In fact, last year, we consumed 73 million bottles of the stuff.
Fortunately, experts have found that it could well have health benefits, It’s been reported that gin can help tackle hayfever, but now experts have discovered that it may also boost your metabolism.
A study carried out by the University of Sigulda in Latvia found that gin may have a positive effect on our metabolism by helping to burn calories more efficiently.
The study was carried out using groups of mice, who were given either gin or water.Their calorie burning potential was then observed, with researchers finding that the mice who drank the gin showed an increase in their metabolic rate and not by a small measure.
Not only that, but some mice showed an increase of a whopping 17% in metabolic rate.
The mice who were given the water showed no change at all. The reason given for the change in metabolism is that it creates what has been dubbed an ‘afterburn effect,’ boosting metabolism as the liver continues to break down the alcohol in the liver.Study author Thisa Lye confirmed that ‘the spirit may have a slimming effect on the body’, though she added that further tests would need to be carried out on humans before the theory could be completely verified.
In August of 1985, a US Navy-sponsored expedition lead by marine archeologist Robert Ballard was struggling to find the wreck of the Titanic. Ballard and his crew were given twelve days to sweep a potential resting place of more than 150 square miles using new technology that allowed for exploration below 10,000 feet. One week into the expedition, Ballard and his crew propitiously stumbled across the Titanic’s “debris field,” a large trail of debris left by the ship as it broke in half and sank to the ocean floor.
The debris field contained millions of objects: suitcases, clothes, bathtubs, jugs, bowls, hand mirrors and numerous other personal effects. One item that caught Ballard’s eye in particular were fully intact wine bottles, which appeared to still contain their corks.
The number of wine bottles scattered around the Titanic—an ocean liner whose main appeal was its luxury—isn’t a surprise. The ship’s first class passengers enjoyed extremely elaborate, 10-course dinners, with accompanying wine pairings for each dish. Corks retreived from the wreck indicate that Champagne from Moët and Heidsieck & Co. was popular on board.
A man holds a lunch menu recovered from the Titanic.
Champagne-style wines were favoured on the Titanic because they could be easily chilled after being brought onto the ship. Bordeaux wines were less favoured because the rumble from the enormous steam engines could dislodge sediment from inside the bottle. To slake the thirst of its first class passengers, the Titanic held more than 12,000 bottles of wine in its cellar.
This begs the question: if photographs indicate that the wreck of the Titanic holds thousands of sealed, unbroken bottles, could some of that wine still be drinkable?
It’s difficult to say, mainly because samples from the wreck are few and far between. Ballard himself refused to take bottles of wine from the wreck, claiming that doing so would be tantamount to grave robbing:
“Maritime collectors around the world would have paid thousands of dollars for a piece of the ship… How I would have loved a bottle of Titanic champagne for my own wine cellar. But from all our discussions it became clear that the Titanic has no true archaeological value… Recovering a chamber pot or a wine bottle or a copper cooking pan would really just be pure treasure-hunting.”
Bottles claiming to be from the wreck of the Titanic do occasionally appear at auctions, but the ship’s extensive wine collection remains mostly undisturbed on the ocean floor.
Experts taste wine from a 151-year-old US Civil War shipwreck at an event in Charleston, South Carolina. Attendees claimed the wine tasted like “crab water, gasoline, salt water, vinegar, with hints of citrus and alcohol.”
If other wrecks are any indication, however, there is some hope. A shipment of wines that lay buried in a wreck on the ocean floor for 138 years off the coast of Georgia was retrieved and tasted by divers in 1979, who described the wines as “incredibly good” (the collection contained 1839 red Bergundy of Cru quality, 1834 Port and 1830 Madeira).
In 2010, Finnish divers discovered several crates of champagne and beer from a sunken ship that had been at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for nearly 200 years. When changing pressures caused one of the champagne corks to pop out of its bottle, the divers tasted the wine and found that it was still drinkable.
“Bottles kept at the bottom of the sea are better kept than in the finest wine cellars,” Champagne expert Richard Juhlin explains. If experts like Juhlin are right, if there is anywhere wine could survive for 100 years, it’s the bottom of the ocean.
Perhaps the closest comparison we have to the Titanic is the RMS Republic, another massive White Star ocean liner which sunk in 1909 when it collided with the SS Florida. A key difference between the two wrecks is that the Republic experienced relatively little loss of life, making salvage efforts less prone to accusations of grave robbing.
Expeditions to the Republic have found a similarly large collection of wines: Moët & Chandon and Dom Ruinart champagnes; several Mosels, other white wines of uncertain origin, and some Bordeaux. When divers from a 1987 expedition opened a bottle of 1898 Moët & Chandon Champagne from the wreck, they found the wine to be “effervescent” and “wonderful.” When they sent some of the bottles to the New York office of Christie’s auction house, however, the wines were found to be malodorous and unpleasant.
“The bottles they brought us were debris,” Robert Maneker of Christie’s told The Wine Spectator in 1987. Experts at the auction house determined that the wine bottles were nothing more than a collection of “curiosities,” like “shrunken heads,” and said that newspaper reports estimating that the bottles could be worth up to $4,000 were “absolutely rubbish.”
If past shipwrecks are any indication then, the Titanic’s wine collection could have met a variety of fates. Fluctuations in temperature, bacteria and water pressure could have removed the seals of the bottles completely. Seepage might also have slowly replaced the original contents of the bottles with saltwater. Or perhaps some of the Titanic’s wine collection lies on the ocean floor still intact, after more than a century of deep sea cellaring, still waiting to be tasted. ♦
Most booze lovers would be quite open to trying different craft beers – and there are many to choose from these days.
But even the most adventurous of beer drinkers might have a hard time getting their head around this one, made from bacteria harvested from vaginas.
Although this sounds like a joke, rest assured it is not…in fact, this company is not the first company to try and market a food product that had the essence of vagina! However, we believe this is the first time we have ever come across anything that we were asked to eat or drink that includes the woman’s “juice” as an active ingredient in the product!
The name of the beer is The Order of Yoni. Wojtek Mann, the founder of the company explains that the word “yoni” means “vagina” in the Sanskrit language and the logo/artwork associated with the beer is also the symbol of a Hindu Goddess.
As you can imagine things only get weirder when you learn more about a vagina flavored beer.
The creators behind ‘Bottled Instinct’ decided that they wanted to capture the essence of a woman (‘her charm, her sensuality, her passion… her taste, feel her smell… her voice’) and turn it into a drink.
The Order of Yoni’s website reads: “The secret of the beer lies in her vagina.
“Using hi-tech of microbiology, we isolate, examine and prepare lactic acid bacteria from vagina of a unique woman.
“The bacteria, lactobacillus, transfer woman’s features, allure, grace, glamour, and her instincts into beers and other products, turning them into dance with lovely goddess.”
For many, summer and drinking go hand-in-hand – it’s the season for pints in beer gardens and wine in the park.
The problem is, a lot of us are stuck ‘enjoying’ these drinks with red, puffy eyes and our noses streaming into our glasses, thanks to the ultimate killjoy, hay fever.
The seasoned hay fever sufferer will make sure they’re stocked up on anti-histamines way before pollen starts to fill the spring breeze, but what you might not know is how alcohol can affect hay fever, and which types are best for it.
How does alcohol affect hay fever?
It’s not actually the alcohol itself that affects your allergies, but rather different substances found in alcoholic drinks, containing histamine and sulphites, which cause the symptoms of hay fever.
According to Livestrong, histamine tightens lung muscles, relaxes muscles in blood vessels and speeds up muscle movement in the intestines, while also increasing mucus production and causing inflammation. Sound familiar?
High levels of histamine tend to be found in darker, fermented alcoholic drinks, like wine and beer, which means that for some sufferers as much as a few sips can bring on these symptoms.
Stay in the clear
While no alcohol is going to make your hay fever actively better, Asthma UK say there are drinks you can choose which will stop you from suffering more, namely clear alcohols like gin and vodka.
Gin does not naturally contain any sulphites, and many vodkas are also clear of them, meaning a G&T or a vodka lemonade might be your best bet for a rooftop tipple. Given gin and tonic is practically the perfect summer drink, we can’t really complain.
If you’re a champagne-loving hay fever sufferer, we’ve got some very bad news for you – there’s nothing as bad for your allergies in the world of food and drink than a glass of bubbly.
Champagne contains around 84mg of histamine per 125ml glass. When you compare that with the next worst, red wine, at 15mg for a large glass, you’ve got a pretty strong argument for saving the Moët for the winter months.
Beer varies significantly by type, but a typical lager is around 14mg, while white is significantly better for you.
Will food affect my hay fever too?
Unfortunately the answer here is yes. Tofu, sauerkraut and cured meats are all particularly high in histamine, as well as blue cheese and parmesan.
Canned fish, aubergine, citrus fruits and ketchup are also all worth avoiding if you’re a particularly bad sufferer.
How’s the pollen count this year?
Not to bombard you with yet more bad news but, well, here’s some more bad news: Professor Stephen Durham, a professor of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College London told LBC earlier today that we can expect a particularly rough year when it comes to sneezing our brains out through our noses.
“The tree pollen season is starting later this season after the cold spring delayed germination. The warm weather is going to bring on high pollen counts,” he said.
“It seems that there’s been a sudden burst due to the warm weather and we get this late germination and pollen release at once.”
Rather than simply being low in histamine, some foods are actually rich in antihistamines, which help to block or disrupt histamine receptors – this is why many people take antihistamine tablets for hayfever. Foods that are rich in flavonoids such as quercetin, vitamin C or beta-carotene can help to block histamine and reduce inflammation.
Our top anti-histamine foods include:
Garlic – this is a rich source of quercitin and helps to support the immune system
Ginger – this is a popular choice for reducing hayfever symptoms, whether as a tea or added to foods and smoothies
Onions – these are another good source of quercetin and vitamin C
Blueberries – this superfood is packed full of vitamin Cand quercetin
Nettle – you can buy this as a powder to add to smoothies or you could try nettle tea
A smoothie is a great way to get more of these natural anti-histamine foods into your diet. Try a delicious hayfever-blasting smoothie, containing blueberries, strawberries, honey and ginger.
When you hear the term alcohol, you automatically associate it with negative aspects. I can’t fault you for this since alcohol has been proven to have many adverse health effects on the human body. But what if I told you that new research has surfaced that would suggest that moderate consumption of alcohol could lead to a longer life? (The keywords being moderate consumption). The Time has released an article which states that drinking alcohol can lead to a longer, more prosperous life.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference is where this research was presented. The individual behind these findings is neurologist Claudia Kawas, who states that drinking two glasses of beer or wine a day can reduce the risk of premature death. In fact, she adds that it has even better statistics than those who exercise on a daily basis.
In order to determine this conclusion, Kawas and her colleagues took data from a long-term study that was conducted at the UC Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders and analyzed it. The study was called the 90+ study, which has been following elderly individuals who lived to be historic landmarks since 2003. The reason this study exists was to see which lifestyle practices gave people the best longevity.
After her team analyzed the data from the study, they concluded that individuals who consumed two glasses of wine or beer per day reduced their risk of an early death by an astonishing 18%. To compare that statement, individuals who exercised between 15 to 45 minutes per day cut the exact same risk, but only by 11%.
This new found research suggests that consuming alcohol could be the secret to living a longer life. But this study isn’t the first to link alcohol to a longer life though. A 2015 study published in the journal BMJ Open found that those suffering from mild Alzheimer’s and moderately drank were less likely to die. In addition, a 2017 study that’s published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that moderate drinkers reduced the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who didn’t drink.
For the 2017 study, over 333,000 people were surveyed about their alcohol consumption and the type of lifestyle they lived. They were tracked for an average of eight years. Those who were light and moderate drinkers reduced their risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease by 25 to 30%.
Although research does suggest that moderate drinking could contribute to a longer life, we still need to remember that consuming large quantities of alcohol has consequences. If you are trying to lose weight, alcohol contains empty calories that will contribute to weight gain. I would also like to mention that if you are drinking alcohol, always make sure that you have the proper transportation home. Never drink and drive.
Boozy gummies have been all the rage lately but hold onto your tongues, y’all — because Fireball gummy bears are officially here to wreck your mouth in the best possible way. Fireball, aka everyone’s favorite cinnamon whisky/the only acceptable addition to hot chocolate on a winter’s night that doesn’t come frothing out of a whipped cream can, has leveled up to what is arguably the highest form that an alcoholic drink can achieve. We have tequila gummy bears, we have rosé gummy bears, and apparently, my friends, we have now tested just how far we can fly to the alcoholic gummy sun without getting burned, and discovered it was well worth the risk. Now I don’t know about you, but gummy bears are my absolute favorite sweet treat. Yes, the humble gummy bear has had a bit of a rebrand in recent years, and much of that is to do with making them boozy. : gummy bears made with the cinnamon-flavored whisky, Fireball.
And just by reading the description, we were sold:
“Delicious cinnamon whisky gummy bears. A candy form of the popular ‘Fire Ball’ drink. An adult treat to enjoy at the pool, BBQ or just because.”
Place Fireball, sugar, and gelatin in a saucepan over medium low heat. Keep it below 90 degrees if you want to retain the alcohol content (definitely don’t let it bubble). Whisk for ~5 minutes, until sugar and gelatin dissolve.
Transfer the mixture to a glass measuring cup with a spout. Carefully pour over the molds. Using the flat edge of a knife or spatula, distribute the excess and ensure molds are filled.
Refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour. When set, pop the bears out of the mold.
Store Fireball gummy bears in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
With such elegant curves and smooth lines, it is certain to draw the eye. But there is more to this beautiful wooden bicycle than appearances suggest. Meticulously engineered to create the smoothest of rides, its innovative frame contains a small proportion of sapele wood and is hand-crafted from the finest American oak which, intriguingly, has already given years of exceptional service to Glenmorangie’s award-winning Highland single malt whisky…
The Glenmorangie Original bicycle is the culmination of a creative collaboration between Glenmorangie single malt Scotch whisky, and Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, inventors of the first engineered wooden bicycles. United by their passion for wood, exceptional craftsmanship and zeal for innovation, these kindred spirits were inspired to celebrate the casks which bring to maturity Glenmorangie Original, the Distillery’s signature single malt, in the world’s first bicycles made from whisky casks.
Dedication to wood
Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been revered for its masterful whisky creation, challenging the bounds of single malt in pursuit of excellence. The Distillery’s dedication to its craft is never more apparent than in The Original. Created from spirit distilled in Scotland’s tallest stills, it is matured for ten years in the finest hand-selected ex-bourbon casks.
And unlike other distilleries, who may use their casks many times, the casks of The Original are only ever used twice, to ensure they enrich Glenmorangie’s delicate spirit with their fullest depths of flavour
In honour of these casks, which so shape The Original’s uniquely smooth and rounded character, Glenmorangie has searched the world to find brands which share its respect for wood and pioneering spirit. The single malt’s Beyond the Casks series began last year, with an innovative collaboration with British eyewear brand Finlay & Co. to create the world’s first Scotch whisky sunglasses from The Original’s casks. Renovo seemed a perfect partner for the second inspiring limited edition.
A meeting of minds
“From the moment we began talking to Renovo, we realised there was a natural affinity between our brands,” explains Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation. “Renovo shares our uncompromising approach to craftsmanship and, like Glenmorangie, is known for its pioneering work with wood. So, we shipped a pallet of staves from second-fill casks which once contained The Original from our Highland Distillery to Renovo’s workshop in the U.S. Then, we began to imagine the possibilities…”
Renovo was founded in 2007 by Ken Wheeler, a keen touring cyclist. He was inspired by wood’s unrivalled ability to absorb shock and resist fatigue to begin designing unique, hollow-framed wooden bicycles that displayed all the durability and beauty of an heirloom. Ken, who has a background in aeroplane engineering, was delighted by the prospect of working with Glenmorangie’s casks. “The American oak from which Glenmorangie makes its casks is a great wood,” he says. “Its engineering properties are ideal for bikes, as hard woods have a high stiffness. For us, the only aspect that was different was the shape of the staves, which have a curve to them, and the fact that they were a little damp, after spending years with whisky inside them… which, by the way, made them smell pretty good. Although, we have to admit to whisky fans, the scent has now diminished!”
Ken soon set his skilled craftsmen to work on these invitingly scented staves, creating innovative designs which would embrace the staves’ trapezoidal shape and their unique curvature. “We finally decided upon a design which would celebrate that curve in the downtube – the largest tube of the bicycle, which carries the most load,” he explains.
Creating an heirloom
Once the design was finalised, it took more than 20 hours – and 15 staves – to create each bicycle. At Renovo’s workshop, in Portland, Oregon, the wood was carefully cut into the shape required and any remaining charcoal (bourbon barrels are traditionally charred on the inside) was smoothed away. Ken’s craftsmen married the American oak with darker sapele wood, to bring an intriguing colour contrast to the hollow frame. Finally, they added a durable coating, and decorated the frame with Glenmorangie’s Signet icon and each bicycle’s individual number.
The finished bicycle, fitted with superior handlebars, pedals and other accessories, is a celebration of the values that Glenmorangie and Renovo share. Dr Bill adds: “In these beautiful bicycles, we have created a lasting tribute to Glenmorangie Original’s casks to which our award-winning whisky owes so much. I’m delighted that through our pioneering collaboration with Renovo, founded on a shared passion for innovation and expertise in wood – we ensure that these wonderful casks live on and on.”