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Step aside New York and London: the "World's Best Bar" has now resided in Barcelona, Spain, for two years running. This year, the "World's 50 Best" organization named Sips to the top spot. (Last year, Barcelona's Paradiso bar won the coveted title.) Judges loved Sips' inventive cocktails, multi-sensory drinking experience, and playful “bar without a bar,” where bartenders serve drinks from behind a futuristic workstation rather than a fixed counter. New York’s Double Chicken Please, which was recently crowned North America’s Best Bar, took the runner-up slot on the global list, while Mexico City’s Handshake Speakeasy rounded out the top three. Cheers y'all!
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Oxidized wine is considered flawed with muddied colors, muted flavors, and degraded aromas. However, "oxidative" wine can be completely delicious. The difference? A strategic employment of oxygen during the winemaking process. For instance, introducing the element early on can help remove excess thiolic (rotten egg) aromas while breaking down astringent tannins and softening the mouthfeel of wine. Some winemakers have even begun using oxygen instead of sulfites to create complex, cellar-worthy bottles of white wine. Read on to uncork the details.
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“It feels like what a glass of wine feels like,” says Dr. David Nutt, chief scientific officer at London-based GABA Labs. “It feels relaxing. It makes you a bit more chatty, a bit more socially engaged with people.” That's Alcarelle, Nutt's new synthetic alcohol which targets GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain, releasing feel-good dopamine and serotonin but nothing more. Designed for nonalcoholic drinks, Alcarelle has no flavor and promises to get you tipsy without the headache. Nutt's GABA labs aims to complete U.S. food-safety testing by mid-2026 and launch in European markets soon thereafter. Here's to clear-headed drinking!
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The pandemic was good for cocktail sales, which rose 42% to $1.6 billion in 2021, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US. That's due in part to 16 states passing laws that made to-go cocktails permanent. Consumers also developed a taste for high-end spirits as they tried to replicate restaurant-quality drinks at home. As a result of our predilection for booze, the Council's new report shows that 82% of US consumers now prefer ordering cocktails at restaurants because "they taste better than beer."
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Modelo Especial is currently "the number one" beer in America, its US distributor said, after sales data showed it outsold longtime industry leader Bud Light. Modelo Especial store sales topped $333 million in May, a 15.6% rise over the same period last year, compared with Bud Light's $297 million, a 22.8% fall, according to Circana/IRI data. Bud Light's sales have been declining since April when the brand collaborated with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a partnership that sparked a conservative boycott. The rejection is working, yet Bud Light remains the top-selling beer brand in America for 2023 overall, according to NielsenIQ. We'll see how things end up once the NFL season gets underway.