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10 World Cup-Inspired Cocktails 

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Good news for your next World Cup party: The Travelling Gin Company whipped up 32 cocktails for the 32 countries competing. What better way to celebrate the blending of countries and cultures than by blending drinks? Some cocktails are new inventions inspired by flavors indigenous to the respective countries, while others are new takes on old classics. Now you can watch a game with appropriate drinks for both sides.

1. Brazil: Maracujá Caipirinha

As the home country, with 5 titles under its belt, it might be a safe bet to invest in a lot of the ingredients to make this one.

Recipe: "Cut 1 & 1/2 limes into wedges and place into the bottom of a rocks glass with a teaspoon of brown sugar. Muddle the ingredients together and follow up by filling your glass 3/4 full with crushed ice. gently stir all and add 50ml of Cachaça. Finally add more crushed ice to fill the glass up to the max and a final stir.

For a finishing touch we like to open up a passion fruit (maracujá) and pour the seeds and juice goodness over the top of the ice and garnish with a slice of lime. For extra sweetness add more brown sugar to meet your taste."

2. Argentina: Messi Pomelo

Argentina has one of the best players in the world, so it's only fitting for their drink to be named after him. Celebrate Lionel Messi with this tart summer drink. 

Recipe: "50ml gin, 15ml Pink Grapefruit, 10ml White Grapefruit, 10ml Red Grapefruit, 10ml basil syrup…shake all together well in a ice filled cocktail shaker.

Strain and serve. The intense sweet, sour and tart flavour from the grapefruits works perfectly on a summer’s day, but if too strong for some, simply add some soda water and pour on ice."

3. USA: The American Cream

USA! USA! What's more American than beer and puns? 

Recipe: "Add 25ml good quality bourbon, 15ml lemon juice & 15ml cream soda cordial with plenty of ice in a cocktail shaker.

Gently shake ingredients a few times and strain. Top with a classic American lager. You want ratios of around 1 part cocktail mix to 3 parts beer."

4. Costa Rica: Pinto’s Tico Sour

This drink is named after the team's coach, Jorge Luis Pinto.

Recipe: "50ml Cacique Guaro (alternatively use more widely available Cachaça), juices of half a lemon, half a lime and half an orange, teaspoon of brown sugar and an egg white. Combine all in ice filled shaker and shake heavily until very very cold. Strain into your glass of choice with a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters."

5. Italy: Negroni Sbagliato

Evviva/Cheers!

Recipe: "Equal parts Campari, Sweet Vermouth & prosecco on ice. orange wedge for garnish."

6. Russia: Raspberryoska

It's not a good Russian cocktail without vodka and the country's signature color: red!

Recipe: "50ml good quality vodka, 25ml freshly pressed raspberry juice, 15ml lime juice. Some soda water to top your glass. garnish with some mint and a raspberry or two." 

7. Nigeria: The Chapman

The Chapman is Nigeria's signature drink, so it's only fitting to drink a version of it while watching them play. This drink might also work while watching Orange is the New Black. 

Recipe: "In a pitcher full of ice, add blackcurrant cordial  (we prefer to avoid brand names, but Ribena does work best), a dash of grenadine syrup, the juice of an orange, a lemon and a lime. Add cucumber slices and pour half a can of Sprite and half a can of Fanta - finish off the national party cocktail of Nigeria with fresh mint and 3-4 drops of Angostura Bitters.

Vodka can be added to this otherwise non-alcoholic sweet punch."

8. France: Les Bleus ‘75

Appropriately named after their team, this drink incorporates lots of blue(berries). 

Recipe: "Gin, lemon juice, St Germain Elderflower liqueur, champagne top. Garnish with blueberries."

9. England: Bramble ROYale

Feel like royalty while sipping on this cocktail that incorporates the team manager, Roy Hodgson, in the name. 

Recipe: "50ml gin, 20ml lemon juice, 15ml sugar syrup & 20ml blackberry liqueur on lots of ice, topped with a splash of English sparkling wine. Garnished with blackberries and lemon slice."

10. Spain: Sevilla Gin Tonic

Spain might not being doing as well as expected, but at least fans can find comfort at the bottom of this citrus drink. 

Recipe: "Fill a hi-ball glass with plenty of ice.Add 50ml gin (we recommend Xoriguer Mahon) and a heaped teaspoon of Seville Orange marmalade. Mix well and top with a Traditional Tonic Water. Garnish with Seville orange slices and tarragon."


Check out the rest of the cocktails on the Travelling Gin Company's Instagram and follow them on Twitter. You can find all the recipes here. 

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11 Common Misconceptions About Beer
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iStock

If beer only conjures up images of frat boys pounding cans of the cheap stuff or doughy sports fans reveling in the alcoholic refreshment before, during, and after a big game, think again. Beer has come a long way, baby, and many of the preconceived notions about the beverage are decidedly unfair, as evidenced by the following 11 fabrications.

1. BEER SHOULD BE SERVED ICE COLD.

All of those neon ice cold beer signs are actually bad news for beer drinkers. To properly enjoy their beer, it should be served at 44 degrees Fahrenheit (with a little leeway depending on the type of beer you’re drinking—a barrel-aged Stout, for example, should be served only lightly chilled). The reason is that taste buds become dead to the taste of the drink when it is served any colder, which means you’re not really tasting anything or getting the most enjoyment out of your beer.

2. FROSTED BEER MUGS KEEP IT CLASSY.

Piggybacking on the falsehood that beer should be guzzled cold, it also shouldn’t be served in a frosted beer mug. Would you serve wine in a frosted glass? No. An intensely cold beer mug will also numb your senses to the taste of the beer.

3. ALL DARK BEERS ARE HEAVY.

If you’ve been avoiding dark beers because you fear their intensity, you’ve been sorely misguided. “People naturally assume they are heavier,” says Hallie Beaune, a rep for Allagash Brewing Company and author of The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer. “I think it’s that connection to Guinness, which promotes itself as creamy and almost like a meal, that’s the feeling they give in their commercials. For a lot of people that’s the first dark beer they’ve had so they assume they’re all similar when, really, dark beers are just dark because of the roast level of the malt that’s used in the beer.”

4. GUINNESS IS INHERENTLY FROTHY.

Sure, Guinness is served all creamy and delicious-looking, but Beaune explains it has less to do with the beer itself and everything to do with the tap most stouts use, which has more nitrogen than the standard tap (generally a mix of nitrogen and CO2). To deliver all that frothiness, a stout faucet, which has a long, narrow spout, is used.

5. DRINKING BEER FROM THE BOTTLE IS THE BEST WAY TO ENJOY IT.

Sure, a bottle may look more refined than a can, but it’s still not the appropriate vessel. “Drinking beer from the bottle is another no-no, mostly because what you taste comes from your olfactory senses from your nose, so if you take a sip of something from that kind of bottle your nose isn’t participating at all,” says Beaune. “It’s too small for you to get a whiff of the beer. Just like if you were drinking red wine out of a wine bottle, you wouldn’t really be able to evaluate that wine.”

6. YOU CAN STORE BEER ANYWHERE.

Think again! All beer should be stored in a refrigerator. It responds best to cold, dark storage.

7. "SKUNKY" IS JUST A CUTE WORD FOR BEER GONE BAD.

There is actually a reason why seemingly rancid beer is termed "skunky." “Light can hurt beer—they call it lightstruck,” says Beaune. “The light interacts with the hops in beer (the four ingredients in beer are malt, water, hops and yeast), and it can actually have this chemical reaction that creates a smell that’s the same as a skunk gives off, which is why you hear about skunky beer.”

8. ALL BEER BOTTLES ARE CREATED EQUAL.

Darker bottles are important. Clear or green bottles may be pretty, but they’re not doing much to protect your beer from light. Dark beer bottles work best to help retain its intended flavor.

9. CANNED BEER MEANS CHEAP BEER.

Cans are actually a great way to protect beer, but in the old days they would often give the beverage an aluminum taste. “Most of the cans the craft breweries are using nowadays have a water-based liner so the beer isn’t actually touching the aluminum,” says Beaune. “It can be really good for beer. Cans heat up and cool down very quickly, too, so you obviously want to keep them cold.”

10. BEER IS MUCH SIMPLER THAN WINE.

You’ve got your four ingredients—malt, yeast, water and hops—what could be more basic than that? Manipulating those ingredients in various ways will give you different varieties, but breweries are doing some really cool stuff by adding flavors you’d never dream would work so well in beer. “A lot of the flavor in beer comes from the malt or the hops or yeast, but then there’s all of this freedom in beer,” says Beaune. “We did a beer at Allagash called Farm to Face, which is a pretty tart and sour beer. We added fresh peaches to it from a local farm. You can’t do that with wine—you can’t add peaches. People add everything you can imagine to beer like pineapple, coconut, every fruit—there are no rules. That’s one of the fun things about beer, it’s a lot like cooking, you can add rosemary, you can add whatever you want. Everybody experiments. It keeps the beer world really interesting.”

11. BEER WILL GIVE YOU A BEER BELLY, BUT COCKTAILS WON'T.

Sure, anything in excess will contribute to weight gain, but beer is hardly the most calorie-laden drink you’ll find in a bar. Much of the flack beer gets (i.e. the “beer belly”) goes back to the fallacy that beer is particularly heavy. “Most glasses of wine are pretty high in alcohol and a lot of cocktails are way higher in calories,” says Beaune. “If you drink a margarita that’s one of the highest calorie things you can drink.”

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Spain's Famous Blue Wine Is Coming to America
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Gïk

Last year, a Spanish startup caused a stir when it introduced its electric-blue wine to markets in Europe. Now, after receiving preorders for more than 30,000 bottles from American customers, the eye-catching beverage is finally ready to make its way to the U.S., Eater reports.

The bright blue drink, dubbed Gïk, is the creation of six young entrepreneurs with no previous experience in the winemaking industry. They collaborated with University of the Basque Country and the food research department of the Basque Government to make the product.

Gïk is made from a blend of red and white grapes with a non-calorie sweetener added in. Though the color resembles something you'd find in the cleaning supplies aisle, the ingredients that create the effect are all natural. A pigment found in grape skin and indigo from the Isatis tinctoria plant (commonly known as woad) are responsible for the wine's alarming hue.

The shade—which according to co-founder Aritz López represents "movement, innovation, fluidity, change, and infinity"—is intended to appeal to Millennial buyers. With an alcohol content percentage of 11.5, Gïk is comparable to a white zinfandel or prosecco, and a pack of three bottles retails for $48.

The Basque region of Spain is traditionally known for its sparkling, acidic wine, but Gïk was designed to stand out from the current options. In 2016, López told Eater that his team felt the Spanish wine scene was "missing a little revolution," so they set out to create something innovative. But it turned out to be a little too innovative for the company's own good: According to Spanish law, only red or white wine can be sold in local markets, and Gïk was fined €3000 (about $3600) for violating the rule. Following the controversy, they were forced to drop the "wine" label and start branding the concoction as "99% wine and 1% grape must."

Standards are less strict in the U.S., and when bottles reach markets stateside they will be flying under the wine banner once again. Gïk will make its U.S. debut in stores in Miami, Boston, and Texas before hopefully expanding to retailers in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Washington, California, and Nevada. And while they may have the blue wine market cornered, there's at least one blue-hued beer brand out there Gïk will be competing with.

[h/t Eater]

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