We’ve all been there: after a night of drinking, you wake up feeling like a train wreck. Your head is pounding, your stomach is queasy, and your mouth is dry. You wish you could just go back to sleep and forget about the consequences of your indulgence. But what if there was a way to ease your suffering with a simple drink?
Enter the prairie oyster, a classic hangover cure that some people swear by. It’s not for the faint of heart, though: it involves swallowing a raw egg mixed with various sauces and seasonings. The name comes from the resemblance of the unbroken egg yolk to an oyster, but don’t expect any seafood flavor here. This drink is all about restoring your body’s balance and giving you a boost of energy.
But how does it work, and does it really work? Let’s break down the ingredients and see what they do for you.
- Raw egg yolk: The star of the show, the raw egg yolk contains a substance called N-acetyl-cysteine, which helps your liver get rid of the toxins from alcohol and tobacco smoke. It also provides some protein and fat to keep you going.
- Tomato ketchup: The red sauce adds some color and sweetness to the drink, but it also has some health benefits. It’s rich in antioxidants called bioflavonoids, which can protect your cells from damage and inflammation.
- Olive oil: The golden liquid adds some smoothness and richness to the drink, as well as some healthy fats and calories. It can also help lubricate your digestive system and ease any nausea or indigestion.
- Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce: These two sauces add some spice and tang to the drink, which can stimulate your appetite and digestion. They can also help clear your sinuses and make you feel more alert.
- Table salt: The white crystals help replenish the sodium that you lose when you drink alcohol. Sodium is an essential electrolyte that helps regulate your fluid balance and blood pressure.
- Ground black pepper: The black specks add some bite and flavor to the drink, but they also have some medicinal properties. Black pepper can improve your blood circulation and metabolism, as well as act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Lemon juice, pickle juice or vinegar: These acidic liquids help balance the pH level in your body, which can be disrupted by alcohol consumption. They can also help restore other electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, which are important for your nerve and muscle function.
To make your own prairie oyster, you will need:
- 1 unbroken raw egg yolk
- 1-2 tomato ketchup tablespoons
- 1 part olive oil
- Some Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce
- Table salt
- Ground black pepper
- Lemon juice, pickle juice or vinegar
Mix all the ingredients in a glass and quickly swallow them up. Don’t think too much about it, just do it. You might feel a slight gag reflex, but that’s normal. Just think of how much better you’ll feel afterwards.
But before you try this drink, be aware that consuming raw eggs can pose some health risks, such as salmonella infection. To reduce the risk, you can use pasteurized eggs or cook the egg lightly before adding it to the drink. You can also skip the egg altogether and just drink some water or sports drinks to rehydrate yourself.
There is no scientific evidence that a prairie oyster can cure a hangover, but some people claim that it makes them feel better. It may be due to the placebo effect or the psychological comfort of having a ritual. However, the best way to avoid a hangover is to drink moderately and responsibly, or not drink at all.