The Red Eye is a cocktail of the species that are meant to be consumed in the late morning following a particularly heavy night of drinking. The benefits of drinking to delay one's hangover are debated elsewhere, but since you might not be so inclined as to follow the argument, right now, we'll stick to the practice:
Easy step-by-step instructions
- Pour an ounce of vodka into the bottom of a pint glass.
- Fill to about the half with tomato juice or V8.
- Top off the glass with a decent beer.
- Quietly crack a raw egg into the glass, discard the shell.
Hint: drink quickly, try to finish the last third of the drink (the egg yolk) in one gulp.
Optional additions include any or all of the following: a dash of lemon juice or angostura bitters; or, a pinch of black pepper or cayenne.
Each of the ingredients in a Red Eye is said to have a beneficial effect on the abused liver and poached brain of the overzealous celebrant. And these four ingredients ought to be available in your kitchen, although you might have had to be thoughtful about hoarding beer and vodka for the next day. Drinking more alcohol is said to help encourage the body to stop processing methanol (which creates rather toxic byproducts) or to bring the vestibular sense back into the alignment it was in when one was drunk; vodka is considered the ideal liquor with which to attempt this effect, as it is the purest hard liquor. The tomato juice or mixed vegetable juice replenishes ions and vitamins that have been lost to urination during and following the previous night’s drinking. The beer is essential, as it cuts the nasty thick viscous texture of the tomato juice and makes the drink altogether palatable. The raw egg, the "eye" for which the drink is named, provides proteins to replace those that the alcohol may have denatured.
Truth be told, no one mixes this drink because they like it, we mix this drink because the alternatives are much too painful to contemplate. The application of a Red Eye is tactical. It should be just the thing to convince your ill-treated body that it is time to wake up, straighten the kitchen, and start preparing ham, grits, redeye gravy, and eggs for the other poor souls writhing in the sunlight and groaning on the living room floor.