Wild Berry Mojito


A berry twist on this traditional Cuban cocktail brings a fresh perspective and taste to this classic drink.

Wild Berry Mojito

Ingredients:

1-1/2 oz. Bacardi Light Rum
3-4 each of fresh blackberries, blueberries and red raspberries
8-12 fresh mint leaves
juice of one lime
1 oz. simple syrup
soda water
mint sprig for garnish

Directions:

In a 12-oz. highball glass, muddle mint, simple syrup, wild berries and lime juice.

Fill glass with crushed ice — it is very important to use crushed ice, not cubed — then add rum.

Stir well until the ice is reduced by 1/3, then top with more crushed ice, stirring until the glass begins to frost on the outside.

Spritz with soda water and stir one last time to incorporate.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint that has been dusted with powdered sugar and two long straws to avoid tickling your nose with the garnish.

Tips: To muddle the mint against the bottom of the glass, use just enough pressure with your muddler to release the oils from the mint without tearing it. The back surface of a wooden spoon will serve as a muddler stand-in if needed. Use a lime squeezer to fully extract the lime’s juice. To make simple syrup, dissolve an equal amount of granulated sugar in boiling water and then allow syrup to cool. Store in a clean bottle in a cool place.

Recipe courtesy of Tony Abou-Ganim, www.themodernmixologist.com

(Via Fine Living)

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Foods To Calm You Down


According to Yahoo! Food, the common treats that we usually turn to for comfort, acutally make us feel worse. Instead of calming our nerves, many of them ultimately make us feel worse.

Want to take refuge in that pint of ice cream? Think again. Sweets are insidious: After the initial rush, the body’s insulin response kicks in, causing a sudden blood sugar drop that triggers the release of stress hormones. Soon you’re feeling more jangled than you were before you inhaled that whole container of Phish Food.

Don’t despair, true comfort foods exist. Try some of these:

1. Berries, any berries
Eat them one by one instead of M&Ms when the pressure’s on. For those tough times when tension tightens your jaw, try rolling a frozen berry around in your mouth. And then another, and another. Since the carbs in berries turn to sugar very slowly, you won’t have a blood sugar crash. The bonus: They’re a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight a jump in the stress hormone cortisol

2. Guacamole
If you’re craving something creamy, look no further. Avocados are loaded with B vitamins, which stress quickly depletes and which your body needs to maintain nerves and brain cells. Plus their creaminess comes from healthy fat. Scoop up the stuff with whole-grain baked chips-crunching keeps you from gritting your teeth.

3. Mixed nuts
Just an ounce will help replace those stress-depleted Bs (walnuts), give you a whopping amount of zinc (Brazil nuts)-it’s also drained by high anxiety-and boost your E (almonds), which helps fight cellular damage linked to chronic stress. Buy nuts in the shell and think of it as multi-tasking: With every squeeze of the nutcracker, you’re releasing a little bit of tension.

4. Oranges
People who take a 1,000 mg of C before giving a speech have lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure than those who don’t. So lean back, take a deep breath, and concentrate on peeling a large orange. The 5-minute mindfulness break will ease your mind and you’ll get a bunch of C as well.

5. Asparagus
Each tender stalk is a source of folic acid, a natural mood-lightener. Dip the spears in fat-free yogurt or sour cream for a hit of calcium with each bite.

6. Chai tea
A warm drink is a super soother, and curling up with a cup of aromatic decaf chai tea (Tazo makes ready-to-brew bags) can make the whole evil day go away.

7. Dark chocolate
Okay, there’s nothing in it that relieves stress, but when only chocolate will do, reach for the dark, sultry kind that’s at least 70% cocoa. You figure if the antioxidant flavonoids in it are potent enough to fight cancer and heart disease, they’ve got to be able to temper tension’s effects.

(Via Yahoo! Food)