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How good is alcohol for your health? Over the years, many studies have attested to the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption to the heart. Unfortunately, there were hardly any scientific proof to confirm this theory––until now.

So, if you need an excuse to go drinking this summer, here’s some good news. Researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Science Institute in Brazil has finally discovered that moderate amount of alcohol can train our heart to effectively cope with stress. How is this possible?

Protecting the Heart

When we drink, our body creates organisms or enzymes called ALDH2, to protect itself and get rid of toxic alcoholic elements from our body. Researchers from the study have found out that these are the very same chemicals our heart needs to protect it when damaged or exposed to major heart problems like a heart attack. So, just enough alcohol in our body can actually strengthen the heart and allow it to cope with major heart problems.

The researchers were able to test this theory using experiments on lab rats that were induced to suffer a myocardial infarction or a heart attack. Cells that were exposed to alcohol in lower amounts have less damaged hearts while 50 percent of cells died in hearts that were not exposed to alcohol.

According to one of the researchers, Professor Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira, these ‘data suggest moderate exposure to ethanol causes minor stress in heart cells but not enough to kill them.’

In short, heart cells undergo a ‘preconditioning’ phase wherein it produces a chemical memory to protect itself against stress. In the event that these cells are eventually exposed to major strain like a heart attack, the heart knows how to deal with it.  

In addition to removing toxic by-products of alcohol in our body, the researchers also concluded that the ALDH2 enzyme also removes a molecule that grows in the heart when it becomes damaged. Furthermore, this scientific breakthrough can eventually lead to a drug that has the same positive reaction without the risks carried out by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Caveat

Sounds cool, right? Yes, but a bit of caution before bingeing on your favorite alcoholic drinks. This enzyme can be just as bad when alcohol is consumed excessively. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can make the heart more vulnerable to a heart attack than not drinking at all.

In fact, heavy drinking can adversely affect not only the heart, but other major organs of the body as well, such as the kidneys and liver and can lead to major health concerns like liver cirrhosis, chronic renal failure, and cardiovascular diseases. Other conditions linked to chronic alcohol consumption also include anemia, seizures, depression, and abdominal pain.

Alcohol may be a good protection for your heart but it is always best to remember to take things slowly. It’s not bad to treat your heart to a delicious glass of wine from time to time but the best ways to take good care of your heart is always through a healthy diet and exercise.

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If you are into healthy, non-alcoholic beverages this season, this one-of-a kind grapes-infused water called O.Vine will definitely make your summer a lot more refreshing. What is O.Vine and what makes it so special?

Innovation and Opportunity

O.Vine is launched by Israeli start-up, Wine Water Ltd. It is an all-natural, non-alcoholic drink made from pure spring water and wine grape skins and seeds. It was inspired by the sustainable initiatives and visionary journey of its CEO and founder, Anat Levi, an experienced wine executive and former CEO of Israel’s Golan Heights Winery for almost a decade.

Unfazed by a technical glitch that caused a huge revenue loss to the company and almost threatened to lay off half of its employees, Levi led an innovative process that increased revenue sales instead.

O.Vine was created in partnership with Practical Innovation which is responsible behind the award-winning creative marketing campaigns for major brands worldwide. Together, the two teams successfully developed clean, precise oxidation processes while maintaining wine’s natural aroma and color.

Levi and her team was able to reduce wastage from the winemaking process and use it to develop O.Vine, which is made from discarded wine grapes extracts rich in phytochemicals that are proven to have positive health benefits as well.

Sustainability and Traceability

In addition to ecological sustainability, tracking its raw materials is also an important concern for Wine Water Ltd. in developing their products, from choosing vines down to selecting their suppliers. The result is a product that is not only environmentally friendly but comes from all-natural, preservative-free ingredients as well.  With all these lovely and healthy ingredients in a drink, what’s not to love about this grape-infused water?

Delicious and Healthy Option

Launched at the famous New York Fancy Food Show just recently, O.Vine has the anti-oxidant properties of wine and the refreshing goodness of pure spring water that is suitable for everyone because of its non-alcoholic properties.

Levi’s target market are consumers of all ages who enjoy all-natural, healthy living but open to newer, and fresher flavors. O.Vine is a more delicious alternative to sustainably sourced beverage drinks without skimping on ingredients and retaining its health benefits.

O.Vine features a line of still beverages and carbonated drinks, each available in two varieties of red and white grapes in an elegant, beautifully-illustrated, 350ml bottle. The Red bottle is made with cabernet grapes, syrah, merlot, and petit verdot plants. The White variety, on the other hand, is made up of Riesling grapes and gewürztraminer plants.

Environmentally sustainable and all-natural ingredients? Check. Refreshing and delicious non-alcoholic beverage? Double check. If you’re looking for these qualities and more for your go-to drink this summer, then you should definitely give O.Vine a try. You’ll thank us later.  

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Love beer but hate going out? The good news is you don’t have to drive to your nearest liquor shop to purchase your favorite liquor. How? You can brew your own right in the comfort of your own home with the help of PicoBrew.

Who is PicoBrew?

PicoBrew is the top-selling home brewery appliance in the world. It was developed five years ago by brothers Bill and Jim Mitchell who were inspired to create hassle-free and simplified brewing processes after their frustrations with traditional brewing equipment. The result is the award-winning PicoBrew Zymatic, a top of the line, high quality professional brewing machine being now used by beer craft enthusiasts all over the world.

Since then, PicoBrew has come up with a wide range of home brewing products that are user friendly and easily customizable so even newbie crafters can create awesome homemade craft beer.

Read more about PicoBrew’s amazing array of home brewing machines:


  •    Z – Picking up from the success of PicoBrew’s original craft beer brewing device, Zymatic, the Z series combines the art and science of brewing with its automated and more precise brewing capabilities. The Z series is scalable and is the first high tech modular brewing systems in the market today. It can create up to two to 10 gallons of beer per batch.

  •    Pico Pro – High tech, powerful, and heavy duty beer crafting apparatus––that’s the Pico Pro and more. Able to craft 5 liters of beer in as little as two hours, so you can enjoy carbonated and fermented beer in just about a week. It’s packed with awesome features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, detachable brew kegs, and a stainless-steel exterior.

  •    Pico C - This nifty brewing appliance is all you need for your home brewing needs. Your ideal countertop brewing buddy, it shares similar precise brewing capabilities with the Pico Pro but is smaller, more compact, and most of all, more affordable.
  •    PicoFerm – Is the perfectionist’s ultimate home brewing gadget. Monitor your beer’s crafting progress from start to finish with its patent-pending fermenting technology. Its high-tech features allow you to effortlessly observe its fermentation progress, hands free for a sterile, clean, and perfect brewing experience.
  •    PicoStill – Is the brand’s high quality but affordable distilling attachment designed for both professional distillers and home brewers. Use this device to safely and accurately distill batches of spirits to bring out the aromatic and flavorful essences of your favorite beverages.

What will you craft? - YouTube

  •    Zymatic – You can never go wrong with PicoBrew’s classic and original professional brewing system.  This top of the line brewing equipment is fully automated ensuring precise and accurate brewing of batches. Its Wi-fi capability allows you to monitor brewing processes remotely from most digital devices.
  •    KegSmarts – The smartest way to ferment and store your freshly crafted beverages. Its advanced capabilities allow you to precisely monitor your beer’s dispensing, fermenting, temperature, and even serving status with its digital display feature. 


 

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Every week, we will be featuring fabulous cocktail creations from various social media influencers. If you are looking to collaborate with us for unique and delectable cocktail mixes, follow us on Instagram and check out fabulous and great-tasting recipes from other cocktail enthusiasts as well.

And if you’re craving for something intense this weekend, this stunning and mouth-watering mix of gin, sake, and bitters from @mixologists_life is highly recommended. Find out for yourself how intensely satisfying the drink can be, with the recipe guide below.

The Ingredients

Be warned. This isn’t your boring old-cocktail recipe. Bring out the bar tools because you are about to create some insanely delicious cocktail masterpiece with these eclectic mix of ingredients: simple syrup, sour mix, yuzu sake, birch bitter liqueur, crowberry liqueur, and an ounce and a half of London dry gin.

Preparation

You won’t believe how quick and easy this is. First is, combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled glass, then shake. Finally, add ice to another glass and pour prepared mixture all over it. Garnish as you wish.

Ingredients
  •    .5 oz of simple syrup
  •    1 oz of sour mix
  •    3 bar spoons of yuzu sake
  •    .3 oz of birch bitter liqueur
  •    .6 oz crowberry liqueur
  •    1.5 oz of London dry gin
Preparation
  •    Add ice to glass
  •    Add .5 oz of simple syrup
  •    Add 1 oz of sour mix
  •    Add 3 barspoons of yuzu sake
  •    Add .3 oz of birch bitter liqueur
  •    Add .6 crowberry liqueur
  •    Add 1.5 oz of London dry gin
  •    Shake mixture
  •    Add ice to glass
  •    Strain the mixture into the glass
  •    Garnish

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Selecting the best rose wine for your next me-time can be confusing and intimidating especially when there are so many to choose from! Fortunately, there’s an app that can help with your dilemma.

Vivino


Vivino is the world’s most popular online wine community where users can discover, buy, review, and rate wines. It has now over 30 million users all over the world. Recently, Vivino has come up with the top rose wines in the market based on a database of 95 million consumer ratings.  The top 20 most popular brands are all priced below $20 and can be purchased online through the Vivino app which is available on both Android and Apple devices.

2017 Château d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé


Made from Cotes de Provence region in France where the world’s best dry rose can be found, its fragrance alone will make you think of a garden of fresh flowers. If you are a fan of fruity hints in your wine, you will love this combination of strawberry, grapefruit, peach, and lime in a bottle. The best part is, you can get it under $20 if you order it online via the Vivino app.

2017 Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé


This gorgeous rose bottle from French wine maker Gerard Bertrand is not your average rosé. With its soft floral notes with traces of grapefruit, it will remind you of sweet, citrus flavored candies. If you are looking for a summer wine to tickle and refresh your senses, this soft bluish pink wine in a bottle will make you ask for more.

2016 Saint Aix AIX Rosé

If you prefer your rosé, clean, smooth and simple, then this one’s for you. Made in the Provence region in France, this premium rosé is sophistication at its finest. It doesn’t overwhelm you with sweet, fruity notes but has a subtle, delicate, and clean aroma of lemon and peach. Its taste? A flavorful explosion of strawberries, watermelon, and flowers. For only $18, what more can you ask for?

2017 Minty M Rosé


Just as elegant and timeless as the makers itself. It has been bottled and made by the famous Matton-Farnets family who has been making wine in France for centuries. With its intense citrusy aroma coupled with the smooth and refreshing finish, this rosé is the perfect pair for your favorite dishes.

2017 Fleurs de Prairie Côtes de Provence

A celebration of beautiful fields of wildflowers, this wine is made from the coastal hillsides of of French Provençal vineyards whose location is the perfect condition to grow grapes for winemaking. Bursting with the splendid flavors of herbs, rose petals, and strawberries, this wine is also perfect as an aperitif for your favorite cocktail recipes.

Click here, for this year’s complete list of best-selling rosés according to Vivino.


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Hankering for a nice, icy cold glass of Negroni but don’t feel like going to a bar? You can whip up one yourself with just three simple ingredients of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Or if you’re desperate for a quick fix to satisfy your cravings, you can always head to your nearest liquor store and stock up on some awesome ready-to-drink Negronis.

Wait…did we just mention pre-mixed Negroni? Yes, Negroni, one of the top-selling cocktails in the world, now comes in bottled and canned varieties, which means you have more time to drink, enjoy, and relax and less time fussing about whether you have the correct ingredients. So, if you’re feeling curious yet, here’s just some brands we suggest you try for a convenient and delicious glass of Negroni.

St. Agrestis Negroni

St. Agrestis Negroni is a Brooklyn-based liquior company well-known for its great-tasting amaro. Their ready-to-drink Negroni is 48 proof and made from real ingredients of Greenhook gin, sweet vermouth, and the company’s new aperitif, Inferno Bitter. It is the perfect bittersweet blend in a bottle to cap off a long day at work. It comes in 100 milliliter bottles.

Campari Negroni

Campari is one of the most iconic spirits brands in the world today with a wide variety of premium alcoholic beverage products being sold in over 190 countries all over the world. They are famous for their intense and distinctive line of aperitifs.  

The Campari Negroni is your classic ready mix Italian cocktail in a bottle which may very well be this summer’s go-to drink.  With its bright red, pleasantly bitter and tangy flavor, you can serve it on its own over ice or garnished with an orange peel. It is made from Campari, London dry gin, and Cinzano Sweet Vermouth.


Pampelonne's Negroni Sbagliato

If you’re looking for an enjoyable but more convenient drinking experience, this canned offering of a classic Negroni cocktail from sparkling wine maker, Pampelonne, is your best bet.

One of the three canned wine cocktail range recently unveiled by Pampelonne, the Negroni Sbagliato is made from the same classic ingredients of Campari and sweet vermouth except that it made use of sparkling wine instead of gin. The result is a slightly subtler bitter flavor with a distinctive hint of wine.

If you still prefer your Negronis prepared the traditional way, you can also mix it yourself at home. Named after an Italian Count, Camillo Negroni who requested his bartender to strenghten the flavor of his Americano cocktail with gin instead of soda water, the Negroni is one of the easiest cocktail mixes to prepare using only three ingredients, one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari, topped with an orange wedge or peel.  Try to master this classic cocktail recipe, using this guide.

So, what’s not to love about this iconic Italian cocktail? Bottled, in can, or prepared the traditional way, the Negroni sure is, one of the tastiest, and most celebrated drinks in the world.

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Celebrating July 4th isn’t the same without booze, and if you are tired of serving the same drinks over and over again, we’ve come up with 6 American-themed cocktail drinks for you to re-create and try this year.

Boozy Snow Cones

What’s fun, fabulous, and fancy? This Boozy Snow Cones recipe from Emmy Award-winning TV host Clinton Kelly that’s what. This sweet party dessert with an adult twist is all of your childhood dreams come true. Experience ultimate happiness and bring in the fireworks with a combination of strawberries, white rum, lime juice, and blue curacao and of course, shaved ice.


Suddenly Summer

Who knew being patriotic can make you create something this delicious? With this striking cocktail drink, you can make every day 4th of July. Fruity, with just the right amount of fizz from soda and the smoothness of vodka, this red, blue, and white concoction is a real head-turner on your 4th of July celebrations. Try making one watermelon schnapps, cranberry juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, blue curacao, vodka, and club soda, here’s how.

Paleo Red, White, and Blue Cocktails

This awesome layer of red, white, and blue concoction from 40 Aprons is your ultimate Memorial Day rum cocktail. Not only is it eye-catchingly gorgeous, it is just as delicious as it looks––even without the alcohol. If you’re into tropical flavors with a hint of rum, this recipe has your favorite fruits covered: strawberries, coconut, banana, pineapple, and blueberries. Read here to find out how you can recreate this recipe.

White Wine Sangria

If you want something luscious and sophisticated to serve your guests this 4th of July, then try this unique twist to your ordinary sangria. Made with white wine instead of red, this drink has a fuller taste with just a hint of citrus. Try this at home with a bottle of dry white wine, prosecco, vodka, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and lemon juice. Refrigerate then serve.


All-American Daiquiri

Be proud to be American with this delightful daiquiri recipe from Chilled Magazine. Impress your guests with the eclectic mix of mescal, coconut rum, triple sec, pineapple juice, and piña colada and strawberry daiquiri mixes. Pump up your 4th of July party with this icy-cold treat in a mason jar. Check out the recipe, here.

Red, White, and Blue Piña Colada

Say Ooh la la when you taste this all-American piña colada from Home Sweet Jones. If you want your Memorial Day celebration to be a big hit, then this one’s for you. The combined flavors of strawberries, white rum, coconut cream, blue curacao, and crushed pineapple will be just as explosive as the fireworks being set off in the distance.

So, get your guest list ready and invite your family and friends over for a day of unlimited red, white, and blue cocktail drinking party this coming July 4.

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Can’t get enough of the World Cup fever? We can’t blame you. What’s not to love about the exhilarating sense of national pride, international sports competitions bring? Plus, the World Cup is the perfect excuse to stock up on beer and binge drink the entire month.

But instead of sitting at home watching the games all by yourself, why not invite your friends over for a day of unlimited chips, drinks, and hilarious sports commentaries? While you’re at it, level up viewing experience with your buddies with a spur-of-the-moment drinking game inspired by this year’s World Cup finals.

Take A Shot When

Is like an adult version of truth or dare, without worrying about the truth part. With this game, you don’t have to spend five minutes in the closet, being forced to make out with some random stranger,. The dare will depend on the action that’s about to come up on screen.

The rule is take a shot of whatever alcohol is available as soon as any of these sample scenarios happen. The person who fails to do so will have to take double shots. If that person missed three times in a row, he or she has to take a swig of the drink three times and so on.

You can create your own list as you wish just make sure the list is already up before watching the game because part of the fun is waiting for what will happen next.

  •    A commentator mispronounces the name of a player, mentions Diego Maradona, or refers to the sport as a religion
  •    The Wolf Zabivaka, the official World Cup mascot, is shown on screen
  •    The official World Cup song is played
  •    A player takes a dive
  •    Your team scores a goal
Take A Double Shot When

Double the excitement and twice the trouble, keep tabs on these sample scenarios (or you can create your own list) or you’ll end up taking double shots of everything. So, stay alert always, or wind up getting drunk in no time.

  •    Players huddle with a referee to debate a call
  •    A penalty kick is missed
  •    A ball is kicked by a goalie
  •    A player on your team gets a Yellow or Red Card

Finish Your Drink

By the time the game is over, chances are you and your friends are already half-wasted on the couch wondering where all the drinks have gone. However, if you still have the drinks and some energy left just before the game ends, the last person to finish his or her drink will have to continue with the list. Again, here are some sample scenarios. You may add to it or create your own as you wish:

  •    A commentator mentions Germany’s chances of advancing in the current games
  •    The opposing team scores
  •    A free kick is announced

Go for the goal with these fun and exciting drinking games you can play with your friends while watching let’s say… the knockout rounds on TV. But first you will need to have drinks with you, lots and lots of them. So, let the games…er…drinking begin

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There is no doubt about it––whiskey is one of the most celebrated drinks in the world. The hundreds of whisky brands available is a proof of how much the world loves its strong buzz and smooth taste. In fact, there are specific types of whisky for a particular country. And depending on which part of the world it comes from; it is either referred to as whisky or whiskey. You can read about some basic facts about whisky––its origins and varieties, here.

However, in as much as it is a popular and great-tasting drink, some types of whiskies can be very rare and expensive. Fortunately, you can still score high-quality whiskey brands that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. The best part is, they may already one near you as you can find them at your local Aldi stores for under 20 dollars.

Award-winning Whiskey at Aldi’s

But wait…there’s more. Not only are these home brand whiskies from Aldi delicious and budget-friendly, they have been cited by various spirits and liquor analysts as the best in the world as well.


This is not surprising since Aldi is a global retail chain well-known for its affordably-priced but high quality home brand items––and their wines are no exception. For the past two years, Aldi has been reaping awards for the high-quality standards of their whisky brands.

Whiskey Competitions

This year, three of Aldi’s home-brand whiskeys received awards by the Scotch Whisky Masters, the world’s most highly contested blind tasting whisky competition, organized by industry’s top publication, The Spirits Business. The panel of judges include bartenders, liquor experts, as well as some lifestyle journalists. Factors that are taken into account by the judges are the age and price range of each drink before tasting and deciding the winners.


Aldi’s Highland Black Scotch Whisky and Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky won gold medals in their particular categories, beating premium well-known global whiskey brands such as Chivas Brothers’ Ballantine’s 12 Year-Old Blended Whisky and the Glen Scotia 18 Year Old. Aldi’s Speyside Single Malt Scotch, on the other hand, was awarded silver in its category.

Last year, Aldi’s whiskey range was given a total of 29 medals at various international spirits competitions, including six silver medals at the highly-regarded and recently concluded International Spirits Challenge.

Aldi’s winning against famous brands is impressive considering that it is up against some of the world’s most influential and renowned liquor producers unlike Aldi who sells everything from potato chips to home cleaning products.

But are Aldi’s affordable and award-winning whiskey range really worth trying? If you’re curious to find out what all the fuss is about and why the spirits world is going gaga over them, why not head to the nearest outlet near you, grab a bottle of their award-winning whiskies and find out for yourself if they are just as good as the spirits experts say they are?  

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This week’s featured cocktail recipe is by instagram influencer @ryeremedy, a self-confessed mixologist/cocktail craftsman. Treat your taste buds with this unique grape juice with a kick for a vibrant and invigorating summer concoction.  With the fruity combination of grapes, sourness of pisco, and the sweet and zesty blend of citrus juice, this cocktail is definitely not your ordinary drink.

If you wish to know how to recreate this frothy fruit-pisco combo, let us show you how.


The Ingredients

Craving for a unique twist to a fruit-infused cocktail? For this recipe, you will need to prepare 12 pieces of green grapes, a dash each of lemon and lime juices, egg white, and a few drops of pisco to bring out that earthy aroma of your drink.  

Preparation

First step is to add the grapes into a shaker. Then pour lemon juice and lime juice over it. Muddle the ingredients before pouring pisco and adding ice into the mix. Shake mixture well and then strain. Add egg white to bring out the frothy consistency of the drink and dry shake for a few more seconds. Finally, pour concoction into a coupe glass, garnish with green grapes, and enjoy.

Ingredients
  •         1.5oz pisco
  •         .5 oz lemon juice
  •         .25 oz lime juice
  •         12 green grapes
  •         egg white
Preparation
  •         Combine all ingredients except the egg white in a shaker
  •         Muddle
  •         Pour pisco
  •         Add ice
  •         Shake and strain
  •         Add egg white
  •         Dry shake for 15 seconds
  •         Pour cocktail into coupe glass
  •         Garnish with green grapes

 

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