You better believe they know a thing or two about curing a hangover, hiccups, an upset stomach—and more

By Chris Artis
December 26, 2014

We've reached peak holiday party season, and New Year's Eve is still on the horizon. But before you blame your local bartender for your morning headache or lack of sleep, we're here to tell you that the person behind the bar could have some effective health hacks and surprisingly sage advice for you. Here, eight tips from seasoned drink-slinger on how to keep from being clobbered by the festivities that go hand in hand with the time of year. (And here are some healthy eating tips on How Not to Get Trashed at Your Office Holiday Party.)

Hiccup Attack Hack



Hic! You hold your breath. Hic! You chug a glass of water. Hic! They just won't go away! Vinny Evans, owner of The Monro Pub in Brooklyn, NY offers a time-tested bartender's hiccup hack: Take a lemon wedge, lightly dredge it in sugar, and douse it with bitters. Now suck. Your hiccups are gone!

Get Pickled to Avoid a Hangover



We don't recommend drinking to excess, but if you find yourself indulging in a round of celebratory shots, Evans says you could do worse than drinking a pickleback. FYI, that's a shot of whiskey followed immediately by a shot of pickle juice. The brine takes some of the bite off the whiskey and it also replaces electrolytes, which you lose when you drink alcohol.

Race a Ferrari to Settle an Upset Stomach



Holiday activities conspire to throw your stomach for a loop. Saskia Kahn at Freddy's Bar in Brooklyn, NY holds the keys to treating your tummy right: a Ferrari! That's equal parts of the digestif Fernet and the aperitif Campari in a single one-ounce shot. Saskia says this aromatic combination will have you racing to a better feeling belly, fast!

Hey, Baby! Had a Rough Night?



If you had one (or maybe three) too many at last night's office party, Kahn recommends making yourself a Hey, Baby! That's Pedialyte-which parents give young kids when they are sick-with an Alka-Seltzer, topped off with a splash of water in a rocks glass. The Pedialyte is chock-full of electrolytes and rehydrates while the aspirin in the Alka-Seltzer will sooth your splitting headache. (Try these 5 Healthy Recipes for Hangover Cures, too.)

The Secret of the Half-Pint



If you're out but want to take it a bit easy, your bar may have a secret that can help you regulate, says Kahn. It's the half-pint glass. It may not be on the menu, but most bars will happily sell you an eight-ounce glass of what's on tap instead of the full pint. Your liver-and your wallet-will thank you.

Stay Away from New, Flavored Liquors



There seems to be an ever-expanding selection of flavored spirits behind the bar these days-but Kahn steers her customers away from them. That's because sometimes what's flavoring the booze may be, um, a little suspect. Consider this: Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey was recently recalled in several European countries because it contained too much propylene glycol, which is an ingredient found in anti-freeze.

Dream of a White Christmas, but Not a White Russian



"I never order a White Russian when I'm out unless I know the bar and the bartender very well," says Evans. "Who knows if the milk has been properly refrigerated? I feel the same way about fruit in a bar. The bartender may have been handling money or cleaning glasses right before cutting the lemons and limes." (Gross, right? And if you're hitting the bathroom at the bar, get informed about these 5 Bathroom Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making.)