Prairie oyster (cocktail)

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prairie oyster

A prairie oyster (or prairie cocktail) is a drink consisting of a raw egg, Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice, vinegar, hot sauce, salt and ground black pepper. The egg is broken into a glass so as not to break the yolk, which causes the drink to bear a similarity to the texture of an actual oyster. The drink has historically been referred to as a hangover cure.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the Oxen of the Sun episode of James Joyce's Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus is advised to have a prairie oyster instead of absinthe after a long night of binge drinking.
  • In the 1931 film The Last Flight, three of the main characters order a prairie oyster after a night of heavy drinking.
  • In the 1936 film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) is served a Prairie Oyster by his servant Walter (played by Raymond Walburn) to "make his head feel smaller" when he is suffering from a hangover.
  • In the 1937 film A Star is Born, Fredric March (Norman Maine) has a Prairie Oyster at the bar to cure his hangover when he spies Janet Gaynor (Vicky Lester) and begins a conversation.
  • In the 1939 book Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, Sally Bowles tells Christopher Isherwood that she practically lives on it.
  • In the 1942 Preston Sturges film The Palm Beach Story, between 47:39 and 48:23, J.D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) order Prairie Oysters on the New York to Miami train, which cost 25 cents each. "Make mine on the half shell," says Hackensacker.
  • In the 1950 novel, Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith, Charles Bruno makes the drink after another night of drinking.
  • In the 1959 film The Nun's Story, Gaby (Audrey Hepburn) is given the drink to aid her in recovery from suspected tuberculosis.
  • The drink features early on in the 1972 film adaptation of Cabaret, being drunk by Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) as a hangover cure offered to her love interest Brian Roberts (Michael York).
  • In the 1990 film Back to the Future Part III, Marty pours the (egg-free) "wake-up juice" into Doc's stomach to wake him up after he instantly passes out from a shot of whiskey in the Old West.
  • In the 1993 film Addams Family Values, Gomez Addams (Raul Julia) is seen preparing a decidedly alcohol-filled, salt-and-pepper-free version of the cocktail in a baby bottle for his newborn, Pubert, saying, "Hair of the Pup!"
  • In the 2001 film The Man Who Wasn't There, the attorney Freddy Riedenschneider (Tony Shalhoub) orders a Prairie Oyster in the cafe on the morning he meets Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton).
  • In Heathers: The Musical, Heather Chandler asks Veronica to make her this drink.
  • In the Japanese animated series Cowboy Bebop, the main character Spike Spiegel is seen making a Prairie Oyster to help with a hangover in the episode Heavy Metal Queen. The bartender however, adds one or two shots of what appears to be gin; the bottle reads 'BOOFEATER', most likely referencing Beefeater Gin.
  • In the 1970s television sitcom The Jeffersons, the character Tom (Franklin Cover) is given the drink by his daughter, Jenny (Berlinda Tolbert), the morning after the Willis' attendance of a party. She served the drink with tomato juice. (Season 2, Episode 17 "The Break-Up, Part 2")
  • In the television show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the character Jack Rudolph (Steven Weber) asks Simon Styles (D. L. Hughley) if he knows where to get a Prairie Oyster (implying one would be hard to find). When Simon says he has one in his dressing room, Jack replies "Who are you? Sinatra?". (Season 1, Episode 14 "The Harriett Dinner, Part 2")
  • In The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Francis and Bunny drink prairie oysters to cure a hangover (Chapter 2)
  • In the video game Catherine, The drink is referenced in one of the many cocktail trivia segments that can occur in the bar.
  • In the American TV show Shameless, the character Mickey is seen preparing one in "The Alibi". (Season 4, Episode 1)
  • In the television show John Doe, Digger (William Forsythe) offers John Doe (Dominic Purcell) a prairie oyster, as he assumes Doe is hungover. John cites the ingredients as being "2 parts tomato juice, 1 part egg yolk, 1 part Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste." (Season 1, Episode 3 "Doe Re: Me")
  • In Joe Masteroff's 1967 version of Cabaret, the character Sally Bowles refers to Prairie Oysters as "heaven for a hangover". (Act 1, Scene 5)
  • On the red carpet at the 90th Academy Awards, Andy Serkis described prairie oysters as his favourite hangover cure. Interviewer Georgia Toffolo claimed she loved them but, when later asked to explain what they were, admitted she did not know. [1]
  • In Thunderball, the 1961 novel by Ian Fleming, prior to spending a fortnight at Shrublands ("Gateway to Health"), James Bond states that "there wasn't a week went by but that on at least one day I couldn't eat anything for breakfast but a couple of aspirins and a prairie oyster".
  • In season 1 episode 1 (The House of Getty) of the F/X series Trust, one of the main characters, John Paul Getty, opens the scene with his butler preparing a “prairie oyster” for him to drink upon awakening.

See also[edit]