Coastal Wine & Spirits and Stache Partner for an Evening of Wine and Jazz

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This summer has not been short on great date and dining deals. It really has been a great couple of months for trying new things in Broward and Palm Beach without breaking the bank. Drinking wine and following the commands of Bacchus are a great way to enjoy life, and when paired with food and music, life and the bacchanalia improve tenfold.

That has been a tautology since time immemorial.

Why fight facts proven by the passage of time? we ask. You'd be shooting yourself in the foot. The fine folks at Stache have paired with Coastal Wine & Spirits and are launching a new wine and jazz series that has all the elements of fun you'd expect in such a pairing. And that they are charging only a miserable $40 per person is cause enough to not ignore this deal.

See also: Stache 1920's Drinking Den Now Offering Mixology Team-Building Seminars

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Stache 1920's Drinking Den Now Offering Mixology Team-Building Seminars

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Ever think back on what were the most successful lessons imparted to you during your school years? The ones that really stuck, like when you split into groups and got to do something fun and creative and everyone had a good time but that was the teacher's subtle way of using subterfuge and obfuscation to get something through your otherwise thick skull? Remember those?

Ever sat around at work fantasizing about adding a little spice to the ennui of office life and how completely boring things like paradigm shifts, cover sheets, and PowerPoint presentations could benefit from the therapeutic wonders of a delicious cocktail?

Wouldn't it be great if your employers got hip and with it and decided to blend the hands-on and fun approach to teaching with a work-related seminar that involves and is informed by the crafting and enjoyment of a perfect cocktail? The fine folks at Stache 1920's Drinking Den have just made that available to South Florida businesses looking to advance their productivity through staff development in a setting that gets it right.

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Magic Hat Brewery and the Riverside Market Join Forces for Summer Movie Drinking Games

The quirky folks over at Magic Hat Brewery have managed a bit of a social coup by getting Fort Lauderdale's most compelling craft beer destination, the Riverside Market, to renege on its Sunday policy of "no TV, quality conversation only" by staging a summer movie series. With their couches at the ready and a new, retractable screen, the market's keeping it easy on your pockets too with a selection of $2 drafts and bottles available during the screening.

Built on the model of "drink when..." type of drinking games and surely bastardized by the "smeg-isms" of TV shows like Red Dwarf (chug a lager whenever someone says "smeg") and movies like Blue Velvet (slug a PBR and a Heineken whenever something weird happens) and the Deer Hunter (drink a Rolling Rock whenever Christopher Walken looks sad), they've wisely chosen as an opening salvo the Coen Brothers' 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski.

See also: Florida Beer Company Took Over Riverside Market, Beer Lovers Drank Local

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Purple Lotus' Kratom-Laced Kava Drink: We Try It for Ourselves

All photos taken by Jess Swanson.
The Komodo, the drink that sparked the South Florida kratom lawsuit. We had to try it for ourselves!

"I was hoping the press would come in," Purple Lotus Bar owner Jimmy Scianno says when I call him to ask about the komodo, a tea of ground kava and kratom leaves -- which is the most popular drink at his bar.

In October, Michael and Erica Siegel sued Scianno for negligence after they say they unwittingly drank kratom in the komodo. After falling into a downward spiral of addiction, the couple is now asking for $15,000 to pay for medical and rehab bills.

But kratom, an herbal leaf from Southeast Asia, is currently legal in Florida. So we tried the drink for ourselves.

See also: Lawsuit Claims Addiction to Purple Lotus Kava Bar's Kratom-Laced Drink

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Lawsuit Claims Addiction to Purple Lotus Kava Bar's Kratom-Laced Drink

All photos by Jess Swanson
This is the drink Erica Siegel was addicted to, and once we heard about it, we had to try it too!
"This is what $15,000 worth of kratom looks like," Michael Siegel remembers Purple Lotus Bar owner Jimmy Scianno saying as he lifted a brick of the brown powder over his head.

The bar then broke out in chatter. Some people just stared in awe. Others half-jokingly plotted ways to swipe the goods. Everyone kept sipping their murky tea of kava and kratom, their eyes peering over coconut-shell cups.

That was 18 months ago. Kratom's currently banned in Thailand, Australia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and recently Indiana and Tennessee. Kratom was legal in Florida then, and it still is now.

Some argue it weans addicts off stronger drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methadone, and others simply like the way it makes them feel. But then there's Michael Siegel, who believes that kratom ripped apart his family -- his wife, Erica Siegel, is currently at a rehab center in Boca Raton to combat her addiction to kratom, he says.

See also: Purple Lotus's Kratom-Laced Kava Drink: We Try For Ourselves

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Broward and Palm Beach Oktoberfest Round-Up: Beer, Wurst, and Lederhosen

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Oktoberfest: It's that time of year again.
Bratwurst, sweaty frauleins and huge mugs of brau: the three hallmarks of Oktoberfest we all hope for at this time of year. As if you ever needed anything more to party. Besides Halloween, South Floridians need a multi-week celebration to hold us over until Christmas.

This shouldn't be a problem as several parties will be blasting away for the next 30 days. It's time to grab the bierstein, don your lederhosen and get with the Oktoberfest spirit. Opportunities like these to halt your work-enslaved life making someone else rich do not come very often. Punctuate the banality and indulge in mass quantities of intoxicating feel-good poison, but on the other hand do it responsibly because the consequences are a bitch to pay.

See Also: Ten Best South Florida Craft Beers

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Eat the Tea Celebrates One-Year Anniversary on the Full Moon

All photos taken by Jess Swanson
The smiling owner of Eat the Tea pours a cup of tea.

Unexplained incidents are known to happen on the full moon. Dogs are more likely to attack, people find it harder to fall asleep, and Eat the Tea will celebrate its one-year anniversary this Thursday. The colorful tea shop also opened on the full moon last September, and owner Maureen Ruggeri raises her eyebrows at the coincidence. She holds to tea's mystical healing properties.

She serves her tea in a cup and saucer and with a spoon. The spoon can be used traditionally to stir, of course, but it's also intended to scoop the leftover leaves and fruit chunks sitting on the bottom, and, as the name suggests, to literally eat the tea -- rose petals, orange peels, and all.

See also: First Look: Eat the Tea in Victoria Park

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Project Mate Bar in Delray Beach Celebrates One Year Anniversary

All photos taken by Jess Swanson.
Co-owner of Project Mate Bar Daniele Flores drinks mate with the traditional gourd and bombilla.
European settlers did not discover the invigorating powers of Yerba Mate until the 17th century. But for almost two centuries before, the indigenous tribes of South America had been harvesting the Ilex paraguarensis tree and steeping its leaves for the sense of community it promoted.

Last year this mystical drink arrived in Delray Beach at Project Mate Bar. While yerba mate is available at health markets and Whole Foods, this bar is the first of its type in the South Florida, and maybe even the state. They're celebrating their one year anniversary Sunday night.

See also: Try the Inebriating Elixir at Mystic Water Kava Bar Before It's Banned

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Try the Inebriating Elixir at Mystic Water Kava Bar Before It's Banned

Jess Swanson
Smoke pot, get high. Down booze, get drunk. Drink kava, get rooted.
Intricately intertwined in the folklore of the South Pacific, islanders from this remote pocket of the globe would drink this intoxicating pepper root, kava, for its relaxing, blissful properties. It took almost 3,000 years for this potent plant to reach our shores. But now that it's here at the Mystic Water Kava Bar in Hollywood, it might not be here to stay.

It's already banned in Poland. And Portugal.

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New Year's Day Hangover Cures: Let's Get Scientific

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The Hangover: Part II (of Your New Year's Celebration)
Happy New Year! The over-priced parties, the drunk drivers, the immense pressure on the midnight kiss forever dividing the happily coupled from the desperately single... We hope it will be magical. But New Year's Day will remind you that you're 365 days older and less able to handle your liquor.

Your body might be a temple, but praying to the porcelain gods for mercy never saved anyone. To deal with a hangover, one must turn to science.

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