alcohol http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/291/0 en-US 12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wine_popsicles_000065100551.jpg" alt="Popsicles that are made with wine in the kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I often crack open a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-drunk-on-the-cheap-wine-tastings">bottle of wine</a> and find myself with a cup left over by the end of the night. I've splashed some in stir-fries and other dishes, but I've never made anything to write home about.</p> <p>Well that's about to change. Here are 12 fresh and flavorful ways to use wine in cooking and baking.</p> <h2>1. Wine Popsicles</h2> <p>Serve these very adult <a href="http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/roasted-strawberry-red-wine-popsicles.html">roasted strawberry red wine popsicles</a> at your next gathering. To make, just roast quartered strawberries coated in balsamic vinegar and sugar. Pulse half the strawberries in a food processor before mixing with the wine. Spoon remaining strawberries into popsicle molds and fill with the liquid before freezing.</p> <h2>2. Wine Chowder</h2> <p>Use a half cup of leftover wine in this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/scallop-corn-chowder">scallop and corn chowder</a> recipe. A dry white wine works best with the light flavors in this dish. If you follow a pescetarian diet, you can easily substitute vegetable broth for the chicken and omit the bacon entirely.</p> <h2>3. Wine Poached Pears</h2> <p>Here's a refined dessert that will wow your guests: <a href="http://www.angsarap.net/2012/02/20/poached-pears/">red wine poached pears</a>. You'll need three hefty cups of your favorite sweet red wine. Otherwise, the process is quite simple. Pour lemon juice on your pears. Bring wine, sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick to a boil before adding pears. Cook 12&ndash;15 minutes on all sides.</p> <h2>4. Wine Tartlets</h2> <p>These <a href="http://drizzleanddip.com/2013/04/12/red-wine-caramelised-onions-goats-cheese-tartlets">red wine caramelized onions and goat cheese tartlets</a> would make an incredible appetizer. To infuse the onions with the wine flavor, you'll first brown them on the stove. Then deglaze the pan with half a cup of the wine. Add the onions back in and cook with the remaining wine before assembling the tartlets.</p> <h2>5. Wine Mushrooms</h2> <p>Or try these <a href="http://www.jocooks.com/healthy-eating/red-wine-and-garlic-mushrooms/">red wine and garlic mushrooms</a> that require only five ingredients to make. Start the dish by melting the butter with olive oil and garlic. Pour in the wine and then toss in the mushrooms. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are golden on all sides.</p> <h2>6. Wine Cupcakes</h2> <p>Grab a glass of your favorite prosecco and make these <a href="http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/12/sparkling-champagne-cupcakes.html">champagne cupcakes</a>. You'll mix the sparkling wine with sour cream and then fold it into the rest of the vanilla cupcake batter. Then hollow out the centers of the cupcakes to fill with the pastry creme filling.</p> <h2>7. Wine Beef Tips</h2> <p>Simmer tender sirloin to perfection in this <a href="http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/beef/beef-tips-in-red-wine-sauce.html">beef tips in red wine</a> recipe. After cooking the beef cubes, add onions and mushrooms until they are browned. Then add your wine, flour, and spices and heat around 20 minutes more on low. Add egg noodles to the dish before serving.</p> <h2>8. Wine Pasta</h2> <p>Start by cooking noodles in water and finish them in wine for this <a href="http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2013/4/9/drunken-pasta.html">drunken pasta</a>. As with most other recipes on this list, the alcohol cooks off before you eat. In this dish, though, your noodles will soak in a beautiful rose color to make your plate pop. Top with parsley and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.</p> <h2>9. Wine Bread</h2> <p>This <a href="http://thebreadmakers.blogspot.com/2013/07/olive-bacon-and-cheese-bread-recipe.html">olive, bacon, and cheese bread</a> is one of the most interesting loaves I've encountered in a while. It contains five ounces of white wine along with all sorts of robust ingredients. Each slice is so nutritionally complete, you can grab one to bring to work for a simple lunch.</p> <h2>10. Wine Brunch</h2> <p>Rabanadas are Portugal's answer to French toast. These <a href="http://casarosada-algarve.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/rabanadas-tipsy-slices.html">tipsy slices</a> are typically consumed during the Christmas holiday, but they would be a great brunch item no matter the time of year. In this recipe, the wine is in the syrup, so feel free to use the topping on pancakes, waffles, or whatever else you'd like to booze up.</p> <h2>11. Wine Fondue</h2> <p>I usually put beer in my cheese fondues, but this <a href="http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2010/06/2010-fifa-world-cup-italy-and-switzerland-pesto-fondue/">pesto fondue</a> has me itching to try something new. Along with the basil, pine nuts, cheese, and spices, you'll pour in one and a half cups of your favorite dry white wine. Eat immediately for the best experience.</p> <h2>12. Wine Soup</h2> <p>Just in time for CSA season, check out this <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/silky-leek-and-red-wine-soup">silky leek and red wine soup</a>. It'd go wonderfully with crusty bread and a good Bordeaux. As always, you can easily make this recipe vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to use wine in cooking?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-and-delicious-ice-cream-substitutes">15 Easy and Delicious Ice Cream Substitutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-delicious-early-summer-recipes-to-try-on-your-grill">13 Delicious Early Summer Recipes to Try on Your Grill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol Cooking desserts recipes snacks wine Mon, 08 Jun 2015 13:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1445022 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Drinking http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guys_beer_cheers_000035827748.jpg" alt="Guys learning how much they spend on alcohol each year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most working adults in America, you like to let off steam at the bar. And, the economy is certainly showing that trend. In 2012, the U.S. bar, tavern, and nightclub industry took in over <a href="http://www.statista.com/statistics/281711/us-bars-taverns-und-nightclubs-industry-revenue/">$23.4 billion in revenue</a>. It's projected to reach $24.35 billion this year, and that doesn't include the alcohol we buy from liquor stores.</p> <p>And while that's good for those businesses, it means that we the consumers are literally drinking away our savings. Depending on what kind of drinker you are, you could be spending way more than you think on your little stress reliever. But, knowledge is power, so here we examine the costs involved, and just how easy it is to cut back.</p> <h2>How Much Do You Drink?</h2> <p>If you enjoy just one beer or glass of wine every night with dinner, then guess what &mdash; you are in the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/">top 30% of alcohol drinkers</a> in the U.S. If that shocks you, you're probably not alone. Two drinks? Then you're in the top 20%.</p> <p>However, to get into the top 10%, you'd have to up your drinking considerably. How much? Over 10 alcohol drinks each and every day. That's right, according to the U.S. Department of Health &amp; Human Services, the top 10% of drinkers in the U.S. consume an average of 74 alcoholic beverages per week. That equates to 18 bottles of wine, or over six 12-packs of beer.</p> <p>But even if you're just having a few drinks a week in the local bar or pub, the costs can really add up.</p> <h2>What is it Costing You?</h2> <p>If you're a heavy drinker, you probably aren't getting your alcohol from a bar; that would be crippling to your monthly budget. With most people spending $10 on a bottle of wine, it would come to over $200 per week including taxes, or over $800 per month. That's two or three car payments right there. Annually, that's almost $10,000.</p> <p>Let's look at the budget of someone who goes out twice per week. Once during the work week, and once on a Friday or Saturday night.</p> <p>When you go out to a bar during the week, you will usually order food with your drink. And with most people ordering two drinks, plus tip, you are looking at around $40-$50 for the evening. This, of course, doesn't include the costs for cab fare, babysitting, and other expenses.</p> <p>On the weekend, a typical night out at a bar is a little different. You will most likely take advantage of the fact that there's no work the next day, and order several drinks over the course of the evening, along with food and snacks. You may also order cocktails, shots, or other specialty items to make it a good night. You will be looking at around $100 for the evening, depending on where you live. And keep in mind, that's per person. As a couple, you will spend at least half that again.</p> <p>Do the math. $160 per week, or roughly $650 per month, can easily be spent by someone who enjoys six or seven drinks a week when they go out to bars or restaurants. It is, in fact, very similar to the amount of money that would be spent on alcohol by a hardcore drinker. By going out just a couple of nights a week, and drinking moderately, you're spending over $7000 a year.</p> <h2>The Big Question: How Can You Cut Back?</h2> <p>It's actually quite easy to make a few small adjustments to your weekly bar tab. In fact, you may not even notice the difference, depending on how strictly you follow the guidelines.</p> <h3>1. Only Bring Cash Out</h3> <p>By far the easiest way to stick to your booze budget is to hit the town with your plastic left at home. It's easy to rack up money on a credit or debit card, but cash is finite and you can see it going down throughout the evening. You can also preload a debit card and use that. Either way, once the cash is gone, it's time to go home.</p> <h3>2. Take Advantage of Happy Hours</h3> <p>Do you have to go out when everyone else is hitting the town? If you have your friends with you, why not do something a little earlier than usual? You'll get great specials, including two-for-one drinks, free appetizers, and even free shots. You can always head back to a friend's house later and finish the evening there.</p> <h3>3. Eat (and Drink) at Home Before Hitting the Bars</h3> <p>Food costs can really add up quickly in the bars, and the food may not even be that good. If you go out with a full stomach, you will not only save money on overpriced food and snacks, but avoid getting tipsy too quickly. As a student, my friends and I would usually have a few cheap beers at home with our food, too. Then we took the bus down to the bar, and were already quite happy before we'd ordered one drink.</p> <h3>4. Order Water Between Drinks</h3> <p>This is great for several reasons. First, a glass of tap water with ice and lemon is free at every bar. You can drink this and stretch your money over time. Second, and perhaps more important, it stops you getting drunk, and makes hangovers much less severe.</p> <h3>5. Pitch in for Pitchers</h3> <p>Bars and restaurants often offer pitchers of beer at a discount. Combine that with happy hour, and you can get enough beer for four or five people for just $5-$7. Also, consider domestic beers instead of imports and craft beers. They may not be as tasty, but they are usually much less expensive.</p> <h3>6. Look for Freebies</h3> <p>Bars know the importance of deals and coupons. They will often have specials on their websites, and in local papers and flyers. Save them, and bring them out the next time you visit. They can take a nice little sum off the final total.</p> <h3>7. Ladies&hellip; You Can Get a Lot of Free Drinks</h3> <p>Sad, but true. Many bars and clubs make special offers to women in the hopes of attracting a larger crowd. Some will let women drink free, or for $1 per cocktail, all night. And of course, many men will offer to buy you a drink. Just be careful who you accept these from, and if in doubt, say no.</p> <p><em>How much do you spend on drinks per week? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin">13 Cheap Beers to Keep Your Holiday Season Hoppin’</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink alcohol bars beer nightclubs taverns wine Tue, 05 May 2015 13:00:26 +0000 Paul Michael 1407935 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/restaurant-wine-488031279-small.jpg" alt="restaurant drinking" title="restaurant drinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Drinking isn't cheap. We all know that whether it's a quiet glass of wine at home in the evening or a full-fledged night out on the town, alcohol can cost you. But do you know the <em>true</em> costs? Those that go beyond just the actual price you're paying for that can of Coors or bottle of chianti? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine?ref=seealso">How to Make Moonshine</a>)</p> <p>Check out some of the common pitfalls associated with your drinking expenditures, as well as frugal ways to still have your wine and drink it too.</p> <h2>1. Transportation Costs</h2> <p>Taxis, limos, and other chauffeured vehicles are necessary for a responsible night of drinking. However, they don't usually come cheap. Even new ride services like <a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> can run up the tab. So, what to do when you've had a few, but want to save on your transit costs?</p> <p>If you're lucky enough to live in a city with reliable and safe late night public transportation, by all means take advantage of this cheap alternative to a cab. Another option is to pick nearby restaurants and bars where you can easily walk home. Or, take turns being a designated driver within your entourage each weekend, so that everyone can save and be safe.</p> <h2>2. Restaurant Dining</h2> <p>Having a nice drink with your meal at a restaurant makes for a great night. But, that markup on your drink is hefty. Take wine for example. Some restaurants can <a href="http://www.restaurants.com/blog/how-much-do-restaurants-mark-up-wine/#.U8BEsNm9LCQ">mark up bottles</a> as high as 400%! And, if you and your other guests start ordering wine by the glass, your bill can skyrocket.</p> <p>First off, if you even think there's a chance that you and another guest will have more than one glass of wine each, then buy the bottle. It's almost always cheaper. Or, find restaurants where you can bring your own drinks (BYOB), and avoid the restaurant markup. Lastly, you can always stick to ordering the restaurant's cheaper drink options, such as domestic beers or house liquors and wines, instead of perusing the more expensive drink menus.</p> <h2>3. The Gracious Host</h2> <p>If you have thrown anything from a dinner party to a wedding, you know that a big chunk of the budget can go to alcohol. Events can get expensive quickly when drinks cost more than your food. Still, the best hosts usually find ways to provide the booze.</p> <p>Short of cutting out the alcohol or forcing a cash bar on guests, try cheaper options, like bulk wine (yes, you could even do wine-in-a-box for the less discerning crowd) or kegs of beer, which all give you a quantity discount. Another option is to make up large batches of your own punch, sangria, or other affordable mixed drinks. This can help save as people can't take the liberty to pour more of the expensive stuff in their concoctions. You can also try for cheaper substitutes. One of my favorites is using Cava instead of Champagne. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-luxury-save-50-or-more-on-5-fabulous-substitutions?ref=seealso">Discount Luxury: Save 50% or More on 5 Fabulous Substitutions</a>)</p> <h2>4. Late Night Food Run</h2> <p>A late night food run may seem like a fun way to top off your night. However, don't forget that even fast food can cost you, especially if you indulge and aren't thinking as clearly as you might otherwise after having a few drinks.</p> <p>To alleviate the extra spend on calories you probably don't need, try to wait until you get home and eat there where it's cheaper. Fast food restaurants, diners, and food trucks may seem cheap at the time, but they add up. Or, if you are lucky enough to know where to find $1 pizza slices, make sure to only hit up these types of super cheap places if you just can't resist.</p> <h2>5. Running a Tab</h2> <p>Tabs can get out of hand when you slap down a credit card and don't realize how much you are truly spending. And, they can be especially dangerous when you buy drinks for others and are feeling festive (a round of shots anyone?).</p> <p>Next time, try paying cash for your drinks, so you'll be more aware of your spend. If you need to use your credit card, set a limit and ask the bartender to automatically close out your tab once reached. Or, if you are looking to treat others, hit the bar when you can save, such as during happy hour or when regular specials and promotions take place.</p> <h2>6. Shopping and Impulse Buys</h2> <p>Any time you've had a drink during the day, whether it be a lunch date or happy hour splurge, beware of your lowered inhibitions and the expenditures that can follow. It's certainly fun to have lunch and go shopping, but you may overpay or buy stuff on impulse.</p> <p>In order to suppress your urge to splurge, try making sure you have a budget or list in mind before you hit the stores. You can also ask friends to keep you in check or use cash to make sure you don't overspend. And lastly, don't fall into the trap of buying just because whomever you're with starts doing so.</p> <h2>7. Your Crowd</h2> <p>If you run with some high rollers, you may find yourself draining your wallet at fancy clubs and restaurants. The ordinary draft beer at such places can cost you four times more than the pub down the street. And, other beverages are sure to run you a small fortune in such places.</p> <p>To avoid the spend of the rich and famous, perhaps it's time to pick your crowd wisely. You can always go out with more like-minded friends to lower-key establishments. Or, make sure you are the one to pick the venues, so you can choose places with reasonable prices or no cover charges. If you still find yourself confronted with absorbent pricing, limit your intake and stay clear of champagnes and signature mixed drinks, which always run higher than most other items.</p> <h2>8. Health Care Costs</h2> <p>We all know that there's a flip side to most guilty pleasures. Consuming alcohol can affect both your health and your wallet. Continual use or over-consumption can cause a number of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/alcoholism/possible-complications.html">alcohol related health problems</a>, from liver disorders to heart problems to violence and depression. A <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0813-excessive-alcohol-use.html">CDC study</a> has estimated that excessive drinking has cost the country at least $224 billion per year in the past, the majority of which is health care costs. As an individual, this means money lost on doctor's visits, costly procedures, missed pay, decreased quality of life, and higher health insurance premiums.</p> <p>It's obvious that the way to combat such problems is to aim to drink less or not at all. Preventive programs and seeking help for excessive alcohol consumption are measures that can be taken. Be sure to limit binge drinking and search for other ways, besides alcohol, to relax and unwind.</p> <h2>9. Long Term Consequences</h2> <p>Excessive or irresponsible drinking can certainly lead to some grave consequences, especially if you drink and drive. Besides the physical dangers, the <a href="http://money.msn.com/auto-insurance/dui-the-10000-dollar-ride-home.aspx">financial fallout from a DUI</a> is a lot more than you may realize. It has been estimated that by the time you pay bail, legal fees, and insurance, a DUI can cost you $10,000 or more. From the insurance perspective, a DUI will <a href="http://www.esurance.com/violations/dui-and-car-insurance">increase your premium</a> by several hundred dollars, which can last for up to five years. You may also be required to carry more than the state-mandated amount of coverage, further driving up your costs.</p> <p>The obvious way to avoid such expenses is to not drink and drive. A DUI can do all kinds of harm, much of which can last well beyond the initial offense.</p> <p><em>What are some other extra costs you have come across when it comes to spending on drinks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-drunk-on-the-cheap-wine-tastings">Wine Tastings: Finding Cheap Wine That You Like</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle alcohol alcohol costs booze drinking wine Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1171611 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-444175-small.jpg" alt="drinking beer" title="drinking beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I can already see some of you scratching your head and giving me that quizzical &quot;I actually need a reason to drink beer?&quot; look. And as a lover of beer since 18 (the legal drinking age in my home country of England) I am nodding in agreement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 Great Ways to Use Beer</a>)</p> <p>I need no more reason than the fact that so much of it tastes wonderful. The list of brews I love could fill a book. I also happen to live in Colorado, <a href="http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/craft-brewing-statistics/breweries-per-capita">one of the top five states of breweries per capita</a>.</p> <p>But what if you&#39;re not that into beer right now? What if you&#39;re actually more of a wine drinker, or a big fan of whisky and other spirits? What if you&#39;ve never even tried it and can&#39;t think of a reason to start now?</p> <p>Well, I&#39;d hate to see one of the true loves of my life pass anyone by without a fair shake. So here is a list of 10 great reasons to drink beer. Of course, as with anything, please drink in moderation. And it goes without saying &mdash; no driving, please.</p> <h2>1. Beer Hydrates You Better Than&hellip;Water</h2> <p>You read that right. It&#39;s not some junk fact thrown out there by the breweries of the world. <a href="http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/3467">Researchers at Spain&#39;s Granada University</a> spent months carefully testing 25 students. They asked them to run on a treadmill in high temperatures, until they were almost exhausted. Half the subjects were given water, the other half were given Spanish lager. And the results&hellip; the beer drinkers had &quot;slightly better&quot; rehydration effects.</p> <p>In fact, the test results indicated that male athletes should drink 500ml of beer per day, and 250ml for women. So next time you&#39;re doing some back-breaking work in the blazing sun, don&#39;t feel bad reaching for a cold one. You have science on your side. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat">Frugal Drinks to Keep You Cool</a>)</p> <h2>2. Beer Has Vitamins</h2> <p>Specifically, your average foaming pint of ale boosts B6, B12, folate, and mineral levels. And when compared to other alcoholic drinks, including wine and spirits, beer is the only one to <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/263290-list-of-vitamins-in-beer/">contain a significant amount of vitamins</a>. Other added treats include niacin (B3), pantothenic acid, flavonoids (also known as antioxidants) and choline. All in all, quite the cocktail of goodness&hellip; in moderation.</p> <h2>3. Beer Is a Terrific Natural Sleep Aid</h2> <p>Anyone who&#39;s stuck around at a party long enough can attest to this one. There are people passed out everywhere. But you don&#39;t need to drink a lot to get the sleepy effects of beer. Beer contains two sleep-promoting &nbsp;<a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/110732-vitamins-sleep/">B vitamins</a>, and <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22849837">hops itself is a natural sedative</a>. In other words, forget the warm milk, and knock back a cold beer if you&#39;re having trouble dozing off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep">Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>4. Beer Keeps Those Creative Juices Flowing</h2> <p>As someone in the creative advertising industry, I can personally vouch for the efficacy of this one. Many times over the years I was given a creative brief and hit a brick wall. This is not uncommon; most creative people do. After the usual long walks, games of darts, and anything else designed to take your mind off the problem for a while, the one failsafe way to get over the hump was&hellip; beer. Not a lot, just a couple of pints with a friend down the local pub. It&#39;s amazing the doors it can open up for you, just by loosening up your thinking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">Ways to Boost Creativity</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3010393/leadership-now/does-drinking-beer-make-you-more-creative">There is also hard evidence to support this, too</a>. Those &quot;eureka&quot; moments that artists, designers, and other thinkers have come when the brain is relaxed. In fact, about five seconds before that moment scientists found a large increase in alpha waves &mdash; the waves associated with relaxation. When this happens, it allows the front brain thinking to move to the back of the brain, where those unique, subconscious, lateral connections can be made. And voila&hellip; big idea. It&#39;s also why we get ideas in the shower or as we&#39;re falling asleep.</p> <p>Think of beer as a kick-starter to your body&#39;s relaxation mode. One bottle may be all that stands between you and a genius idea.</p> <h2>5. Beer Reduces Your Risk of Heart Attacks</h2> <p>Greek researchers recently found that arteries become more flexible, and blood flow actually improved, within just a few hours of drinking beer. The same could not be said of alcohol-free beer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.counselheal.com/articles/5952/20130703/beer-lower-heart-disease-risk-improve-function.htm">The study of 17 non-smoking men</a> in their twenties and thirties showed cardiovascular improvements within two hours of drinking 400ml of beer. And although vodka produced similar results, alcoholic beer was the winner.</p> <p>Just one more reason to raise a glass and say &quot;to your good health.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Beer Is a Great Hair Conditioner</h2> <p>OK, so you&#39;re not actually drinking it&hellip; but your hair is soaking it up! I can&#39;t vouch for this one personally; I&#39;ve been shaving my head for 15 years. But several tests have been done using the amber nectar, and it&#39;s <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Hair-Soft-Using-Budweiser-Beer">just as good for your hair</a> as it is for your creative thinking. Why? Well, the malt in the beer nourishes the hair and makes it extra soft and smooth. Follow your usual hair care routine, but use room-temperature beer before your usual conditioner. The hair won&#39;t smell of beer, but it will be as soft as a baby&#39;s bottom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Homemade Hair Conditioners</a>)</p> <h2>7. Beer Can Strengthen Your Bones</h2> <p>Along with all the other health benefits of beer, this one should be <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208091922.htm">of interest to anyone suffering from osteoporosis</a>. It seems that beers that contain high levels of malted barley and hops are rich in silicon. This ingredient can help strengthen bones and fight osteoporosis, which is a skeletal disease that creates low bone mass and bone tissue deterioration. Ask at your local liquor store for beers that are high in malted barley and hops.</p> <h2>8. Beer Prevents Kidney Stones</h2> <p>In this case, the darker the beers, the better. You&#39;re looking for stouts, porters, and any beer with lots of hops. These <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5172235_beer-prevent-kidney-stones_.html">hop-rich beers help prevent calcium deposits from being formed in your kidneys</a>. And when calcium deposits mix with salt and other minerals, you get those dreaded kidney stones.</p> <h2>9. Beer Is Full of Fiber</h2> <p>Did you know that the average liter of beer contains 20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber? And that&#39;s just an average beer. Get a really good, rich craft beer, and you&#39;re looking at <a href="http://www.realbeer.com/edu/health/good-bad.php">up to 60%</a> of your daily fiber intake from one liter of beer. This, in turn, aids bowel function, keeping you regular. And it also slows down the digestion and absorption of food, which can reduce cholesterol levels. So, next time you&#39;re ordering a beer, think of all that lovely fiber you&#39;re getting into the bargain.</p> <h2>10. Beer Is a Great Social Lubricant</h2> <p>If you&#39;re not exactly the life of the party, a <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/articles/495">beer can help you lose some of those inhibitions without going overboard</a>. Beer helps to relax several parts of the brain (remember the ones responsible for creative thinking) and loosens you up. You only need one or two to become a lot more free and easy without becoming a complete party animal (which can happen when you start chugging vodka and other spirits). Also, beer has less alcohol per milliliter than wine and spirits, so you can nurse your drink a little longer and won&#39;t feel the effects as intensely. Good for the wallet, and the morning after.</p> <p><em>Do you have a great reason for drinking beer that we missed? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin">13 Cheap Beers to Keep Your Holiday Season Hoppin’</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol beer Health Wed, 30 Oct 2013 10:36:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1049126 at http://www.wisebread.com Frugal Drink Pairings for BYOB Restaurants http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wining_and_dining.jpg" alt="Couple dining at a restaurant" title="Couple dining at a restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>BYOB&nbsp;restaurants are gaining more and more popularity. Restaurant owners love the concept because they don't have to purchase a liquor license or hire a bartender, and you love it because you don't have to pay $10 for a glass of wine. And bringing your own booze doesn't just cut down on the bill. It can also provide an opportunity to get creative with your food and drink pairings or prompt you to finally open that bottle of wine you've been saving for a special occasion. If you are dining with a group, you might even offer to bring a six pack of your favorite brew to make splitting the bill a little easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paying-for-a-piece-of-the-pizza-techniques-for-splitting-the-bill">Techniques for Splitting the Bill</a>)</p> <p>Even if choosing which BYOB&nbsp;cuisine you are in the mood for is a no-brainer, deciding what to pair it with can be a challenge, especially if your goal is to save money. There are plenty of frugal drink choices, from barley wine to sake, that can easily be paired with some of your favorite dishes. The types of BYOB restaurants do vary, but here are a few of the more common types of BYOB cuisine, listed with some inexpensive but delicious drinks to pair with your meal.</p> <h2>Thai and Vietnamese</h2> <p>One of the more common types of BYOB cuisine, Thai and Vietnamese dishes tend to be spicy, which means they pair well with certain white wines and lighter beers. If you aren't a huge fan of sweet or overly fruity wine or beer, you can always go for something dry or hoppy. Either way, here are a few recommendations in those categories.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, or Pinot Gris</strong></p> <p>While a sweet Riesling will definitely help tame the spice, any kind of Riesling pairs well with many types of Thai flavors. I prefer a dry Riesling, and my favorite is <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/bloom-riesling-2010/">Bloom Riesling</a> from Germany, partly because of its dryness and flavor, but also because I can usually find it under $10. Gewurztraminers are typically served at Thanksgiving, since this wine &mdash; similar to a dry Riesling &mdash; goes well with turkey, but it is also a fine choice for spicy foods. You can usually find <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/mill-creek-gewurztraminer-1999/">Mill Creek Gewurztraminer</a> from California for under $15. Another favorite wine to pair with spicy or Asian dishes is a Pinot Gris, because of its rich fruit flavors and crispness. If you can find it, the <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/lange-pinot-gris-reserve-2009/">Lange Estate Winery Pinot Gris</a> from Oregon is a very good domestic wine for the price, usually starting at around $10. No matter which one you choose, it is best to chill these wines (or any white) before you head out to the restaurant.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Saison/Farmhouse Ale</strong></p> <p>A standard Belgian Saison (French for <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/129">&quot;Season&quot;</a>), or Farmhouse Ale, has rich citrus flavors with hints of autumnal spices. The <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/637/1717">Saison Dupont</a> from Belgium comes in a 750ml bottle (typically around $10, and the same size as a wine bottle), so there's enough to go around. This Saison epitomizes the dry, yeasty flavors typical of many Farmhouse ales, and I find it an all-around beer that compliments spicy or mild cuisine. I highly recommend it with super spicy stir-fried dishes, because the malt and citrus enhance the peppery flavors in the food. <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/141/28305">Smuttynose</a> also makes a decent and affordable Farmhouse. Before you pour, ask your server for something akin to a <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/glassware">tulip glass</a> or snifter, if they have one. According to the <em>Beer Advocate</em>, a Saison needs a glass that &quot;Captures and enhances volatiles, while it induces and supports large foamy heads.&quot; While there are many theories about the <a href="http://www.ratebeer.com/Story.asp?StoryID=479">temperature at which you should serve</a> finely crafted beers, it is probably best to avoid serving such a well-rounded beer at ice cold temps.</p> <h2>Italian and Pizza</h2> <p>Italian restaurants and pizza joints are a little trickier, since they are not typically BYOB, and Italian menus have a variety of dishes that you can pair with just about any kind of wine. Still, you can find a few BYOB Italian and pizza places out there. While beer and pizza is a classic combo, it can also pair well with a nice red or white wine, depending on the sauce and toppings. This list contains some of my favorites, but don't limit yourself when pairing drinks with Italian fare.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Chianti, Barolo, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, or White Zinfandel</strong></p> <p>Before you get overwhelmed by that list, I will start by saying that Barolo and Chianti are classic Italian wines. They go with any dish that has a tomato base, including pizza. Barolos are a little more pricey and harder to find than a cheap Chianti. If you want to go super cheap, try <a href="http://www.snooth.com/wine/marchesi-de-frescobaldi-chianti-rufina-riserva-nipozzano-2007/">Marchesi de Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti</a>, which starts at $2 for some vintages! Merlot and Cab Sav both pair well with heavy meat dishes, but some wine enthusiasts think that the cheap bottles of drier reds are not worth the money saved. As someone who lives on a shoestring budget, I take that as a challenge. <a href="http://www.redtruckwine.com/home.html">Red Truck</a> Merlot is usually priced around $8 a bottle, and for a Merlot under $10, I find it to be a very decent wine. White Zinfandel and Chardonnay go well with lighter Italian fare or white pizza. Most California White Zins can be found under $15, and for a tasty Chardonnay under $15, try the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mercerwine.com/wines/white-wines/chardonnay">Mercer Estates Chardonnay</a> from Washington state.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Pilsner or Hefeweizen</strong></p> <p>Pilsners are not only a perfect match for pizza; they can also go well with most Italian dishes, particularly heavier ones since a traditional pilsner is a lighter beer. Even though many cheap pilsners have a bad reputation, I share Paul Michael's secret love for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance">PBR</a>. But if you want to get a little adventurous, try a Hefeweizen, which is a little fuller than a pilsner and has a citrus flavor that I think pairs well with pasta and pizza. <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/140/48434">Sierra Nevada Kellerweis</a> is a fairly inexpensive Hefeweizen (usually around $8 for a six pack) that you can find in most stores. If you can't find Kellerweis, look for <a href="http://www.harpoonbrewery.com/">Harpoon's UFO Hefeweizen</a>, which sells for around the same price.</p> <h2>Indian and African</h2> <p>Most of the Ethiopian, Moroccan, Egyptian, and Indian restaurants I've been to are BYOB, which is partly why I've grouped them together. But they also have similar flavors and spices. Indian and Ethiopian foods tend to be very spicy, so you can try some of the pairings mentioned under Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Here are a few more suggestions.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Honey wine, Riesling, Malbec, or Cabernet Sauvignon</strong></p> <p>I lived in D.C. for a few years, and the District is known for some of the best Ethiopian restaurants outside of Ethiopia. Many of the places that served alcohol would offer the traditional beverage of Ethiopia, a honey wine called tej, but it's not often cheap or easy to find. Instead, you might try bringing a sweeter Riesling or a white blend. The French wine <a href="http://www.lavieilleferme.com/blanc.php?langue=en">La Vieille Ferme Blanc</a> is a white blend that goes with light or spicy fare. Priced at $7 and under, it's a great value. Cabernet Sauvignon may seem like an odd choice for spicy food, but I think the heaviness rounds out the flavors, and it goes well with many of the meats served in African or Indian restaurants, such as lamb and beef. Red Truck also makes a Cab Sav made with organic grapes, which is labeled as <a href="http://www.redtruckwine.com/green-truck-2009-Mendocino-Cabernet-Sauvignon.html">Green Truck</a> and sells for under $15. I like to drink that one with Moroccan dishes.</p> <p><strong>Beers: India Pale Ale, Traditional Lager, Hefeweizen, or Barley wine</strong></p> <p>While I think any of these beers go well with African or Indian food, I prefer a traditional lager with spicy food. It's light, malty, and a little sweet to cut the spice. My favorite inexpensive lager is <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/182/1351">Yuengling</a>. I know many beer snobs who agree that for the price, this is a decent lager. I also love many of the cheaper IPAs out there. Recently, I tried the Long Hammer IPA from Red Hook, and although it didn't get rave reviews at the <em>Beer Advocate</em>, I thought it was flavorful. The flavors were also enhanced with a spicy meal, and for the price, it's a good choice for a BYOB East African or Indian dishes.</p> <h2>Burgers and Pub Fare</h2> <p>To me, there is simply nothing better than a burger, fries, and a cold brew. Even if you aren't eating beef on a bun, most red meats are good with any kind of beer. Don't rule out wine, however. You can serve red or white with burgers. Most pub and bistro food, in fact, doesn't necessarily call for one or the other. I think with burgers and pub fare, it's really up to your preferences. Here are a few of my favorites.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah blend, Merlot, or Pinot Gris</strong></p> <p>One of my newest discoveries is <a href="http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=bistro+pinot+noir&amp;hl=en&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;hs=8EE&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;prmd=imvns&amp;bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&amp;biw=1280&amp;bih=586&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;tbm=shop&amp;cid=4071718109203839435&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=6ldBT8vkHIbx0gGa5ZG8Bw&amp;ved=0CFwQ8wIwAA">Bistro Pinot Noir</a> from France, which you can find as cheap as $6 a bottle in some places! This is one of the best cheap wines I've had in a while. The tannins are not too overwhelming like many cheap reds, and it didn't leave that acidic aftertaste that I find with most $6-$8 bottles. Another decent red that can be found at around the same price is the <a href="http://www.wine.com/v6/aboutwine/winery.aspx?winery=2181&amp;state=CA">La Vieille Ferme</a> Red, also from France. I've only seen one red and one white from this vineyard, and the red is a blend of Syrah and other grapes that produces a very nice red blend for the price. I prefer reds overall, but if I were to choose a white, I'd go with a Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer, especially for the more gamey meats, such as lamb and venison burgers.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Wheat Ale, Pale Ale, Traditional Lager, or Farmhouse Ale</strong></p> <p>My favorite beer and pub food pairing is a nice Saison or Farmhouse Ale, and any of the ones I mentioned under Thai and Vietnamese food are excellent choices. If you prefer more traditional ales and lagers, then I would recommend the <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/10097/48933">UFO White Ale</a> from Harpoon Brewery in Boston. If you want a good pale ale, and you don't mind going up slightly in price, I highly recommend <a href="http://www.stonebrew.com/pale/">Stone Pale Ale</a>. Anything from this brewery is an excellent choice. Again, it's really up to you, but there are so many wonderful and moderately priced beers out there, it's hard to choose a favorite. With pub fare, I'd say your best option is to experiment and try something you might not normally drink.</p> <h2>Greek and Mediterranean</h2> <p>Whether you prefer the vegetables and hummus or the lamb, Greek and Mediterranean food can be paired with a variety of wine or beer. Depending on your palette, you may find that an unexpected pairing can enhance your dining experience the most. As with pub food, be adventurous when you go to a BYOB Mediterranean or Greek restaurant. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.</p> <p><strong>Wines: Malbec, Pinot Gris, or Chardonnay</strong></p> <p>Malbecs are becoming better known as a well-priced versatile wine. I&nbsp;prefer the Agua de Piedra Reserva Malbec (see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars">10 Great Wines Under 10 Dollars</a>, #2 on the list). Any dish with cheese is a great match for this red, but especially a strong Feta. Another new frugal favorite is the <a href="http://www.alamoswines.com/en/ourwines/">Alamos Chardonnay</a>, which is also from Argentina. I was surprised that at $6.99 a bottle (at my local co-op), this full-flavored wine went well with anything, but especially fish. You can't go wrong with the flavor and the price on this Chardonnay.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Summer Ale or White Ale</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/45/32631">Brooklyn Summer Ale</a> is my top choice for Greek and Mediterranean food, but there are many summer and wheat ales out there that you can find for a good price. <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/306/1212">Blue Moon Belgian White</a> is another popular one. I would recommend either one of these to share at the neighborhood BYOB Greek joint.</p> <h2>Sushi and Seafood</h2> <p>Raw or cooked, fish and seafood are prime candidates for white wines and lighter beers; however, if you are more of a dark beer or red wine drinker, there are plenty of those to choose from as well. Stout and oysters are an unlikely pair, for instance, but this is one combination I would recommend if you like to hit a BYOB oyster bar. Don't forget to pick up a bottle of sake when you head out to your favorite sushi restaurant, because you don't have to drink it warm to enjoy it with your rolls and sashimi.</p> <p><strong>Wine/Sake: Sake Momokawa, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay</strong></p> <p>I have to say that while I'm not a sake aficionado, I do trust the <a href="http://www.sakeone.com/Lifestyle/food-pairing.html">experts at Sake One</a>. I've thoroughly enjoyed any sake I've tasted from this Oregon-based company, particularly the <a href="http://www.sakeone.com/momokawa/">Momokawa</a>. You don't have to bring sake just because you're eating at a BYOB&nbsp;sushi place, though. One of the cheapest yet drinkable wines that is readily available is the <a href="http://www.fisheyewines.com/wines/pinot-grigio/">FishEye Winery Pinot Grigio</a>. If you're like my friends who raise eyebrows when they see a bottle of it in my fridge, here's my response &mdash; I&nbsp;can get it at the gas station on the way home, and it's ideal for spicy seafood and a thin wallet.</p> <p><strong>Beers: Stout or White Ale</strong></p> <p>My favorite white ale is the <a href="http://www.allagash.com/beer/">Allagash White</a>, and while it isn't as cheap as some of the other ales I've recommended, it's an excellent beer for the price. You won't find many beers of that quality under ten bucks for a six pack. It's light and crisp, and it goes extremely well with seafood. If it's a stout you're looking for, you can never go wrong with <a href="http://www.guinness.com/">Guinness</a>, but there are plenty of comparable and well-rounded stouts made here in the states that give this famous Irish stout a run for the money. Although I'm slightly biased, the Vermont-based <a href="http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/rock-art-stump-jumper-gnarly-stout/31074/">Rock Art Stump Jumper Gnarly Stout</a> is everything you'd want in a well-balanced stout to wash down those raw oysters (if you can find it).</p> <p>Don't forget to ask about a corking fee. Some restaurants will charge a small fee to uncork your wine bottle, usually between two and five dollars. For more wine pairing tips, check out these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wine-pairings-for-virtually-any-menu">wine-pairing suggestions</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have a favorite food and drink pairing for a BYOB restaurant?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin">13 Cheap Beers to Keep Your Holiday Season Hoppin’</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable wine alcohol beer BYOB restaurants Tue, 21 Feb 2012 11:24:28 +0000 Ashley Watson 794969 at http://www.wisebread.com Absolut Repurposing: 17 Uses for Vodka http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/absolut.jpg" alt="Girl with vodka bottle" title="Girl with vodka bottle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In college, I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a place where you can buy a liter of some of the finest vodka for only $3 and street stands sell bottles of the drink for 50 cents, it's no surprise that I came across some odd uses for the vodka while abroad. Here are ways (besides drinking) to make the most of it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a>)</p> <h2>Household Cleaning</h2> <p>Did your in-laws just call giving you a 10-minute warning that they're on their way over &mdash; and you're all out of cleaning supplies? For the following remedies, mix one part vodka to three parts water in a spray bottle for any of the following cleaning methods. Then let sit and wipe clean with a damp cloth.</p> <p><strong>1. Shine and Polish Most Surfaces and Jewelry</strong></p> <p>Porcelain, glass, chrome, stainless steel, and most metals can be polished with the help of vodka. (Always be sure to test an out-of-sight spot on any surface you're unsure of.) And don't try to clean any sensitive jewelry, like pearls, opals, and porous jewels with vodka.</p> <p><strong>2. Remove Soap Scum</strong></p> <p>Whether it's on your bathtub, shower, sink, or faucet, soap scum can be easily removed with vodka.</p> <p><strong>3. Clean and Kill Mildew</strong></p> <p>You know the pink mildew that builds up on your bathroom caulk? The vodka's alcohol will kill it.</p> <p><strong>4. Clean Mirrors and Windows</strong></p> <p>Vodka works wonders in removing everything from toothpaste to hairspray from your mirrors and things like kids' fingerprints and dog-nose prints from your windows.</p> <p><strong>5. Remove Glue (and Other Sticky Stuff)</strong></p> <p>When the price tag glue on your newest purchase stubbornly refuses to budge, dab a bit of vodka on it and let sit for a few minutes before rubbing off with a wet washcloth. It even works on bumper sticker adhesive.</p> <h2>Plants and Pets</h2> <p>Vodka is useful for cleaning and killing problems caused by plants and pets.</p> <p><strong>6. Kill Weeds</strong></p> <p>Dandelions can be killed with the help of vodka. Mix a half a cup of vodka and four cups of water in a bottle and thoroughly spray the weeds in your yard. Make sure the sun is bright; the alcohol and sun will work to dehydrate the weed and kill them for good.</p> <p><strong>7. Kill Pests</strong></p> <p>Next time you trap a bee in your windowsill, spray some vodka/water on it to kill it. And aphids can be killed on plants by spraying the plants with a well-diluted vodka solution (one teaspoon of vodka for each cup of water is best).</p> <p><strong>8. Remove Pet Odors</strong></p> <p>If your cat or dog stunk up your carpet, spray the spot with one part vodka to four parts water, and let dry.</p> <h2>Laundry</h2> <p>Vodka dries without an odor and is extremely useful in doing your laundry. Here are two ways it helps.</p> <p><strong>9. Remove Stains</strong></p> <p>Treat ink, lipstick, and grass/plant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">stains</a> with a bit of vodka. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before throwing in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.</p> <p><strong>10. Clean Mildewy and Moldy Towels</strong></p> <p>If your bath towels, washcloths, and kitchen towels are smelling a little rank, put a half to full cup of vodka in with your regular wash to remove the smell.</p> <h2>Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>You probably don't feel the most hygienic after drinking too much vodka, but the alcohol can actually be used in several hygienic ways.</p> <p><strong>11. Use as a Toner</strong></p> <p>Most toners contain a large percentage of alcohol. So, if you're in a pinch, apply vodka to your face with a cotton ball before showering.</p> <p><strong>12. Cure Dandruff</strong></p> <p>Cleanse your hair with a mixture of rosemary and a few tablespoons of vodka to prevent and cure dandruff.</p> <p><strong>13. Make Mouthwash</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://ecosnobberysucks.com/2011/04/simple-tasty-home-made-mouth-wash-recipe/" title="mouthwash recipe">mouthwash recipe</a> calls for vodka, baking soda, water, Stevia, and herbs. I've also seen similar recipes that omit the baking soda and Stevia, and instead use cinnamon, vodka, and water. Try experimenting to find the best proportions for you. Just be sure to avoid swallowing.</p> <h2>Medicine</h2> <p>These are at-home alternative medicine treatments. Always consult your physician before trying to treat an ailment with a non-prescribed treatment.</p> <p><strong>14. Treat Earaches and Toothaches</strong></p> <p>In Russia, mothers used to put vodka in their children's ears and mouths for earaches and toothaches. I would never try this on my kid, but if the dentist can't see you until tomorrow, vodka treatment might be worth a try.</p> <p><strong>15. Treat Cold Sores</strong></p> <p>Supposedly, by treating your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-cold-sores">cold sore</a> with a bit of vodka, the alcohol will dry up the sore.</p> <p><strong>16. Relieve Jellyfish Stings</strong></p> <p>If you're at the beach and would rather avoid a <a title="Friends: &quot;The One With The Jellyfish&quot;" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICUwFfadp00"><em>Friends</em> moment</a>, grab the vodka and pour it over the sting instead.</p> <p><strong>17. Relieve Poison Ivy</strong></p> <p>If you've brought vodka on your camping-trip-gone-awry, use it to remove the plant's oils that cause the reaction.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used vodka for something other than drinking? What for? And did it work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom">Alternative Uses for Everything in Your Bathroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Home alcohol alternative uses cleaners laundry vodka Tue, 24 Jan 2012 11:24:24 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 875789 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Cheap Beers to Keep Your Holiday Season Hoppin’ http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boddingtons.jpg" alt="Girl with a Boddington&#039;s" title="Girl with a Boddington&#039;s" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hands up &mdash; who likes beer?</p> <p>Both my hands would be up, but that would make typing this a tad tricky. I have to say, though, this is one of the tastiest assignments I&rsquo;ve ever done in my blogging career. And I may have to follow it up with a sequel at some point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 Great Uses for Beer</a>)</p> <p>Over the last few weeks, I&rsquo;ve been sampling beers for you, the Wise Bread readers. Yes, it&rsquo;s a tough job, but someone had to do it. At least, that&rsquo;s what I told my wife. What follows is a list of the best 13 beers that are cheap and cheerful. There are so many good beers on the market, but I wanted to find drinkable beer that costs you $1 per 12 oz. bottle or less. Some come in at just 67 cents per bottle or can, others slightly tip the $1 scale. But they&rsquo;re all worth your money, in my honest opinion.</p> <p>Remember, these are not the kind of beers that make you sit back in your armchair and praise the brewmasters who concocted them. Those beers usually run you a few bucks per bottle wholesale, and even more in a bar. But hopefully, these beers will not want to make you convert to a glass of iced water with your holiday meal.</p> <h3>1. Boddingtons Pub Ale</h3> <p><em>Average price: $6.49 for 4 cans (16 oz.)<br /> </em></p> <p>Some may say I&rsquo;m breaking the price barrier with this one; it&rsquo;s often considered a pricier selection due to having just four cans in the box. But these are 16 oz. cans, so it&rsquo;s almost the same amount of beer as you&rsquo;d get in a six pack (6 x 12 = 72 oz., 4 x 16 = 64 oz.). And trust me, although you get a little less, the flavor is phenomenal. Being a Brit, I spent many a night sipping Boddingtons, and I still love it now. Known as the Cream of Manchester, it&rsquo;s a smooth pint of ale that goes down easy and leaves you wanting more. Yes, you&rsquo;re not going to get a bunch of this in, but for those who like ale, it&rsquo;s a real crowd pleaser.</p> <h3>2. Yuengling Premium Beer</h3> <p><em>Average price: $5.99 for 6 bottles</em></p> <p>I tried several beers for the first time when writing this article. Yuengling was one of them. I was a little hesitant &mdash; the reviews weren&rsquo;t stellar. But I found it to be quite a pleasant brew. It&rsquo;s a basic pilsner, pours clear and golden, and has the usual flavors of corn and grains, plus a slight buttery aftertaste. Not unlike PBR, it&rsquo;s very easy to drink, although it doesn&rsquo;t leave you thirsting for more. Again, something to help you stock up for parties without busting open the piggy bank.</p> <h3>3. Newcastle Brown Winter IPA</h3> <p><em>Average price: $6.99 for 6 bottles</em></p> <p>I&rsquo;m a HUGE fan of Newcastle Brown Ale (aka &quot;Dog&quot; in Newcastle and surrounding areas, where I grew up). So I was really surprised to see a Winter IPA from the Newcastle brand. I&rsquo;ve sampled several other varieties in the past, including Summer Ale and Werewolf, and they were so-so, so I was hoping for at least a little better. What I found was a very drinkable pale ale. My palette&rsquo;s not as developed as professional beer tasters, but I did detect notes of tea, caramel, and some spice in the mix. And it&rsquo;s got a creamy finish. For the price, it&rsquo;s well worth the money. You may even find it under $6 in your area.</p> <h3>4. Pabst Blue Ribbon</h3> <p><em>Average price: $8.99 for 12 cans</em></p> <p>Despite what a lot of the beer snobs will say, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance">I like Pabst</a>, and I think it&rsquo;s got a crisp, clean taste. Plus, the price is rocking, coming in at well under 80 cents a can. It pours well, has a good head, smells malty with a touch of corn, and has a sweet aftertaste. Admittedly, it&rsquo;s no killer beer for the winter season; it&rsquo;s a much better summer drink. But if you like lighter beers and are on a very tight budget, this is a top choice.</p> <h3>5. Simpler Times Lager</h3> <p><em>Average price: $3.99 for 6 cans</em></p> <p>If you shop at Trader Joes, you&rsquo;ll know Simpler Times Lager all too well. It comes in a gold can with red and green type, and it&rsquo;s cheap. Like 67 cents a can cheap. But don&rsquo;t let the price fool you, although it&rsquo;s no award winner, it&rsquo;s very similar to Pabst, but a little lighter. With a crisp, sweet flavor, lots of carbonation, and only a very slight metallic taste, it&rsquo;s a good &ldquo;chugging&rdquo; beer for holiday parties when money is tight. Give it a try. If you don&rsquo;t like it, it&rsquo;s a great beer to cook with.</p> <h3>6. Samuel Adams Winter Lager</h3> <p><em>Average Price: $13.99 for 12 bottles</em></p> <p>You should always expect to pay a little more for the seasonal beers, but this winter variety of Sam Adams is priced the same as, and is a delicious variation on, the original. Pop the cap, and you&rsquo;ll be greeted with hoppy, malty, nutty aromas and a definite hint of Christmassy spices. You may even spot a little ginger, caramel, and cinnamon in there. It&rsquo;s very palatable, especially on a cold day when you want a beer but don&rsquo;t want the crisp sensation of a regular lager. Definitely one to have in the garage or basement for any occasion this holiday season.</p> <h3>7. Butternuts Beer &amp; Ale Moo Thunder Stout</h3> <p><em>Average price: $5.99 for 6 bottles </em></p> <p>I had to include at least one stout &mdash; after all, I much prefer dark beers. This one&rsquo;s a charmer. Brewed by Chuck Williamson in a converted dairy farm in upstate New York, it drinks like a much more expensive beer. As he says on the <a href="http://www.butternutsbeerandale.com/">Butternuts Beer &amp; Ale</a> website, &ldquo;no pretense, no snotty attitudes or haughty prices.&rdquo; Right on! Not as heavy as other stouts I love to imbibe, it&rsquo;s got plenty of malt and a dry finish. Do yourself a favor. Look for the label, a dancing cow being struck by lightning, and pick up a very flavorful six pack.</p> <h3>8. Budweiser American Ale</h3> <p><em>Average price: $5.99 for 6 bottles<br /> </em></p> <p>I have a confession to make. I don&rsquo;t really like Budweiser. Maybe it&rsquo;s because I tasted the far superior <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budweiser_Budvar_Brewery">Budweiser Budvar</a> (now known as Czechvar) first. However, a friend told me about American Ale, and I gave it a try. Not bad. Not bad at all. This is not in the same camp as Bud Light. With a nice copper color, a good head, and a sweet, malty flavor, it&rsquo;s got way more body than a typical bottle of Bud. With less carbonation than Bud, it&rsquo;s also easier to drink. And the price is definitely right.</p> <h3>9. Schaefer Beer</h3> <p><em>Average Price: $4.49 for 6 cans/bottles</em></p> <p>For a cheap beer, Schaefer&rsquo;s has <a href="http://schaefer-beer.com/history/default.aspx">quite the heritage</a>. Basically, two German brothers started making this beer way back in 1842, and in 1981 it was bought out by Stroh&rsquo;s. As you&rsquo;d expect from such a cheap beer, it&rsquo;s weak on the nose and sweet-tasting. You&rsquo;ll detect corn, grassiness, and sometimes a metallic, minerally aftertaste. But let&rsquo;s not forget, you&rsquo;re getting a really cheap brew (it&rsquo;s been found as low as $2.99/six pack in some states) and for a party or cookout, it does the job when you&rsquo;re on a budget. I&rsquo;d still rather drink this than a light beer from one of the big manufacturers.</p> <h3>10. Lionshead Pilsner</h3> <p><em>Average price: $7.99 for 12 cans</em></p> <p>Brewed in Pennsylvania by Lion Brewery, Lionshead beer is not ideal if you like a good head on your brew. It has minimal carbonation and is very light in color. Having said that, it goes down real easy. You&rsquo;ll detect barley, corn, sweetness, and a little malt. Lionshead has a slightly bitter aftertaste, but nothing you&rsquo;ll really care about. It goes down smooth, the price is terrific (around 67 cents a can), and because it&rsquo;s not so well known, you may well be treated with &ldquo;Lionshead? What&rsquo;s that?&rdquo; See if the newbies can figure out if it&rsquo;s a pricey beer or a cheap guzzler.</p> <h3>11. Genesee Cream Ale</h3> <p><em>Average price: $4.49 for 6 bottles</em></p> <p>A few bucks cheaper than Boddingtons, I wasn&rsquo;t expecting it to come close to one of my favorite ales. I was rather pleasantly surprised. It has a really good head, good carbonation, and it even smells creamy. Genesee has a hoppy aroma, a crisp, clean taste and finishes well. I didn&rsquo;t get any bitter aftertaste. The price is killer too, and many liquor stores will have it available in a 30-can pack for $17.99 or less. Well worth the money in my opinion.</p> <h3>12. Sierra Nevada Celebration</h3> <p><em>Average price: $11.99 for 12 bottles&nbsp;</em></p> <p>The price of this one varies quite a bit it seems. In my area, one store is selling a 12-pack for $9.99, another for $13.99. I asked a few people, they all seem to be picking it up for around $12-13 per 12 pack, but you may find it for $10. And if you do, grab it. This is one of the best-tasting beers on the list, and as a seasonal beer, it&rsquo;s the perfect time to drink it. Robust and rich, it&rsquo;s dry-hopped for a more intense flavor and aroma. What&rsquo;s more, it&rsquo;s got a kick, with a 6.8% alcohol content. Highly recommended.</p> <h3>13. Mississippi Mud Black &amp; Tan</h3> <p><em>Average price: $2.99 for a 32 oz. bottle</em></p> <p>This is the only single-serving (although it&rsquo;s quite the serving) beer on the list. I first discovered this a few years ago when I was buying beers to mix my own black and tan (stout and pale ale). Now, this is nowhere near as good as a hearty mix of Guinness and Bass Ale, I&rsquo;ll put that out there right now. But if you want something similar and don&rsquo;t fancy buying a bunch of beer to mix at home, this does the trick. It has a bit of a skunky smell, but it&rsquo;s easy to drink. It has some chocolate overtones, and the bottle is cool, too. You may well find it cheaper than $2.99; it&rsquo;s not a big seller.&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, those are my top 13 recommendations for cheap, drinkable beer this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unusual-gift-ideas-for-a-memorable-holiday-season">holiday season</a>. If you have any that are well worth a try, and come in at around $1 a bottle, then please share. And as always, I&rsquo;d like to remind everyone not to drink and drive; be a responsible beer-lover, please.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants">Frugal Drink Pairings for BYOB Restaurants</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable entertaining alcohol beer cheap holidays Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:00:53 +0000 Paul Michael 792182 at http://www.wisebread.com Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/backyard_party.jpg" alt="Backyard Party" title="Backyard Party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you start living on a budget, you might think parties will be the first thing to go. But consider an important philosophical question &mdash; what good is life without parties and revelry? You work hard, and it's not so you can live in a tiny apartment and eat rocks. It's worth splurging on the little things every now and again. Even when you do decide to indulge a bit, you can do so on a budget. Put simply &mdash; you don't need a ton of money to throw a killer party everyone will remember. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party&nbsp;Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>What Makes for a Great Party?</h2> <p>A great party is made up of four key elements, whether we're talking about your 6-year-old son's birthday party or a cultured soiree for the grownups. These elements are:</p> <ul> <li>Good People</li> <li>Good Food</li> <li>Good Drinks</li> <li>Fun Stuff to Do</li> </ul> <p>The first and fourth can be free. If you're partying on a budget, you're probably going to be able to do a better job on the middle two than you might think.</p> <h2>Good People</h2> <p>Good people is something that I can't really help you with. You either know them or you don't. Fortunately, getting them to your party is easier (and more affordable) than ever. Putting the word out on social networks, then gently reminding people to show up is a sure-fire method of packing your party with interesting people. One of the biggest gambles people take when attending a party is knowing if anyone good will be there. A Facebook page for your party will let people know precisely who to expect. Make sure to get people to RSVP!</p> <h2>Good Food</h2> <p>If you want a party with truly good food, you need to start cooking. While you can purchase bulk foods at discount prices, you've moved past the point in your life where a bag of Cheetos in a bowl counts for party snacks. Instead, focus on doing either one large thing very well or several little things that all stand out. It's easier than you think to prepare snacks, and while I'm not going to advise anyone to serve nothing but Ritz Crackers, you ate a ton of Ritz Crackers with cheese on top when you were a kid for a reason &mdash; they're delicious.</p> <p>Don't write off the idea of having a potluck, either. These aren't just an excuse for you to save money on cooking supplies. Particularly in foodie circles, you'll find that a potluck is a bit like a rap battle. Everyone is going to be bringing their &quot;A&quot; game. This allows you to have top-quality food at your party with little cost to you, while also making an affordable party even more of an event.</p> <h2>Good Drinks</h2> <p>Let's assume that by &quot;good drinks&quot; we mean &quot;good drinks for adults,&quot; by which we mean &quot;booze.&quot; Building a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">home bar on a budget</a> is a whole article on its own. However, there are some guiding principles to filling your bar with good drink that are especially applicable when hosting a party:</p> <ul> <li>Nearly every cocktail can be made if you have a bottle each of scotch, bourbon, gin, rum, and vodka. Barring either expensive taste or prolific drinking ability, a good bar set up is going to put you back about $50.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take care of wine and beer by encouraging guests to BYOB on that front. Stress that you will take care of the hard stuff, and no one will have a problem.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As if this needed saying &mdash; better doesn't always mean more expensive, and a lot of this has to do with taste. The present author can't stomach Bushmill's, but loves drinking Grant's neat. Conversely, he understands the appeal of Grey Goose, but not Bombay Sapphire. Your mileage may vary, but the ultimate determiner is always taste.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your friends are the &quot;Kool-Aid + Booze = FUN!&quot; types, a large bottle of just about anything will do. A bottom-shelf handle of Bourbon and another of vodka will probably keep this crowd happy. We know that college is over, but whatever. Some people aren't super choosy, and that's OK.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Put simply &mdash; set a budget, stick to it, and buy the most diverse liquor cabinet you can afford.</p> <h2>Fun Stuff to Do</h2> <p>This literally does not require a dime of expenditure on your party. &quot;Fun stuff to do&quot; might mean nothing more than enjoying a meal and good company. It might mean something as elaborate as projecting a film onto the wall of your apartment. Many times the good people part takes care of this. Still, even the most well-intentioned parties have a habit of dying grizzly deaths. When this happens, rely on the following:</p> <ul> <li>Mental <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">games</a> seem to be coming back in style. Having a copy of a question book like <i>If...</i> or a game might elicit groans from cynics at first. See how many cynics are left in 15 minutes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Forget what your mother told you &mdash; people love talking about politics, sex, and religion.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While it won't work with CDs, going through a pile of old, musty records is quite an experience, especially at the end of the night when a party is dying down.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Even just natural social graces can count as fun stuff to do. If you are a particularly adept matchmaker, you will also be good at introducing people in such a way that no one will notice or care that witty banter is &quot;all&quot; your party had to offer.</li> </ul> <h2>Getting the Most Out of Your Low-Budget Party</h2> <p>A lot of throwing the perfect low-budget party is appreciating the simpler things in life and paying attention to the small details that matter. Think back on the best parties you've ever been to. What is it that made them great? Chances are, it had little-to-nothing to do with how much money was spent. The secret to revelry on a budget is recognizing that it is far more subtle things that make for a good time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">4 Ways to Save Money at the Bars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink Home alcohol cheap parties cheap snacks hosting Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:36:30 +0000 Nicholas Pell 787805 at http://www.wisebread.com Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/outdoor_cocktails2.jpg" alt="Girls drinking cocktails" title="Girls drinking cocktails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One question that comes up again and again when talking about frugality is whether it's better to go with a cheap option or splurge on something well made. It's not an easy question to answer &mdash; it really depends on your values and preferences.</p> <p>For me, when it comes to spirits, it depends on the situation. If I'm drinking a margarita at a restaurant I haven't been to before, I'll get the well tequila, because there's always the chance they'd drown a nice tequila in over-sweet margarita mix. But when it comes to the whiskey in my Manhattan, I'm definitely getting a mid-range bourbon I like &mdash; if I'm having a drink, I want to be able to enjoy it.</p> <p>With that in mind, here are some suggestions for budget liquors that'll add oomph to your bar without emptying your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Frugal Cocktail Party Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Vodka</h2> <p>Svedka, despite their kind-of-disturbing ads with the sexy robot lady, puts out a good vodka that's about $12 a bottle. And honestly, if you're planning to mix vodka in a cocktail, you really don't need to go too pricey anyway; part of the reason that vodka is so popular is that its taste is easily hidden. Oh, and if you're thinking of buying one of those flavored vodkas, consider getting a much fresher taste by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">infusing your own vodka</a> instead.</p> <h2>Rum</h2> <p>A relatively affordable spirit, rum is often included in drinks with a tropical flair, but can be pretty awesome on its own. <a href="http://www.esquire.com/features/drinking/best-cheap-liquor-0209">Esquire</a> recommends Brugal's Anejo rum for sipping, and I'd second that &mdash; it currently has a place in my small bar collection. Kraken Rum, meanwhile, comes in an oh-so-hip bottle, and for $15-$20, it provides a nice, dark, spiced rum.</p> <h2>Tequila</h2> <p>The weird thing about tequila is that companies are allowed to make &quot;mixtos&quot; &mdash; tequila mixes that are at least 51% agave spirits blended with other stuff &mdash; and sell them simply as &quot;tequila.&quot; That's part of the reason why Cuervo gives you such a headache and why, even if you had &quot;a bad night with tequila in college,&quot; you should consider drinking the 100% agave stuff. 1800 is one of the most inexpensive 100% agave brands, hovering around $20-$25 a bottle.</p> <h2>Gin</h2> <p>Colleen Graham, the <a href="http://cocktails.about.com/od/spiritreviews/tp/best_cheap_gin.htm">About.com Guide to&nbsp;Cocktails</a>, lists Gordon's London Dry Gin as her favorite under $10, citing &quot;its strong juniper base and the essence of a variety of other herbs that mix well with almost anything.&quot;</p> <h2>Whiskey</h2> <p>For <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/less-or-cheaper">bourbon</a>, Bulliet is one of my favorites, and you can often find it for $20 when it's on sale. There are cheaper, still acceptable bourbons, though &mdash; I've heard from people who love Jim Beam's White Label and Black Label bourbons.</p> <p>Scotch, meanwhile, can be tricky business &mdash; this smokey, complex liquor can fetch hundreds of dollars a bottle. But the 12 Year Chivas Regal runs between $25 and $35, and provides a decent scotch for the price.</p> <h2>Brandy</h2> <p>I'll be honest &mdash; I usually buy cheap-cheap brandy, because the primary thing I use it for is making sangria. Like scotch, good brandy tends to be pricey, but Korbel's American brandy is affordable and decent, if you're looking for a reasonable point between the bottom and very top shelves.</p> <h2>Orange Liqueurs</h2> <p>I'm also including a note on orange liqueurs because they're used so often in cocktails. Triple sec is probably the most ubiquitous one. It's usually dirt cheap, and it tastes like it. I didn't really realize how cheap it tastes, though, until I had the opportunity to smell a bottle of Cointreau, a nicer orange liqueur, and a bottle of triple sec at the same time &mdash; the triple sec smelled like melted candy. Cointreau isn't cheap, but it is generally less expensive than the other popular orange liqueur, Grand Marnier. If you're mixing a cocktail where the orange flavor doesn't come across strongly, you're fine using triple sec, but otherwise you might want to consider Cointreau.</p> <p><em>Did I miss your favorite budget liquor? Share it in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-uses-for-avocados">6 Unexpected Uses for Avocados</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-two-ingredient-cocktails">20 Tasty Two-Ingredient Cocktails</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol cheap drinks cocktails Mon, 19 Sep 2011 10:36:21 +0000 Meg Favreau 709326 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Save Money at the Bars http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two_dollar_pints.jpg" alt="People at a bar" title="People at a bar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all love to go out with friends, but I for one am hesitant to pay $8 for a glass of wine at a bar when I know I can buy the whole bottle at my friendly neighborhood wine store for only a few dollars more. Here are a few tricks I've developed to pinch my pennies without hurting my social life:</p> <h3>Shop Around for Happy Hour Specials</h3> <p>It might seem obvious, but my un-budget-conscious friends tend to go where we always go rather than considering deals. So, suggest a new locale. To find deals, you could try a site like <a href="http://www.happy-hour.com/">www.happy-hour.com</a>, but in my smaller town I've had more luck simply Googling &quot;happy hour specials&quot; and going with a local site (ours is compiled by a local magazine). Or you can also check out the websites of different establishments to get an idea of current specials.</p> <h3>Check Out Restaurant.com for 40-60% Off Coupons</h3> <p>These can be used on food as well. One caveat to these coupons, however: Read the fine print carefully. The restaurant whose coupon you&rsquo;re purchasing generally sets stipulations regarding the coupon&rsquo;s use, including days of the week that they can be used, minimum dollar amounts of purchases, etc. Also, smaller towns have a more limited selection of participating locations. If you&rsquo;re hung up on the fact that a minimum purchase is required, try convincing your group to go in on one. A bonus for signing up for a free <a href="https://www.restaurant.com/register-login.asp?pgn=x">Restaurant.com user account</a> is that you can choose to receive e-mails that will regularly offer you 70% &ndash; 90% off the coupon price. I recently bought three $25 coupons for a total of $6.</p> <h3>Eat Before You Meet</h3> <p>Planning a later happy hour or time to meet friends gives you the opportunity to eat at home beforehand. I know, sometimes the point of meeting friends is to have a fun night out that includes trying new restaurants. If it&rsquo;s more about the socializing, though, pushing back your meeting time gives you the chance to eat at home, which is almost always a more frugal option. Another plus: You have time to take the dog out and change out of your work clothes, an opportunity I always welcome. If you are actually excited to try the food somewhere when meeting friends, you can always eat at home first and then order an appetizer or dessert with drinks, which will also cut down on overall spending.</p> <h3>Drink Less, or Not at All</h3> <p>To some, this sounds like a terrible idea. But I promise you, drinking less (or teetotaling) is not the worst idea I've ever had. In the past several years, medical research has pointed out the benefits of consuming alcohol in moderation, including reducing your risk of developing heart disease, dying of a heart attack, or developing diabetes. If you feel awkward not having something in your hand at all times, try ordering a &quot;<a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/drinks/mocktails/Main.aspx">mocktail</a>.&quot; Alternatively, you could try alternating alcohol with a glass of water &mdash; not only will it rehydrate you and prevent you from drinking too much in one evening, but it will also prevent you from lightening your wallet by spending too much on alcohol!</p> <p><em>What tricks do you use to save money at bars? Share your ideas in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink alcohol bar beverages happy hour social life Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:00:08 +0000 Janey Osterlind 410463 at http://www.wisebread.com For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3965322470_eacedcc474_z.jpg" alt="infused alcohol" title="infused alcohol" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've been to a liquor store recently, you might've noticed the increasing variety of flavored liquors. Sure, there are the classics like lemon vodka and coconut rum. But I've also seen coffee-flavored tequila, cherry-flavored whiskey, and one disturbing bottle of a murky liquid that promised to deliver the flavors of red wine and chocolate in a single beverage. (I'm not sure if that last one was supposed to be sold as a legitimate drink or a gag gift.)</p> <p>Some of these flavored liquors can taste pretty good, while others deliver the sort of fake fruit tastes normally reserved for children's cough syrup. The best (and often cheapest) way to make sure the flavored spirit you're sipping is something delicious, though, is to infuse your own alcohol. Homemade infusions often taste better than store-bought flavored liquors and can make low-to-mid-range spirits taste high-class (or at least higher-class). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-large-with-lower-calorie-cocktails" title="Living Large with Lower Calorie Cocktails">Living Large with Lower Calorie Cocktails</a>)</p> <h2>How to Infuse Alcohol</h2> <p>The process is very simple. You choose your favorite spirit, ideally something relatively neutral like vodka, gin, or rum (darker spirits can be infused, but because they're more flavorful on their own, they're harder to pair with an infusion). Then you choose what you'd like to flavor your spirit with &mdash; anything from lime peel (pith removed) for a tonic-ready gin to hot peppers, bay leaves, and black peppercorns for a vodka that begs for bloody mary mix. Combine the liquor and flavorings, seal in a container (its original bottle, a new bottle, or a large jar are all good), and let the mixture sit. The infusion process can take anywhere from three days to several weeks depending on how strong you'd like your infusion to be (you can always take a little taste to see if you're satisfied with its strength).</p> <p>Once you're happy with your spirit's flavor, strain it through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, store it in a clean bottle, and enjoy! Infused alcohol also makes a great homemade gift.</p> <p>If you need some ideas on what flavors to use, we've posted ideas before about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-life-to-life-la-kayim-the-joy-of-home-enhanced-booze">infusing vodka</a> &mdash; even with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-do-with-leftover-halloween-candy">leftover Halloween candy</a>. Some of my favorite combinations that I've made include ginger-lime gin, the aforementioned hot pepper vodka, and <a href="http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2007/08/22/homemade-falernum/">falernum</a>, a rum-based drink that was once popular in tiki cocktails.</p> <h2>Cocktail Recipes with Infused Alcohol</h2> <p>Not sure how to use your new infused alcohol? You can replace any flavored spirit you would buy at the store, or try it in a cocktail where you'd normally use a plain version, like mixing a rum and coke with home-infused orange rum. If you need more ideas, cocktail sites like <a href="http://cocktaildb.com/">CocktailDB</a>&nbsp;or the <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipesmenus/drinks/recipes">drinks section of Epicurious</a> are great places to start.</p> <p>Have you tried infusing your own spirits? If so, do you have any flavor combinations to recommend?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink General Tips alcohol cocktails creative gifts Wed, 03 Nov 2010 13:00:12 +0000 Meg Favreau 277768 at http://www.wisebread.com The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2382689187_d0ce30dd0f.jpg" alt="The morning after" title="the morning after" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're only a few months away from the party season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year are just a few of the many occasions that give you an excuse to drink a little more than you should. And then, the hangover is upon you. Are there really any good cures out there? Well, it turns out there are a bunch of methods worth trying.</p> <h3>First, the tried and tested ones</h3> <p><b>Drink plenty of water.</b> That means drinking high-quality H2O before, during and after the event. My general rule is one glass of water for every drink, and then chug a glass or two before bed and again when you wake up. Alcohol dehydrates you which causes a lot of the hangover pains. Water is a great way to combat those effects. And if you want to up the ante, try a drink packed with electrolytes, like Powerade, Gatorade, and so on.</p> <p><b>Hit up the eggs.</b> Our bodies often crave things like eggs after we've been drinking. Mine usually comes fried with bacon, but why eggs? Well, the magic word here is &quot;albumin.&quot; It's a protein in eggs that helps to rehydrate cells (the same ones you dehydrated the night before). You can even chug them raw, if you can stomach them in your delicate state.</p> <p><b>Get fruity.</b> Fruits are full of fructose, which helps you get the alcohol out of your system faster. Vitamin C is also packed into most fruits, and that needs to be replenished after your night on the town. Whether it's a fruit smoothie, tomato juice, orange juice, persimmon, or anything else fruity, get them down you. Also, try additional vitamin C pills to boost your levels. This will stimulate your liver to break down the alcohol.</p> <p><b>Drugs work.</b> Ibuprofen. Alka-Seltzer. Pepto-Bismol. Resolve (that's from the UK). I've tried them all and they ALL helped. You're in pain, and pain relievers will help to dull that pain. Combined with the tips above, they'll work wonders. You can also try Tiger Balm, clove oil or any other cooling medication on your head, the back of your neck, and your temples. This should provide some relief.</p> <p><b>Hair of the dog.</b> You know the expression. Why does it work? Well, some say that a hangover is caused by alcohol withdrawal, which is alleviated by more booze. Others say it has to do with the effects of methanol metabolism. Either way, it's a very good way to beat the hangover, but it obviously has major drawbacks. Good for a Sunday at home, not so good for a Monday morning in the office. Unless, of course, you have a very liberal alcohol policy.</p> <p><b>Coffee really is your friend.</b> You see it all the time in movies and on TV. Someone has a hangover, they reach for the coffee pot. Well, it's not just good for making you a little more alert. The caffeine present in your cup of joe acts as a vasoconstrictor. This helps to shrink those dilated blood vessels that are causing your headache. Apparently, anyway.</p> <h3>Now, some more unusual cures</h3> <p><b>Try a little willow bark or feverfew.</b> Pop down to your local vitamin store and pick up one of mother nature's best pain relievers. Willow bark has a natural form of aspirin in it that will help fight off those headaches. Feverfew has the same qualities. And they're both completely natural, if that's something you want from your medication.</p> <p><b>Bouillon and some hot water.</b> The Brits have no problem drinking weak gravy (Oxo cube + hot water) and yet it can be more than a tasty beverage. All that salt and potassium that left your body via the toilet needs to be replaced, and bouillon contains a bunch.</p> <p><b>Take Niacin for better blood flow.</b> You've no doubt seen that word on cereal boxes and other foods. One of Niacin's properties is the dilation of your blood vessels. That increase in blood flow allows toxins to removed from your cells more quickly, speeding up the whole detoxification process. Niacin is available from most pharmacies and vitamin stores.</p> <p><b>Go crackers with honey.</b> Honey is another one of those high fructose ingredients that helps your body get rid of the alcohol faster. So pour some on a cracker or two and put that hangover in its place.</p> <p><b>And why not go bananas at the same time?</b> Instead of the crackers, mix bananas with honey and milk and make a hangover-busting milkshake. The banana helps to calm the stomach, as does the milk. The honey and banana both contain natural sugars to restore your blood sugar levels back to normal. The milk also rehydrates you. And best of all, bananas are rich in electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are killed by heavy drinking.</p> <p><b>Charcoal ain't just for grillin'.</b> More prevention than cure, take a tablet of activated charcoal for each alcoholic drink you have. Charcoal absorbs all sorts of impurities in the alcohol (water filters are made of them) and these are known to cause some of the issues associated with a hangover. But don't overdo it, as charcoal can also absorb nutrients, too.</p> <p><b>Ginger or peppermint for the inevitable stomach upset.</b> It's not just your head that hurts after painting the town red. Ginger is a natural and effective remedy for stomachs that are really feeling the effects of one too many. Make sure you're getting a good amount of real ginger, though. Capsules are reliable; a can of ginger ale usually isn't &mdash; that's just ginger flavor. Peppermint is also a great natural aid for indigestion and stomach problems, but chew actual leaves, not minty gum. Real peppermint tea is a good solution if you can't find real leaves in your local store.</p> <p><b>Replace your amino acids.</b> Alcohol deprives your body of essential amino acids. These are the building blocks of protein, so replace them with a meal that contains beef, chicken, fish or soy. You can also buy amino acid supplements if you just can't face food.</p> <p><b>Lemon-aid (or lime-aid).</b> Lemons and limes contain a lot of natural sugars. Adding two or three tablespoons to a glass of water or coffee will help stabilize your blood sugar. It may not taste all that great though.</p> <p><strong>Stimulate the scalp.</strong> In college, I had a friend who would cure his hangover by standing in the shower and aiming the high-powered jets at a certain spot on his head. I always thought it was odd, but there's method to the madness. By stimulating the scalp you are bringing blood into the area, and those open vessels help relieve a headache. Pull your hair (if you have some), use a gentle massager or try the shower-head technique.</p> <p><strong>Take a mustard bath.</strong> Now, before you go out and spend a few hundred bucks on Grey Poupon, relax. All you need to do is add a few tablespoons of mustard powder to a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes. Mustard has the ability to increase circulation and draw toxins out from the body. Give it a try.</p> <p><strong>Milk thistle.</strong> Available from any good vitamin store, milk thistle (silymarin) protects liver cells from toxins. It should be taken before going out for a few drinks, preferably with a meal or snack.</p> <p><strong>Get to know Kudzu extract.</strong> Also known as Pueraria lobata, Kudzu has been in used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years. It's something that actually helps reduce alcohol intake, so you're less likely to want those extra drinks that turn you from happy to completely bombed. It also contains isoflavones, diadzin and puerarin, which are known to speed up the hangover healing time.</p> <p><b>Give Yoga the time of day.</b> Some yoga poses can literally help you push the alcohol out of the effected organs. I have not tried this one, but I know a few people who swear by yoga as a hangover cure. Look at &quot;the seated twist&quot; for starters.</p> <p><b>Try a shot of wheatgrass.</b> Wheatgrass is considered to be a natural detoxifier, cleansing the body's blood and water and revitalizing the cells. It also contains powerful detoxifying agents and assists in hydration. Drink a glass at night before hitting the hay, and one the following morning for full effect.</p> <p><strong>Prickly pear cactus.</strong> Researchers at Tulane University and the University of California have discovered that prickly pear cactus extract (<em>Opuntia ficus indica</em>) can relieve hangover symptoms and dry mouth. It can also relieve inflammation. It is best taken several hours before you start drinking alcohol.</p> <p>Well, there you have it. If you know of any sure-fire hangover cures (other than not drinking in the first place) share them here so we can all benefit this holiday season. And as always, please, don't drink and drive.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey">7 Unexpected Uses for Honey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-hidden-costs-of-drinking">The 9 Hidden Costs of Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty alcohol drinking hangover headache medicine pain relief Fri, 08 Oct 2010 13:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 256993 at http://www.wisebread.com Homebrewed Beer: Make Your Own and Save Money? http://www.wisebread.com/homebrewed-beer-make-your-own-and-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/homebrewed-beer-make-your-own-and-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3663233225_17467992ac_z.jpg" alt="beer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="213" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A brewery has been born in my kitchen. There is a huge stockpot, with foam clinging to the sides, a giant thermometer, something that looks like a thermometer but isn't, mysterious tubes and tubing and oddly-shaped brushes. A bag of &quot;carbonation drops&quot; (which look just like lemon drops, except that they are white) sits in a box, along with bottle caps, a capping apparatus, and other small things I cannot identify. As I write this, I am looking at a six-gallon glass &quot;carboy&quot; (a huge, heavy, bottle) full of future beer in our dining room. For a while, our house smells like a brewery, but in a good way. (See also: <a title="21 Great Uses for Beer" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">21 Great Uses for Beer</a>)</p> <p>My husband decided to give homebrewing a try last December, when a friend of ours served his <a title="Hot to Make Moonshine" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">homemade beer</a> with lunch at their home. It was fabulous. We tried two types &mdash; a pilsener and an ale &mdash; and we were hooked. The most amazing thing, though, was our friend claimed it was cheaper than buying.</p> <p><em>Wait</em>, you say, <em>not necessarily</em>. Correct. My husband drinks what I'd consider to be mid-priced beer: Primo, Kirin Ichiban, Heineken, St. Pauli Girl, Corona. He likes some microbrews, but they are not usually in our beer budget. If he were a &quot;Bud Light&quot; guy, this would not be cost-effective. But at the price we pay per case (about $22 - $25), this should work out well.</p> <p>Besides the flavor and the cost, there are intangible reasons to make your own beer. If you have not yet seen the documentary, &quot;Beer Wars,&quot; I highly recommend it. As it turns out, fewer and fewer of those mid-priced beers we buy are independently brewed. Most of the beer in the world is brewed by two huge, growing conglomerates. Somehow, for us at least, that takes some of the appeal, or the intrigue, away from trying beers from around the world.</p> <p>The process reminds me a lot of canning, in that there is a lot of work to be done beforehand, like sanitizing and boiling and mixing. There is also a lot of equipment involved, which is why brewing doesn't begin to save you money until you are several batches in. And, frankly, if you are someone who always has to have bigger, better, newer things for your hobby, it may never save you money.</p> <p>For equipment, we started at a slight advantage, as we already owned the carboy, a food-grade plastic bucket, and a few smaller items. Trips to two different local homebrew stores rounded out what he needed, at a cost of just about $150. He purchased the homebrewer's bible, <a title="The Complete Joy of Home Brewing" href="http://www.amazon.com/New-Complete-Joy-Home-Brewing/dp/0380763664/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1269668828&amp;sr=8-1"><em>The Complete Joy of Home Brewing</em></a> (Charlie Papazian) and I bought him <em>The Home-Brewer's Answer Book</em> (Ashton Lewis ), each of which retails for about $15, new. We had to save up sixty bottles to start the bottling which only cost us a nickel apiece that we didn't receive for recycling them. If you had to buy the bottles, that would cost much more &mdash; about $1 apiece. (Our neighbors obliged by drinking up and saving their bottles to help the cause.)</p> <p>Roughly, the start-up cost was about $180. Had we needed to buy a carboy and a bucket, it would have been about $50 more. Of course, used equipment, which occasionally shows up on Craigslist, eBay, and at garage sales, could greatly reduce startup costs. My husband saw an offer of a bottle drying rack for free on Craigslist in another part of the country, with the note that a 6-pack of homebrew would be a nice thank-you.</p> <p>A standard batch of homebrew is five gallons, which should make more than 48 bottles, or two cases of beer. At our usual $22 to $25 per case, that would be more than $44 to $50 worth of beer. The ingredients and consumable supplies for the first batch cost $31, so this represents a $13 to $19 savings on two cases. As you can see, it will take several batches to make back our initial capital outlay for equipment and supplies.</p> <p>For a microbrew buyer, the break-even point would come much sooner. Like all such hobbies, though, one has to weigh the cost, plus the labor, against the benefits &mdash; both tangible and intangible &mdash; to make a decision. Yes, the labor is considerable, but the satisfaction of learning a craft, making something so satisfying, making it better than what we normally buy, and having something alive and slightly magical bubbling away in the house, outweigh that, for us. And hey, it's fun.</p> <h2>Day 1 Lessons</h2> <ul> <li>He started kind of late in the day. It is now 7:36 p.m., and he still needs to cool the batch to &quot;pitch&quot; the yeast in.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The dogs also loved the smell and have been underfoot, which is annoying. They should be banished outside, but it is pouring rain.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Give your brewmeister his space. (I totally understand this, because when I am canning, I want everyone out of my way.) I have kept my questions to a minimum.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>He should have marked the carboy with gallon measurements beforehand.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>He should have washed the giant stockpot in which he boiled the wort (water, hops, etc.) after it was emptied, not two hours later.</li> </ul> <p>Beer-making, as it turns out, is also apparently a fantastic male bonding experience. They seem to like talking about beer almost as much as they like tasting it. There is also a local club he can join, which sounds like a lot of fun. They can apparently get together to share their latest creations and talk about brewing.</p> <p>Being a huge fan of DIY cost-saving items, I am anxious to sample, but am told it takes about three weeks before it is ready to drink.</p> <p>I will report back when we have our tasting. In the meantime, I feel a mysterious urge to make hot wings.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: Check with your state for laws regarding homebrewing.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homebrewed-beer-make-your-own-and-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 great uses for beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/concession-stand-treats-a-license-to-print-money">Concession stand treats – a license to print money.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol beverages Sat, 27 Mar 2010 17:00:02 +0000 Marla Walters 6091 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 great uses for beer http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-great-uses-for-beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/631321_wanna_beer_.jpg" alt="Beer" title="Beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ll make no bones about it; I love beer. From a warm, nutty pint of English bitter, to an ice-cold Belgian lager, I&rsquo;m all over it. But you don&rsquo;t just have to drink beer straight from the bottle or jar (although that&rsquo;s the best way to use it). If you&rsquo;re feeling experimental, here are 21 (the legal drinking age in most states) different uses for beer, other than just pouring it down your throat.</p> <h3>1. Put it in your chili</h3> <p>One of the best ways to add flavor and a little extra liquid to a chili is with a nice bottle of beer. Use the darker beers &mdash; they have more flavor and add more punch.</p> <h3>2. Make bread</h3> <p>My wife&rsquo;s grandma is from Germany and she swears by a good loaf of beer bread.</p> <p><strong>INGREDIENTS</strong><br /> 1 12oz can of beer<br /> 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour<br /> 1/2 cup all-purpose flour<br /> 1/4 cup brown sugar<br /> 1 teaspoon baking powder<br /> 1/2 teaspoon salt<br /> 1/2 teaspoon onion powder<br /> 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning<br /> 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted</p> <p><strong>DIRECTIONS</strong><br /> 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).<br /> 2. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch baking pan.<br /> 3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. <br /> 4. Add the beer and sugar, mix well, place in pan.<br /> 5. Top with melted butter. <br /> 6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.</p> <h3>3. Kill slugs</h3> <p>Worms are a gardener&rsquo;s best friend, but slugs are not. Salt is a great way to dry up these slimy pests, but that means you have to find them first. Instead, entice them with a little beer, which slugs love. Simply pour a little into some empty jars and place them in the soil, with the rims of the jars at ground level. The slugs will drop in for a drink, but they can&rsquo;t get back out. And what a way to go; Certainly better than the salt-shriveling death.</p> <p><img width="300" height="288" title="beer bath" alt="beer bath" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u17/837128_bubble_world.jpg" /></p> <h3>4. Take a beer bath</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s said the Cleopatra used to bathe in milk. Pah, that&rsquo;s for lightweights. P. Diddy went one better and filled bathtubs full of expensive champagne at a birthday party. I say, go with the middle ground. Drain a few kegs into the tub and let the invigorating bubbles cleanse the skin and exfoliate. The yeasts and other ingredients are great skin-softeners. Then take a long shower.</p> <h3>5. Cure your lawn of brown spots</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve done a cure for a green lawn already, but I talked to another gardener who assured me that the acids in the beer would help kill off bugs and the other ingredients would help promote green growth. Does it work? Alas, I cannot swear by it as I haven&rsquo;t tried it yet. My lawn is dormant here in Colorado. But if anyone can try it for me, that would be great!</p> <h3>6. Ease a stomachache</h3> <p>What? Surely not. Well, the carbonation in the beer can help ease your nasty tum rumbles. Of course, this is not a good one for children, or people with an ulcer or serious other stomach illness.</p> <h3>7. Stain removal</h3> <p>Something nasty on your carpet? Maybe a red wine stain? Well, a light beer will help pull that stain out. Sometimes a little club soda first will also help. Then use a regular carpet steam cleaner after to lift out the liquid and the smell.</p> <h3>8. Make a killer meat-tenderizing marinade</h3> <p>I have used soda in the past to help soften a steak before putting it on the grill. But that was sweet, too sweet for me. Now, I use a good beer or lager, and sometimes a stout if I&rsquo;m feeling the need for some hearty flavor. The beer will really help soften the meat, add a distinctive taste, and it&rsquo;s way better than those chemical tenderizers.</p> <h3>9. Revive wooden furniture</h3> <p>Got a few opened, half-empty beers from a party? Well, flat beer makes a great wood reviver. Just dampen a microfiber cloth with your flat beer, then rub gently into your furniture It will give it a polish and bring back some color.</p> <h3>10. The easy hair highlighter</h3> <p>Give your lovely locks that sun-kissed glow. Soak you hair in beer and then lay in the sun. It will pull out terrific highlight and make you smell deliciously hoppy! (Alternately, wash the beer out if you&rsquo;d rather smell like a normal person.) Beer is also a handy hair conditioner.</p> <h3>11. Polish your gold jewelry</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t bother buying expensive store-bought cleaners. Drop your rings and other trinkets into a dish of beer, then remove and polish to a beautiful sheen using a dry cloth.</p> <h3>12. The bee attractor</h3> <p>I really don&rsquo;t like bees and wasps, especially at barbecues and get-togethers in the park or back yard. So, an hour before the event is due to kick off, place some small containers of beer around the perimeter of the yard. The sugar and smell will attract the bees and they&rsquo;ll be happy enough around the beer while you enjoy your shindig bee-free.</p> <p><img width="300" height="225" title="fish chips" alt="fish chips" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u17/661331_fish_and_chips.jpg" /></p> <h3>13. The inevitable beer-batter</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m English, I love my fish &lsquo;n&rsquo; chips. And a good batter is essential. Follow this recipe for great-tasting beer-batter on your piece of prime cod.</p> <p>1 12oz bottle of beer<br /> 1 cup all-purpose flour<br /> 2 tablespoons paprika<br /> 2 teaspoons salt<br /> 2 teaspoons ground black pepper<br /> 1 egg, beaten</p> <h3>14. Use it to heal</h3> <p>As some of you may know, beer is a diuretic. And therefore, it can be used to help pass a kidney stone. It cannot, however, be used like other diuretics &mdash; to treat liver cirrhosis (for obvious reasons).</p> <h3>15. Liven-up some bland shrimp or lobster</h3> <p>Well, OK, lobster usually isn&rsquo;t that bland. But shrimp can certainly lack &ldquo;oomph&rdquo; on occasion, and flat beer can help. Simply boil it up with some spices, like turmeric, Cajun seasoning, the classic Bay Leaf, salt, pepper and a touch of cayenne pepper. Then, add your raw shrimp and cook for around 5 minutes (15 for lobster). Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.</p> <h3>16. Make beersicles</h3> <p>Get yourself a popsicle maker from your local grocery store and instead of adding fruit juice, add a selection of different beers. An Indian Pale Ale, a lager, a bitter, a stout and so on. You&rsquo;ll have a set of tasty adult treats for a hot summer day. (You can also make smaller versions using an ice-cube tray and toothpicks.)</p> <h3>17. Start a conversation</h3> <p>By carefully spilling a little of the beer of the attractive person next to you, male or female, you give yourself an opening to apologize, buy them a new drink and start a charming conversation. Just a nudge though, if you drench them they&rsquo;ll be ticked off and you&rsquo;ll be considered a prize moron.</p> <h3>18. Soak your feet</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve had a hard day at work, a cold beer isn&rsquo;t just good for your spirits. Those tired, aching feet can be revived by a beer foot-bath. Please, don&rsquo;t be tempted to drink the contents afterwards&hellip;I&rsquo;ll never do that again.</p> <h3>19. Turn ordinary rice into something very special</h3> <p>Next time you cook up a pot of long-grain rice, perhaps Jasmine or Basmati, cook the rice up in beer. Something with a lot of flavor will work well, like a brown ale or stout. The rice will absorb the beer and have a lovely flavor. Better still, it will look brown in hue, making people think you&rsquo;re eating healthy!</p> <p><img width="300" height="293" title="Insomnia" alt="Insomnia" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u17/357803_insonia_1.jpg" /></p> <h3>20. Wash your pillowcases in it</h3> <p>This may be an old wives tale, but apparently the nutty smell of hops helps you fall asleep. If you&rsquo;re an insomniac, try washing a pillowcase in beer and you may just get to the land of nod sooner than you think.</p> <h3>21. Give yourself movie-star looks</h3> <p>Simply buy many bottles of beer for the person you want to date and ensure they drink it all. By the time they&rsquo;ve finished, they&rsquo;ll think you have the looks of a million-dollar Hollywood star. (Warning: beer-goggle effects will wear off quickly.)</p> <p><strong>And a few things I wouldn&rsquo;t do with beer:</strong><br /> 1: Put out a fire &mdash; what a waste of good ale.<br /> 2: Give it away as a gift &mdash; it&rsquo;s mine, all mine.<br /> 3: Make an icy slide out of it.</p> <p>If you know of any other uses for the mighty brew, please let me know. And as always, never drink and drive folks. Stay safe.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-beers-to-keep-your-holiday-season-hoppin">13 Cheap Beers to Keep Your Holiday Season Hoppin’</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants">Frugal Drink Pairings for BYOB Restaurants</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-beer">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol beer tips Tue, 04 Mar 2008 23:03:57 +0000 Paul Michael 1886 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Moonshine http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-moonshine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4652495029_ee7d9bec37_z.jpg" alt="moonshine glasses" title="moonshine glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It has been legal to make wine at home since the end of prohibition, and legal to make beer since 1978, but it's still illegal to distill spirits for beverage purposes without going through so much fuss and bother that the government admits flat out that it's &quot;impractical.&quot; That's too bad, because homemade moonshine is incredibly frugal. (See also: <a title="21 Great Uses for Beer" href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-great-uses-for-beer">21 Great Uses for Beer</a>)</p> <p>Making moonshine is easy. In one sense, making any alcoholic beverage is easy, because the <a title="My Kitchen Could Be a Yeast Farm" href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-kitchen-could-be-a-yeast-farm">yeast</a> do all the work. But moonshine is especially easy because running it through a still makes all the delicate balancing of flavors that mark a great beer or wine irrelevant.</p> <p>I learned most of what I know about moonshine from the classic book <a title="Possum living" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0876639872?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0876639872">Possum living: How to live well without a job and with almost no money</a> by Dolly Freed. (A great book and well worth reading.)</p> <p><em>[Updated 2010-01-14 to add:; I've just learned that Tin House books has reissued <a title="Possum Living reissue" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0982053932?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0982053932">Possum Living</a></em><em>! It's wonderful to see this classic once again available a reasonable price.]</em></p> <p>Alcoholic beverages all start with <strong>yeast</strong> and with <strong>sugar for the yeast to eat</strong>. The sugar for wine usually comes from grapes (although other fruits are used, especially for homemade wine). The sugar for beer usually comes from malted barley (although other grains are also used). The sugar for commercially produced spirits can come from almost anything &mdash; corn for bourbon, barley for scotch, rye for rye, sugar cane for rum, and so on. For moonshine, what you want is the <strong>cheapest sugar you can find</strong>. Dolly Freed found that the cheapest sugar she could find was white granulated sugar. Nowadays, corn syrup might be cheaper.</p> <p>Let me take a moment here to praise yeast. I'm a huge fan of yeast. They work tirelessly to make our bread and our booze, then uncomplainingly give up their lives that we may eat and drink. If there were an American Yeast Council, I'd want to be their spokesman.</p> <p>The main difference between brewer's yeast and baker's yeast is that brewer's yeast has been bred to survive a higher alcohol content. That lets wine makers work with natural fruit juices that have a high concentration of sugar and get a higher concentration of alcohol before the yeast die of alcohol poisoning. If you're going to make your own sugar solution to grow the yeast in, though, you can just make the sugar solution's strength match what the yeast can convert before they die. It all comes out even with no waste.</p> <p>According to Dolly Freed, it is a happy coincidence that 5 pounds of sugar in 3 gallons of water works out just right for ordinary baker's yeast.</p> <p><em>[Updated 2007-12-30 to add:</em></p> <p><em>A lot of people have asked how much yeast to add. I answered that in comment #16 below, but that's an obscure place to look for the answer, so I'm copying what I said up here.</em></p> <p><em>I'd add one packet.</em></p> <p><em>Since the yeast reproduce, it almost doesn't matter how much you add &mdash; after 20 minutes you've got twice as much, so if you add half as much it changes your total fermentation time from 10 days to 10 days 20 minutes.</em></p> <p><em>All you need to do is add enough that your yeast overwhelms any wild yeast that happen to get in. (There are wild yeast in the air everywhere, so you really can't avoid them.)]</em></p> <p>There are lots of good books on making beer and making wine. Any of them will describe the fermentation process, but very briefly you just:</p> <ol> <li>add sugar to the water</li> <li>bring to a boil (to kill any wild yeast in it and make it easy to dissolve the sugar)</li> <li>wait until the temperature comes down to 110&deg;F (so you don't kill your own yeast)</li> <li>add yeast</li> <li>wait</li> </ol> <p>The fermenting liquid is called the &quot;must.&quot; You want to leave it loosely covered to keep other things from getting into it (wild yeasts, mold spores, etc.), but the yeast produce carbon dioxide as well as alcohol and you want to make sure the carbon dioxide can easily escape. If you seal it up tightly, it could explode.</p> <p>Give it 10 to 25 days (depending on various things, but mainly how warm it is). You'll know its done when it:</p> <ul> <li>quits bubbling</li> <li>begins to turn clear</li> <li>no longer tastes sweet</li> </ul> <p>Now, if you were making beer or wine you'd have several more steps: bottling, aging, etc. Making moonshine, though, all you need to do is distill the stuff. For that, you need a still.</p> <p><img height="455" width="605" alt="moonshine still" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/moonshine%20still.jpg" /></p> <p>You can buy a still, but you probably don't want to. (They cost money, and the federal government &mdash; which scarcely polices this activity at all &mdash; probably does keep tabs on people who buy stills from commercial outlets.)</p> <p>A still, though, is just:</p> <ul> <li>a <strong>pot</strong> with a <strong>lid</strong> with a <strong>hole</strong> in it</li> <li>a tube, closely fit to that hole, running to a jar</li> <li>something to cool that tube</li> </ul> <p>You bring the pot to a boil, the alcohol evaporates, the vapor goes out the hole, into the tube, and the condenses back into liquid alcohol.</p> <p>Conveniently, an old-fashioned <a title="Save Time, Money, Energy, and Eat Great" href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-energy-and-eat-great">pressure cooker</a> is a pot with a hole in the lid. Modern pressure cookers won't work as well, because they have a fancy valve to release the pressure, but with an old-fashioned one you just remove the weight and then fit the tube to the valve.</p> <p>If you've got some room, you can just make the tube long enough and you don't need to do anything extra to condense the alcohol. Using a tube that coils some can save space. Alternatively, you can run your tube through a sleeve and run cold tap water through the sleeve. (Dolly Freed has a diagram of just such a setup.)</p> <p>The things to be sure of here are that your entire set-up needs to be of food-quality materials: copper, aluminum, stainless steel are all fine. Plastics are iffy as some may leach stuff into the alcohol. Lead is right out, as is putting the pieces together with solder that includes lead.</p> <p>Make sure the hole can't get plugged up, which could lead to your still exploding.</p> <p>Set up your still and bring it to a light boil. Pretty soon you'll have almost pure alcohol dripping into your jar. The water content of the distillate will gradually increase. At some point a sample taken from the tube will no longer taste of alcohol, and you're done.</p> <p>As I said, it's too bad it's illegal. Otherwise you could make some pretty good booze (well, let's say barely drinkable booze) for the price of a few pounds of sugar.</p> <h3>Additional Information</h3> <ul> <li>Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau <a title="Alcohol FAQs" href="http://www.ttb.gov/faqs/alcohol_faqs.shtml">FAQ on Alcohol</a></li> <li>About.com on <a title="How to Make Moonshine" href="http://chemistry.about.com/b/a/187216.htm">making moonshine</a></li> <li>A step-by-step guide on <a title="making a still" href="http://www.moonshine-still.com/">making a still</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homebrewed-beer-make-your-own-and-save-money">Homebrewed Beer: Make Your Own and Save Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink alcohol beverages how to make Wed, 26 Sep 2007 02:04:14 +0000 Philip Brewer 1212 at http://www.wisebread.com