With the honor of being chosen the best man, comes the duty of giving a good wedding day toast. This is no easy task. Standing before your closest friends and family members to give a toast can be daunting, intimidating and down right nerve-wracking. Here are a few tips that you can use the next time you are called on to give your next toast.
1. Don’t Drink Beforehand. This might be difficult for a few of you, especially at festive occasions like a wedding party. However, the toast is your nod of appreciation for being selected the best man. The least you can do is be as coherent as humanely possible. This means lay off the booze. Syllables will flow and you’ll be able to articulate your words better than you would under the influence.
2. Prepare, Practice and Rehearse. This means have your toast written out. Practice saying the toast for at least a few days prior to the wedding. Once you think you’ve got it down, practice it in front of another person. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Have a copy of your toast on hand with you on the wedding day … just in case.
3. Emphasize Key Parts. Emphasize as in be sure to slow down or speed up your toast accordingly. Make eye contact with the groom, bride and audience accordingly. If you’re going to tell a funny story about the groom, be sure to give the audience time to digest it and then laugh a little. Embarrassing moments are best left avoided. If you’re going to tell a heartfelt story, then you might want to slow down the speed of your speech a bit. Know the key parts of your toast and emphasize those parts.
4. Individualize The Audience. People usually are afraid when they have to speak in front of a large crowd. To minimize this anxiety, pick out a single person and devote 10 seconds of eye contact time during your speech to that one person and then move on to another person. Keep rotating. Individualize your audience. You’ll forget you’re speaking in front of a large crowd.
5. Keep It Brief and Concise. No one likes to sit through a long winded speech. Keep your toast brief and concise. A best man/maid of honor speech should take you no longer than 3-4 minutes max. If you’re not the best man/maid of honor then keep your toast at a minute max.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to use these tips the next time you’re asked to give a toast. Remember, it’s an honor to give a toast. A good toast will always leave a positive and lasting impression on those that you are toasting.
What tips do you have when it comes to giving a toast? Any memorable experiences?
To the chagrin of the traditional coffee house, Starbucks has become a mainstay in cities across America and the world. As we know, coffee can have many health benefits including benefits to cardiovascular health. Starbucks, however, serves up some of the most unhealthy and calorie filled “coffee” drinks on the market. Here we take a look at 10 of the worst drinks that you can order up at your local Starbucks. If maximizing your total calories and fat intake is on your list of priorities then this is the definitive beverage list for you.
*Note that the chart reflects the venti with whole milk and whipped cream options. Please see below for 2% and nonfat milk options.
1. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 730 (690 with 2% milk) calories venti, 27 (22 with 2% milk) grams total fat in venti.
2. Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 700 (680 with 2% milk) calories venti, 26 (23 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
3. Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino Blended Creme with chocolate whipped cream. Damage: 680 calories, 21 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk, 2% milk and nonfat options according to Starbucks.com).
4. Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee with whipped cream. Damage: 660 calories, 19 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk, 2% milk and nonfat options according to Starbucks.com).
5. Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Crème with whipped cream. Damage: 650 calories, 15 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk, 2% milk and nonfat options according to Starbucks.com).
6. Eggnog Latte. Damage: 630 calories (610 with 2% milk), 30 (27 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
7. Iced White Chocolate Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 630 (610 with 2% milk) calories, 27 (24 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
8. Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee with whipped cream. Damage: 600 calories, 23 grams total fat (same calorie and total fat count for the venti whole milk and 2% milk options according to Starbucks.com).
9. Caramel Brulee Crème with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 600 (560 with 2% milk) calories, 22 (16 with 2% milk) grams total fat.
10. Espresso Truffle with whole milk and whipped cream. Damage: 560 calories, 21 grams total fat (whole and 2% milk options not available).
Some things to note: all of the items here are the venti counterparts. You can definitely knock down a few calories if you:
- Drop the size of your drink to a grande or a small.
- Choose 2% or nonfat milk over the very fattening whole milk option.
- If you want to drastically reduce the total fat count then pass on the whipped cream option.
- Just say no to anything Peppermint from Starbucks.
- Stay away from their Frappucinno menu but I quickly found out that simple drinks like hot chocolate can be just as dangerous.
- If you just have to have a Frappucinno then get one of their light blended options.
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Beer is typically packaged in one of three different bottle colors: brown, green and clear. Now, selection of the bottle colors usually boils down to a marketing decision – what looks good with the corresponding label and logo. From a beer protection standpoint, brown bottles offer the most bang for the buck.
The brown tint of the glass protects (but not completely) the beer from wave-lengths of blue light that cause beer to become skunked. Green and clear bottle offer virtually no protection from damaging light and therefore make the beer much more susceptible to becoming skunked.
Beer bottles that use completely opaque bottles and therefore keeping light away from the beer offer the best protection. Think of opaque bottles as the ultimate Trojan equivalent for beers.
In short, light exposure is bad, bad, bad when it comes to beer. Even beers that are sitting in the grocery store under flourescent light is susceptible to damage, especially those in lighter colored bottles.
A Few Commercial Beers and the Color of their Bottles:
Brown Bottles: Bass, Brooklyn Lager, Dos Equis, Negro Modelo, Pacifico, Quilmes, and Red Stripe.
Green Bottles: Becks, Heineken, and Molson.
Clear Bottles: Corona, Sol, Tesoro
What does skunky beer taste/smell like?
Here’s an experiment that you can do: Take two fresh non-skunked bottles of a hoppy beer such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and pour one bottle into a drinking glass and keep the other bottle away from direct sunlight. Let the one in the glass sit in the sun for 5-10 minutes an then smell and taste both the glass of beer that was exposed to sunlight and the beer that was not exposed. You should get an idea of what skunked beer tastes like from the sun exposed glass of beer.
So How Does A Beer Become Skunked?
Ultraviolet light is the uber enemy when it comes to beer. Hop-derived molecules known as isohumulones (they contribute to the bitter taste of beer) are torn from each other when exposed to UV light causing them to bind to sulfur atoms and in effect producing the skunked aroma.
Why is it called “skunk”, “skunky”, “skunked”?
It’s because the odor is reminiscent of the smell that skunks release when they are in defensive mode. In other words, skunked beer is unappealing to the taste buds.
Wine is a complicated drink, we know this and that is why at Call Me Thirsty we have the Wine 101 Series! Our aim is rid the confusion that comes with wine so that we can enjoy this wonderful drink without being totally confused by it. In this Wine 101 post I hope to demystify a few things about wine bottles. To do this I’ve created a little graphic for you all to enjoy, that includes six of the major bottles shapes that wine comes packaged in. Intertwined in the graphic you’ll find some fun facts about the bottles.
Click on the graphic and take a closer look at it!
German wine bottles tend to be narrow and tall. You’ll also find that Rhine, Mosel, and Alsace wines are packaged in these narrow and tall bottles that have little or no punt (see below for a description of what a punt is). If you’re picking up a Riesling, chances are that it is packed in this bottle type. This type of bottle is also known as having a Hock shape.
Champagne bottles must have thick walls to withstand the pressure of the carbon dioxide bubbles inside of it. These bottles are typically described as having sloping shoulders. Champagne bottles typically have a very pronounced punt.
Red and White Burgundy bottles tend to have a tall shape with sloping shoulders. You’ll find Pinot Noir and Chardonay packaged in this bottle type. This bottle has a small punt and thicks walls to help contain the pressure of these wines.
Sherry, Port and Bordeaux bottles feature straight sides and high shoulders. Red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec feature this bottle shape, as do white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. These bottles have a very pronounced punt. The Bordeaux type bottles has also been called a Claret and Souterne.
Chianti bottles are reserved for the red Italian wine produced in Tuscany. These bottles feature a squat bottle that is usually enclosed in a straw basket.
The graphic above shows some of the most popular wine bottle sizes. A standard bottle of wine contains 750 mL (or 0.75 cL).
On The Ladder:
Quarter ( aka Piccolo) = 0.188 Liter (smallest)
Half = 0.375 Liter
Full = 0.75 Liter
Magnum = 1.5 Liter
On The Floor:
Jeroboam = 3 Liter
Methuselah = 6 Liter
Salmanazar = 9 Liter
Balthazar = 12 Liter (largest)
There even more bottle sizes but the above are the most common and the most important for you to know.
Wine Bottle Colors
Dark Green: These bottle are said to be able to protect the wine from sunlight. You’ll usually find red wine packed in dark green bottles.
Light Green: Dry white wines are often kept in light green bottles.
Brown: Wine produced in Mosel (regions in France, Luxembourg, and Germany) and Alsace (Alsace region in France) often come packaged in brown bottles.
Clear: These bottles have generally been reserved for sweet whites but have also come to be used for whites in general.
Sometimes wineries use non-traditional colors to individualize their wine. An often used non-traditional color is blue.
What’s a Punt?
A punt is the little dimple or “kick-up” that you’ll find at the bottom of the wine bottle. Historically, the punt originated from the free blowing technique used to make the wine bottles. The punt also aids in preventing the bottle from tipping over when it is standing up and consolidates the collection of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
Choices are what make living life a great thing and when it comes to choosing a tea infuser there are a lot of choices. This flow chart helps to break down the different products that you can use to steep your loose leaf tea based on the situation that you are in. The flow chart is a little involved so you might want to click on the preview image below to get a closer look! In fact, I urge you to click on the preview image to see the flow chart in all its glory!
Hopefully you’ll find a tea infuser that is perfect for your needs! All of the products listed on the flow chart are linked below to make life easier for you!
If you enjoyed this article and loved the flow chart please let me know by leaving a comment! If you know someone that might be interested in tea then please feel free to pass on this blog post by mentioning it on Twitter, Facebook or on your own personal site – I would definitely appreciate it! Happy Brewing!
View The How To Chose A Tea Infuser Flow Char (Laptop Sized) - 1440x760 (657.4 KB)
View The How To Chose A Tea Infuser Flow Char (Desktop Sized) - 2500x1226 (1.61 MB)
Progressive Stainless Steel Mesh Tea Ball 2″ by Progressive Products, $2.50 at Amazon.
Blomus 6-1/4-Inch Teastick by Blomus, $20.15 at Amazon
Stainless Steel Zack Volta Tea Ball with Stand, £13.95 at Proleno.
TriniTEA by Adagio Teas, $99
IngenuiTEA by Adagio Teas, $19
Concert Teapot by Adagio Teas, $59
Primula Pumpkin Teapot by Primula, $29.99
French Press Portable Tea Pot by Mighty Leaf, $29.95
Tea Top Brew Mug by Mighty Leaf, $16.95
Mirabelle Glass Teapot by Teavana, $59.95
Perfect Tea Ball by Teavana, $12.95
Let’s dissect our favorite drink, beer! No need for a scalpel, the hard work has been done. Just follow this chart provided by Call Me Thirsty and dissect your way through this frosty glass of beer. We start with the aroma of the beer and work our way down to the frothy head of the beer. Color is also important as is carbonation. We all enjoy a good flavorful beer but the alcohol is probably what most people look forward to when enjoying a cold one.
For many of you, wine might be a favorite drink. It might taste good, it might make you look sophisticated, it might be good for your heart, but … do you really know what you are ingesting? The simple answer is grapes. Sure, but there’s a lot more to it. In this first part of the Wine 101 series, I take a look at the components of wine.
Surprisingly, wine is mostly water. Yes, water. But not tap water, instead, it’s water that comes naturally from the grapes used in the wine making process. For many people long ago, alcoholic beverages were a way of safely consuming non-contaminated and safe to drink water. Luckily today we can buy bottled water making wine no longer a necessity but more so something to be enjoyed.
You might use grapes to make wine but the key in this wine component is to find noble grapes that evoke aromas of fruits other than grapes. The wine making process helps to break down the organic acids and alcohol which forms compounds that imitate the aroma of other fruits.
Wine typically consists of 10-15 percent ethyl alcohol. For you chemists, thats C2H5OH.
No all sugars become fermented in the wine making process. Some sugars remain and these are known as residual sugars. The more residual sugars that remain the more than sweetness becomes apparent.
Tannin is considered a sort of natural preservative and is the key component in allowing wines to improve with age. Tannin is extracted mainly from grape skins.
You wouldn’t want to drink watery wine now would you? Glycerin gives wine a bit of drinkable thickness if you will. The glycerin is a by-product of the fermentation process.
The oak here is in reference to oak barrel used in the fermenting process. The type of oak used has an effect on the final wine product. Taste can change depending on barrel aging, using new or old oak and even using oak from different parts of the globe. Oak adds character to the wine.
Carbon dioxide is yet another by-productof the fermentation process. Although allowed to escape during the wine making process, some CO2 remains in the end product which adds a bit of a fizz to the wine.
I hope you enjoyed this first part of the Wine 101 series! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below. And if you know someone that loves wine but isn’t really sure what it’s made of then be sure to pass on a link to this article!
Photo courtesy of Flickr user 2create.
I regularly frequent Starbucks establishments (I know, I should support independent coffee shops but there is a lack of those in Hawaii) and as a scientist by trade I am very observant. I’ve compiled a list of 6 different types of people that I’ve observed at Starbucks that annoy me. If I’m not there writing then I’m there either reading a book or simply enjoying a cup of coffee. These 6 types (with the exception of #4, he made the list because he defies logic) make it very difficult to do those aforementioned things.
I’m sure there are more Starbucks Types. Which ones have you noticed and have been annoyed by? Comment below and let me know!
1. The one that steals electricity.
Apparently some Starbucks patrons think that buying a small cup of coffee provides them with unlimited access to free electricity. I’ve seen these types before and I always shake my head when I do. These are the people that use up every single electrical outlet within their vicinity to charge anything from their laptops to their cell phones to their portable vibrators. Okay, maybe not the vibrators. I kid you not when I say that I’ve actually seen people come to Starbucks prepared with extension cords and surge protectors! WTF! Surge protectors! Hint: Charge your batteries beforehand. If your laptop battery dies then that’s a signal that it’s time to go home.
2. The one that brings the bible study group.
God, the last thing I need is a group of preachers while I try to caffeinate myself! Hint: Stay away, please!
3. The one that doesn’t buy anything.
These bastards are the worst. They come to Starbucks and leech the seats and tables from actual paying customers. They come armed with their massive beverage jugs and claim a seat without even making a purchase. Annoying! Hint: Buy something.
4. The one that’s off duty.
If I worked at a Starbucks, trust me, the last place that I would want to spend my free time would be at a, you guessed it, Starbucks! These types aren’t annoying like the rest on this list but somehow they defy human logic. Hint: Find a hobby that requires you to be at least fifty feet from a your place of employment.
5. The one that brings their kid(s).
It’s a coffee shop, leave you’re damn kids at home. Seriously. I’m here to enjoy my cup of coffee and not be annoyed by little kids running around screaming all the while throwing their Hot Wheels at each other. Minus ten points to parents that think a frappuccino is a suitable drink for a 5-year-old. Hint: go to the park!
6. The one that turns from study group to comedy troop.
This might be the most annoying of all Starbucks patrons. They come in large group of 5-7 with the intention of getting their study on. Problem is, after 5 minutes of focused studying, someone sparks up a conversation the lasts the duration of the study session, laughs and giggles included. They annoy the people who are simply there to enjoy a cuppa Joe or those who are actually trying to get work done. Hint: if you plan to study at Starbucks, come alone or as a pair at most.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user chrispmphillips.
Guinness is definitely not an every person beer, but for some, it is the only beer that matters. It’s one of those things that you either really love or you really hate. Some people swear by Guiness, while others sweat at it. And now you can read about the rich history of this storied beer and the family behind it by checking out Stephen Mansfield’s new book, The Search for God and Guiness.
“It began in Ireland in the late 1700s. The water in Ireland, indeed throughout Europe, was famously undrinkable, and the gin and whiskey that took its place was devastating civil society. It was a disease ridden, starvation plagued, alcoholic age, and Christians like Arthur Guinness-as well as monks and even evangelical churches-brewed beer that provided a healthier alternative to the poisonous waters and liquors of the times. This is where the Guinness tale began. Now, 246 years and 150 countries later, Guinness is a global brand, one of the most consumed beverages in the world. The tale that unfolds during those two and a half centuries has power to thrill audiences today: the generational drama, business adventure, industrial and social reforms, deep-felt faith, and the beer itself.”
Buy The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World from Amazon for $$16.49.
Menos es Más bills itself as being a drink that is all about optimism and joy. I think that illustrator Andrew Bannecker did an excellent job of bringing those ideals out on these bottles with such lovely drawings. With one small bottle of this drink, produced by Coca-Cola Spain, you can make up to 2 liters of drink. In this instance, less really is more because a tiny bottle produces a lot of beverage. In an effort to cut costs and and be as efficient as possible, Coca-Cola Spain decided to offer simply the syrup (that’s what you get in the bottles) and from there you add water and kaboom, instant drink with a small carbon footprint.
I’m interested in how Menos es Más tastes. I’m thinking that it has a milky flavor but I could be completely wrong. Have you tried it? Let us know what it tastes like!
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