’ll be simultaneously stylish and organized. **Use trays to turn any surface into an instant bar cart station!


Source Unique Spirits.

    Of course never sacrifice a tasty tipple for aesthetics, but there are many options aside from the generic liquor store offerings. Researching a small or local distillery can yield pretty packaging as well as equally delicious spirits!


A big thank you to Roxy for some of her gorgeous photos above. She makes and sells the coolest bar carts ever. Check them out on her site

Hope these tips help inspire you to celebrate life a little healthier (and prettier this year).

Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year… and no more hangovers!


be well,


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