Much is written about life hacks, those little tips that help us win at life each and every day, or maybe once a week. You know, a trick or a shortcut that increases your productivity without you having to exert any extra effort - instant efficiency.
What aren’t so well known are alcohol hacks. And we don’t mean nonsense rhymes like: “beer before wine and you'll feel fine; wine before beer and you'll feel queer” (because this doesn’t actually hold true - the carbonation of beer means you absorb alcohol faster, so you won’t feel fine drinking wine after beer, just very merry).
But just like you can have decent hacks for life, you can have decent hacks for alcohol, and we mean proper hacks, not made up ditties that don’t actually help you win at anything.
There are the billy basic alcohol hacks that everyone knows such as: don’t drink on an empty stomach, drink a glass of milk before you imbibe to reduce the amount of alcohol you absorb, or eat a banana when you’re hungover to reduce your hangover symptoms. But these aren’t novel hacks, nor are they really alcohol hacks, just sensible life advice.
So if you take your alcohol seriously, we’ve got an inspirational list of insane alcohol hacks to make consuming alcohol easier and more fun. Step aside rubbish alcohol hacks, because we have an abundance of insane alcohol hacks that you need to know about.
Never pour a bad beer again
Never pour a beer that warrants the remark ‘want a Flake with that?’ ever again with this simple alcohol hack. If you’ve unfortunately poured (or been poured) a beer with more head than is strictly necessary, simply dip your finger in some olive oil and rub it across the top of the foam. The oil works to break down the foam by cutting through the beer bubbles.
Don’t have olive oil to hand? Simply rub your finger on the side of your nose and use the oil from your skin to do the same thing.
Make your own homemade booze
Everyone needs a hack for how to make homemade booze.
Not got access to decent alcohol? Or only have enough money to buy cheap, crappy booze? No more!
Easily turn fruit juice into your own homemade alcohol with the simple addition of a packet of yeast.
Yup, you read that right.
You’ll need to use 100% pure fruit juice (so no preservatives and nothing from concentrate), and it has to have at least 20g of sugar per 100 ml serving for this hack to work properly.
Simply measure out the weight of yeast you need (you can pick up champagne yeast or wine yeast inexpensively online) and mix this into your juice. The higher the alcohol content you want the juice to have, the more yeast you need to use. Leave the mixture for 72 hours for the yeast to work its magic, eh ta da!
Make Kahlua at home
If you’re a coffee snob and you can differentiate between an Arabica bean and a Robusta bean simply by sniffing them, then shop bought Kahlua is not the coffee liqueur you want to be imbibing - it would be like supping on a cup of instant. No thanks.
Simply make your own at home with cheap vodka (or white rum) and your favourite coffee.Ingredients:
- 750ml bottle vodka
- 300ml dark rum
- 300g white sugar
- 340g whole coffee beans
- 1 vanilla bean
Combine all the ingredients in a sealable jar, shake hard and leave to steep for 3 weeks. Shake the mixture every other day to ensure the sugar dissolves. Strain through a cheesecloth or muslin into a clean jar and use as you would Kahlua.
Taste the Rainbow
Think Skittles are just for kids? Think again. Take this perennial favourite sweet and give it a grown up twist, with the addition of vodka.
You’ll need 70 Skittles per 200ml vodka. If you want to make the rainbow (a vodka flavoured rainbow that is), you’ll need to separate out the Skittles into piles of their individual colours, then drop each pile into a clean, empty bottle (old water bottles work fine, as long as they have a sealable lid).
Cover the Skittles with 200ml of vodka, screw the bottle lid on tight and shake each bottle vigorously before leaving to infuse for 24 hours. Continue to shake the bottles every few hours to ensure the Skittles colour coating dissolves in the vodka and they impart their beautiful colour.
The white centres will take longer to break down, so leave the mixture to combine for at least 24 hours, although you’ll still be left with some white gunk at the bottom of the bottles no matter how long you leave it…
Strain the mixture through a muslin inside a coffee filter to ensure all the Skittle remnants are removed and pour the Skittles vodka into a clean, empty bottle. Enjoy the rainbow elixir as shots or in cocktails.
Alcoholic Gummy Bears
If Skittles aren’t your thing or you don’t want to drink your alcoholic sweets, you’d rather eat them instead, replace the Skittles with Gummy Bears (or cola bottles or fizzy worms, basically your favourite gummy sweet will work here).
Alcoholic Gummy Bears are even easier to make than Skittle vodka because all you’re doing is leaving the Gummy Bears to bath in vodka overnight (they absorb the alcohol and swell in size - win win).
The best Gummy Bears (or sweets in general to use here) are the Haribo ones as they swell up every time and they don’t go ridiculously slimy.
To serve just jab them with a cocktail stick and set on a plate for guests to help themselves.
Make crap vodka great
If you can only afford the cheapest, paint stripper-esque vodka, don’t suffer through it. Just run your nasty vodka through a Brita water filter 5 or 6 times and you’ll instantly be able to taste the difference. It filters out the impurities don’t you know.
Turn bad beer good
At the end of a long, hard day, nothing quenches the thirst quite like a refreshingly cold beer. But what if you only have low quality beer in the fridge? That isn’t going to satisfy anything.
Turn your bad beer ship around with the simple addition of a few drops of bitters and instantly improve the flavour. So if you have to have crap lager or a cheap light beer, pep it up with a few shakes of Angostura bitters or orange bitters - you’re welcome.
Get crap wine back on track
If you’ve picked up a bargain in the wine bin, got it home only to discover it tastes worse than a tramp’s insole, or a friend kindly brought the dregs of their wine rack round to yours as a present, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Simply smile and throw the wine in a blender.
What now? You ask… A blender?
Yup. If you have really crap wine, literally breathe life into it with a 30 to 60 second whizz in a blender. The blender will aerate your wine faster than you can say ‘cheap skate’, leaving you with something much more flavoursome to imbibe.
Mask a bad wine by mulling
Don’t have a blender to make your plonk quaffable? Then turn it into something else, something that no one will say no to. Turn it into mulled wine. The heady aroma of cinnamon, cloves, star anise and orange peel can hide a cheap wine’s acidity better than Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.Ingredients:
- 1 x 750ml bottle of crap red wine
- 1 x large cinnamon stick
- 2 x star anise
- 5 x whole cloves
- 2 x strips of lemon peel
- 1 x orange cut into slices
- 4 x tbsp caster sugar
Simply pour your bottle of wine into a large saucepan, add in the fruits and spices and sugar to the pan and set the wine mixture to mull over a low heat (don’t boil it, you’re just allowing the flavours to infuse, transforming your wine into something delicious).
Create vanilla extract from undrinkable alcohol
Sometimes booze is just too bad to ever hope to remedy it. But rather than pour it down the drain and shed tears at wasted alcohol and money, why not turn it to your advantage and make something delicious out of it… by which we mean, if you’re a keen baker, you can make extracts with undrinkable vodka.
If you bake a lot, you’ll no doubt find you get through vanilla pods all too frequently. So rather than throwing the pod away when you’ve extracted the seeds, simply pop the used vanilla pod in a bottle (with a cork or a lid) and cover it with your nasty vodka. Everytime you use a vanilla pod add the discarded skin to your bottle and leave the combination to infuse for a minimum of a month.
Radical poached eggs
Want to impress that special someone in your life? How about giving them a breakfast in bed they’ll never forget - something like poached eggs on toast.
How is that special? You may wonder, well, these aren’t just any poached eggs.
These are poached eggs with a difference… the difference being they’re poached in beer. If you can fry an egg in bacon fat and instantly turn up the notch on a fried egg sandwich, why do you have to solely poach an egg in boring water?
Experiment with different poaching liquids (tomato sauce works, as does white wine FYI) and see what weird and wonderful flavours work well with egg. We promise the beer one works.Method:
Bring a bottle of hoppy beer to the boil in a saucepan, carefully drop your eggs into the boiling liquid and poach until they’re cooked. Serve on malted toast with a slick of butter and some hollandaise sauce.
Chill your beer in minutes
When you need an ice cold beer and you’ve only got a room temperature one languishing in the back of the cupboard, why ruin your day any more by wincing through it?
Simply mix together a bowl of ice, cold water and salt and dunk your tepid beer in the ice bath for a few minutes. The salt in the ice mixture accelerates the chilling time exponentially so you never have to drink warm beer ever again.
Don’t have salt or ice to hand to cool your brewski? Then wrap a cold wet flannel around the bottle and pop it in the fridge. The dry environment of the fridge will cause the water to evaporate from the towel drawing the heat out of the bottle as it dries.
Make the perfect cocktail everytime
If you have a booze cupboard bursting at the seams, but no idea what cocktails you can create with its contents, panic not. With the tried and tested guaranteed cocktail ratio, you will have a delicious drink every time you get experimental and shake your cocktail shaker.
Simply combine 2 measures of your chosen alcohol, with 1 measure of a sour (i.e. a citrus juice) and 1 measure of a sweet i.e. sugar syrup. Bada bing, bada boom… drinkable cocktails every time. Cheers!
Always be able to open a beer bottle
What happens if you don’t have a beer bottle opener to hand? How do you get your alcohol fix? Well, as long as you have at least a shoe to hand, you’re in luck, or a spoon, or a set of house keys or a sheet of paper…
Yup, pretty much any everyday household item will be your best friend if you can get it underneath the rim of the beer bottle lid and lever it off.
Set a new beer drinking world record
If you’re looking for a new party trick, then the ‘shotgunning a bottle of beer in seconds’ trick is always a crowd pleaser.
Simply pop a straw into your beer bottle, fold the bendy end back up the beer bottle (it’s essentially a snorkel), upend the beer bottle into your mouth and skull the contents in a oner.
Fizz up your champagne with a raisin
Have an open bottle of champagne in the fridge slowly going flat? Simply drop a raisin in your glass of bubbles, wait a few minutes and watch the bubbles come back with a vengeance. Don’t ask how or why, just say thank you. You’re welcome.
Insane alcohol hacks
Finally, the world may be a strange and usual place at times, giving us the gift of The Donald, Brexit and climate change on the one hand, but when it also gifts us these insane alcohol hacks on the other, you know it can’t be all bad.
We’ll drink to that - bottoms up!
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