How To Get Over a Broken Heart In 3 Easy(?) Steps

What does this have to do with travel or even beverages, you ask?

I agree, it seems a little off topic.

Think of it this way…..

You could be away at a wonderful travel destination, somewhere exotic,  or just close to home when you happen to be in tourist mode.

A chance meeting.

Or you stumble upon someone special in the vintage vino section.

At some point it leads to a beverage. Even coffee.

Share a bottle of wine.

Two whirlwind weeks pass by.

You fall in love.

This fling, this inpromptu affair, lasts your entire vacation or longer.

Then, ultimately, your heart gets broken. Regardless of how far away your vacation took you, promises might have been made.

It will still be a sting when you get dropped.

You might turn to drink in your sorrow, too. (Another way this is not necessarily totally off topic.)

hat’s the connection to this beverage-based website. My theory.

Everyone responds and reacts differently to the end of love.

I’ve gone through this enough times to have this almost perfected. (Not the falling-in-love-on-vacation part, just the falling in love and getting hurt.)

The aftermath is never easy, as the title would suggest, but I, personally, find it easier to get back on track with my life by doing the following:

1. CRY

Take 1 day for a good cry. Get it out of your system. Some may need 2 days for this. That’s ok. Acknowledge it. Don’t stash it under the rug to avoid your feelings. Talk to someone, maybe you have a trusted go-to person for matters of the heart, and do your crying through that conversation.

If it takes you a week, including a couple days for moping, allow yourself that, but NO MORE. I take 3 or 4 days, depending on how “in love” I felt I was, to pick myself up and face the world with a smile.


During your sorrow-filled days, figure out why this person came into your life. What were you supposed to learn or what did you learn from him? He was put in your path for a reason, right? What is that reason?

Some possible reasons: To learn patience, to learn to not to have a few drinks and express your feelings (at the wrong drunken moment) or perhaps to learn how to communicate better. Maybe it was to realize the importance of family or friends. It could be anything as simple as to introduce you to a person who will play an important role in your life. Dig deep, you’ll find it.

Even if a reason seems lame, use it. You will have better closure. Hey, if you’re lucky enough to have been told (honestly) why they broke up with you, you will have a head start.


Now dust yourself off and continue with your life, your hobbies (maybe find a new one: take a dance or art class; try a new sport). And, of course, include time with your friends. Seek out those feel-good ones. They will help you bounce back. You’ll soon meet someone new and you can apply that “Reason Why” you discovered and apply this to the next one by not making the same mistake. Hopefully, you won’t have to use Steps 1 & 2 ever again. I will keep my fingers crossed.

Men, since you are my opposite sex, I cannot say for sure if this method would work for you but I’d like to think it would. I’ve seen my sons go through their share of broken hearts and I believe it is helpful for them as well.

May you always find the strength in yourself to persevere.


Published by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on January 13, 2018



National Hot Toddy Day

As it is nearing my first year anniversary blogging for Travel By The Glass, I feel a desire for change coming on.

A year ago, my intention was to post National Hot Toddy Day as my First Ever Post. I didn’t have it ready in time so Irish Coffee won that title. It will always be my favorite post for that reason and for the fact it was a very interesting story.

But that’s the next post.

Today is Hot Toddy Day…….

In the 17th Century, when Britain controlled India, the ‘toddy’ began. Taddy / Taadi is a Hindi word meaning “beverage made from fermented palm sap”. The sap is collected by tapping the palm trees.

The meaning morphed, by 1786, into an alcoholic beverage with hot water, sugar and spices added to it.

Interesting Facts About Palm Trees

They don’t form annual ‘rings’ the way other trees do.

There are 2600 different species known, many in tropical climates.

2/3 are growing in rain forests.

They all grow a type of fruit.

The British claimed the toddy as their own but the rightful place perhaps should be India since the original form comes from the palm trees of India.

Word spread of this hot beverage and many more claims to fame arose.

Spicing It Up

The basic recipe contains your choice of liquor, hot water, lemon, honey and tea. Brandy, any form of whisky (bourbon and scotch) and rum are popular liquors to use. But don’t stop there! Anything goes…tequila, fruit flavoured brandies, whatever you have on hand.

Got a sore throat? Use gin!

So what spices can you put in your hot toddy?

Whether you’re going for a traditional hot toddy or a non-alcoholic one, add some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Most households have honey hiding in their cupboard but if you keep unusual items, maybe you have agave nectar (the last place I saw this was in a Home Sense store) or simple syrup. These can be used instead of honey. Also, if you can find it, cinnamon syrup or a cranberry spice syrup. See sidebar for the recipes.

On your vacation to India, there are plenty of wonderful places to see and experience. If you’re there right now, visit a Toddy Shop for National Hot Toddy Day!

Published by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on January 11, 2018.



Visiting India This Year?

If you’re like me, it’s frustrating to search for a list of things and you have to scroll for ten minutes to discover them all! Or worse, go page by page!

Aside from the traditional Taj Mahal, I’ve short-listed some unusual things to do in India, to make your life easier so you can get on with your day. The links will provide the location.

-Moustache Watching at the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan from Nov 11-23, 2018. Apparently, the moustache is a sign of virility in men of India. You’ll be surprised at the length of some of these!

-Mehendi Henna on your hands and feet. You will find a vendor who does this at any of the big or small market places.

-A Massage in Kerala. ‘Nuff said, right?

-While you’re there, why not stay in a houseboat? These are considered mini hotels.

-Also in Kerala, try Bamboo rafting.

Wagah Border Ceremony. Every night, India and Pakistan soldiers parade and lower their flags and the leaders shake hands. If it sounds boring, the cheering from both sides will surely motivate you.

-If you’re into Yoga or want to start, head to Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Or the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre in Dharamkot. Himachal Pradesh & Arambol, Goa. (Dalai Lama’s residence is near here)

-Visit during February or March for the festival, Holi, in Uttar Pradesh, where people throw colour and water at each other to celebrate the Hindu God, Krishna. Beware if you are allergic to powdered colour!

-Mud Wrestling in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.

If you do enjoy scrolling for ten minutes, here is the link where I pulled these interesting things to do.


The airlines that fly to India:

Air Canada

Jet Airways



United Airlines

Rates start about $600 Canadian.

Indian currency

The Rupee

1 rupee = $0.020 Canadian

$1.00 Canadian = 51 rupees, as of today.

Published by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on January 11, 2018

5 Surprising Facts About Sangria

Just in time for festivities this Christmas! Why not enjoy a pitcher with your family and friends instead of the usual Egg Nog?

1. The word Sangria ha limited use on the labels in Europe. Since 2014, only sangria sold in Spain and Portugal can be labeled as Sangria. If it’s made elsewhere is Europe, for example, Germany, then is must be labeled “German Sangria”.

2. When we think of sangria, we think of wine, a handful of chopped fruit pieces, some fruit juice, that sort of thing. In Spain, they use Brandy. Imagine the taste of that!

3. Sangria, that new hip thing everyone is getting into, again? Well, it’s been around since the 1700’s. Back then it was referred to as Sangaree. Only since the New York World’s Fair, in 1964, re-introduced sangria, has it been known as the version we love today.

And of course, there has to be a story to go along with it. Due to its blood-like color, the name comes from the Spanish word for blood, sangre.

Here’s where is gets a little more complicated…

4. In 1736, British Gentleman’s Magazine mentions that a punch seller, in London, England, concocted a blood colored drink with the strong, fortified Madeira wine and called it Sangre. The origins point towards Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean. So far, it makes sense…Madeira is a Portuguese wine. Over the next 20 years, the drink somehow developed the name Sangaree.

It is said that Sangaree did originate in the Caribbean then later brought to America. This, too, would make sense if the wine was transported to the Caribbean and the locals mixed it with something sweet since they were more accustomed to sweeter tasting drinks.

Or did the experimenting begin outside the vineyards of Europe?

5. Various versions pop up in recipe books of the 1800’s, such as Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bartender Guide or Miss Leslie’s 1840 Directions for Cookery (choose link Domestic Liquor) to find:

Sangaree:  Mix in a pitcher or in tumblers one-third of wine, ale, or porter, with two-thirds of water either warm or cold. Stir in sufficient loaf-sugar to sweeten it, and grate some nutmeg into it.  

This is not how we know Sangria, is it?

Make Your Own

Grab your favorite bottle of wine, a cheap one will do since you’re going to mix it. If you want to go traditional, get a bottle of Tempranillo.

Squeeze in the juice from a couple lemons and oranges. Drop the wedges in, too.

Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 oz of Brandy.

Throw in your assortment of chopped fruit.

Let sit overnight.

Next day, add your preference: juice or club soda or both. Go extreme and toss in some bubbly white or rose or champagne!

Now, that we recognize today!

Bonus Fact: The mixing is endless. Did you know that a Peach Sangria is considered a Zurra?

Happy Sangria Day and go ahead and dress up your Sangria this holiday!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on December 20, 2017




A Guide For The Allergy-Ridden Wine Lover – Part 1: The Sweet Factor

Allergic to wine? Headache every time you have a glass? I hear ya. Those nasty, but delicious, ingredients can wreak havoc.

Let’s keep this short. One allergy/sensitivity, at a time. (Do you lose interest when  there is tons of reading to do? Scroll and scroll? ugh! Maybe I’m not as committed as you.)

First, A Bit of Science

What determines sweetness?

Yeast eats up the natural sugar from the grapes, or whatever fruit you are fermenting. If the yeast eats ALL of the sugar, it will be a dry wine. If the fermentation is interrupted, usually by chilling, some sugar will remain and be considered a sweet wine.

Note: Watch out for those cheap wines that add grape concentrate!

Sugar Content

What’s with the headache, already!

Could be the sugar.

The next time you end up with one, check the label.

3g is considered a low sugar content
3g is considered a low sugar content


Your local liquor store displays the sugar content on the shelf label.

You can also google the liquor store site or the wine itself ahead of your purchase.

Psst: If you are also avoiding tannins, the Bourgogne Pinot Noir, pictured here, is aged in stainless steel vats- not oak barrels. Just sayin.

It might be easier to find low sugar in red wine than a white. But, they do exist. You don’t necessarily have to switch over to red but check labels and switch to a lower level of sugar content in your white. See if your head notices a difference.

Bone-Dry – 0 – 10 grams of sugar = Less than 1 calorie per glass

Dry – 0 – 10 grams of sugar = 0 to 6 calories per glass

Off-Dry – 10 – 35 grams of sugar = 6 to 21 calories per glass

Sweet – 35 – 120 grams of sugar = 21 to 72 calories per glass  ie: Moscato

Very Sweet – 120 -220 grams of sugar = 72 to 130 calories per glass ie: Icewine

Per glass = 5 ounces

Daily intake of calories per day

Women (moderately active): 2,000 to 2,200

Men (moderately active): 2,500 approx.

So, it’s a Friday evening and you’re out with friends for dinner. You’ve ordered the pasta primavera, chowed down on the complimentary salad and bread and washed it down with a glass of shiraz.

Calorie Count So Far: minimum 700 for food………120 for wine.

Someone just bought a round of vino for the table. Add on another 120 calories.

Did the guy next to you just say dessert? Damn. Another 200 calories if you chose the cheesecake!

Conversation is flowing and so is the wine. You order one more Shiraz. +120

An Irish Coffee would go REAL nice right about now. Squeeze in 87 calories.

What are we at? 1,347 calories.

Ladies, you have between 653 and 853 leftover. What did you have for breakfast and lunch?

Men, you have between a bit more space.

*Caloric examples are based on nutrition chart from East Side Mario’s.

I’m not trying to make you feel bad but if you’re wondering why you have a hard time shedding a few pounds, it could be that extra glass of wine or the high sugar content of your wine…..ahem, white wine lovers.

To help you minimize those calories, look for these wines:

Italian pinot grigio: Considered “bone-dry”, the residual sugar is less than 1 gram and less than 3 calories in a 5-ounce serving.

Cabernet Sauvignon: 3 grams, approx.

Rose: 7 grams, approx.

German Riesling: 14 grams approx.

Champagne: 12 grams approx.

Lakeview Icewine: 173g of sugar

Inniskillin Vidal is a whopping 256 grams!

The list could go on and on. When shopping, read the label. Remember, the staff is there to help.

Even the icewines contain sulphites so watch out for these as well. But that is for the next blog.

Please comment with your success on eliminating your headaches by switching to low sugar wines!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on March 2, 2018


How Did The Screwdriver Get Its Name?

As with many of the cocktails, you can expect at least 2 stories of how a drink was invented.

The Screwdriver is no different.

It is apparently one of the first vodka cocktails invented.

Fresh OJ, vermouth and gin
Freshly squeezed OJ makes a wonderful difference!

Prohibition caused the production of some vile tasting homemade alcohol so bartenders began adding fruit juice to spirits. Thus, the birth of cocktails.

We do know that the Screwdriver has been around since at least 1949 when Time Magazine published this quote on October 24:

“In the dimly lighted bar of the sleek Park Hotel, Turkish intelligence agents mingle with American engineers and Balkan refugees, drinking the latest Yankee concoction of vodka and orange juice, called a ‘screwdriver.”

Which Park Hotel do they speak of? India? Seems they’ve only been around since the 1960’s. Unless it was rebuilt.

Where did this madness start?

  1. Was it during World War II when soldiers snuck vodka into their morning OJ?
  2. Or when Mid-20th-Century oil workers in the Persian Gulf started mixing the same ingredients after a very long day? Lacking utensils to stir this mixture, they reached for the closest item that would work….a screwdriver.
  3. Perhaps it was the facial expression of someone drinking the vile tasting homemade vodka, during the Prohibition-era, that prompted the idea. Mixed with the need to disguise any talk of alcohol, the code word, Screwdriver, was put into use to mislead authorities. So that takes us to the 1920’s and 30’s before WWII and certainly before mid-Century!

Is it just me, or do they all seem like lame stories?

But, hey, what about this quote from Journalism quarterly, Volume 44 in 1938…. “And answered it “The famous Smirnoff Screwdriver”, Just pour a jigger of smirnoff vodka over ice cubes, fill glass with orange juice and serve.”

Could this GET any more confusing?

Then, in 1944, in Volume 23 of Newsweek, this was published:  “A Screwdriver —a half-orange-juice and half-vodka drink popularized by interned American aviators—costs a dollar including the customary barman’s tip.”

Smirnoff’s “Screwdriver” Campaign began in 1937 so that blows pretty much all of these theories out of the water, so to speak. Except for maybe #3.

However, I don’t see the Smirnoff website making any claims of inventing the drink.

That being said, let’s go with #2! It’s the earliest version that I can find. Know of an earlier story? I’d love to hear it!

Happy National Screwdriver Day!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe just for fun on December 14, 2017.


11 Scrumptious, And Oh So Dangerous, Ways to Enjoy Your Cocoa This Holiday Season

Why dangerous? Because you can barely taste the alcohol and the flavour is heavenly!

Thank you, Dave, at the Highlander Pub!

Have you ever wondered where cocoa comes from? We all know it’s from a bean. Not to be confused with the coffee bean, however. But before that? What does the bean look like before it is a bean? What does the tree look like?

It is possible that the cacao tree had been in use even before the Mayan culture, which dates back as far as 600 AD. So much more that some believe the Olmec civilization 3000 years ago first discovered the delicious fruit of these trees.

The Olmec people are presumed to originate from what is today the state Veracruz and, it’s neighbouring state, Tabasco, Mexico is where the Olmec people originate. The plant is native to in Central and South America and, today, still grows wild in Southern Mexico.

If you’ve never seen what a cocoa tree looks like, see how the cocoa pods are harvested and are turned into chocolate. First time I ever saw the true source of our chocolate bars!

In Central America? Be sure to visit the chocolate factory Hacienda La Luz.

All chocolate comes from the Theobrama cacao tree. Of this tree, there are 3 main types: Criollo, Forastero(the one with the bitter taste) and Trinitario.

Today, for National Cocoa Day, try warming up your Hot Cocoa with liqueur, if you dare!

Step 1: Make your cocoa.

Step 2: Take your pick of the following:


Frangelico, maybe even with brandy or both.

Baileys, of course. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without this.

Peppermint Schnapps or Tequila or both.

Rum and Cinnamon Liqueur.

Vanilla Vodka and Baileys.

Bittersweet hot chocolate and  red wine. Since chocolate pairs so well with red wine, why not mix them?

Coffee Liqueur.

If you’re a fan of orange-flavoured chocolate, add grand marnier.

Amaretto. Again, because of it’s orange based flavour.

As an Irish Hot Chocolate: Baileys, Whisky and Guinness.

What’s your favorite liqueur to add to your hot cocoa?

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on December 13, 2017. 


How Healthy is Lager?

Pilsner version of lager

Beer in general ranks #3 as the beverage of choice behind water and tea. 187.37 million kiloliters of beer was consumed in 2012.

The Suds

Lager is one of the main types of beer and is made from malted barley. Lagers are generally pilsners, bocks and dopplebocks, Maerzens/Oktoberfests and Dortmunders. (DAB)

Lager, a lightly hopped beer, is made from bottom fermenting yeast. It is called this because it ferments on its way through the body of the beer and settles at the bottom once the process is done.

15th Century Bavarians discovered that the beer they stored in the winter time, within caves, continued to ferment. The end result was a lighter and smoother tasting beer.

Lagers ferment and age slowly at cool temperatures from 35 degrees to 55 degrees. Chemical reactions happen more slowly at low temperatures, thus making it a more stable, cleaner, non-fruity tasting beer. No wonder more lager than ale is produced every year.

Ales ferment and age quickly at warm temperatures.

According to, lager is the beer of choice over ale all over the world except in England.

Interesting Facts

Lagerung is German for storeroom. Therefore, if you hear the term lagered in Germany, well, it was stored in Germany. Google’s literal translation for storage is Lager.

Samuel Adams began a hops sharing program due to the shortage of hops in 2008. They will regulate how much each brewery gets, to avoid the devastation of any future shortage.

Beer had taken a back seat when it came to health benefits that seem so popular with red wine. A January 2015 study at the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that xanthohumol may slow the effects of dementia and alzheimer’s. This compound, found in hops, protects brain cells from oxidative damage which contributes to the development of these diseases.

Is there truth to this or just the beer conglomerates trying to keep their beer in the forefront by grasping at any health benefit in beer?

One thing for sure, beer is the only source of this compound. So if you believe the study, you may be considering incorporating beer into your diet. Like everything else in life: moderation is the key.

Beer is brewed at the White House. In 2012, Barack Obama began brewing beer using honey taken from a bee hive on the South Lawn.

In Gelsenkirchen, Germany, there’s a five-kilometer long beer pipeline that connects the bars inside the Veltines-Arena.

Under the stadium, there is a cooling center that can hold 52,000 liters of beer. The pipeline brings the beer up to the bars, 14 liters of beer per minute. The handy creation supplies the bars and restaurants with much needed beer to accompany the soccer games.

Raise a glass of lager today!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on December 10, 2017



How Life Changed After Repeal Day

I’ll be honest, I had to look this one up. Well, I look them ALL up. I don’t have these facts running through my head at leisure. What does Repeal mean?

A hint….if you’re not sure either.

Popularly known as the Volstead Act.

Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States at the time, along with American Congress passed this Amendment, outlawing alcohol….



“SECTION 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

SECTION 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

SECTION 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.”

Used, with permission, from

Enter the Speakeasy

To it’s benefit, alcohol consumption dropped in the days, and years, following the establishment of Prohibition.

As a result, cases of deaths due to Cirrhosis, in men, decreased from 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 to 10.7 in 1929.

State mental hospitals saw a decline in admissions for alcoholic psychosis from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928.

The  arrests police made for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct dropped by 50 percent between 1916 and 1922.

Then there’s the other side….the Speakeasies. They did exist before Prohibition but skyrocketed in popularity afterwards.

Reformists believed, during the Prohibition years, there had been an increase in child neglect and violence against children.

Hmm, makes you think alcohol is a coping mechanism?

Not to mention the lost revenue! The Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform and The Association Against the Prohibition Amendment claims $861 million was lost in federal tax revenue from untaxed liquor when $40 million was spent annually on Prohibition enforcement.

 On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States. It didn’t take long for changes to be made to Prohibition….



SECTION 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

SECTION 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use there in of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

SECTION 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Just to be clear, Repeal means to revoke or annul.

Did you know there are still countries still enforcing prohibition? Apparently, outlawing alcohol in Canada didn’t really fly – it lasted only 2 years – and was implemented due to the war.

Heart & Crown on Preston St., Ottawa

Why Celebrate This Day?

First of all, be thankful, if you live in a country without prohibition, you can enjoy a glass of wine or draught in public with your friends without getting arrested.

Other holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo are not even written in the American Constitution and they are vastly celebrated. The Repeal Amendment is a part of the Constitution so enjoy…. responsibly.

The 21st Amendment allowed for the continuation of traditional fermentation and distillation, that was so rudely cut off for 17 years prior.

This catapulted the American bartender into “culinary artist” status.

If it were still outlawed, chances are you would make sure you found a way to have one today.

Exercise your right, go ahead and celebrate National Repeal Day. Have your favorite drink after work….because you can!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on December 5, 2017.

International Tempranillo Day

Scattered throughout the year are national days of many grape varieties of wine. Temprainillo is slated for today, but why?

Who made this claim? And who makes the decision on any of the years’ national day? What makes them decide on any specific day?

To my surprise I actually found the answer to this!

A wine group, called TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society), decided that every year on the second Thursday of November would be declared International Tempranillo Day. We are familiar with the word tapas as appetizer style foods, correct? This originated in Spain.

Why they chose this day is unclear. Once I have this answer, I will update.

Tempranillo grapes have been growing in the Phoenician Peninsula since 1100 BC despite the fact that this grape, today, is grown predominantly (500,000 + acres if it!) in Spain. A rather old grape!

The name comes from temprano which means early. This type of grape tends to ripen earlier than other varieties in Spain. So there lies the mystery…why is its day in November….

If you can catch Northern Spain in the fall, you’ll enjoy the change of leaf color from green to bright red. Here is where the grapes do their best. It is not a hot weathered grape.

The Flavour of Tempranillo

If you are wondering whether you will enjoy a glass of this wine, keep in mind these tips:

This medium to full bodied variety of grape tends to produce a dark red wine that is low in sugar and acid.

Flavours may include cherry, vanilla, dried fig, cedar, tobacco, and dill.

Oaked or Un-Oaked

Many versions are unoaked. If you are sensitive to oaked wines, tempranillo is a great option.

Since it is un-oaked, go ahead and chill it in the fridge before serving. It will be very refreshing for the summertime.

A Few Examples of Un-Oaked Tempranillo

Chain Bridge Cellars

Vin Joven

El Jefe

Luis Alegre  Rioja Alavesa

It is the end of the weekend when this wine is celebrated, unfortunately, but the good news is another one will come around next year. When it does, take the Lodi Tempranillo Tour in California.

Please note, Tempranillo can be enjoyed year round, not just today!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on November 12, 2017.