'My Isolation Station,' home-built bar and spirits library with 4,000 bottles

Some people take their libations and isolations very seriously. Read the rest

This Rube Goldberg Booze Machine is a quarantine DIY project of greatness

Brilliant. Read the rest

These festive cocktails will kick your holiday celebrations up a notch

The holidays can be a boozy time of year for many people. Even though I'm on four different medications with labels stating that I shouldn't drink alcohol while taking them, I still like the occasional nip—I mean, If I don't wash the pills down, I'm technically not drinking while taking the meds, right? Going in for a bit of spiked eggnog, homemade Irish cream in your coffee or a bit of dark rum in a mug of hot chocolate are obvious choices for blustery, cold, northern hemisphere revels. However, I don't think that anyone can argue that such traditional concoctions can be a little boring (not that you'd care after three or four rounds.) If you're looking for some fabulous new drinks to liquor you, your loved ones and friends up for the holidays, Texas Monthly has some outstanding suggestions to take for a spin.

From Texas Monthly:

Whether you’re toasting friends and family in celebration or calming your nerves at the very same social obligations, the holidays inevitably present many opportunities for alcohol consumption. This year, instead of drinking to excess, consider adding some mocktails to your repertoire—or at least have them ready for any teetotaler guests. We asked four of the state’s best bartenders to share their current favorite creations with us for the yuletide season. And with a “nice” mocktail for every “naughty” cocktail, you can be sure there’s something delicious for everyone to sip.

There's a number of absolutely delicious drinks on this list that could make your holidays a helluva lot more jolly. Read the rest

Divers retrieve hundreds of bottles of booze from a World War I shipwreck

In 1917, Swedish steamer ship Kyros was traveling from France to Russia when a German U-boat sunk it in the Baltic Sea. The shipwreck was discovered in 1999 but it wasn't until the last month that a team of divers from Ocean X and iXplorer have hauled up the sunken treasure: 600 bottles of De Haartman & Co. cognac and 300 bottles of Benedictine (now Bacardi) liqueur meant for Tsar Nicholas II. From Smithsonian:

(Expedition leader Peter) Lindberg and his colleagues have sent samples of both the cognac and the Benedictine to a laboratory to gauge whether the alcohol is still fit for consumption. They are optimistic regarding the outcome of these tests, according to Metcalfe, as the Baltic’s freezing waters are actually ideal for storing spirits. Although some of the bottles contain sediment, many remain sealed. Several cognac bottles even have intact tin seals...

As Lindberg tells CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore and David Williams, he and the rest of the team detected a slight scent of sweetened herbs coming from the Benedictine bottles...

Earlier this year, two bottles of 17th-century wine discovered by Ocean X went up for auction at Christie’s. And in 2011, a 200-year-old bottle of champagne found in another Baltic shipwreck sold for a record-breaking $43,000.

images: OceanXTeam on Instagram Read the rest

Artisinal gin flavored with elephant dung gets you shit-faced

Indlovu Gin is a new spirit infused with elephant dung. Gives new meaning to the term "shit-faced." It sells for about $32 per bottle. Creators Les and Paula Ansley of Mossel Bay, South Africa, came up with the concept on safari after learning that elephants have a varied diet of plants, fruits, and vegetables but less than half of it is actually digested.

“As a consequence, in the elephant dung, you get the most amazing variety of these botanicals,” Les Ansley told the Associated Press. “(I recall my wife saying) Why don’t we let the elephants do the hard work of collecting all these botanicals and we will make gin from it?"

From the AP:

After about five sizeable bags of dung are collected for a batch of 3,000 to 4,000 bottles of the gin, the droppings are dried and crumbled, then washed to remove dirt and sand. Eventually only the remains of the fruits, flowers, leaves and bark eaten by the elephants are left behind.

Those botanicals are then sterilized and dried again and placed in an airing cupboard. Think of it like a “spice cupboard,” Ansley said. Eventually, the remains are infused in the gin.

(via Fark) Read the rest

Glenlivet's marketing stunt: whiskey in lozenge form

Glenlivet capsules are edible, seaweed-derived pods filled with whiskey that you bite into. Read the rest

Jellyfish shot: an admiring cocktail

The jellyfish shot combines a sickly sweet collection of liqueurs (blue curacao and sambuca) with vodka and a drop of cream to make a cocktail that is gorgeous to admire, even if you couldn't pay me enough to drink one. Read the rest

Atomik Vodka: distilled from grains grown in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Atomik Grain Spirit is a (largely) (radiation-free) moonshine vodka distilled from grains grown in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as part of an experiment to determine the transfer of radiation from soil to crops; so far, the University of Portsmouth researchers behind the project have only made one bottle, but they hope to go into production and remit 75% of the proceeds to charities in the Exclusion Zone. Read the rest

Artificial tongue's nanoscale "tastebuds" can sort real whisky from counterfeits more than 99% of the time

In Whisky tasting using a bimetallic nanoplasmonic tongue (Nanoscale/Royal Society of Chemistry), a team from U Glasgow's School of Engineering describe their work on an "artificial tongue" lined with "tastebuds" that sense "plasmonic resonance" (the absorption of light by liquids) to produced highly detailed accounts of the profiles of Scotch whiskys, which can be used to determine whether a given whisky is counterfeit. Read the rest

Howto: design a cocktail for a Lunar civilization

Ian McDonald's Luna trilogy is filled with fantastically detailed grace-notes that give his lunar society an uncanny veneer of reality; one of the most fascinating and thoughtful of these details is the cocktails that McDonald's clannish lunarians consume, each great house with its own signature tipple. Read the rest

How F Scott Fitzgerald conjugated the verb "To cocktail"

F Scott Fitzgerald, in a 1928 letter to Blanche Knopf: "As ‘cocktail,’ so I gather, has become a verb, it ought to be conjugated at least once." (via JWZ) Read the rest

Patronscan wants cities to require bars to scan your ID with its service so it can maintain a secret, unaccountable blacklist

Patronscan is the leading provider of ID-scanning/verification services to bars and restaurants, and one of its selling points is that it allows its customers to create shared blacklists of undesirable customers who can then be denied services at every other establishment that uses its services. Read the rest

A list of all the booze in Casablanca (surprisingly long!)

Bruce Sterling cataloged all the onscreen booze in Casablanca, producing a surprisingly long list (Sterling: "ranted, they’ve all got plenty to drink about, but gee whiz.") Read the rest

Mutantini: eyeball and viscera-encrusted martini glasses

Etsy seller Timothy "Cthuluforyou" Kostelnik sells a wide variety of tentacle- and eyeball-themed housewares, but few match his $38 mutantini glass for sheer encrustation with pseudopods, viscera and staring, disembodied eyes; it makes a hell of a sludgabilly accessory. (via Creepbay) Read the rest

Hard boozing raccoons mistakenly thought to be rabid

Hydrophobia, hallucinations, agitation and partial paralysis: the symptoms that come from being afflicted with rabies are twelve kinds of terrible. Oh, and death: a painful, writhing death. That's in there, too. Basically, it's one big "nah." So when folks in Milton, West Virginia saw a group of raccoons behaving erratically -- like they might be infected with rabies -- they called the cops right away. When the police cornered the raccoons in question, they quickly realized that the animals weren't rabid at all.

From The Chicago Tribune:

Turns out they appear to be drunk on crab apples," police said in their official statement to the community.

The apprehended animals were held in custody and allowed to sober up in what can only be deemed a raccoon drunk tank.

Then they were released into the wild, but not before some enterprising officer took a picture of the animal, showing it to be dazed, woozy, more than a little out of it. They named one drunk raccoon Dallas and released both near the woods.

And with that, Dallas joined a long line of animals that have made headlines for public intoxication.

According to Australian Geographic, raccoons and humans aren't the only animals that like to tie one on. Wallabies love to chase the dragon, monkeys yoink cocktails from tourists, and reindeer trip balls on magic mushrooms. My absolute favorite fact that Australian Geographic serves up, however, is that caterpillars frigging LOVE cocaine:

The caterpillar larvae of the Eloria noyesi moth, found in Peru and Colombia, feeds exclusively on coca plants, eating as many as 50 leaves each day.

Read the rest

LG to unveil home brewing hardware at CES 2019

Being able to dance and dodge my way out of attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas every January is one of the most important acts of self-care I commit to all year long. While it's always nice to catch up with colleagues at CES, the crush of human misery, drunk assclowns looking to cheat on their partner while they're off the leash in Vegas, and the multiple viruses that make the rounds each year at the event are a few of my least favorite things. This year, however, I almost regret turning down the opportunity to eat at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill every day for a week in between appointments and trips to the Las Vegas Convention Center: LG Electronics is said to be unveiling a fancy new home beer-brewing kit.

From Tom's Guide:

Similar to other home brewing systems, the HomeBrew uses capsules that contain everything you need—malt, yeast, hops, and flavoring—which you insert into the machine, add water, and press a button.The machine then sets the correct brewing temperature and time, and in about two weeks, will produce up to 10.5 pints (1.3 gallons) of beer.At launch, five packets will be available: American IPA, American Pale Ale, English Stout, a Belgian Witbier and a Czech Pilsner. The HomeBrew also has a self-sanitizing process, to ensure that your batch of beer isn't skunked. An app will also let you monitor the progress of the brew. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of making beer at home.

Read the rest

Study: first drug more likely to be cannabis than nicotine or alcohol

When I was 12 years old, a kid that I thought was my friend but turned out to only be into me for my Nintendo, tempted me to try a little something that he snuck out of his mother's liquor cabinet. We ingested it! We were so drunk! We were full of shit: we'd been eating powdered pina colada mix, trying to convince each other that we were, indeed, hammered. Anyway, booze isn't the problem for young folks that it once was. More times than not, of late, the first experience that young folks'll have with mind altering substances outside of spending too long inside drawing with a Sharpie will likely be with marijuana.

From The Verge:

This trend is not because teens are smoking cannabis more than ever. Rather, the change is because teens are smoking cigarettes and drinking less while the numbers for marijuana have held steady, according to Katherine M. Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University and co-author of the new study, published this week in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The authors found this by analyzing 40 years of surveys from American high school seniors. For example, in 1995, three-fourths of seniors who used both marijuana and cigarettes had tried cigarettes first. By 2016, only 40 percent had tried cigarettes first. Today, less than half of teens try alcohol and cigarettes before trying cannabis. (The researchers didn’t look specifically at whether alcohol or tobacco came next.) Other studies have found that, in general, teens are doing fewer drugs than ever, except for marijuana.

Read the rest

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