This Bartender Never Gets a Hangover

Get a professional's three-part attack to responsible, no-regret drinking


 Adam Stemmler is an aficionado of alcohol.

He's the savant beverage director at downtown’s hip underground Syrah Wine Parlor and a veteran bartender at Firehouse in Pacific Beach. He's had his share of nights on the town but said he now never gets a hangover.

He's willing to share his three-fold plan of attack. It involves prevention, practice and postgame reaction. (Remember: Stemmler is a 29-year-old bartender, not a doctor. Even so, he preaches moderation in drinking. “The worst thing you can do is be good all week and then throw it into fifth gear on the weekend," he said.)

Prevention: Every day, Stemmler takes a complex B vitamin, a probiotic (which speeds up digestion) and milk thistle (a natural herb that's good for the liver), all of which are available at Henry's. Stemmler also never eats fast food: "If you're not polluting your body with processed carbs, your body can process alcohol faster."

Practice: Try to avoid mixers -- especially processed sugars that are in Coke and Sprite. Likewise, eschew syrupy drinks like Jagermeister. And stick with one spirit all night. If you're imbibing at opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack, don't start with a Del Margarita then switch to a Del Martini and follow it with a Del Mary. Also: one glass of water for every two alcoholic drinks helps avoid dehydration.

Postgame: OK, something went wrong and you wake up with a bass-drum solo playing in your frontal cortex. "Go for greasy food," Doc Stemmler said. "An egg omelet is good -- so are breakfast burritos."

Will the Three P’s work for all ages? Stemmler admitted his research is anecdotal: "I'm 29; who knows what'll happen when I’m 35."

Ron Donoho is a regular contributor to and a contributing editor to His Web site ( is dedicated to news, sports, culture, happy hours and all things downtown.

Send Ron a Tip or Invite Here

Contact Us