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Cocktail Chemistry: What's the Right Way to Make a Sex on the Beach?

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In the cocktail world, what was once old is new and trendy again. Suspenders, mustaches, hand-carved ice balls—the flash and dazzle of 19th century bartending might be here to stay. But more recently, some bartenders have been searching through the archives of the Disco Era for cocktails to find new inspiration.

One such drink is the Sex on the Beach. Like the Cosmopolitan and the White Russian, these drinks flourished during the period between the 1960s and early 2000s, when sour mix and juice from a soda gun were bar staples (and bars used provocative names like the "Buttery Nipple" or "Surfer on Acid" instead of quality ingredients to sell drinks).

But the Sex on the Beach still has a surprising following. A mistranslation of the phrase is captured for posterity by current Top 40 song “Cake By The Ocean.” There's even a modern cocktail company named after the cocktail. Their website claims “the earliest known invention of the cocktail and name dates back to 1987 in Florida, USA.” According to them, peach schnapps had just become available, and a distributor offered a bonus to the bar and bartender who sold the most.

As their story goes:

"A young bartender named Ted, working at Confetti’s Bar, mixed up a peach schnapps, vodka, orange juice and grenadine cocktail. When Ted began to sell the drink, he was asked what it was called. On the spot, Ted thought what the main reason was that people came to Florida for their Spring break—it was The Beach and Sex.”

It's a fun story, but it's probably untrue. In 1982, a recipe for the Sex on the Beach (that included peach schnapps) graced the pages of a book published by the American Bartenders School.

It’s likely that a bartender (or bartenders) created the peachy recipe by combining a Fuzzy Navel (orange juice and peach schnapps) with a Cape Codder (vodka and cranberry juice with a lime). As for how the name and the drink came together, there's nothing more to go on than speculation.

Hazy origins or not, this tropical, sweet cocktail is more than just fun to order—it's tasty to drink, too.

HIT THE LAB

Sex On The Beach
1 1/2 ounce vodka
3/4 ounce peach schnapps
1 1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1 1/2 ounce orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of orange.

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A Restaurant In Australia Is Garnishing Its Margaritas With Frozen Eyeballs
Jesse Hunniford/MONA
Jesse Hunniford/MONA

A cocktail special at a new restaurant in Australia has fallen under the global gaze thanks to its floating gaze. As Nerdist reports, Faro Tapas, a new Spanish eatery at Tasmania's Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), offers a black margarita garnished with a frozen bull eyeball.

The frosty drink contains tequila, mezcal, lime, and charcoal (presumably for color). It's served in a glass with a black salted rim and the aforementioned toothpick-skewered peeper.

Gourmet Traveller recommends that those brave enough to sample Faro Tapas's bovine booze drink it quickly, as the eyeball's ice casing melts. (If you're willing to risk brain freeze to avoid eye mush, this sounds like a smart move.)

That said, adventurous drinkers with stomachs of steel might find Faro Tapas's eyeball-garnished margarita tame compared to the Yukon Territory's Sourtoe cocktail (it contains a dehydrated human toe) and countless other weird and wacky cocktails served up around the world. Bottoms (and eyeballs) up!

[h/t Nerdist]

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Health
Drink Up: New Study Concludes Wine Can Offset Dementia
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The health benefits of wine can sometimes be overstated by people who are a few glasses deep and slurring their words. Should you ever find yourself in a position to defend your moderate imbibing, you have supporting evidence: A new study says two glasses of wine daily can potentially reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's.

The study, which appears in Scientific Reports, shows that wine has an effect on one's glymphatic function, or the way the brain removes toxins. To clear itself of damaging and accumulated proteins like tau and beta amyloid, which are often linked with dementia, the brain pumps in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) to act as a flushing solution. All sorts of variables can influence the glymphatic system's operation, including trauma, stroke, and excessive alcohol intake.

But when researchers dosed the mice in the study with moderate alcohol—amounting to 2.6 drinks daily—the glymphatic system was more efficient, removing more waste and exhibiting less inflammation than the teetotaling control mice.

As is usually the case when it comes to booze, you can have too much of a good thing. When mice got the equivalent of 7.9 drinks daily, their glymphatic system grew sluggish until the overindulging was terminated.

"Studies have shown that low-to-moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lesser risk of dementia, while heavy drinking for many years confers an increased risk of cognitive decline," lead study author Maiken Nedergaard, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a press statement. "This study may help explain why this occurs. Specifically, low doses of alcohol appear to improve overall brain health."

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