Here’s a primer to avoid a New Year’s hangover |

Here’s a primer to avoid a New Year’s hangover

Water — this liquid refreshment could be your savior this season. Holidays, drinking, partying, hangovers. It’s one big tradition that seems to never end.

Bartenders are quick to recommend the free, non-alcoholic drink as the cure to overindulging on libations.

“Have one glass of water per glass of liquor,” said Lauren Bernhardt, who mixes drinks at Rojo’s. “And stick with one liquor.”

Champagne is often the drink of choice to ring in the new year, but Bernhardt says that the liquid gold is scary stuff.

Put a glass of water with a couple of aspirin on the nightstand before going out is Rus Wilson’s suggestion. This bartender at Steamers says lots of sleep and plenty of food are helpful ways to feeling better the morning after a night of drinking.

Coffee is not on anyone’s list of cures. It might perk you up a bit, but the headache and stomachache could just intensify.

Drinking water before alcohol, with alcohol and after alcohol can only help. Alcohol dehydrates, while water rehydrates.

“If you have stomach pain, bitters and soda is a proven (remedy),” said Peter Fernandez, bartender at Fresh Ketch. “Eventually you burp up all the gases.”

He prefers bitters and ginger ale because it tastes better.

There is a product on the market that boasts it can prevent wine headaches. Chaser for Wine Headaches is similar to the first product put out by Living Essentials called Chaser Freedom from Hangovers.

Even though this is a dietary supplement, the active ingredients — activated calcium carbonate and vegetable carbon — are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

This is no hangover cure; it is a preventative tablet available at GNC stores, online at or by calling 888-960-9495.

There is some proof that the hair-of-the-dog theory works.

“My favorite way is to keep on drinking,” Fernandez said. “But then you are working on another (hangover).”

Bernhardt says all the bartenders at Rojo’s mix up a mean bloody mary that is sure to cure all that ails you. It takes 10 minutes to concoct.

She used to live in Poland where vodka was the cure for hangovers. She finds that hangover remedies have an ethnic flavor to them. In Mexico, tequila helps; in Germany, it’s schnapps or beer.

One Rojo’s customer talked about his five years in Germany where beer became a morning drink. And when things get really bad, he suggested a shot of tomato juice with dashes of hot sauce to get some vitamins, a shot of tequila for “oomph” and a shot of orange juice to wash it all down.

It’s not too often that these bartenders have to kick a customer out for being too drunk, but there are options besides putting them behind the wheel.

Steamers is known for taking people’s keys if they are looking wobbly.

There are two services in town that will take people right to their door.

Good Samaritans has been around for 18 years. The nonprofit started with a couple of their volunteers picking up an intoxicated person, one to drive them home and the other to drive their vehicle home.

Now Good Sams works with Yellow Cab to transport people. Most bars and casinos around town have coupons that bartenders will hand out if you ask for one. Then the bartender calls Yellow Cab and off you go for free. Make sure to get an extra coupon to use the next day to retrieve your vehicle from the drinking hole.

Up to five people can go in a cab up to eight miles — the distance between Stateline and Meyers. However, a driver will take people as far as Zephyr Cover. Multiple stops are OK.

The coupon worth $5 is subsidized through Yellow Cab and Good Sams. Tipping drivers is highly encouraged.

Tom Argo, co-founder of Good Sams, is quick to say that getting a ride on New Year’s Eve could be difficult, so plan ahead. And the rides are not just for after a night of drinking. If you think you are going to have one too many, have a stack of coupons that can be purchased by calling (530) 541-7300 and get a ride to the bar.

Argo sells the coupons to people having private parties, as well as to parents of teenagers so they will never feel they have to ride with a friend who has been drinking.

Another option is Bus Plus. It is operated by Area Transit Management, the same people who run the Stage buses through South Lake Tahoe.

Extra buses will be on the roads New Year’s Eve, where service on Stage will be offered until 4 a.m. instead of shutting down at its normal 10 p.m. Bus Plus will run around the clock as usual. The difference with Bus Plus is that it will take people to Christmas Valley later that night.

Bus Plus is a dial-a-ride service. Call (530) 542-6077 to have someone pick you up at your door, take you to wherever and back again. It costs $3 one way within the city limits, $5 into the county.

There is a party atmosphere on the buses on New Year’s Eve. As long as no one is harassing the driver, they are allowed to ride.

“We have people hanging out the window and acting like the inside of the bus is a jungle gym. We just do our best,” said Chris Knight, general manager of Area Transit Management. “We just go with the flow. It’s the only way to go.”

There will be express buses just traveling the length of Highway 50. However, once officers block off the casino corridor — usually about 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 — buses will go up Ski Run Boulevard to Pioneer Trail and turn around there. That means people will have a couple of blocks to walk to the street party.

— Kathryn Reed may be reached at (530) 541-3880, ext. 251 or via e-mail at

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