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3 Easy steps to picking the right bottle of champagne for you

Christmas and New Years are right around the corner meaning one very exciting thing — it’s solidly champagne season. We associate the pop of the cork and those sparkling flutes with fun and celebration. But while you may want to down a glass, or two… or three, over the holidays, sometimes all of those choices at the store can be confusing. If you’ve ever hit the wine store and didn’t know what to buy, or feel like an amateur this time of year in the alcohol department, read on for a beginners guide to shopping for champagne. Remember, whichever you choose, make sure it’s in a dark bottle to help keep light away and preserve the intended flavors of the drink inside, but relax. It’s champagne! And no one should ever take a drink this fun and fizzy too seriously. Also see, Tips to prevent a champagne hangover. Step 1:…

Why we celebrate Oktoberfest in September

Every year millions of people around the world wonder why the German tradition known as Oktoberfest is celebrated primarily in the month of September. The annual celebration is best known for its beer, food and general celebration of German culture. But given the name, shouldn’t the shindig primarily take place in its namesake month? The official Oktoberfest website explains. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810, with a one-day horse-race held as part of the wedding festivities for Bavarian King Ludwig I and his wife, Theresie. The crowd liked it so much, that it became an annual event, eventually developing into the world of marching bands, sausages and colorfully-dressed beer maidens we know today. But over the decades, the horse-race disappeared, and the event grew to more than two weeks long — stretching the event into mid-October. Since fall can be quite cold in Bavaria, even snowy, a decision was made to start the festivities earlier…

15 sangria recipes ready for fall

You drank sangria all summer long, and now that days are beginning to shorten, it’s time for a cold-weather cocktail makeover. So toss on your favorite fall cozy cable-knit sweater, sink in to your extra cushy couch, and consider what you’ll make for all those fall Friday night friends’ house parties. Here are 15 tasty sangria recipes that will make you welcome the new season: Pear Pomegranate Sangria Pear, pomegranate and prosecco pair up to help you make the leap to lightly cooler weather. Get the recipe. Autumn Apple Rosé sangria This inexpensive blend is perfect for larger crowds. Think anything from engagement parties to tailgates to Thanksgiving feasts. See the full recipe. Blood Orange Sangria Nothing will be more gorgeous on your table than a glass of this fall-hued blood orange sangria. Make it now.  Honeycrisp Apple Sangria Honeycrisp is the king of all fall fruits. It’s firm texture…

10 Hard lemonade recipes you need to try before the end of summer

Lemonade has been in your summer memories for likely as long as you’ve been running around outside when the weather got warm. Sweet sugar mixed with tart lemon juice over ice meant that summer was in full swing. You had it at fairs and festivals and family gatherings, but now that you’re an adult, you have the luxury of making that refreshing summertime drink extra special by sneaking in some of your favorite booze. Here are 10 hard lemonade recipes you have to sip before the end of summer: Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade The rosemary takes this blackberry whiskey lemonade to new levels. Recipe available online.  Blueberry lavender lemonade Sweet blueberries are in season so it’s the perfect time to stir up some blueberry lavender lemonade. Here’s the full recipe.  Green goddess lemonade Just because you’re drinking, doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a serving of fruits in your drink. Find the recipe here.  Black…

This is what college students say would get them to drink less

Binge drinking is a major problem on U.S. college campuses. An estimated 40 percent of students engage it in regularly, despite the numerous negative consequences. So how do you get college students to stop drinking? Convince them that giving up the booze will help their grades, relationships and improve their health, one study showed. The findings were recently published in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association. Researchers surveyed nearly 300 college students over the age of 18 and asked them to report any binge drinking they had participated in during the past 30 days (September 2017), and then followed up with the same inquiry three weeks later. The students were asked about their willingness to initiate and participate in healthier drinking habits, as well as what factors they deemed necessary for a successful change. Lead researcher Dr. Manoj Sharma, professor of behavioral health at Jackson State University, said in a press release by the American Osteopathic…

Prosecco’s popularity has experts warning consumers of counterfeits

Prosecco is one of the most popular drinks, but experts warned that the demand for this high quality Italian sparkling wine has meant an increase in counterfeits products. So what is so special about Prosecco? Prosecco is a controlled designation of origin in North east Italy, where sparkling wine, or semi-sparkling, is principally made from the Glera grape variety. Two quality assurance labels help protect the Prosecco region outside of Italy — DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin) and DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed). Despite these labels, the Food Standards Agengy says they are seeing an increase in the number of knock-offs coming out of Eastern Europe. They’re being passed off as the real deal, but out of the 4,000 samples sent to laboratories for testing every year, around 1,000 are counterfeit. According to FSA wine inspector, Mark Dawson, a…

Study says couples who drink together have happier marriages

People are constantly trying to find the secret to a successful relationship. Is it love? Understanding? Laughter? According to one study, the answer is alcohol. The study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Series, couples who sip together, stay together. The report found that relationships where partners drank together had less negative relationship quality over time — particularly among wives. “Wives who reported drinking alcohol reported decreased negative marital quality over time when husbands also reported drinking and increased negative marital quality over time when husbands reported not drinking,” a summary of the study says. According to Reuters, nearly 3,000 couples participated in the study. On average, the couples had been together for 33 years — two thirds of those were on their first marriage. The study asked participants how often and how much they drink, then asked if they found their spouse “irritating, critical or too demanding.”…

Snoop Dogg now holds World Record for largest Gin & Juice

https://www.facebook.com/WilliamsSonoma/videos/10156400220704812/ Snoop Dogg’s 1993 hit Gin & Juice is a timeless hiphop hit, so it’s only fitting that the Doggfather himself now holds the record for mixing up the world’s largest cocktail. The massive mixed drink debuted at the Bottlerock Festival in Napa Valley, CA. Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio and rapper Warren G. were also on hand to help make the colossal cocktail. https://www.instagram.com/p/BjSljxEAXNS/?utm_source=ig_embed Snoop and friends used 180 1.75-liter bottles of gin, 156 1-liter bottles of apricot brandy, and 28 3.78-liter jugs of orange juice to win the Guinness World Record title of “World’s Largest Paradise Cocktail.”  There isn’t a category for biggest cocktails in general, but Snoop’s creation would take that title as well. Total, the gigantic gin & juice was made of more than 132 gallons of booze. A giant straw and pink umbrella topped it all off. The feat comes 25 years after Snoop’s hit was released. Crowds at the Bottlerock…

This is how many calories your drunk fast food stop is costing you, study shows

Anyone who has even stayed out late drinking knows that inevitably someone suggests a stop for greasy fast food on the ride home. There’s a reason why places like Taco Bell and Waffle House are open until the sun is practically up. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this kind of food isn’t doing your diet any favors, but it’s hard not to take a peek at just how extensive the damage. Rehabs.com is responsible for dropping this guilt bomb on your day. The educational website surveyed more than 5,900 people about their post-heavy drinking habits to gather data on national trends. Across the country, McDonald’s and Waffle House are two of the most well-loved, late night options. Denny’s, IHOP and Wendy’s are also top finishers. But the most popular post-heavy drinking food stop was none other than Taco Bell (did you really think it would be anywhere else?). Despite Taco Bell’s sizable healthy…

Brussel sprout chips with a kick

Brussels sprouts aren’t exactly the most-beloved vegetable at the market. But as a member of the nutritious cruciferous family — think cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli — they should have a place in your healthy diet. Brussels sprouts are the killer combination of being both high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, but low in calories. A half cup of cooked sprouts is just 28 calories, but has 137 percent of your vitamin K (good for blood clotting and bone health), and 80 percent of your vitamin C (immune functions) along with other nutrients like vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus. For people who don’t get enough fish or seafood, Brussels sprouts can be a good plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. They’ve also been shows to keep blood sugar levels steady, and some studies suggest that their high levels of antioxidants can help protect against certain types of cancer. Phew! That’s…