In our newest series The Hangover Show, our host and chef/butcher all-around charming lady Cara Nicoletti helps ease the suffering of friends after they’ve had a long night out making terrible choices with alcohol. (In episode two, guest and comedian Greta Titelman remembers that she regrettably FaceTimed her crush and showed him her boobs after a lot of wine.) So the morning after each of these debaucherous (and video-documented) nights on the town, Nicoletti welcomes her bleary-eyed friends into her home to make them a hangover feast, catered to their needs. But the healing starts way before the food ever hits the table. (Or the coffee table, because no one strays too far from the couch, tbh.)
For the show, Nicoletti stocked up her apartment to be the ultimate haven of restoration for the probably-still-slightly-inebriated. There are cold face masks, spa slippers, and head massagers for her guests to relax with while sprawled on her couch. An aromatherapy mister puffs quietly in the corner. Bottles of aspirin and antacid tablets surround a burning incense stick on a silver platter. There’s a “relaxation tent” with fur pillows and twinkle lights. “When someone walks in this room, I want them to feel calm. Like they’re getting a warm hug,” she says in episode one.
When Nicoletti knows she’s going to have her own occasional night of hard drinking, she sets herself up for (relative) success the next morning by prepping her apartment slightly less extravagantly, but nonetheless strategically. “Make sure your curtains are closed. Make sure you clean your floor up so you’re not tripping over anything when you’re hobbling to the bathroom! Put away all sharp objects on the counter so when you stumble in late, you’re not dropping knives and shit on your toes,” she says. “Also, make sure you have a clean towel so you can take a really nice hot shower. That’s so underrated when you’re hung over. Get out of bed.”
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“Hydration is also number one for a hangover, so for me, that means Pedialyte and Gatorade in the fridge,” she adds. On the show, she offers her guests a bubbling punch fountain of beverages to restore their much-depleted electrolytes. Coffee is critical too, but she’s not usually one to be up for making a pot or venturing out to a coffee shop when she’s in a delicate state. “Maybe get like, a bottle of Stumptown cold brew and keep it in the fridge just to be safe.”
"Put away all sharp objects on the counter so when you stumble in late, you’re not dropping knives and shit on your toes.”
Being the consummate TV host that she is, Nicoletti provides an epic spread of carefully engineered hangover remedy foods, full of grease, salt, carbs, cheese, and everything else her guests could need to feel normal again. But when Sober Cara is planning on only having to take care of Hungover Cara (not a whole horde of drunks), she keeps it simple with at least a slice of cold pizza on standby. “Sometimes you just have to get that first thing into your body before you can even think about ordering any other takeout,” she says, a sentiment with which we can all certainly sympathize.
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“This show is really about ‘healing’ people, but like, in a funny way,” she says. “That’s what cooking for people should be. This is like saying, I know I got you drunk last night, and now I’m going to fix you,” she says. “It was really important to just celebrate cooking for each other and feeding each other and making each other feel better.”