TIME Food & Drink

Celebrate National Tequila Day With These 7 Cocktail Recipes

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Antonis Achilleos Pepino's Revenge

From juleps to margaritas

Tequila lovers, rejoice! Today is National Tequila Day and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a deliciously bright, boozy and refreshing beverage. Here are seven super summery tequila cocktails perfect for National Tequila Day:

1. Mint and Lime Tequila Refresher
Here’s a great way to use mint when it’s at its peak. It’s a simple mix of mint, lime juice, sugar, tequila and club soda.

2. Paloma Italiana
This variation on the Paloma is made with tequila and grapefruit soda.

3. Hibiscus-Tequila Cocktails
When Jacques Pépin was new to Playa del Carmen, local friends taught him how to turn the dried hibiscus flowers from the market into a tart and aromatic tea that’s popular in the Yucatán. To make a refreshing cocktail, he mixes the bright red tea with tequila, lime juice, jarabe (bottled sugar syrup) and a splash of hot sauce.

4. Cortez Julep
Use a bold tequila (such as 7 Leguas Blanco) for this nutty sherry-accented drink.

5. Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails
When watermelon is in abundance, this is a great way to use it. Bobby Flay purees seedless watermelon chunks, then strains the juice through a sieve and mixes it with silver tequila, sugar syrup, blueberries, mint and fresh lime juice.

6. Pepino’s Revenge
This refreshing drink boasts two super summery ingredients: cucumber and basil.

7. Mango Margarita
At the Casa Noble estate, bartender David Yan created this margarita to showcase the property’s own tequila. He coats the rim of the glass with citrusy Tajin-brand chile powder, but any powdered chile will give the drink a fun kick.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine

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TIME food and drink

This Alcoholic Root Beer Might Be Your New Favorite Summer Drink

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Small Town Brewery

Classic root beer taste, with a bit of a buzz

While Homer Simpson and the citizens of Springfield (and soon, Simpsons fans far outside the fictional town) may prefer to drink Duff Beer, there’s a new kind of beer sweeping the rest of the nation: boozy root beer.

The drink is exactly what it sounds like—classic root beer flavor with an alcoholic twist. While a DIY version of the concoction can be found in bars across the country, Not Your Father’s Root Beer, from Small Town Brewery in Wauconda, Ill. is leading the charge on the retail front. According to Bloomberg, their success is due in part to their purchase by a group of investors that included the Chief Executive Officer of Pabst Brewery and a subsequent distribution deal, but also to their magic formula of creating a new product with a familiar taste. They are clearly on to something, too, because the still hard-to-find product has a FaceBook fan page and Twitter is filled with people looking for places to purchase, boasting about drinking it and offering sampling parties.

The root beer features a familiar blend of sassafras bark, vanilla, anise, wintergreen, and handfuls of additional spices that give it the nostalgic flavor, but with enough alcohol (5.9%) to give you a good buzz.

TIME Food & Drink

Here Are the Four Types of Drunks, According to Science

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Are you a Mary Poppins or a Hemingway?

You know when you’re out with your friends at a bar, and you’ve all had the same amount to drink, yet one friend is giggling uncontrollably, another is telling a hilarious story to a group of strangers, a third is picking a fight with the bouncer, and the last is talking to the bartender as if those four Jägerbombs never happened? You might have wondered, well, what’s up with that?

Science to the rescue. Psychology researchers from the University of Missouri at Columbia have published a study in Addiction Research & Theory attempting to bring the conventional wisdom that there are many distinct ways to be drunk to its logical, scientifically-based conclusion. Their study, which involved 374 undergraduates at a large Midwestern university, drew from literature and pop culture in order to conclude that there are four types of drinkers: the Mary Poppins, the Ernest Hemingway, the Nutty Professor and the Mr. Hyde.

The first and largest group — about 40% — was the Ernest Hemingways. Named for the writer who famously boasted that he could “drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk,” Hemingways do not exhibit any major changes in personality when they transition from sober to drunk, the study contends.

In contrast, Mary Poppins drinkers follow the “practically perfect in every way” description Poppins bestows on herself in the 1964 movie: they are already outgoing types who somehow get sweeter and happier with alcohol.

After that come the Nutty Professors, named for the chemically-altered academic with a second personality immortalized by Eddie Murphy. They, the study says, are natural introverts who shed their inhibitions with special vigor when they drink, showing a flashier and more social side.

And, lastly, there are the Mr. Hydes: the evil-twin drinkers who are, according to the study, “particularly less responsible, less intellectual, and more hostile when under the influence of alcohol.”

The study authors hope to use these categories to tailor future alcoholism interventions to particular personality types. Meanwhile, you can use them to take bets on how many beers in your Nutty Professor friend will have had enough to start flirting with that brunette by the jukebox.

Read more about the study here.

Read next: These States Still Ban Happy Hour

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TIME States

Happy Hour Is Legal Again in Illinois

A ban is overturned after more than 25 years

Happy hour is coming back to Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill Wednesday that nullified a ban on happy hour drink specials in the state, which had been in effect since 1989. The ban was meant to combat alcohol-related car accidents.

If you live in Illinois, you haven’t been able to grab a drink after work with buddies to blow off steam and snap up cheaper “happy hour” deals for more than 25 years. But discounts will now be allowed for up to four hours a day and up to 15 hours a week, so long as specials end before 10 p.m. “Volume” drink specials, like getting two for the price of one, will remain banned.

Reactions were mixed: While customers were jubilant, business owners opposed the bill. Some activists fear happy hour drink specials will lead to more alcohol related accidents.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

4 Sneaky Things That Can Make You Overeat

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How often do you snack in a day?

Overeating is tricky. First, you may not even realize you’re doing it. Second, you may not know why you’re eating too much, because some triggers are downright counterintuitive. Here are four sneaky reasons you may be taking in too many surplus calories, and what you can do to stop it.

Fitness food marketing

I think we all know that simply eating a food won’t make us more fit, but a recent study published in the Journal of Marketing Research found that when foods are fitness-branded, some of us may unknowingly eat more and exercise less. In the Penn State study “restrained” eaters (people constantly concerned about their weight) were given identical snacks, one labeled “Trail Mix” and the other labeled “Fitness,” which had a picture of running shoes on the packaging. The study volunteers were asked to pretend they were snacking at home, and were given eight minutes to taste and rate the product. In a second phase of the study, subjects had the opportunity to work out as vigorously as they wanted to on a stationary bike. Scientists found that unless the food was specifically forbidden by their diet, people who were trying to watch their weight ate more of the fitness snack than the trail mix. And these eaters also didn’t work out as vigorously as those who ate the trail mix, apparently seeing the food as a substitute for exercise.

Solution

In my experience, the best way to deflect the effects of food marketing is to raise your awareness. One analogy I often use with clients is getting out of debt. In that situation, you create a budget, and set a goal of carefully thinking through your purchases, rather than buying things impulsively, or based on emotion. Food can be approached the same way. Before reaching for something, check in with your body to determine if you’re hungry. If you aren’t, think about why you want to eat–are you bored, tired, frustrated, or rebelling against a too strict diet? Once you’re aware of the trigger you can address it head on. And if you are hungry, consciously think through what will allow you to hit what I call the “just right” trifecta–full (but not too full), satisfied, and energized. If a food’s packaging or marketing doesn’t align with your instincts about what your body needs to feel just right, getting derailed by marketing will be easy to avoid.

Drinking alcohol–even “skinny” cocktails

I think most people have experienced a loss of inhibition with alcohol, which in turn affects food choices. Numerous clients have told me that an “ah, screw it” attitude brought on by imbibing led to digging into chips and salsa, or ordering a side of fries or dessert. A new Texas Tech University study, published the journal Obesity, highlights why. Researchers found that alcohol makes women’s brains more sensitive to the smell of food, thus increasing caloric intake. In the study, 35 non-vegetarian, non-smoking healthy weight women were given either alcohol or a saline placebo intravenously prior to eating. The women’s responses to both food and non-food aromas were measured using brain scans before a meal. Scientists found that in those who received alcohol, the brain responded more to food odors, and the majority of this group–two-thirds–ate more at lunch. In short, the potential impact of alcohol on weight goes beyond the calories cocktails themselves provide. And if you typically order “skinny” drinks. the effect may be enhanced. A University of North Texas Health Science Center study found that drinks made with artificial sweetener rather than sugar resulted in an 18% greater increase in blood alcohol concentration.

Solution

If you know that drinking is likely to make you want to eat more, strategize before you take your first sip. If you’re going to a restaurant check out the menu online ahead of time, pre-decide what to order, and stick to it. Ask for a tall glass of water along with your drink to slow your pace, and keep the bread basket or chips out of arm’s reach. If you’re hosting a get together, serve up lots of healthy fare, especially finger foods that pack fewer calories for a larger volume, like cut veggies, shrimp cocktail, olives, popcorn, and fruit. Even if you lose track of exactly how much you’ve eaten over the course of the party, you’ll still be less likely to rack up too many calories.

Getting married

A great deal of research shows that overall marriage is good for your health. But a new European study from University of Basel found that while married couples generally eat healthier, they tend to be less active, and weigh significantly more. The researchers compared marital status to body mass index (BMI), which measures weight in relation to height, in over 10,000 people across nine countries. In every country, couples had higher BMIs than singles–whether men or women. The differences were also small between countries, highlighting the likelihood of the connection, and research in the U.S. has shown a similar pattern. One University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill study found that women who get married in their early 20s gain an average of 24 pounds in the first five years, and men in the same age group gain an average of 30 pounds.

Solution

Whether you’re about to get hitched or you’ve been coupled for some time, you can alter your weight fate. The two biggest rules of thumb: don’t use food as entertainment; and eat for your body’s needs, not your partner’s. Many couples I’ve counseled fall into a rut of using food as their primary way of spending time together–going out to dinner, or for ice cream, ordering pizza, making brunch…Try mixing things up and plan activities that don’t revolve around food (go to a play, art gallery or museum, or do something active, like hiking, biking, or indoor rock climbing), or involve healthy eating (visit a farmer’s market instead of a food court). Also, if your partner is a different size, don’t mimic his or her eating habits. I’ve had numerous clients pack on pounds because they started splitting meals or enjoying equal portions with a partner who had much higher calorie needs. If it’s taco night, and you don’t think you can afford to eat as much as your significant other, turn your tacos into lettuce boats and forgo some of the extras, like cheese and sour cream. Being in a relationship doesn’t have to mean eating the exact same meals or portions, or even eating at the same time. Bottom line: post-nuptial weight gain typically results from a pattern of overeating. If you can reverse that you can undo the poundage.

Frequent snacking

OK, this one may seem like a no-brainer, but many of my clients snack when they’re not hungry, sometimes because they’ve heard that eating small frequent meals is best for weight loss, and by the end of the day they’ve just simply eaten too much. A new study published in the journal Eating Behaviors found that indeed, snacking in the absence of hunger can cause just as much weight gain as consuming high calorie foods or oversized portions. In the study, researchers offered volunteers a chocolate snack after they’d just eaten as much as they wanted of a similar snack food. Three quarters of the group accepted the second snack even though they should not have felt hungry. Scientists found that those who ate the most tended to be more impulsive, and were more responsive to food rewards. They also had higher BMIs, which suggests that repeated snacking in the absence of hunger is a weight gain culprit.

Solution

I see this pattern often in my practice. When clients submit food journals I ask them to track their level of hunger or fullness both before and after meals and snacks, as well as their thoughts, feelings, mood, and insights. By beginning to pay attention to this, many find that they often eat when not hungry, perhaps because food was offered to them, or because they thought the snack was healthy (e.g. nuts are good for me!). Other common reasons include eating out of habit, because others are eating, or due to an emotional cue, like anxiety. If you find yourself falling into this trap, experiment with what it feels like to allow actual hunger to guide you. You’ll quickly learn how to adjust your portions and meal timing so you are physically hungry every time you eat, a pattern that can result in enjoying your food more, while simultaneously slimming you down.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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TIME Research

What Drinking Does to Your Body Over Time

Social drinking is not always benign

The effects of having a few drinks can differ person to person, but often people may not realize just how risky their drinking patterns are, or what that alcohol is doing to them under the hood.

There are two definitions for “safe” drinking. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines say moderate alcohol consumption is OK, which means having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has its own recommendation it calls “low risk” drinking, which sets limits for what levels of drinking will put you at a low risk for developing an alcohol abuse issue later on. This comes out to no more than three drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week for women, and no more than four drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week for men.

According to Dr. George Koob, director of the NIAAA, the current body of evidence doesn’t show whether there are significant differences between someone who drinks at this level versus someone who never drinks. In some cases, there’s strong evidence to suggest that moderate wine consumption could actually benefit the heart. Though Koob says some studies have been controversial and it’s not determined what it is about wine or other parts of a person’s lifestyle that could be at play. There are also individual patterns and sensitivities that people should take into consideration at this level. Some people can handle the amount better than others.

If you genuinely stay within the healthy drinking limits, you’re likely at a low risk for alcohol-related health problems down the line.

The concept of binge drinking is often associated with college students and drinking to get “drunk.” But evidence suggests that people beyond college age also maintain those heavy drinking behaviors. The NIH defines it as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within two hours. Some of the risks associated with binge drinking are well known. It increases the risk for sexual assault, violence and self harm. But the physical effects of such behaviors on the body are often less discussed. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there’s strong evidence to suggest that regular binge drinking can damage the frontal cortex and areas of the brain involved in executive functions and decision making. Alcohol slows down the pace of the neurotransmitters in your brain that are critical for proper body responses and even moods.

“Abstaining from alcohol over several months to a year may allow structural brain changes to partially correct,” the NIH says. “Abstinence also can help reverse negative effects on thinking skills, including problem­ solving, memory, and attention.”

Long term drinking can also hurt your heart muscles making them unable to contract properly. It can also harm liver, pancreas and immune system function. Heavy drinking can prevent the protective white blood cells in your body to attack bacterial invaders like they’re supposed to. Drinking too much alcohol can also increase your risk for certain cancers like mouth and breast. Regular heavy drinking also increases the risk for some alcohol dependence. “It creeps up on people,” says Koob.

You can calculate how many “drinks” your cocktail adds up to here and assess how risky your own drinking behaviors are here.

TIME psychology

5 Things You Need to Know About Alcohol, Backed By Research

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Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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TIME Food & Beverage

Underage Drinking and Binge-Drinking Rates Are Falling in the U.S.

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Alcohol remains the favorite drug for people under the age of 20

Underage drinking and binge-drinking rates in the United States are falling.

According to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the percentage of underage people who drink fell 6.1% between 2002 and 2013, from 28.8% to 22.7%. The study defined underage as 12 to 20 years old, reports the Washington Post. The percentage of people who binge drink, defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks during one occasion, decreased from 19.3% to 14.2%, according to USA Today.

“While we’re always very happy about these declines, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we have approximately 9 million underage drinkers in the country,” Rich Lucey, special assistant to the director at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse, told USA Today.

Despite the decline, which may have been brought about by stricter ID laws and a crackdown on drinking and driving, alcohol is still the most common drug used by minors. 22.7% of those surveyed said they drink, while 16.9% reported using tobacco and 13.6% use illegal drugs.

The survey included more than 30,000 people between the ages of 12 and 20 in the U.S.

TIME Basketball

Allen Iverson Was Drunk During His Infamous ‘Practice’ Rant, a New Book Claims

The 2001 NBA Most Valuable Player has struggled with gambling and alcohol issues after his retirement

Allen Iverson was drunk when he let loose with a rant that has become one of the most famous press-conference tirades in American sports history, alleges author Kent Babb in his book Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson.

Babb told ESPN he interviewed former Philadelphia 76er decisionmakers president Pat Croce, coach Larry Brown and general manager Billy King — as well as journalists familiar with the team. Some wouldn’t outright say Iverson was drunk, but many suspected the NBA superstar had consumed a quantity of alcohol just before the press conference.

The book claims that the press conference was King’s idea and came after Iverson and Brown had gotten into an argument in the parking lot over the direction the 76ers would take after they were bounced in the first round of the 2002 Eastern Conference Playoffs.

After the argument, Iverson left and Brown told Babb, “I assumed he went and fooled around somewhere,” and then made a gesture to suggest drinking.

According to the book, Iverson then returned to the press conference where he repeated the phrase “we talking about practice” 22 times.

After his retirement in 2013 Iverson has struggled to adjust to life without basketball and the allegations appear to be consistent with other reports that the four-time NBA scoring leader is dealing with alcohol and gambling problems.

[ESPN]

MONEY Fast Food

Taco Bell in U.S. Will Serve Alcohol for the First Time

But to-go cups are not an option.

A new Taco Bell location in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago will serve customers beer, wine, and mixed drinks, according to reports.

The restaurant is part of Taco Bell’s rebranding effort, introducing upscale locations similar to the chain’s outposts in the U.K., Seoul and Tokyo, which feature more open kitchens and fancy serving baskets. The location will have an “urban” aesthetic, with exposed brick walls and murals.

Boozy drinks will be served only to customers eating inside, and they will come in special cups to distinguish them from regular soft drinks.

This isn’t the first time in recent months that Taco Bell has made moves to change its image: The company has also vowed to eliminate artificial flavors and coloring from about 95 percent of its U.S. menu.

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