Why People Look More Attractive When You’re Drinking

Anyone who has been in a crowded bar around closing time would agree that the higher your alcohol consumption, the more attractive you seem to find whoever you happen to be flirting with at last call. Their smile is radiant; their eyes are sparkling- everything about them is sexy, alluring and irresistible. However, if you were stone-cold sober, you might not give them a second glance, and if you get carried away and spend the night with your new friend, you may wake up the next morning and wonder just what the hell you were thinking – and seeing.

This is called the Beer Goggles phenomenon, and most of us that partake have fallen into its trap to one degree or another. The first question that comes to mind is whether or not the individuals you’re looking at are really more attractive to you or if your judgment of things is simply being impaired by alcohol.  So perhaps they really look the same to you as later, but when drunk you just don’t care, with alcohol increasing your desire for sex and suppressing your inhibitions.

But it turns out, several studies done in the last few decades are beginning to show that it’s not all just being extra horny and less picky.  For instance, a study done by St. Andrews and Glasgow Universities found that “… men and women who have consumed a moderate amount of alcohol find the faces of members of the opposite sex 25% more attractive than their sober counterparts.”

Other studies have shown similar trends. For instance, another study done at the University of Bristol with 84 college students showed that, on average, they rated people’s attractiveness 10% higher a mere 15 minutes after drinking a moderate amount of alcohol, as little as 24 U.S. ounces of beer. Further, the sex of the individual the students looked at didn’t matter. Yes, guys will rate guys more attractive and women will rate women more attractive after drinking too, regardless of their normal sexual preferences.

Interestingly enough, this boost in attractiveness is not universal. In a study done at the University of Leicester in 2011, it showed that adults actually find the faces of 10 years old, less attractive when drunk, not more as when looking at adult faces.  Further, these individuals were able to accurately judge the ages of the people whose faces they were looking at pictures of.  So while attractiveness varied based on whether one has been drinking or not, the ability to judge age did not.

In any event, so if it’s truly not just us lowering our standards, what’s going on here to make other adult faces look more attractive? While further research still needs done, the leading theory currently is that it has something to do with bilateral symmetry. This simply means that if a human body was split down the vertical center, humans typically find people more attractive the closer each side of the individual is to being a mirror of the other.

A series of studies, such as one done at the London’s Roehampton University, suggest that alcohol impairs our ability to perceive asymmetry, and this could potentially be the reason for people appearing more attractive when one is under the influence.

The researchers described the experiment thusly:

We tested the hypotheses that acute alcohol consumption decreases ability to detect asymmetry in faces and reduces preference for symmetrical faces over asymmetrical faces. Twenty images of a pair of faces and then 20 images of a single face were displayed on a computer, one at a time. Participants were instructed to state which face of each of the face pairs displayed was most attractive and then whether the single face being displayed was symmetrical or not. Data were collected near campus bars at Roehampton University. Sixty-four self-selecting students who undertook the study were classified as either sober (control) or intoxicated with alcohol. For each face pair or single face displayed, participant response was recorded and details of the alcohol consumption of participants that day were also obtained.

What this boiled down to was that the sober test participants were more drawn to people with symmetrical faces, and were better at picking them out, which supported the researchers’ hypothesis. Further, intoxicated individuals were less able to notice asymmetry. An unexpected discovery was that males proved better than females at determining whether faces were asymmetrical or not. It is theorized that this perhaps has something to do with the fact that, in general, men are more sexually stimulated visually than women are, so whether consciously or not, naturally pay more attention to such things.

The researchers concluded: “The reduced ability of inebriated people to perceive asymmetry may be an important mechanism underlying the higher ratings of facial attractiveness they give for members of the opposite sex and hence their increased frequency of mate choice.”

Interestingly enough, it would seem that beer goggles work both ways. Not only will alcohol make those around you become more attractive to you, it can also turn you into a vision of epic awesomeness… at least in your own mind. (Where have you been your whole life?) That said, the alcohol in this case isn’t strictly necessary; you just need to think you drank some.

Apropos, Laurent Begue at the Pierre Mendes-France University conducted an experiment to explore the phenomenon of The Drunker I Am, The Hotter I Get Syndrome. She asked 19 patrons in a French bar to rate their attractiveness on a scale of one to seven. Their alcohol levels were then measured with a breathalyzer test. Not surprisingly, the participants who were more biffed were also more full of themselves.

That was an extremely limited sample-size, though, so as a follow-up, Begue performed a balanced placebo test with 96 male volunteers. They were told they were conducting market research for fruit cocktail, and that half of the group would be given an alcoholic drink while the other would test the non-alcoholic version. After giving the booze enough time to work its magic, all the guys recorded a fake advertising spot for the fake beverage company. Immediately after, they watched a playback and rated their own wonderfulness.

As alluded to, not just those who had alcohol, but those who believed they had alcohol, gave themselves the best reviews. Those who hadn’t had anything to drink – or had but didn’t know that they had – were the humblest among the bunch. So what have we learned? At least according to this study, in part we feel happier and more attractive after a few cocktails seemingly because we assume that we will be in the first place.

There is a definite downside here though. When a panel of impartial, sober judges took a look-see at the advertising spots, the segments done by the guys that gave themselves top marks were voted the least appealing. That, perhaps, explains why it’s so hard to impress that hot number who just showed up at the bar, when you’ve had more beers than you can count. You need to seek out someone who’s been at it as long as you – and has their outward facing beer goggles on.

So in the end, it would seem from the studies to date that, while it’s not yet fully understood, the “beer goggle” effect is probably real beyond being partially influenced by the simple fact that when your standards and inhibitions are lowered while your libido is increased, you’re going to partner up with those you might not otherwise have. But beyond that, attractiveness based on bilateral symmetry may be coming into play as well, literally making certain people seem more attractive than they otherwise would to you.

Best Smoothie Ever! at Crop Juice

I finally fulfilled a promise I made. After several failed attempts, for various reasons, I made my way to the Downtown Sarasota location of Crop Juice on Main Street. I was looking forward to trying some of the many different drinks and juices they have to offer.

 

Upon entering the store, I was welcomed by Jasmine and Megan who were working at the time. They were both very friendly, helpful and informative in telling me about all they have to offer and how each drink is made with fresh ingredients at their Gulf Gate location. After looking at the menu, which had many interesting choices, I decided to ordering a Pulp Friction Smoothie to take with me. While I was waiting for my smoothie to be made fresh, I was told that they offer several different kinds of juice drinks for sampling.  I asked not to be told what they were and was going to see if I could identify the ingredients by taste alone. I tried about 4 or 5 of them and I was successful in guessing a few of the drinks but was surprised by how refreshing and blended the drink flavors were.  Each one of the samples were tasty and full of zests.

The smoothie I ordered was ready to go and I took a sip before leaving. It was by far the best smoothie I had ever had. It was fresh and smooth and ice cold. You could actually tell from tasting it that it was made to order and contained fresh ingredients.

I told Jasmine and Megan “thank you” and how much I appreciated there spending time with me to explain what makes Crop Juice so special. It was a very enjoyable experience and I am looking forward to making it back again and trying more of their juices. I also found out they offer coffee drinks so I will try them as an early morning pick me up. Hope to see you there…

 

2320 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota, FL 34231
Open M-F 8AM-6PM
Saturday 8AM-4PM
941-923-8640

8211 Tourist Center Dr, University Park, Florida 34201
Open M-F 8AM-7PM
Saturday 8AM-6PM
​Sunday 9AM-4PM
941-358-8182

1605 Main Street,
​Suite 108
​ Sarasota, 34236

Open M-F 7AM-5PM
Saturday 8AM-2PM
941-954-8728

The Best Gins To Drink On World Gin Day

This week is Negroni week, a celebration of the iconic Italian cocktail. But, what’s a Negroni without gin? It’s just a strange concoction of vermouth and Campari, that’s what. I don’t know about you, but that really doesn’t sound as refreshing. Gin is where the magic is at!

If Negronis aren’t your thing, you can sip gin and tonics all summer long (or various other gin-based cocktails) without ever needing a change of pace. Or, if you’re really feeling frisky, enjoy some gin on its own. Since June 10th is World Gin Day, the time is right to stop by your local liquor store and buy a bottle of gin you might not have tried before. But, in a market full of various gins, how do you pick the brand that suits your tastes?

Scotland is more known for its whisky, but with products like Caorunn, that’s slowly changing. This unique, small-batch gin is infused with five botanicals foraged from the Speyside region of England’s neighbor to the north.

Victoria Pink Gin

This gin is given its color and flavor through a combination of bitters, but that doesn’t keep the juniper flavor from coming through. It adds a nice layer of complexity to mixer-neutral drinks like G & Ts and opens the door for a whole range of custom cocktails.

Spirit Works

This northern California distillery is cranking out some seriously great spirits. One of its best is its gin. It all starts with organic California Red Winter wheat that is milled, mashed, fermented and distilled into its gin base before adding juniper and myriad California botanicals.

Hendrick’s

Another Scottish gin, Hendrick’s has only been produced since 1999, but is already one of the most respected gins in the world. On top of the usual juniper and other botanicals, Hendrick’s also adds cucumber and Bulgarian rose to give it a unique taste, perfect for your favorite cocktails.

Plymouth

Since 1793, Plymouth has been making this London Dry Gin using the same seven botanicals (juniper, coriander, orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, angelica, and orris). This smooth, herbal gin is just about as perfect as a gin gets.

Tanqueray No. 10

Tanqueray is one of the biggest names in the gin world. Its No. 10 was made for bartenders to mix with. Its name comes from the number ten still it’s produced in. This gin is different from regular Tanqueray because, on top of the usual botanicals, it has a distinct citrus presence that makes for exceptional gin and tonics.

The Botanist

Yet another Scottish gin, Botanist is a truly one-of-a-kind spirit. Made by famous peaty Scotch brand Bruichladdich, Botanist is made using traditional flavors like juniper as well as botanicals and herbs only found on Islay, the island the distillery calls home.

Monkey 47

If England is the country most known for gin and Scotland and the US are up-and-coming, it might surprise you that Monkey 47 comes from the Black Forest of Germany. The name comes from the 47 ingredients and the 47% percent alcohol. It might sound like a gimmick, but this gin won a gold medal at the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.

Fords

If you buy a spirit from the 86 Co., you can be pretty much guaranteed it’ll be great. Fords Gin is a collaboration between Simon Ford and Master Distiller Charles Maxwell. It’s produced in London at Thames Distillers and is made up of 9 botanicals, including: juniper, coriander, bitter orange, and jasmine.

Sipsmith

Opened in 2009, Sipsmith was the first copper-pot still distillery to begin production in London is almost two-hundred years. Its London Dry Gin is made to taste like a classic London Dry. The base is Macedonian juniper berries, but also has ground almond, cassia, orris, and coriander.

St. George Dry Rye

This 100% rye gin was designed to be enjoyed by whiskey fans and gin fans alike. It’s spicier than most gins because the base, instead of being a neutral grain spirit, is in-aged rye. The addition of six botanicals (including juniper) adds the flavor gin fans expect from this unique gin.

Thirsty Thursday: Blueberry Crush Recipe

A refreshing cocktail for your next party, featuring fresh mint, tart lemon and sweet blueberries.

Ingredients

  • Handful of blueberries
  • A few fresh mint leaves
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Soda water

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, smash together blueberries and mint with the simple syrup.
  2. Add lemon juice and vodka and shake together with ice.
  3. Strain into a glass; add a handful of ice and top with soda water to serve.

Thirsty Thursday: Pineapple Mint Moscow Mules

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ounces Ginger Beer
  • 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces Vodka
  • Crushed Ice
  • Sprig of Fresh Mint
  • Wedge of Fresh Pineapple

INSTRUCTIONS:

FOR THE FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE

  1. Cut off the top and the bottom of the pineapple. Then, cut the skin off the sides. Slice the fruit away from the center core and cut the fruit into cubes. Place the fresh fruit in the blender and blend on the “whole juice” setting, if available. If not, blend on high until completely smooth, adding a small amount of water if needed.
  2. Then, fit a mesh metal strainer over a large 8 cup sized glass measuring cup. Line it with a paper towel. Pour the pureed pineapple over the lined strainer and allow it to strain through until all the juice has made its way into the measuring cup and all that remains in the paper towel is the leftover pulp.
  3. Alternatively, you can juice the pineapple in a juicer according to manufacturer instructions.

FOR THE FRESH PINEAPPLE MINT MOSCOW MULE

  1. Fill a copper mug 2/3 of the way full with crushed ice.
  2. In the mug, combine 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 2 – 3 tablespoons of fresh pineapple juice, 4 ounces of Ginger Beer, and 1 1/2 ounce of vodka (omit for a mocktail. Stir to combine.
  3. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint leaves and a wedge of fresh pineapple.

Thirsty Thursday: Blackberry Sage Gin Smash with Candied Sage Leaves Recipe

Blackberry Sage Gin Smash with Candied Sage Leaves is a deliciously fresh cocktail that really brings out the floral notes in the gin.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 12 blackberries
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar + more for dusting
  • Club soda

Intructions:

  1. Bring 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar to a boil over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, dip 2 sage leaves carefully in the hot simple syrup, shaking off the excess. Roll the leaves in a light coat of sugar and lay flat on a plate to cool and harden in the refrigerator.
  2. In a shaker, muddle together blackberries with 8 sage leaves. Pour in gin, lime juice and simple syrup and fill with ice.
  3. Shake and strain evenly between into two glasses filled with ice.
  4. Top with club soda and garnish with extra blackberries and candied sage leaves.

Thirsty Thursday: Frozen Raspberry Peach Sangria Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of red wine (pinot noir)
  • ⅓ cup brandy
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cups frozen peaches
  • 1 navel orange, peeled
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender, mix until smooth and serve.

Where To Find The Best Specials On Cinco de Mayo

Get ready friends, Cinco de Mayo is here. That means you have no excuse for missing out on margaritas, Coronas, and every cheese and salsa-covered form of Mexican fare. Even if you don’t want to get tipsy on tequila and Tecate, you can still take advantage of the various Cinco de Mayo food deals and drink specials at restaurants all across the US.

Here we go!

Bahama Breeze

Visit any Bahama Breeze location to get $5 margaritas. On top of that, many locations are also celebrating the day with outdoor Cinco de Mayo parties where you can purchase $5 margaritas, $3 beers, and two-for-$5 tacos and empanadas.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s

The popular chain restaurant might not be known for its Mexican food, but that didn’t stop them from offering a $5.99 Cinco de Mayo taco special (two tacos, chips, and salsa).

California Pizza Kitchen

California-based chain will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo today by offering customers its Fresh Agave Lime Margarita for $5 at participating locations.

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse

Stop into Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse today to get $4 Coronas and $5 dollars margaritas all day.

Chili’s

If you stop by the popular restaurant chain, you can purchase a special Cinco de Mayo cup. For only $5, you can have it filled with your favorite beer or a margarita.

Chuy’s

Chuy’s will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo by offering drink specials all night. This includes frozen margaritas, floaters and various Mexican beers.

El Pollo Loco

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, El Pollo Loco is getting downright crazy (get it?). Visit the company’s website to get coupons to get a variety of deals special for the day.

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

Feeling hungry? You can get all-you-can-eat nachos at Margaritas Mexican Restaurant until 4 p.m. today. This deal is good for every nacho style on the menu.

Marie Callender’s

To celebrate the holiday, Marie Callender’s is offering $4 house margaritas and $6 ultimate margaritas. Don’t worry if you can’t find a time to get in today, this deals lasts until May 7th.

Moe’s Southwest Grill

The restaurant chain is celebrating Cinco de Mayo by launching its new Moe-Rita, a family-friendly (alcohol free) margarita made with limeade, lemonade, orange, and other flavors. If you’re lucky, you can also get a free T-shirt (at some locations) and others are offering $5 burritos.

Schlotzsky’s

Visit any Schlotzky’s location and purchase a Fiesta Chicken Meal Deal (a small fiesta chicken sandwich with chips and a small drink) for only $5.

TGI Fridays

The famous chain is offering premium Casamigos tequila shots for $5, $3 Dos Equis Drafts. and $5 Sauza ‘Ritas.

On the Border

Do you love the magical mixture of tequila, lime, and triple sec? Well, you’re in luck. On the Border is celebrating Cinco de Mayo by offering $5 margaritas all day.

Taco Cabana

Visitors to Taco Cabana in Texas can win free Taco Cabana for a year. Customers can enter the Cinco de Mayo-related contents on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

TacoTime

Look through your cushions to find all of your hidden change. But, you won’t need much because TacoTime is offering $0.79 tacos all day long today.

Tijuana Flats

The Mexican food chain is offering myriad Cinco de Mayo deals throughout the weekend, including $2 draft beers today and on May 6th and 7th, customers can get $2 drafts, $2 chips and salsa, $2 tacos, and $2 churros.

Beer Can Be a Better Pain Reliever Than Tylenol

As if you needed another reason to grab a cold one, a new study suggests having a few beers relieves your pain better than popping some over the counter painkillers.

The study, led by Dr. Trevor Thompson from the University of Greenwich, and published in The Journal of Pain, found that raising your blood alcohol content to the legal limit of .08%, or about three or four beers deep, elevates your pain threshold significantly. This was according to a meta-analysis of 18 different studies looking at the effect of different dosages of alcohol on subject pain response.

Based on the research, Thompson says alcohol is an effective analgesic (or pain reliever) that “delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity,” which probably isn’t too surprising if you’ve ever been in a bar fight or taken a drunken tumble. Not much hurts when you’re three sheets to the wind. What is surprising, however, is that the pain relieving power of alcohol was actually shown to be more powerful than paracetamol, or what’s more commonly known as acetaminophen or Tylenol.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should knock back a six-pack every time you have a headache, but it does highlight an oft-overlooked positive aspect of alcohol consumption. Of course, if you drink too much, you’re really just postponing pain until the next morning.

Thirsty Thursday: Blueberry Basil Margarita

INGREDIENTS

  • flaked sea salt
  • 150g | 5.3oz blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 measures (50ml | 1.7fl oz) tequila
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp triple sec (or Grand Marnier)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 small basil leaves
  • basil leaves and lime wedges to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut a wedge of lime and wipe it around the edge of your glass – either a margarita glass or whatever you prefer. Dip the glass into a plate filled with sea salt and set aside.
  2. Put the blueberries (defrost them if frozen), agave nectar, basil leaves and lime juice in a cocktail shaker or glass and muddle them with a muddling spoon or the end of a rolling pin. Strain the blueberry pulp through a small sieve and press down with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible from the berries.
  3. Put the tequila, triple sec and blueberry juice in cocktail shaker half filled with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
  4. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass and add some cracked ice if you like. Garnish with a lime wedge and a small basil leaf.