A Harry Potter-Themed Mixology Class is Coming to New York

Xavier Boldu, The Cauldron
Xavier Boldu, The Cauldron

Harry Potter may have hated potions class, but New York City Muggles might find it a little more palatable. A Hogwarts-themed pop-up bar is coming to the Big Apple, and it's set to be a lot more fun than Professor Snape's version. The Cauldron, a fantastical mixology course, is opening in September, according to Guest of a Guest.

A person in a robe stirs a blue cocktail.
Xavier Boldu, The Cauldron

The Cauldron started as a Kickstarter-funded London pop-up in March 2018, complete with magic wands, robes, and simmering cauldrons. It proved so successful there that its creators decided to take it across the pond. The limited-run New York City pop-up will run for four months at Bavaria Bier Haus, a beer hall in Lower Manhattan.

A person taps a wand on a wooden box in a mixology class.
Xavier Boldu, The Cauldron

The class goes far beyond the typical pop-up bar experience, adding Harry Potter flair by using more than just a few Hogwarts-inspired decorations. When you arrive at the one hour, 45 minute class, you'll get a robe and an internet-connected magic wand that you'll use to activate aspects of your workstation. You'll brew two delicious cocktails that change color, bubble, and smoke within your cauldron, all the while sipping mead and a special limited-edition beer from Six Point Brewery called Hell Broth.

Tickets run from $45 to $55, depending on the class time. Book here.

[h/t Guest of a Guest]

Spoiler: You’re Probably Storing Your Wine Wrong

iStock
iStock

If you love wine, you should invest in a wine rack. No, not because of the space-saving potential or how good it will look in your kitchen. It will make your wine last longer and taste better.

According to Lifehacker, the proper way to store a bottle of wine is on its side, at least if the wine has a cork. That's because if you store a bottle upright, the cork can dry out. When a bottle is stored sideways, there's always liquid coming into contact with the cork. This keeps the cork expanded, ensuring the bottle's tight seal. If the cork dries out, it can shrink, letting air get into the wine, causing it to age prematurely and taste less than delicious.

Note that this only applies to bottles with real corks. You can store your screw-top wine bottles any way you'd like, since you don’t have to worry about the seal.

The sideways method does have its critics—notably, a major cork producer in Portugal recently questioned the storage technique's efficacy, saying that the humidity within the bottle will keep the cork moist no matter what. However, other wine experts maintain that sideways is the way to go.

Wine aficionados have a few other tips when it comes to storage. Essentially, you want to mimic the environment of a wine cellar as much as possible. You want to keep your wine in a cool place away from light. The environment should be humid, helping to keep the cork sealed tight. Vibrations can also affect wines, so you want to keep your bottles from clanking around.

Once you've opened a bottle of wine, you want to make sure it stays fresh. If you're not going to drink it all in one sitting, make sure to replace the cork. While it's much easier to stick the clean side back in the bottle first, make sure to replace the cork as it was, meaning the stain side down. The top of the cork has been exposed to the elements for the bottle's entire lifespan, so it may be tainted, and you don't want that coming into contact with your wine. (Or just invest in a wine stopper.) And, because wine likes cool environments, make sure to stick it in the fridge once it's opened—yes, even if it's a red.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Carlsberg Is Ditching Plastic Rings by Gluing Its Six-Packs Together

Carlsberg
Carlsberg

The humble six-pack is an environmental nightmare. Those familiar plastic rings are notorious for the danger they pose to marine wildlife, as animals often get ensnared in them, starving to death when they get their mouths caught. While the common solution is to ask consumers to cut up the rings before placing them in the trash, that’s only a stop-gap measure. Now, Carlsberg has come up with a new plan to rid the world of plastic rings altogether. According to The Telegraph, the Copenhagen-based beer producer has come up with a glued six-pack design that keeps beers together without adding extra plastic.

The Snap Pack design keeps beer cans together with dots of glue. The bonds are strong enough to withstand the jostling of transport, but not so strong that you can’t break them apart. (Unlike the thicker plastic holders used by craft beer companies, which can be a nightmare to use.) The design took three years to perfect.

Previously, a Florida-based brewery called Saltwater created an edible, compostable set of six-pack rings designed to make drinking beer a bit more dolphin-safe, but this eliminates the rings entirely. Considering that Carlsberg is one of the world’s top beer producers, the environmental benefit is pretty dramatic. The company estimates that the glued packs will reduce the amount of plastic used in traditional multi-packs of beer by more than 75 percent, saving around 1322 tons of plastic every year.

The Snap Packs will make their debut in the U.K. in September 2018, before being rolled out to the rest of Europe and the world.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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