Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Five Estonian Cures for a Hangover

Alcohol consumption laws have recently changed in Estonia. From July 1st 2014 it became legal to drink alcohol in public places under certain circumstances. This now means people in Estonia can enjoy a bottle of wine during a picnic which is common in other parts of Europe.

Looking back on some of the previous alcohol laws in Estonia, the government have made some positive changes by limiting the sale of alcohol at night to encourage responsible drinking.  Ten years ago you could buy alcohol in Estonia 24 hours a day from virtually everywhere, including the little kiosks on the streets. Nowadays the sale of alcohol in shops is restricted, from 10pm until 10am it can only be purchased in bars and restaurants (not for consumption off the premises) and this law is in force in all counties of Estonia.

Unfortunately black market activity has emerged as a result of these restrictions. In recent years there has been a rise taxi bookings in Tallinn, not because somebody wants to go somewhere but because it was known that taxi drivers often sold liquor from the boots of their vehicles.  It became a popular home delivery service until authorities got wind of it and instituted a major crackdown. Another method used by those involved in the illegal sale of alcohol was via the parcel lockers system. All people had to do was buy bottle of booze on-line, nominate which post locker to collect it from, then go and pick it up. It was that simple. The hidden danger here of course is the threat it posed to minors. As the whole transaction was completed on-line with no face to face contact involved, under age drinkers with access to a parcel locker account could easily get their hands on liquor. Police have also become aware of this tactic and those found guilty are subject to some fairly hefty fines.

If, on the other hand you are a good law abiding person who is organised and stocks up on your booze prior to your party or gathering then you probably don't have too much to worry about, that is, until the next morning. There's no crime in having a good night out or having a few drinks too many, we all need to let our hair down from time to time. But if you wake up one morning feeling worst for wear, a bit icky, then you may be in need of an affective remedy.

During the old times in Estonia it was quite common for the woman of the household to keep a health book full of home remedies for various ailments. Some of these treatments may have been more effective than others but if you're in a spot of bother and looking for a hangover cure, why not give one of these a try?

1. Vodka Socks. This is an old Estonian remedy that has been used for generations. It apparently works for well for all kinds of ailments including hangovers. What you need -  a thin pair of cotton socks, one pair of warm socks, vodka, water and a cup of hot tea.

Method - In a bowl mix 2/3 water with 1/3 vodka then soak the thin socks in the liquid mix. Squeeze the socks so they're not too soppy then put them on and cover with the warm pair.  Then you go to bed and drink the tea and hopefully you will sweat the toxins out of your system!

2.  Drink the water from the gherkins (pickles) jar. Many older Estonians swear by this and claim its an excellent way to be rid of a hangover.

3. Eat toast or crackers. The carbohydrates soak up the alcohol in your system and alleviates nausea.

4. Drink kefir (sour milk).

5. Eat potatoes with milk. Too much alcohol in the system can reduce your bodies potassium and calcium levels. You need to replenish your mineral levels in order to bounce back.