Heading to the NC Azalea Festival? Be sure to check out these Wilmington Establishments while you're here!

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

Planning to visit the Port City for the Azalea Festival?

There will be a lot for your to do and see while you are here in the Port City! And if you are of age, Wilmington has a host of Bars and Breweries for you to sample from.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

The North Carolina Azalea Festival brings people from far and wide to the City of Wilmington, for a fun packed week of concerts and events. Wilmington wasn’t voted one of the best places to live in North Carolina for nothing. Our bars and breweries can be found from the heart of downtown Wilmington all the way out to Carolina and Wrightsville beaches.

These Port City establishments make great places to visit during the Azalea Festival, especially once you get tired of all the hullabaloo and just want a good drink. Some bars in Wilmington, like the Barbary Coast, have been around since the days Pirates roamed the Port City. We even have a haunted pub crawl for those looking for a spooky story to go along with their pint, and we highly recommend it.

This is in no way going to be an exhaustive list. We’d need a lot more space and time to cover all the amazing establishments we have here in Wilmington. So in the meantime, enjoy this sampling of our favorites that we recommend you go to while you are here for Azalea festival. Cheers to an awesome visit, and don’t forget to tip your bartender!


Port City Establishments to Visit During Azalea Festival

Front Street Brewery

Address: 9 N Front St, Wilmington, NC

Specialty Brew to try: World Beer Cup Gold Award-Winning Spring Brew
Specialty Cocktail to try: Buffalo Crush

Located in the heart of Downtown Wilmington, Front Street Brewery, Wilmington’s Original Brewery, has been operating here in the Port City for 21 years. Their World Beer Cup Gold award winning brews, 5 flagship beers and other seasonal selections are sure to tickle your fancy, while taking a break from the Azalea Festivities. If you consider yourself a Whiskey aficionado, Front Street is home to North Carolina’s Largest Whiskey selection, with over 340 premium whiskeys, bourbons and scotches for you to chose from. Enjoy a fantastic lunch, dinner, or late night snack with their full menu available until midnight, and don’t forget to go on the free brewery tours from 3-5 pm. Come celebrate 21 years of brewing excellence at Front Street Brewery this Azalea Festival, you don’t want to miss it.


The Copper Penny

Address: 109 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC

Specialty Cocktail to try: The Penny Pear Mule

Located in historic downtown Wilmington, the Copper Penny is a must go-to establishment while you are here for Azalea Fest. If you aren’t looking to dine on street food at the River Front, the Copper Penny has some of the best affordable food in Wilmington, and boasts an extensive selection of cocktails and beers. Their rotating taps feature Breweries from all over North Carolina, including Good Hops Brewing which we featured down below. Voted Wilmington’s Best Lunch, Best Sports Bar, and Best Waitstaff for seven straight years, the folks down at Copper Penny will take great care of you.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival


Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

The Pour House

Address: 103 Market St, Wilmington, NC

Special Feature: Their Bingo Thursdays 😉

Take the stairs on the corner of Market and Front street, and grab a glass of the downtown-underground at one of Wilmington’s subterranean bars, the Pour House. The Pour House is very laid back, and they like it that way. This is the place you’ll want to hang out after the concerts let out. This basement dive bar has something going on every night, and is home to sex toy bingo Thursdays. The staff is awesome and so are their drinks. They run different specials pretty much daily, so check out their twitter feed. You might get lucky with some $3 Fireball shots, just don’t get too crazy. If you are looking for a cool, laid back place to hangout for the night, head on down to the Pour House.


Ironclad Brewery

Address: 115 N 2nd St, Wilmington, NC

Specialty Brew to try: Mango Pineapple Pale Wheat

Take a walk up to North 2nd Street, just around the corner from Chop’s Deli, to try some of Wilmington’s Hand Forged Craft Beer at Ironclad Brewery. Ironclad is a brewery & full bar, serving up craft beer, wine, & spirits in downtown Wilmington. The Ironclad hosts live music and events in its 10,000 square feet historic building, that was built in 1925. They painstakingly worked to restore the space, and kept the interior brick walls and roof intact. Their Mango Pineapple Pale Wheat beer was brewed by all the women that work at Ironclad, as part of International Women’s Day and the Pink Boots Society Big Boots Brew Day. $1 of each pint sold will go to benefit the Pink Boots Society. So if you want to experience some of how Wilmington’s historic district is being renewed, and want to grab a pint of local craft beer, head on down to Ironclad Brewery.

Port City Establishments to Visit During Azalea Festival


Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

Blue Post Billiards

Address: 15 S Water St, Wilmington, NC

Special Feature: Awesome Game Room

The inside of this Port City bar has been seen on both TV and Silver Screens, as part of the sets of One Tree Hill and Tammy. Blue Post Billiards is hands down Wilmington’s favorite bar and pool hall. Enjoy a beer or cocktail while you shoot some pool, play some skee-ball, air hockey, darts, and old school video games in the Blue Post’s game room, or why not just hang out with some friend over drinks in the “ally way” that connects the bar from the game room! You can even get your name on the wall by finishing the extensive Beer Club list, it takes a while to complete so you’ll be coming back for more. The Blue Post has something for everyone, and that’s why we locals love it!


The Husk

Address: 31 S Front St, Wilmington, NC

Special Feature: Outside Patio Bar

Front street hosts a slue of bars and restaurants, and you’ll find The Husk right on the corner of Front and Dock across from City Limits Saloon. The Husk is pretty popular spot to go to after the Azalea Parade on Saturday. You can even bring your dog inside if they aren’t too busy, or hang out on the outside patio around the back. With a decent selection of craft beer and bar food, The Husk is a place to stop by for a quick beer. Be forewarned, The Husk get’s packed fast, so get there early.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival


The Beaches

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

22 North

Address: 22 N Lumina Ave, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Specialty Cocktail to try: Berry Blossom Martini

If Wrightsville Beach is more your style, 22 North is the place for you. This bar and restaurant is a bit more upscale compared to some of downtown’s local dive bars. 22 North is home to the Official Drink of the 2007 North Carolina Azalea Festival, the Berry Blossom Martini. 22 North also features 20 signature martinis on their newly expanded drink menu, and a daily menu of eclectic Southern Comfort food. Be sure to give their Moscow Mule a try when you are there, you can’t go wrong with vodka and ginger beer. It’s no wonder the “best kept secret on the beach” has been awarded so many accolades over the years. If you are staying in Wrightsville beach during the Azalea festival, put this spot on your map. Your taste buds will thank you.


Good Hops Brewing

Address: 811 Harper Avenue, Carolina Beach, NC

Specialty Brew to try: Black Wheat

Special Feature: Disc Golf Course

Take a drive down to Pleasure Island, to sample some drafts from Carolina Beach’s only Craft Brewery. This newest brewery on the block supplies many of Wilmington and Carolina Beach’s bars and restaurants. Their last stout of the year will be an Imperial Russian stout, which is coming out April 15th. Love disc golf? Thanks to the help of the Pleasure Island Disc Golf Club, Good Hops has a 9-hole disc golf course on the brewery property. Good times and great beer are just a couple of minutes from the Carolina Beach Boardwalk at Good Hops Brewing.

Port City Establishments to Visit During Azalea Festival


Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival

Jerry Allen’s Sports Bar

Address: 38 N Lumina Ave, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Specialty Cocktail to try: Wrightsville beach tea

Started by UNCW student Jerry Allen in 1995, Jerry Allen’s Sports Bar is a popular spot on Wrightville Beach’s main drag. Jerry Allen’s has an outdoor patio, where you can bring your canine best friend, and sports both Foosball and skee ball machines inside. Anyone up for some Margaritas and Pina Coladas? This beach bar wouldn’t be complete without its frozen drink machines! Famous for their $3 cheeseburgers, their menu is full of sandwiches, Katy’s wings, burgers and other goodies to munch on. They have an assortment of craft beers on tap, and are open until 2 am for all of you night owls. If you want to grab a bite and a drink after coming off the beach, check out Jerry Allen’s.


The Fat Pelican

Address: 8 S Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC

Special Feature: Large Walk In Cooler

Right near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, you’ll find the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach’s favorite dive bar. Ranked one of the top 25 dive bars in America, over the years the Fat Pelican has become a favorite of island locals and vacation goers from all over the country! This establishment lives by the motto ‘Beer is Love,’ with their massive walk in cooler, that sports 350 beers and a selection of wines and non-alcoholic drinks. Come out around back and be a beach bum at ‘Pelican beach,’ where you can enjoy your brew outside with music, fun, and a fire pit. Be sure to check out this unique bar while you are here.

Port City Establishments to Visit During the Azalea Festival


There is a lot of merriment to be had in the Port City during Azalea Festival, and we are glad you are here. Keep in mind you can drink smarter and party better by drink responsibly: Assign a designated driver or grab a cab (we have a lot of them here & Uber is available), and always practice drink safety.

We hope you enjoy your trip to our fair city, and come see us again soon.

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About the Author

Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger


About the Author

Chelsea – Content Curator

Editor | Cocktail Connoisseur | Pinterest Pinner | Social Media Fanatic

Chelsea, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life

What happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol

Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Cut Out Alcohol

Looking to take a break from alcohol?

Maybe you are looking to lose some weight, or maybe your liver has said enough is enough, but you’ve come to the conclusion it’s time to cut out alcohol from your diet.

Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Cut Out Alcohol

Limiting or cutting alcohol consumption out of your diet can have numerous positive effects on your body. Many doctors agree that forgoing alcohol for just a few weeks is a good idea – especially if you have a bad habit of binge drinking.

Taking a break from alcohol has many surprising benefits. A study by the New Scientist showed that giving up alcohol for just 5 weeks can help improve sleep, concentration, and work performance. They also saw significant improvements in weight loss, and participants experienced decreases in bad cholesterol, blood glucose, and liver fat.

After all, your liver is taking most of the punches from all those glasses you drink.

So if you have decided to cut out alcohol from your diet, here’s what you need to know.


You’ll lose weight

If your momma ever told you drinking makes you fat, she was pretty much on the money. The empty calories of alcohol offer your body no nutritional value whatsoever. Some alcohols have more calories, carbohydrates, and sugars than others do – which can be adding 150 or more calories to your current diet. Those extra calories are responsible for you seeing higher numbers on the scale.

When you cut out alcohol from your diet, and don’t supplement the calorie loss with soda and other sugary drinks, you will see subtle changes in your weight. The participants of the New Scientist study lost, on average, about 2% of their body weight. Alcohol also can inhibit your metabolism, because the body uses the alcohol for energy instead of body fat. When you stop drinking your metabolism increases, resulting in better weight loss. By cutting out these extra calories, you will be a step closer to your weight loss goals.


You’ll sleep better at night

Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Cut Out Alcohol


Every body needs a certain amount of sleep a night to maintain proper bodily functions. Sleep specialists have done a lot of research on our sleep needs. While the research varies by age, most adults need an average of 7.5 to 8 hours of QUALITY sleep at night. According to the study Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, drinking before bed increases alpha wave patterns in the brain. These increased alpha wave patterns can affect the quality of your sleep. Another thing to note is that diuretics like alcohol increase your need to use the bathroom during the night, at the cost of precious shut-eye.

With no alcohol in your system at bedtime, you are sure to have more restful sleep, than when you were drinking. Higher quantity and quality sleep can help you concentrate better during the day, which will make you more productive. Better sleep for a better you.


Your skin will clear up

Remember how we said alcohol was a diuretic? Well other than making you have to pee a lot, your skin also suffers from alcohol’s moisture stealing effects. Alcohol can leave your skin red, dry, puffy, and can make your adult acne situation much worse. Alcohol has also been shown to dry out your hair, creating brittle strands prone to breakage and dandruff on the scalp. Yeast in beer can even cause nasty flare ups for folks with eczema – OUCH!

Substituting water for alcohol works to reverse moisture loss, bringing hydration and elasticity back to the skin. Hydrated skin is healthy skin, and healthy skin tends to be blemish free. Be kind to your skin, hydrate often.


Your liver will thank you

The liver takes a lot of abuse from alcohol consumption. Alcohol depletes amino acids – the substance that helps detoxify your liver – from your body, and make you feel like crud. Alcohol also causes blood sugar spikes, which doesn’t allow the liver to do its job. Alcohol also increases the accumulation of fat and inflammation in your liver, an early indicator for liver damage and Alcoholic Liver Disease.

When your liver is healthy, it can properly store sugar, or glucose, as glycogen for a later time when your body needs it. Not partaking in alcoholic libations allows your liver to reverse the imbalances the toxins have caused in the body. This allows blood glucose levels to get back in check, which is important for those with diabetes. After giving up alcohol for just 5 weeks, the folks in the New Scientist study also saw around 15% decrease in liver fat. Since alcohol is the most prevalent cause of liver disease, taking a break from alcohol is a great idea for liver detox.


You’ll save money

This might be the best reason of all to cut down on drinking: Alcohol hurts Your Wallet. Frequent trips to the liquor store can set you back quite a bit – especially if you have expensive taste in liquor, beer, and wine. Drinking out at a bar can be even more expensive with the average cocktail and beer prices starting a $6 and up. Drinking on the regular can be an expensive undertaking.

If you add up all the money you’d save after you cut out alcohol for a while, you can splurge on something nice for yourself. Like maybe some new pants, you might need some when you lose that beer gut.




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About the Author

Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet


This warm weather means beach season is finally near!

It also means it’s time to get your body ready to squeeze into your swimsuits from last year. The best way to shed those winter pounds is to cut alcohol out of your diet…which if you’re anything like us, it is one of the saddest things to do. While drinking on a diet might seem like a fantasy, when done in moderation with a healthy diet and exercise, it is possible to splurge on a cocktail now and then. If you want to lose weight, but not cut out your favorite after work and weekend activity, we’ve put together a list of drinks you can still have when you’re drinking on a diet. After trying these tasty libations, all 170 calories or less, water and fruit will be your new go to mixers!

Drinking on a Diet: At the bar


Vodka and Water

Calories: 64

If you’re not a fan of drinking your liquor on the rocks, add in some water or Seltzer water. It helps cut down the burn from the alcohol, making it easier to drink. The great part is that there are only 64 calories in a single serving of vodka and 0 calories in water/Seltzer water – meaning you can have way more of these drinks versus a sugary cocktail. The water also helps hydrate you, to cut down the hangover pains the next day. This isn’t the tastiest drink, but squeeze in some added flavor with a lime wedge to make it more enjoyable.


Craft Beer

Calories: 81 – 150

Craft beer is all the rage right now. While most craft beers are high in alcohol and calories we found a few that are still tasty but not packed with all those calories.

Evil twin brewing Bikini beer– subtle hints of candied fruit and citrus, 81 calories

Boulevard Brewing Co, Pop Up IPA– one of the lowest calorie IPA’s you’ll find out there, notes of grapefruit, orange and pine needles, 139 calories

Harpoon Summer Beer– 148 calories, honeysuckle, honey, lemon

Don’t be afraid to ask your bartender if they carry any low calorie craft beers, but having one already in mind might make them like you better on a busy night. There are also plenty of low calorie beer alternatives from well known brands to choose from.



Calories: 85

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

There’s a reason why they call Champagne giggle juice. It’s low in calories, but be forewarned – carbon dioxide in champagne speeds up alcohol absorption, which makes you feel drunker faster. The carbonated bubbles in champagne can also lead to a wicked hangover after a few too many. If you don’t like the taste of champagne on it’s own, you can find low calories juices or fruits to mix it with. Low calorie mimosas for brunch, anyone?


Red Wine

Calories: 120

We all know that red wine has heart healthy benefits. But did you know it could help you lose weight? A new study from the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that a compound found in red wine can actually block the growth of fat cells. Red wine can range in calories by alcohol volume, so we found two that you might care to sample out at the wine bar:

Light Alcohol (under 13.5% ABV)
Cupcake Vineyards Chianti – 111 calories

High Alcohol (over 13.5% ABV)
Yellow Tail Shiraz – 120 calories

Wine can still be your best friend while you’re on a diet. Everything with moderation as they say.


Whiskey Ginger

Calories: 109

Whiskey drinkers rejoice! You don’t have to give up your favorite spirits just yet. Whiskey and ginger ale is a tasty classic cocktail – that also happens to be low in calories. Remember not all whiskeys are made equal in terms of taste, and be careful of ginger ales that have high sugar content. Zevia and Honest Fizz Organic Golden Ginger Ales are great low-calorie ginger ale options to use to make this cocktail.


Drinking on a Diet: At Home


Coconut Margarita

Calories: 100
via My Crazy Good Life

Did you know most margaritas have around 500 calories?! That will definitely make you reconsider having margarita Monday’s every week. Thankfully we found one that is only 100 calories and is just as tasty, so you won’t be feeling guilty Tuesday morning’s anymore!


Strawberry Mojito

Calories: 80
via Everyday Health

What to Drink When You’re Drinking on a Diet

Mojitos are perfect for sipping on, on a hot spring day. The trick to this homemade Mojito is using fruits to sweeten the cocktail instead of sugary syrups. If you want to make this drink a little stronger, we recommend cutting the amount of club soda in half. This cocktail recipe call for a lot of extra lime, so you might want to experiment with it a bit.


Pina Colada Cooler

Calories: 165
via fitness magazine

Everyone loves a good Pina Colada on vacation or laying by the pool. Unfortunately Pina Colada’s are one of the highest caloric drinks you can get with about 640 calories in them!! With those calories you might as well be eating a Quarter Pounder from McDonalds! No one wants to reach their caloric limit in one drink so we found an alternative with only 165 calories in them.


Cucumber Cooler Cocktail

Calories: 116.5
via Minimalist Baker

This refreshing cocktails tastes like a sophisticated limeade, and is low in calories. Cucumbers and mint are used in detox waters to flush out toxins. They act in the same fashion in this cocktail by adding hydration back into your system, and adding a spa water like effect. If you like gin and tonics you are going to love this cocktail.


White Wine Spritzer

Calories: 75
via Weary Chef

This white wine spritzer is a delicious bubbly combination of white wine, seltzer, and berries. You can sip on these all day without the guilt. This cocktail is easy on both your waist line and your wallet for when you’re drinking on a diet.


Chelsea, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life

About the Author

Chelsea – Content Curator

Editor | Cocktail Connoisseur | Pinterest Pinner | Social Media Fanatic


Spring Cleaning Tricks Using Alcohol

Spring Cleaning Made Easy With Interesting Uses for Alcohol

Spring Cleaning tricks using alcohol

Getting ready to do some spring cleaning? Put down that bottle of Silver Polish, and grab a bottle of Vodka.

Spring Cleaning Made Easy With Interesting Household Uses for Alcohol


Yeah, you read that right. Almost everything you need to accomplish your spring cleaning tasks can be found in your liquor cabinet. You don’t need to use harsh chemicals to get rid of your biggest messes.

You might be surprised how else you can use your favorite liquor, wine, and beer around the house. These are just a few interesting household uses for alcohol that you don’t know about yet.

Your liquor cabinet might just be holding the keys to making your spring cleaning tasks much easier.


Streak-Free Shiny Windows and Mirrors

Save on the Windex and fill a spray bottle with a mixture of vodka and water to clean your windows instead. Wipe away for a streak-free shine. The Vodka-Water cleaner makes a great glass cleaner too.


Clothing Stains Meet Your Match

Saving your laundry from makeup or oil stains could as simple as soaking the spot in Tequila. The alcohol helps to dissolve the oil, allowing you to remove the stain in your favorite shirt. Remember to put a towel down under the garment you are spot soaking to protect your surfaces.

You can also use vodka to blot remove red wine and grass stains from clothing. Spray the spot with vodka, rinse with water. This process might take a few rounds.


Shower Mold Be Gone

Fill a spray bottle with gin and spray it onto the mold in your shower. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wash away with warm water to remove.


Bye Bye Toilet Rings

Mary Findley, the green-cleaning expert of Go Clean, suggests using 1/2 cup of vodka once a month in your toilet. The Vodka helps to keep those ugly rings from forming in your toilet, as it acts like a disinfectant. You can use it to clean your toilet seat too while you are at it.


Clean Your Jewelry

Believe it or not, soaking your silver or stone-studded jewelry in vodka, for about 10-20 minutes, and will bring them back to their sparkling selves. Sotheby’s Diamonds says soaking a diamond ring in a shot glass of vodka for a few hours, and rinsing it with warm water will dissolve dirt attached to your diamond.

This is not recommended for your opals and pearls!


Perk Up Your Plants

Don’t sacrifice an Aspirin tablet to the flower gods again! You can use Vodka and Beer to keep your plants from drooping. Pouring a little bit of beer into flower beds and pots perks plants and flowers back up. While mixing a tablespoon of vodka and sugar to a flower vase can help elongate the life of fresh cut flowers.

Vodka can also be used to keep pests off of your waxy leaf plants, instead of pesticides. Dip a cotton ball into vodka and dab it onto the waxy leaves to keep the aphids away. You can also do this with Christmas trees, later in the year, using a spray bottle.


When the spring cleaning is done, treat yourself to a Drink of the Week cocktail. You’ve earned it.

Spring Cleaning Tricks Using Alcohol

Check out more uses for alcohol around the house with Better Homes and Gardens


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About the Author

Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

Top 5 Munchies to Prevent Hangovers

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers

Hangovers don’t make for such a great weekend

Everyone loves going out on the weekend and having a good time with their friends, but the next day…is usually not so enjoyable.

Our Top Tips for Pairing Wine and Cheese
We’ve all been there. Saturday and Sunday mornings spent in bed or on the couch with a pounding headache, while trying not to throw up from the night before. Next thing you know you’ve wasted your whole weekend and didn’t get all those things done you needed to do.

We’ve come up with a list of foods to eat before you start drinking, to help with those hangover woes and hopefully make your weekends a little more enjoyable. From full cooked meals to easy grab and go foods, these munchies are helpful in preventing that hangover.

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers


1.) Asian Pear Juice

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers

Asian pear celery juice with ginger and mint via recipe renovator

According to a study by Australian researchers, if you drink Korean pear juice before the consumption of alcohol, you will experience a less severe hangover. Professor Manny Noakes, the lead researcher on the study, says, “It appears that the factors in Korean pears act on the key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism … In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for the hangover symptoms, with pear juice consumption.” About 7.4 ounces of the juice can reduce side effects of drinking up to 20%, such as headaches, memory loss, concentration, nausea, and sensitivity to light.


2.) Green Vegetables

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers
Ultimate Anti-Hangover Green Smoothie via Mind Body Green

This smoothie is a combination of cucumber, avocado, spinach/kale, lemon and ginger which help to promote alkalinity in the body, hydrate you, and flush out any toxins lingering in your body. Alcohol toxins build up in your system cause hangovers. This smoothie is packed with b vitamins and electrolytes that help lessen headaches the next day, this combination of greens and digestives help to calm and nourish an upset digestive system. While anything green might not look the least bit appetizing to most, this smoothie recipe is surprisingly good.


3.) Lean Proteins

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers
Caprese Chicken & Roasted Broccoli via HelloHealthy

Proteins are the building blocks of your hangover cure. They take longer to digest, giving your liver enough time to recover from those 5 shots you just took. Proteins break down into individual amino acids – the substance that helps detoxify your liver. Alcohol reduces the amount of amino acids in your system, which will make you feel like crud. Eating lean proteins before drinking slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, and eating them after helps your body recover from amino-acid depletion caused by drinking. This recipe for Caprese Chicken is a great source of protein, with the added benefit of antioxidants supplied by leafy greens, and delicious cheese.



4.) Almonds

Almonds are a great portable snack, as well as a preventative hangover cure. Some people say that the Native Americans ate almonds before long nights of drinking to prevent hangovers. Whether or not that’s true, almonds are packed with proteins that help level your blood sugar and are high in Vitamin E and fats that support the liver. If you like dark chocolate, almonds covered in dark chocolate and sea salt is a delicious snack. Dark Chocolate promotes cardiovascular health by improving blood flow to your heart and brain and decreasing inflammation. It also helps replenish magnesium levels that are depleted while drinking. Dark Chocolate Almonds are incredibly easy to make, will help with your hangover symptoms, and you can keep them in your purse or backpack in a plastic container to munch on at any time.



If all else fails eat this for breakfast


5.) Eggs

Top 5 Munchies To Prevent Hangovers
Bacon-wrapped avocado and poached egg via Food Steez

Eggs are a great source of cysteine and taurine, amino acids that help your liver recover after a heavy night of drinking. They also help to mop up leftover toxins from the alcohol. If you are watching your waistline, egg whites will do just the trick, as they are lower in cholesterol than a whole egg. This recipe for bacon-wrapped avocado and poached egg is a food lovers dream. Packed with double protein, lycopene, antioxidants, and potassium, the Rolling Stone from Estrella’s is so much more than just food porn.



If you remember: Protein + Hydration + Vitamin B = You should be feeling better soon!


Chelsea, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life

About the Author

Chelsea – Content Curator

Editor | Cocktail Connoisseur | Pinterest Pinner | Social Media Fanatic

Simple Bartender Hacks For Missing Bar Instruments

Simple Bartender Hacks For Missing Cocktail Tools

Add these 5 Cocktail Tool Hacks to your at home bartending skills

Let’s face it. Not all of us have a complete bar at home, stocked with all the tools of the trade. But never fear! Your kitchen holds the key to at home bartending success.

Simple Bartender Hacks For Missing Bar Instruments

Picture this: You get the idea to make a fancy cocktail at home, like this Manhattan cocktail, that you’ve found on Pinterest. You’ve read over the ingredients and instructions, but what’s this? You’re missing the proper equipment to make it. Oh no!

Don’t fret. There are some simple bartender hacks that you can use to make your favorite drinks with tools found in your kitchen. We offer up alternatives for some common cocktail tools in a couple of our Drink of the Week cocktails. These simple bartender hacks can help you get creative with what you put in your glass.


Use Measuring Spoons in place of a Jigger

Simple Bartender Hacks For Missing Bar Instruments

What’s a Jigger? Jiggers are the basic hourglass-shaped measuring device used by bartenders to count ounces. Measuring spoons or measuring cups can work wonders in place of a jigger. This might require you to do a little extra math in order to get equivalent amounts. If you can’t remember that 1/2 Ounce is equal to 1 tablespoon, this conversion chart might help.

Replace a cocktail shaker with a Tumbler or Mason Jar


Simple Bartender Hacks For Missing Bar Instruments


James Bond takes his cocktails shaken, not stirred. Shakers are used to mix drinks, and to chill them when shaken with ice. Basically, any container with a lid will do the trick for this, but a 16-24 oz Tervis Tumbler works great, and you can drink right out of it if you like. A mason jar is the real MVP of bartender tool hacks. It’s a shaker, strainer, and glassware all in one.

We actually utilized hack number two in The Nor’easter


No fancy cocktail strainer needed


Simple Bartender Hacks For Missing Bar Instruments


A strainer does exactly what you think. They keep the ice and chunks of herbs/fruits out of your cocktail when pouring it into a glass. A tea strainer, small kitchen strainer (pictured above), whisk, or slotted spoon will do the trick in place of a cocktail strainer.


Swap out a Bar Spoon with common kitchen stirrers


Simple Bartender Hacks For Missing Bar Instruments


Bar spoons are used to stir together drink ingredients, and are elongated to reach the bottom of high shafted glassware. Straws, kitchen spoons, tongue depressors (Popsicle sticks), and coffee swizzle sticks work just as well, and are more likely to be in your house at any given time. Using party straws and swizzle sticks can add a nice touch to your drinks as well.


Lastly, know how to pour the perfect cocktail



You can use these bartender hacks to mix yourself up on of our Drink of the Week cocktails. You’ve Earned it!


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About the Author

Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

No Valentine? No Problem! Have yourself a Selfintine's Day instead!

No Valentine? No Problem! Have yourself a Selfintine’s Day instead!

Indulge yourself this Valentine’s Day!

On the most love-filled day of the year, why not show some love for yourself? Spend this Valentine’s day with some of these self-indulgent ideas.

Happy Selfintine's Day

Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be all about showering someone else with gifts and loving. If you have no valentine this year, splurge on some self love and be your own awesome valentine.

Try some of these self-indulgent ways to shower yourself in appreciation for valentine’s day.


Pamper Yourself


Treat yourself to a day of self care and pampering! Take a long bath with a glass of wine, get that deluxe mani/pedi that you’ve always wanted, or rejuvenate yourself with a relaxing facial or massage. Spending a spa day to yourself or with your other single friend(s) might just be what the doctor ordered.


Enjoy a home crafted cocktail

This refreshing Pink Grapefruit Mimosa recipe can be a cocktail or a mocktail

Grapefruit Mimosa recipe via brio smart life

Crack open some bubbly and celebrate the awesomeness of you. Whether you are planning to spend Valentine’s day alone or with some friends, we’ve got dozens of cocktail recipes for you to enjoy! You’re going to love this Ultimate Grapefruit Mimosa Cocktail/Mocktail combo!


Make it Galentine’s Day


What’s Galentine’s day? It’s only the best day of the year! Get all your gals together and hit the town. Go to your favorite restaurant, hit the clubs, and celebrate the awesomeness of you with your girlfriends. There will be other singles doing the same thing on Valentine’s day, so get your flirt on if you want. It’s all up to you tonight.


Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth on Selfintine's Day

Crack open Pinterest and find the most sinfully decadent dessert you can find, and eat it. This chocolate covered strawberry trifle from Lovestru.ck Events is to die for! Or try this molten chocolate lava cake recipe from Giverecipe that is super easy to make and is as delicious as it looks. It tastes even better is you use dark chocolate.


Go Watch a Movie


Whether your in the mood for an awesome action flick, some tear jerking romance or bust your sides laughing comedy, grab your single friends and head out to the theater. Check your local movie theater listings on Fandango.

Don’t feel like going out or doling out the money to go to the theater? Create yourself a movie marathon of all your favorite movies. Pajama day and a movie marathon can be a great way to entertain yourself and stay comfy at the same time.


Have a Series Day


Binge watch your favorite series on Netflix or Hulu, or find a whole new series to watch. Make some snacks, put on your hang out pants, and not have a care in the world…except for maybe when you get to the end of the series. Why is the season you want never on there?!


Have a Party

Have a little extra fun. Call all your friends and have an awesome party. Good friends, good music, and awesome drinks will liven up the night. Need some drink ideas? Check out the Drink of the Week page for some awesome cocktail recipe ideas.


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New Saliva Test detects date rape drugs

New simple saliva test detects ‘date rape’ drugs in minutes

The New Test Can Detect 6 Date Rape Drugs

Researchers at Loughborough University, UK and the University of Cordoba, Spain have developed a simple saliva test that can differentiate between victims of the ‘date rape’ drug GHB and those poisoned by counterfeit alcohol.


The saliva test detects the presence of methanol, ethanol, ethylene glycol, propan 1,3 glycol and -hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). GHB is a central nervous system depressant that is slipped into a victim’s drink to numb their senses or render them unconscious. Unlike other ‘date rape’ drugs that can last in the victim’s system for up to 72 hours, GHB leaves a victim’s body within 12 hours of being taken.

Methanol, ethanol, ethylene glycol, and propan 1,3 glycol are industrial chemicals sometimes found in counterfeit alcohol. These substances can have numerous harmful effects on the victim, and early detection is vital for gathering evidence in cases of drug-facilitated assault or robbery.

“This new test looks for alcohols and poisons in human saliva,” explained Loughborough Professor of Analytical Science, Paul Thomas. Scientists behind the new method claim it will be as simple as taking a temperature with a thermometer. This new test will allow medical staff to quickly diagnosis GHB or alcohol poisoning in apparently drunk patients.

The researchers are now working towards clinical trials in hospital emergency departments, where the test will be put through its paces in a real-life setting.

Read the original article at Daily Mail


New Saliva Test detects date rape drugs

How Well Do You Know Drink Safety?

How Well Do You Know Drink Safety

In a recent video, JoeySalads, a Youtube personality known for conducting pranks and social experiments, performed an experiment on how important it is to know and to practice drink safety. The roofied drink social experiment video showed how easy it was to roofie a girl’s drink when she and her companions were otherwise occupied.

Drink spiking occurs when a substance is placed into a person’s drink without their knowledge. People use drink spiking as a prank or as a tool to lower the defenses of the victim to facilitate a crime. There are many substances used to spike drinks: Alcohol (being the most commonly used substance in drink spiking), gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Rohypnol (roofie), and Ketamine (special K). These substances can have numerous and harmful effects on those who consume them such as deliriousness, unconsciousness, and loss of bodily control or ability to speak. In extreme cases, overdoses of these substances can lead to coma or death.

Do you know who is watching your drink?

In recent years, drink safety has become a growing concern for college-aged youth. Companies like Bloomingdale’s have come under fire for mocking this problem in it’s latest holiday catalog. The advert in which the copy reads, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking,” as you can imagine, has had some serious Twitter backlash saying this problem is nothing to joke about.

Drink Spiking Advertisement from Bloomingdale's

They have since apologized saying, “In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment.” Their advert does bring up a good point: Who do you trust to watch your drink for you when you aren’t looking? Hopefully, you don’t have a friend like this guy. But can you always trust that your friend is really watching your drink?

In the roofie experiment video, the unsuspecting victim thought her drink was safe in the hands of her friends. However, they didn’t do a very bang up job of playing drink watch dogs. While they were busy talking, Joey was easily able to slip a pill into her drink without detection. Stranger danger might seem like the most prevalent form of drink spiking, but out of the nearly 30% of incidences of drink spiking reported to the police that involved sexual assault, 4 out of 5 assailants were either friends or acquaintances of the victim.

Make sure you are leaving your drink with someone you trust, and who you know will guard your drink when you aren’t looking.


How to manage your risk of drink spiking

Drink spiking has become such a prevalent problem that numerous organizations have created programs to show people how to practice drink safety. Just because you don’t think you’re at risk of drink spiking, doesn’t mean you should not protect yourself. After all, you may not realize your drink has been spiked by smelling or tasting it. Here are just some of their safety suggestions for you to put into practice when you go out:

Always keep your eye on your drink. Don’t leave your drink unattended or with someone you don’t really know, like a bartender or stranger. It isn’t a bartender’s job to watch your drink, and leaving a drink with a stranger or unattended can be a risk to your safety. Only leave your drink with someone you trust or take it with you if you can. If you aren’t sure that your drink is safe, leave it and get a new one.

Avoid sharing other people’s drinks. Minesweeping* drinks at a club or party is not a good idea. Additionally, never bum or accept a drink off someone you don’t know. You never know what is in their drink, and just because someone else can handle it doesn’t mean you can. If you can’t remember what drink is yours, get a new one.

Choose unopened bottles or cans as an alternative to glass drinks. If you want to be more secure with your drink choices, order a drink that comes from a bottle, or can, that you can watch the bartender or wait staff open in front of you.

Don’t drink anything that tastes wrong to you. While some substances are odorless, colorless, and can be masked by the taste of alcohol, others can cause an odd bubbling, fizzing, or alter the color in your drink. Be sure to always trust your instincts. If you feel that something isn’t right with your drink, you might be right.

Speak up. If you see someone put something into your or someone else’s drink, alert the manager, bartender, or host immediately. You have the power to protect someone else just by speaking up if you see something.

Also, always remember to drink water to battle dehydration. Hangovers are no fun for anyone.

If you think you or a friend has had their drink spiked, be sure to alert a friend or manager about what is happening immediately. Keep a close eye on the person’s condition, and get medical attention right away if their condition worsens or they lose consciousness. Urine or blood tests can be performed within the first 24 hours to detect the presence of most drugs, and can help with police investigations of drug-facilitated crime.

Brio Smart Coaster - Drink Smarter | Live Better

For more information on drink safety and how you can manage the risk of drink tampering with the Brio Smart Coaster, please visit the What Is Brio tab above

*Minesweeping – The act of grabbing a drink that has been left unattended with the intention of making it your own.