At a time when more New Yorkers are visiting the ER for drinking excess, a West Village mixologist is the latest to claim he has invented an elixir to prevent hangovers.
Self-proclaimed master alchemist Alex Ott, 37, is unveiling his alleged cure today — aptly called Mercy — at select venues throughout the city, including Juliet Supper Club and Greenhouse.
Mercy — a carbonated, citrus drink made of a blend of amino acids, vitamins and lemongrass — is being marketed as a mixer, meant to be combined with vodka or other spirits.
But doctors are concerned that the drink will harm more than help. “If you take the hangover away, you create a dangerous situation,” cautions Stephen Ross, director of NYU’s Center of Excellence on Addiction. “More people are going to overdose.”
“This would be something that would further encourage college students to binge drink,” adds addiction specialist Arnold Washton.
And New York is a city that loves to drink. Nearly 74,000 people were hospitalized in 2009 for booze-related reasons, compared with just 22,000 in 2003, according to the city’s Health Department.
“This is a wild claim,” said Dr. Steven Park, a Midtown-based surgeon. “People have been coming up with cures for decades; they better have a money-back guarantee.”
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter at @EmilyatMetro.