Photo by OCW staffA recent study found that alcohol staves off dementia. A few weeks after that, Time magazine included red wine as one of its top 10 foods, pointing out that it was rich in antioxidants, boosted good cholesterol and inhibited hardening of the arteries.
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Health, thy name is hooch.
But, as with any medicine, knowledge is the key—you wouldn't take aspirin for gonorrhea; we all know that's a complete waste of time—so we turned to mixologist Mike Torribio, Ph.D./Alc./Vol. We asked Torribio, who has a practice at Memphis Soul Café and Bar in Costa Mesa, what he prescribes for the most common maladies. He was assisted by a guy at the bar who would not give his name and may have been drunk or just British.
Hangover: A Bloody Mary. And I mean my Bloody Mary, not this little vodka-and-tomato-juice thing. It shouldn't be one of these sipping drinks. It should have lots of horseradish and Worcestershire, and you need to drink it fast. You're trying to burn your insides clean. People think of a Bloody Mary as a social drink. Actually, it's very medicinal. Head cold: Tall glass of brandy, probably Presidente, served warm in the morning. (Brit: Drink it out of a snifter.) And then a half-ounce shot every hour after that. That will definitely clean out your sinuses. (That's why they call it a snifter.) You'll be feeling better pretty quick, and even if you don't, you won't know it. Insomnia: Martinis. First off, you have to concentrate not to spill the drink, so you're having to use your mind. You're numbing the mind, so you need to try and tire it out. (Shaking the shaker, you use up a lot of energy.) Yeah, shaking the drink, pouring the drink—you want to tire yourself out even before you start to self-medicate. You don't just want to sit there and drink because that's what you were doing when you got the insomnia. Dieting: My recommendation is to skip dinner. That way you can drink more and not worry about it—more bang for your buck. If you're lucky, it might even lead to throwing up, so you're ridding yourself of maximum calories. Aphrodisiac: Chocolate martini. The chocolate releases those endorphins. (How about a Mind Eraser for the woman?) Toothache: I would suggest a drink with a sugared rim. It's a bit of alternative therapy, but I think if you have the sugar, then the sugar is going to attack the tooth and make it hurt more, which in turn is going to make you drink more. It's like fighting fire with fire. I suggest a Lemon Drop Martini or a Pink Lemonade Martini . . . though I hesitate to say that, since no self-respecting person should drink anything pink. (Amen.) Upset stomach: Red wine. The French drink three to five glasses of red wine a day, and the French make me sick to my stomach. (You know why God invented the French?) But after three to five glasses of red wine, I can tolerate them a lot better. (You know why God invented the French? So everyone would have someone to hate.) To become better-looking: No one's ugly after 2 a.m. If you want to be better-looking to your girlfriend, just wait until 2 in the morning. Keep drinking until then—that's if you start by 10 p.m., of course. To calm down: Boilermaker. As the shot glass sinks to the bottom of the beer glass, you can kind of see your life, you know, just slipping down to the bottom. (Down you gooo!) And when it's dropped to the bottom, you know, like your life, you'll feel at one with things. Ensuring that the person you wake up with remains good-looking: Well, now we're back to the beginning. Bloody Mary. You want to take care of your vision—quick. (You mean impair your vision, don't you?) Well, I guess it depends. (Yes, it does.)
Memphis Soul Café and Bar, 2920 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-7685.