Drinking

2:55am

Sun August 11, 2013
The Salt

America, Are You Tough Enough To Drink Real Russian Kvas?

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 12:09 pm

A man drinks fresh kvas, the ancient Russian fermented-bread drink, in Zvenigorod, 35 miles west of Moscow.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

While American kids stand in line for the ice cream truck on sweltering summer days, kids in Russia have historically queued up for something different: the kvas truck.

Kvas is a fermented grain drink, sort of like a barely alcoholic beer. And in the heat of the summer, it was served from a big barrel on wheels, with everyone lining up for their turn at the communal mug. It may sound like a far cry from rocket pops and ice cream sandwiches, but most Russians have fond memories.

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4:12pm

Sat August 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

Booze Restores Vigor, Nine Of 10 Charlatans Agree

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 6:05 pm

When dealing with aches and pains, sometimes the best way to get better is to feel better — and fast. Some popular medicines of old favored additives like cocaine.
Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

Feeling bilious? Have a swig of tonic. Got a kid with a toothache? A dab of cocaine tooth powder could do the trick.

Much to the shock of our 21st-century sensibilities, popular remedies of the late 19th century often contained strong mind-altering substances like cocaine and opium. And while patients may not have understood what the ingredients were or what they did, these heavy-hitting patent drugs could deliver a feeling of well-being, which may, in some cases, have led to actual well-being.

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10:40am

Fri August 9, 2013
The Salt

Wine Waste Finds Sweet Afterlife In Baked Goods

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 9:26 am

At her bakery in Costa Mesa, Calif., Rachel Klemek sells cabernet brownies made with a flour substitute derived from grape pomace, a byproduct of winemaking packed with nutrients known as polyphenols.
Mariana Dale NPR

When winemakers crush the juice from grapes, what's left is a goopy pile of seeds, stems and skins called pomace. Until several years ago, these remains were more than likely destined for the dump.

"The pomace pile was one of the largest problems that the wine industry had with sustainability," says Paul Novak, general manager for WholeVine Products, a sister company to winemaker Kendall-Jackson in Northern California.

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1:33am

Mon July 22, 2013
The Salt

New York Toasts Long-Awaited Revival Of Its Distilleries

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:30 am

Tuthilltown Spirits in New York makes a clear corn whiskey, and the first legal aged whiskey in the state since Prohibition, among other products.
Joel Rose/NPR

A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.

Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.

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11:44am

Fri July 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

Tiny Rat Cocktail Parties Shed Light On Why Smokers Drink

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 9:30 am

If you were a lab rat, you might already be thinking that you want another drink.
iStockphoto.com

Scientists have spent the last five years serving up rodent-sized alcoholic drinks to hundreds of little black and white rats, after a nice hit of nicotine.

These miniature cocktail parties have provided a clearer view on why nicotine and alcohol are so often used, and abused, together.

"It's pretty well understood by most people that those who smoke are more likely to drink," John Dani, a professor of neuroscience at the Baylor College of Medicine, told Shots. "And these people are ten times more likely to abuse alcohol."

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