This experience probably would've been a lot more informative after an inappropriate amount of drinking the night before.
The team behind a product called the Hangover Recovery Shot stopped in Denver yesterday to schmooze with potential investors at a business conference, and invited Westword to swing by and try their special brew designed to ease the pains and regret associated with a long night of partying and boozing.
Turns out, I'm a tad bit younger than the target demographic they're focusing on..
"It's people 28 to 54 to 55, who literally gotta get up and get to work or soccer moms who gotta get the kids who've had two or three glasses of wine the night before," said Shawn Adamson, one of the founders of the company, sitting at a table at the downtown Marriott, a handful of the 59ml shots by his side. "We're not aimed at people who are just total wrecked alcoholics. We're aimed at people who are functional drinkers."
It also turns out that it's kind of weird to drink without a hangover to cure. I'd only had one beer the night before, but drank the shot anyway for fun, then went back to work. The company's founders say it's supposed to taste good, but it kind of reminded me of a citrusy, slightly thick, cough syrup.
The shot, combined with the 710 ml Pepsi I drank afterward, plus the cup of coffee I'd had that morning, made for a rough combo that had my heart racing at seemingly abnormal speeds (it felt like my heartbeat might be visible through my shirt?), and hands a bit jittery. But I was alert and typing fast!
Here's what the Hangover Recovery Shot is made of, and how it works:
"The formula works on your body like a symphony," Adamson explained, pointing to a key ingredient called niacin, which he said was invented by the Soviet Union in pill form, and "opens your veins." What it does "is goes across your blood-brain barrier and stops your train wreck, stops your headache."
A second ingredient called kudzu, a wild weed, cools down your thermal temperature to stop nausea.
Add to that anti-oxidants, amino acids and caffeine equaling about one cup of coffee, and you've got a cured hangover.
Or in this case, an unnecessarily hyper/shaky reporter.
Adamson and co-founder Michael Jaynes, who both live in Nashville, explained -- with heavy Southern twangs -- how they started Hangover Joe's Incorporated, which now distributes their Hangover Recovery Shot across the country and soon across the globe.
"It was born out of necessity," said Adamson. "We literally started it based on a friend of ours who is a notorious drinker and party animal...and he had too much to drink and had massive hangovers and said to me and Mike, 'Hey, you guys are entrepreneurs, why don't you come up with something to fix this friggin'...hangover?'"
The two responded and set up the company -- which is now based in Colorado Springs and supported with a handy-dandy sponsorship from the popular Hangover movie -- by enlisting some scientists to come up with a special formula to cure the seemingly incurable in 2009.
Folks in Denver can find the product at GNCs and 7-Elevens for around $2.99 to $3.50 a shot.
"What's interesting is the product's cool, right? It's a health and wellness product...everybody's into health and wellness," Adamson said. "And it works."
They gave us a handful of samples, so next time, we'll do it right: lots of booze and no additional caffeine.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.