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How Alcohol Makes You More Creative

Alcohol and Creativity | www.drinks.ng

Whether in form of business innovation, artistic creations, scientific experiments, creativity is something we all crave for – even more than alcohol.

Often times, we engage in certain rituals in the hope to boost our creativity. Meditation, sleep, exercise and alcohol are some of the means through which we try to bring our creativity to life.

We don’t know much about the others, but alcohol certainly is a catalyst for being more creative.

How does alcohol boost creativity?

The answer certainly revolves around the effect of alcohol on the brain. It loosens the brain’s controlling instincts, thus allowing you spontaneous thoughts to infiltrate your head. It is one of such thoughts that births a new idea or solves a persistent problem – creatively.

Getting alcohol into our system usually leads to ‘executive functioning’ in our brain, processes that involve focus and planning. This comes about through an altered state of consciousness induced by alcohol. No wonder people come up with the most amazing thoughts when they have a glass or two of wine, whiskey or cognac.

However, the underlying factor is that getting overly drunk does nothing in getting us to think creatively. Getting tipsy is what triggers the creativity.

Scientists Even Have A Proof

Scientific research has corroborated the fact that a drink can help us become more creative in our thoughts and actions as it frees up the brain to think in a different way.

It doesn’t immediately turn you into Picasso or Einstein, but the equivalent of a pint of beer or a small glass of wine was proven by Austrian scientists to help in unleashing creativity.

‘We wanted to do this study because alcohol is so linked with creativity and great writers like Ernest Hemingway,’ said lead author Dr Mathias Benedek, from the University of Graz in Austria.

‘Previous research has found almost half of the great writers had a history of drinking.

‘We found that a small drink can indeed help with certain aspects of creativity, although it may make hard, focused work more difficult.

‘So it might well work for someone who is sitting down to do creative writing or brainstorming ideas in a boardroom.’

The Research

Seventy participants were given a drink of either beer or non-alcohol beer, which they were unable to distinguish between. Half of the participants were given a 0.5% lager, while the other half were asked to drink a 5.2% beer, which they weren’t able to distinguish between.

They were then given a word association task, which included determining one word linking the three words Swiss, blue and cake. The answer is ‘cheese’ and the second group, who had the stronger beer, scored an average of 6/10 in the test. The other half of drinkers scored an average of 4/10.

The alcohol-drinkers also exceeded in a creative thinking task, in which they had to suggest alternative uses for tyres with “a swing” deemed one of the most creative answers.

 

 

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7 Reasons Why Wine is the Drink of Romance

Wine and Romance | www.drinks.ng

“Wine is romantic, intoxicating and built on passion that begins in the vineyard and ends in the glass… or perhaps ends in the intoxicating rush you get when you sip a spicy, silky, brooding red with your love… or the object of your affection,” says Ian Devereaux White.

Wines have always been linked to love or classified as a drink that intensifies romance. From romance stories to poems and simple quotes, wines have featured alongside romance or romantic lovers.

In a common setting, if you were to ask a hopeless romantic or even the most unfeeling of persons what the perfect setting for a romantic evening is, wine is bound to be mentioned eight out of ten times.

But why is wine considered as the drink of romance?

We surfed around and found seven (7) reasons why.

It is sweet

Romance is sweet, and so is wine. Whether it is red wine, rose or white wines, or even the recently popular Moscato, wines leave a pleasant feeling on the palate. Notes of fresh fruits and refreshing warmth are enough to set the romantic sides of us on fire.

Wine is beautiful

Be it in a bottle or in a glass, wines look beautiful at all times. Couple all that beauty with petals of flower and boxes of chocolate and you are sure to win over your lover again and again.

Wine affects you the same way love does

Scientists have confirmed that alcohol (wine) has the same effect on the body like love does. When a man and a woman are in love, the body releases Oxytocin also known as “love hormones.” These hormones play a role in making us desire body-to-body contact. Scientists at Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews found out that the same feelings oxytocin gives us is similar to the feeling we get from drinking wine.

Wine names are romantic

Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or whatever other types of wine you introduce to your woman, you will always sound classy; and classy is romantic. Those beautiful wine names open the door to a whole lot of romance, and if your significant other is interested in wines, knowing a little backstory will help you.

Wines are always a good pair

Wines make a good pair of anything you hope to serve or order on your romantic night out. Grilled meat, seafood, fish, barbecued chicken, local or continental dishes – whichever meal you are served, wine pairs well with all of them. You just have to select the right type of wine to suit the occasion.

Beauty Enhancer

You have heard how red wine is good for the heart when taken in moderation. Well, not only is the heart the only beneficiary of the goodness of red grapes. The antioxidants in the grapes used in making wines help to even out the skin tone. No wonder Marilyn Monroe decided to take a bath in a tub filled with champagne.

The great sage, Ovid, in his 17 A.D. treatise entitled “The Art of Love” wrote about wine that:

It warms the blood, adds luster to the eyes, and wine and love have ever been allies.” 

It’s and Aphrodisiac

Many believe wine is an aphrodisiac, especially when paired with seafood. The aroma of certain wines is enough to put one’s passion in the speed lane. Talk more about having a sip of the wine running through your system. The pesky little chemical messengers called pheromones that can cause havoc in our minds and bodies.They pass information on to the brain, which may affect one’s state of mind, emotions, or mood. It is the reason behind that special feeling you get after having a glass of sweet wine; that feeling that just eases you into the right mood for a memorable night.

However, having too much of wine to drink may just put you in the mood, but render you incapable. So it is better to take in moderation. Even Shakespeare advises against having too much wine when Porter, in Act III of “Macbeth” proclaims:

“Ah, wine…it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”

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How to Open Champagne Without Spilling

Champagne Quotes | www.drinks.ng

Opening a bottle of champagne can be one of the toughest things to do even for an avid drinker of the luxurious sparkling wine from France. If you have ever felt the embarrassment of handing over a bottle to someone else just because you don’t know how to go about opening, then this article is for you.

Many drinkers who have tried to pop open a bottle have told the funny story of the cork flying across the room or bursting a hole in the ceiling, while half the contents of the bottle end up on the floor.

However, opening a bottle of champagne is relatively easy once you have acquired the skill. It appears difficult at first, but after a few tries, it should not become as simple as twisting open a your pet bottle of Coca Cola.

So how do you open a bottle of champagne?

1. Loosen the cage

The first step to successfully pop open your bottle of sparkly is to unlock the cage around the cork before lifting it off. It is best not to take off the cage entirely, but it should be loose enough so it comes off easily from the bottle.

2. Don’t let go of the cage

Place your hand over the cage along with the cork to avoid the cork flying off once the champagne is opened. The fermentation process of making champagne builds up pressure in the bottle which can make the bottle explode or send the cork flying off the room if you take your hand off the cage and cork.

3. Hold and rotate

Hold the bottle gently at a 45-degree angle and rotate the base of the bottle. While doing this, keep the cork still, moving only the bottle. The cage and cork should come off at the same time, and you will feel the pressure as the cork starts to push out. You should hear a small pop and a fizzing noise as you slowly pull the cork out.

4. Don’t let go

Once the cork comes off, it will help to hold the champagne bottle still at a 45-degree angle for a few seconds to avoid any spillage.Then go ahead and pour your champagnes into individual flutes. It is advisable to pour slowly, as the bubbles will rise quickly and foam up the flute for a few seconds, in the same way soda would.

This article first appeared in Spirit Magazine blog

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6 Amazing Ways to Recycle Your Old Wine Bottle

Wine Bottle Chandelier | www.drinks.ng

A bottle of wine is one of the most pleasurable sights in the world for the avid wine drinker. However, when the aromas have been released and the palate has been seduced, what happens to the wine bottles?

Do you throw them into the bin and let it be carted away with other waste, or do you just leave them in the backyard or store with a pile of other beverage bottles? Letting bottles of wine go to waste might not compare to pouring away a good Merlot wine, but it surely it is something too precious to waste.

How do you recycle old wine bottles?

There are a lot of creative ways to reuse your old wine bottles within your home rather than send it to the recycle company.

We are not talking about the typical Nigerian style of storing groundnuts in them or cooking oil. This has to do with creative recycling, and it requires a bit of work.

Below are some of the creative ways you can recycle your old wine bottles.

Turn it to a cup

You may have a lot of glass cups in your house already, but a glass cup made out of an old wine bottle is rare and special.

To get your glass cup from a wine bottle, all you need is to split the bottle into half. The up part can serve other purposes, but it is the bottom part that is readily available for holding a new liquid ( or liquor as you like it).

All you need to do is soak a piece of yarn in nail polish remover and tie it around the wine bottle. Light up the yarn using a lighter and let it burn all the way round for 10 – 15 seconds. Dip in a bowl of cold water and there you have your perfect split. Go ahead and smoother the edges with a chisel or sand paper and your glass cup is ready for use.

How about a chandelier?

Yes! How about a chandelier of old wine bottles? With the bottom half of your wine bottles already in the glass rack, the top half can serve as chandelier. You will need wires, bulbs, a board and a chain to hold up the board to the ceiling. String your light bulbs through the bottles – make sure the wires have been connected properly to the power source ( you might need an electrician here). Don’t shy away from using different colours of wine bottles as this would add some spice to your chandelier.

Flower Vase

Wine bottles can make amazing containers for growing your flowers. You can simply fill up the bottle with water and soil and put your flower into it. In other case, you can also cut your bottles in half and use either half to grow your flowers.

You can as well switch it up and use both halves of the bottle in growing your house plant. While the bottom half stores the soil and water, the upper half hold up the plant. Show your creativity by arranging them beautifully in and out of the house.

Path Liner

Wine bottles come in handy in demarcating your backyard garden from the footpath. All you need is to bury them neatly by the edges of your garden or field to ensure people do not step on the grass or plants while walking through. Ensure that none of the bottles are broken to avoid any injuries. Using different colours of bottles will add ornamental beauty to your footpath as well.

Toothpick Holder

Your wine bottles can become a toothpick holder in the dining. Imagine the beauty of picking out food particles from your teeth after enjoying a meal of roast paired with a lovely Chardonnay wine. Split the mouth of your old wine bottle in a slant, chisel for smoothness and use the cork or cover to seal it. Place your toothpicks in them and it is set for use.

Candle Holder

Wine is already considered as the drink of romance. Why not go above the top by having a romantic dinner lit up with candles in old wine bottles? There are several ways to create your candle holder. Simply putting the candle through the mouth of the bottle is the most common. However, you can split your wine bottle in half, use the upper part to hold the candle, while the bottom part (with the base cut open) can protect the candle light from wind.

 

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Champagne & Sparkling Wine: Etiquette

Champagne & Sparkling Wine | www.drinks.ng

Sparkling wines including Champagne evoke thoughts of celebration, success, love, romance and luxury. With the different levels of sweetness, these associations are stronger during the holiday seasons and that’s when you need the practices and forms prescribed by the social conventions and authorities of champagne and sparkling wines.

How do you use or treat champagne and sparkling wine? Well, the following are generally accepted ways to go about things.

Cooling

It’s generally agreed that sparkling wine should be stored between 50-55 degrees in a humid environment. To keep the cork from drying out and ruining the champagne, place the bottle on its side. Champagne should be served when between 44 and 48 degrees to get the most out of its scents and flavours.

Corkage

To avoid a spray or keep from injuring someone with the cork, you need to know how to open a bottle of sparkling wine. After removing the foil covering, then untwisting and removing the metal cage wire, it is advised that you hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle, grasp the cork with one hand and turn the bottom of the bottle slowly but firmly with the other. The cork will be gently released into your hand.

If you don’t mind losing a lot of champagne and ending up with a sticky floor, popping it is fun too. Just always be careful where you aim.

Pouring

According to On the Losses of Dissolved CO2 during Champagne serving, a study by scientists, to serve the wine, we should tilt our glass at an angle and gently slide the liquid in along the side to preserve the most bubbles instead of pouring directly in to create a head of mousse. It’s said that colder bottle temperatures also help to reduce loss of gas. Presently, the industry is designing glasses designed to reduce loss of gas.

Usually, champagne is served in a champagne flute. A flute is a long-stemmed, tall, narrow bowl with thin sides and an etched bottom. The coupe, a shorter glass with a much wider bowl, is said to have been designed using a mould of Marie Antoinette’s left breast as a birthday present to Louis XVI but is not used as often as a champagne flute probably because it tends to over-oxygenate the liquid.

Also, because you get less of your champagne’s aroma with the flute, some people prefer to use tulip-shaped glasses. These expand in the middle and have a smaller width at the top. They preserve the most bubbles, scents and flavours.

Toasting

Where clinking your glass is concerned, as a guest, you decide whether to clink or not depending on the hosts and partygoers. As a host, all you need to do is make sure your guests are happy. For example, avoid making them feel uncomfortable by making comments like “I don’t clink” for the sake of those among your guests who might like to clink.

Leftover

When your dinner party is over but your champagne is still half full, you can store it by buying a bottle stopper for it and keeping it in the fridge. But you should only keep it this way for a few days to a week. It can last a while but the less time it spends this way, the better.

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Champagne or Sparkling Wine: What are you drinking?

Champagne or sparkling wine | www.drinks.ng

Champagne or Sparkling Wine

“Every time you open a bottle of champagne, it’s a celebration, so there’s no better way of starting a celebration than opening a bottle of champagne. Every time you sip it, you’re sipping from all those other celebrations. The joy accumulates over time”

― David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary

November is long gone; three more blinks and we will all be anticipating the festive mood of December – brother men and sister women, Christmas is upon us.

Bottle corks will roll on the floor as sparkling bubbles fill our glasses.

But exactly what drink will our bubbles be made of? “Champagne!” Enyinna answered, with the ‘ch’ rolling off his tongue as if it were ‘champion’ he was pronouncing.

Now that is the very first sign he had no idea of what he was about drinking. You can guess I was not surprised when the waitress brought him a bottle of sparkling wine moments later.

It is an age-long question, the difference between champagne and sparkling wine – and though answers have been given, few even remember it.

Apparently champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wines can be called champagne. The big mistake many make is think of champagne as a type of drink just like Vodka, Red Wine or Whiskey. No! Champagne is much more of a geographical drink than just any type of drink.

Champagne comes from the region of Champagne, just outside of Paris in France, and it can only be made using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier wine grapes. Although some winemakers might also use grapes like Pinot Blanc, Petite Meslier, or Arbane, but these are sparingly used.

For a drink to qualify as champagne, it must not only come from Champagne AOC, it must meet the Champagne appellation standards for wine production, or it is just another non-champagne sparkling wine.

The grape fruits are traditionally hand-picked and pressed into whole clusters without removing the stems. It is then kept for a period of 15 months on lees for a non-vintage crus, or 36 months if a vintage crus is what is desired. Be mindful that too much aging on lees may result in a wine fault.

Non-champagne sparkling wines are simply sparkling wines made in other regions other than Champagne. Many of such climbed upon the commercial success of champagnes to gain relevance in the wine market.

It is not that sparkling wines are not good or as tasty, it is just there is an 1891 treaty that legally reserves the name ‘Champagne’ for only wines produced in the Champagne region and adhering to the traditional wine making process associated with the AOC.

“Waitress, go bring this man a Champagne Brut. Make sure it’s a Champagne Brut” I requested of the dark skinned beauty. Then I turned to Enyinna, “And it is pronounced champagne as in ‘sham’, not champagne like ‘champ’ ”.

So next time it’s hot outside and you decide to have a drink, know what you are drinking. Is it champagne or just another sparkling wine from Ebute Meta?