Wednesday, December 31, 2014

DRINK LIKE A KING ON NEW YEAR'S





Pre-Prohibition is so 2014. For 2015, we’re all about pre-cocktail. At The Coachman in San Francisco, drinks are inspired by the Georgian and Victorian eras of punches, cups and cobblers. 
While scouring historic texts for inspiration, bartender John Codd uncovered recipes for hot buttered whiskey, spiced red wine with ginger ale and an early version of a Boilermaker made with stout and gin. 
But one drink kept coming up throughout his research: Regent’s Punch.
The rum and brandy-based mix is named for George Augustus Frederick, who became King George IV but had served as a hard-drinking, overly indulgent prince regent while his father, King George III, suffered from mental illness. While George IV may not have been a great ruler—taxpayers didn't love the extravagant spending—his fun-loving nature certainly inspired a killer punch. 
Made with funky Jamaican rum, brandy, sherry, sherbet (aka oleo-saccharum, the citrus oil and sugar base for any great punch), lemon juice, pineapple (yes, Europe imported pineapples in the 1800s) and soda water, the punch is complex, vibrant and perfect for parties. 
If you’re like the prince regent, it could also make a nice breakfast on New Year's Day. 
Here, Codd’s recipe for Regent’s Punch.



TOAST YOUR NEW YEAR WITH BEER






What's the healthiest libation for ringing in the New Year?
Beer, says Charlie Bamforth, a professor of brewing sciences at the University of California, Davis. 
Though it's been blamed for many a paunch, Bamforth says it's more nutritious than most other alcoholic drinks.
"There's a reason people call it liquid bread," says Bamforth.
Beer, he says, has more selenium, B vitamins, phosphorus, folate and niacin than wine. 
Beer also has significant protein and some fiber. 
And it is one of a few significant dietary sources of silicon, which research has shown can help thwart the effects of osteoporosis.




PACE YOUR DRINKING






Typically, people who weigh less will get drunk faster, though the percent of body fat is also a determining factor. 

A person who has a higher percentage of body fat is also likely to have a higher alcohol tolerance. 
Biologically-speaking, women are built to become intoxicated at a faster pace, because females produce less of an enzyme known as dehydrogenase, which is one of two liver enzymes responsible for breaking down alcohol.

Eat before and during the party.
Alcohol on an empty stomach goes straight to your head. Find out whether your host plans to serve dinner. If not, eat beforehand. Finger foods won't cut it if you're in for a night at an open bar. Some experts recommend eating foods that are high in zinc such as oysters, lean beef or lamb, spinach, pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts. The mineral is said to help aid the body's detox process. A 15-milligram zinc supplement can also help.
Other experts say high-fat foods stick to the lining of the stomach and slow down the absorption of alcohol in the body. Of coursefrench fries and a cheeseburger will work, but foods that are loaded with "good" fats -- avocado, nuts and olive oil -- will also do the trick and be better for your diet.
Think about what you had the last time you were drunk.
Try to remember how many beers or cocktails it took to leave you three sheets to the wind last time you overdid it. Pace yourself to drink about half that amount.
Alternate alcohol with water.
Hydration is one key way to avoid suffering after a night on a bender. People who drink smart tend to alternate between booze and water or some other type of non-alcoholic beverage. You'll get drunk much slower at this rate and will be less likely to have a hangover the morning after. However, you may want to avoid carbonated beverages; some experts believe they make people get intoxicated at a faster pace since the bubbles are said to irritate the lining of the stomach, allowing alcohol to be absorbed at a faster pace.
Water down your drink.
Turn your wine into a spritzer with half a glass of seltzer or add some orange or cranberry juice to your straight vodka to lower the alcohol content.
Go with the lighter stuff.
Beer, specifically pilsner and lager, have a lower alcohol proof than champagne, wine or hard stuff like vodka, whisky and bourbon. You'll be drinking less alcohol if you have three beers rather than the same number of gin and tonics.
Find a buddy.
Before you head to the bar or party, make a deal with a friend not to go beyond a certain number of drinks. Keep tabs on each other throughout the night to be you sure you both stick with the plan and support each other's efforts at impulse control.
Order drinks that look like they contain alcohol.
No matter how old we get, it's sometimes difficult not to succumb to peer pressure, especially when everyone has a drink in hand. Look the part and order a club soda with a squeeze of lime, which can easily pass for a vodka soda, so you can go easy on the drinking without feeling self-conscious.
Plan another way to celebrate.
There are plenty of fun ways to mark the start of 2015 that don't involve copious booze. Cook a delicious dinner with friends, or go out to the movies and binge on popcorn instead of beer. (You can start your diet tomorrow!) If you're looking to get a jump-start on your 2015 exercise resolution, consider taking part in a New Year's Eve run, which have become increasingly popular in cities throughout the country. Or, if you're simply exhausted from the holiday season, there's nothing wrong with making it an early night so you wake up refreshed and ready for a great new year. 



THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHISKEY & WHISKY





Whether it is whisky or whiskey has been the basis of many arguments over many years. 

The Scots spell it whisky and the Irish spell it whiskey, with an extra 'e'. 

This difference in the spelling comes from the translations of the word from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic forms. Whiskey with the extra 'e' is also used when referring to American whiskies. 

This 'e' was taken to the United States by the Irish immigrants in the 1700s and has been used ever since. 




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

STAY SAFE ON NEW YEAR'S EVE







Do not sit your drink down anywhere: Never leave your drink unattended. Even if you go to the bathroom, either take it with you or give it to someone you trust. If you leave your drink unattended, toss it out and get a new one.

Pace yourself: Pay attention to how much alcohol you are consuming. Drinking too much can make you sick and lead to alcohol poisoning
.
Stay hydrated: Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.

Provide Options: Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option for your guests.

Stop serving: Several hours before the party ends, stop serving alcohol.

Aim corks away from people: This may sound funny but it's a serious issue. When popping champagne, always aim the cork away from people.

Don't Drink and Drive: Do NOT drink and drive this New Year's Eve. Even if you've only had a couple drinks, do NOT get behind the wheel.

Designate a driver: If you're going to drink, assign someone who is not going to drink as the designated driver. Make sure your designated driver stays alcohol free all night.

Call a cab: If you don't have a designated driver, call a cab or a sober friend. Remember, a cab is a lot cheaper than court fines and jail time.

Stay where you are: If you cannot get a cab or a friend to pick you up, stay where you are until you are sober.

Take the keys: If you see someone you think is too impaired to drive, do everyone a favor and take their keys.

Buckle Up: As always, if you are traveling anywhere, wear your seat belt.

Be aware: Pay close attention to your surrounding at all times. This is important since you may be drinking around a lot of people you don't know in a place you might have never been before. Stay away from people who seem out of control.

Stick together: Never go to these types of parties by yourself. Never wander off by yourself.

Cell phone: Make sure you have your cell phone with you in case something negative happens. Always be prepared.

Fireworks: Follow the same rules you would any other time of the year: leave it to the experts. The best way to experience fireworks is to watch a public show from a safe distance.

Firearms: Firearms of any kind do not mix with adults who have been drinking alcohol. It's not wise to have firearms attainable during a party. If there are firearms in the home, make sure to keep them locked and secured out of reach of unauthorized users and children.

Stairways: Keep all stairways closed off to toddlers to help prevent unwanted falls and children from wandering into areas that are not child friendly such as kitchens.

Decorations: Some decorations can be choking hazards around small children. A good rule of thumb is, if an object can be passed through an empty toilet paper roll, it can be swallowed.

Loud Noises: Nothing scares a pet more than loud noises. Make sure you pay attention to your animals so they won't run away in a panic.

Keep pets inside: Don't chain your pets outside for the night. Keep your pets inside the house in a comfortable room with background noise to drown out loud sudden noises.

IDs and dog license: Make sure your pet has an ID or dog license. This will help identify your pet if it gets loose.




THE PEN-TAILED SHREW






LEARNING TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY






1.  Designated driver.  (Never drink & drive.)

2.  A glass of water between alcoholic beverages.

3.  Don't leave your drink unattended.

4.  Have a wingman/woman (or two).



Monday, December 29, 2014

OLIVIA TURNS 21...





...and orders her first drink...




...in BoHenry's.



(A Grey Goose Cosmo.)


THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK






If you’re like most Americans, you’ll celebrate the New Year with a few cocktails and a champagne toast. 
But do you know how much alcohol is in your drink of choice or how long it takes to work its way through your system? 
Here are five things you should think about before you take that drink.



CELEBRITY ALCOHOL SCANDALS





It is that time of the year where we look back at all the events that occurred in 2014 and rank everything from the best sports plays to – well – the top ten celebrity drug and alcohol scandals, meltdowns and tragedies.




HEALTH BENEFITS OF WINE & COFFEE





If you've seen the headlines touting the health benefits of wine and coffee — and you're among the 61 percent of Americans who down a daily cup of java or the 31 percent of drinkers who prefer a glass of wine to other alcoholic beverages — you've probably been thrilled to watch former vices morph into virtues.
But how good are the drinks for your health? 
Consumer Reports provides the latest:
Some research shows that coffee and wine, when consumed in moderation, may have similar benefits, such as increasing life span, boosting blood flow and diminishing the risk of depression. And coffee and red wine have been found to contain antioxidants, which may prevent disease.
But the beverages aren't just bundles of antioxidants; that's why they're more fun to drink than a kale smoothie (for most of us, anyway). The question is how exactly coffee and alcohol can play a role in improving health.
People who moderately drank any type of alcohol — red or white wine, beer or spirits —were 30 percent to 35 percent less likely to have a heart attack than nondrinkers, according to Harvard University researchers who tracked more than 38,000 men over 12 years; other studies have found a similar effect in women. Drinking caffeinated coffee may help prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to another study — which is attributed to the caffeine working in tandem with a compound in coffee to boost brain health.



Sunday, December 28, 2014

HANGOVER REMEDY: ANT TEA




Indigenous Australians have used natural remedies for thousands of years, and green ants have been the traditional go-to insect for headaches and colds, usually taken ground up in a tea – a sort of grub Lemsip. 



Saturday, December 27, 2014

HISTORY OF BOOZE: INTERVIEW WITH ROD PHILLIPS






Q. Are there proven societal benefits to booze?
A. The social benefits and harms of alcohol have been debated for centuries. It’s been praised as making people healthy and happy, and condemned as leading to ill-health, death, and social disruption. There’s no doubt that for centuries it was healthier than much of the water that was available, and the low life-expectancy of the poor can partly be attributed to the fact that they couldn’t afford alcohol, as well as to their more general living conditions. Beer (for example) used to be very nutritious; it was thick and cloudy, and you can think of it as liquid, fermented bread, full of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals



ALCOHOL: A HISTORY






Whether as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a constant and often controversial role in social life. 

In his innovative book on the attitudes toward and consumption of alcohol, Rod Phillips surveys a 9,000-year cultural and economic history, uncovering the tensions between alcoholic drinks as healthy staples of daily diets and as objects of social, political, and religious anxiety. 

In the urban centers of Europe and America, where it was seen as healthier than untreated water, alcohol gained a foothold as the drink of choice, but it has been more regulated by governmental and religious authorities more than any other commodity. 

As a potential source of social disruption, alcohol created volatile boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable consumption and broke through barriers of class, race, and gender.

Phillips follows the ever-changing cultural meanings of these potent potables and makes the surprising argument that some societies have entered "post-alcohol" phases. 


His is the first book to examine and explain the meanings and effects of alcohol in such depth, from global and long-term perspectives.




Friday, December 26, 2014

BEER A BRAIN BOOST





New research has shown that a chemical compound in beer may be able to improve cognitive function. 

The beverage once thought to obliterate brain cells when consumed in abundance may actually have the opposite effect and boost brain power.



CURING THE CHRISTMAS HANGOVER






Prosecco, white wine, red wine, port, sherry, beer. You've probably drunk at least 3 of these in the last 24 hours.
If that's the case, chances are you're feeling a little bit rough this morning - particularly after several weeks of Christmas parties before the big day.
Thankfully, science is here to help you.
You can put your faith in the traditional hangover remedies of water, paracetamol and a bacon sandwich if you like, but there’s better scientific remedies out there.
Here are five of the finest cures for the morning after - as approved by proper scientist types!

Intravenous drip

RU-21

Ethane-beta-sultam

Drinkwel

Sprite






Thursday, December 25, 2014

A NATION AWASHED WITH BOOZE






24-hour drinking laws have left Britain 'awash' with cheap alcohol and plagued by late night violence, experts warned last night.
Home Office figures reveal there are now a record number of trouble hotspots – with 208 neighbourhoods officially classified as being 'saturated' with problem pubs or bars.
To the fury of medical experts, there is also a record number of supermarkets, petrol stations and convenience stores selling booze around the clock – fuelling harmful drinking.




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FROM A LOCAL BLOG...





I was desperate and decided to check out Bo Henry's..I drove down De La Vina till I got to Micheltorena... this area is old SB with the cool houses and cobblestone streets and millions of cars!! as I approach the Micheltorena bridge over the highway, I'm sucked up into a vortex-like Dorothy- and then I end up under the rainbow in a place that looks like Nicaragua! San Andres Street...thousands of poor people and gangs everywhere! stray dogs and dead bodies lying in the gutter... and there's Foodland!  Foodland??? it's the focal point...I've always been baffled by this area





so I turn left on San Andres and look for Bo Henry's but don't see it... hmmm, I thought it was across from the liquor store??? actually I wanted to see if this whole thing is real or maybe just me losing my grip on sanity

then I hang a u-turn, head back and see it..tucked away..it's tiny like a little gingerbread house..the sign out front says Now Serving Alcohol (duh, it's a bar) ..next door is a pizza place Now Serving Pizza!

there's a mural on the front of Bo Henry's...looks like an eclipse or something from Merlin the Magician? 





Monday, December 22, 2014

DIET DRINKS





Christmas isn't generally the easiest time to embark on a health kick, but if the thought of all those office parties, family meals and a long, hard night of drinking on New Year's Even sending your previous hard work straight down the drain is giving you a headache, there are some ways to curb your alcohol intake over the festive period - and still enjoy yourself.




Saturday, December 20, 2014

7 BEST FOOD & DRINKS FOR A HANGOVER







Eggs
Incredible, edible toxin destroyers, eggs pack heavy loads of cysteine, an amino acid that can break down toxins your body hasn't, she says. Plus, eggs are high in B vitamins, which one study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found can reduce hangover symptoms. For extra B, Reinagel suggests sprinkling on some nutritional yeast flakes.
Coconut Water
"Alcohol molecules love H2O, so whatever alcohol you take in will grab water," says James M. Schaefer, Ph.D., an alcohol metabolism expert and research professor of anthropology at Union College. The result: Your whole body—brain included—is sucked dry. So hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. While sports drinks do contain the electrolytes you need after partaking in one (or two, or three…) too many adult beverages, they also often contain ingredients like artificial food dyes that don't do your brain cells any favors. A low-sugar coconut water, on the other hand, contains just as many electrolytes as Gatorade.
Ginger
If you wake up reeling from nausea, make ginger your new BFF. A small dose of ginger also stimulates a stalled, post-drink digestive system, helping to ease constipation, gas, bloating, indigestion, and even vomiting. Not a fan of the flavor? There's a pill for that. "Take two ginger capsules every hour with water," Reinagel says. Just make sure you have something in your stomach first.
Tomato Juice
One virgin Bloody Mary, coming right up! Why? When you pour a steady stream of alcohol into your body, your liver is too busy metabolizing the booze to maintain adequate blood sugar levels, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Because glucose is the primary energy source of the brain, low levels can cause fatigue, weakness, and a generally pissy mood. But a glass of tomato juice packs enough simple sugars to get your levels up and running again, and its inflammation-fighting lycopene and serious hydrating factor don't hurt, either.
Bananas
It's not just taking in the extra liquid during an all-nighter that sends you on more trips to the little boys room. Alcohol actually draws water from your body's cells, creating more urine and causing you to literally flush potassium down the toilet. Low levels of potassium are linked to weak, shaky muscles and high blood pressure—all common hangover symptoms, according to the NIH. No worries, a banana can shoot your potassium levels right back up to where they belong.
Asparagus
In one Korean study, asparagus extract was found to boost levels of enzymes that break down alcohol. While the research focused on eating it before a hangover sets in (if only side orders were as readily available as cheese pizzas), scientists believe eating a serving or two the next day can still help since a hung-over body is riddled with toxins.
Coffee

Admittedly, this isn't a cure (though it is a sure-fire pick-me-up in your hour of need), but if you're a morning coffee drinker, Reinagel recommends firing up the 'ole K-Cup machine. After all, the only thing worse than a hangover headache is a hangover headache plus a caffeine-withdrawal headache. But if you don't regularly drink coffee, now's not the time to start. Coffee's a diuretic, capable of compounding existing dehydration. So for every cup you drink, match it with a glass of water. That advice doubles for drinking, but you'll remember that next weekend, right?



Friday, December 19, 2014

THE SALOON, SAN FRANCISCO





Corner of Grant & Fresno.

Established 1861, maybe the oldest bar in California.

Certainly, the oldest bar in SF.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BEST WINTER HOLIDAY BEERS






For many brewers and drinkers of beer, winter is the time to think big. Heavy beers flavored like pie and as strong as a Napa cabernet proliferate in the season of short days, sleet and Arctic winds. 

Often served in snifters, high-calorie "winter warmers" are traditionally brewed to offset the cold weather with the warmth of Christmas spices, sugar and alcohol.  





Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MEDS TO KILL THE BUZZ





New understanding of how alcohol affects the brain is prompting addiction experts to make a push for using medications to help people quit or cut down on excessive drinking.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved three prescription drugs to treat alcohol problems. But they are seldom used, largely because 12-step programs have dominated the treatment field, NIAAA experts say. All drugs used for this purpose have side effects. Most side effects—though not all—are mild.
Naltrexone works on opioid receptors in the brain’s reward system and blocks the pleasant effects of alcohol. It doesn’t work in everyone.
“Take a single dose and you’ll know right away if it’s working. It’s basically a buzzkill,” says Dr. Willenbring, who recommends it for people who are mildly dependent and want to cut down on their drinking.
He says one couple who sought help at his clinic typically consumed three bottles of wine together each night. They took naltrexone, went out to dinner nearby and had only half a bottle instead.
The FDA has approved a long-acting, injectable form of naltrexone with the brand name Vivitrol. A similar drug called nalmefene, or Selincro, is available in Europe specifically for people to take on an as-needed basis: perhaps before a party when they want to drink, but not to excess.
Another drug, acamprosate, known by the brand name Campral, works to stabilize glutamate and other brain chemicals disrupted by long-term exposure to alcohol. That can reduce the irritability, anxiety and cravings that accompany withdrawal and can help people in recovery avoid relapsing, says the NIAAA’s Dr. Koob, a leading researcher in the neurobiology of emotion.



CHRISTMAS COCKTAIL





Joe Bruno — a cocktail expert and director of the American Bartenders School of New York — says the perfect Christmas cocktail should bring back memories, while also potentially blurring them.
“The (drinks) you remember are ones your parents or grandparents made during the holidays,” Bruno said. “Cocktails should be able to hold fast to nostalgia, in order to stand the test of time.”
But what makes a great Christmas cocktail? Bruno suggests peppermint as a prime ingredient.
“I just equate it with wintertime,” he said. “I guess it could be a metaphor for walking into a warm house after being in the cold,” Bruno said of mint-infused drinks.
One such cocktail he teaches his students includes peppermint schnapps, vodka and simple syrup (sugar boiled in water). A popular garnish for mint-infused drinks is a candy cane or peppermint stick.