London Just Got Its First Whiskey Vending Machine

Whisky-Me
Whisky-Me

Guests at London's Napoleon Hotel don’t need to wait for a bartender to order a quality Scotch; they can order it from the vending machine. As Lonely Planet reports, the hotel now has a single-malt whiskey vending machine courtesy of Whisky-Me, a whiskey subscription service.

Whisky-Me was launched by the founders of Black Rock, a whiskey bar located in the Napoleon Hotel. Each month, subscribers receive a roughly 1.7-ounce pouch of rare or exclusive single malt Scotch in the mail for as low as $9 each. But between now and the end of December, you don't have to be a subscriber to get a taste of the action. Just hit up the vending machine at the hotel instead.

Whiskey pouches in the vending machine
Whisky-Me

The machine is set up just outside the hotel, but you won't be able to swing by and get a shot at any moment. (Because, you know, someone has to check your ID.) You'll need to go upstairs to Devil's Darlings, one of the Napoleon's other bars, and purchase a vending machine token. Then, once you have your tokens, you can grab a pouch anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. each day.

The Whisky-Me vending machine under an awning outside the Napoleon Hotel
Whisky-Me

The whiskeys on offer include a special "birthday" variety designed to celebrate the subscription service's first anniversary, as well as some of the previous whiskeys sent out to Whisky-Me subscribers. That includes single malt Scotches from producers like Macallan (which produces Speyside whiskeys), Royal Lochnagar (a Highland distillery), and Aberfeldy (another Highland distillery).

A single-malt Scotch pouch and vending machine tokens
Whisky-Me

Sounds a little more exciting than your average hotel minibar, doesn't it?

[h/t Lonely Planet]

Why Do Hangovers Get Worse As You Get Older?

iStock/OcusFocus
iStock/OcusFocus

“I just can’t drink like I used to” is a common refrain among people pushing 30 and beyond. This is roughly the age when it starts getting harder to bounce back from a night of partying, and unfortunately, it keeps getting harder from there on out.

Even if you were the keg flip king or queen in college, consuming the same amount of beer at 29 that you consumed at 21 will likely have you guzzling Gatorade in bed the next day. It’s true that hangovers tend to worsen with age, and it’s not just because you have a lower alcohol tolerance from going out less. Age affects your body in various ways, and the way you process alcohol is one of them.

Because your body interprets alcohol as poison, your liver steps in to convert it into different chemicals that are easier to break down and eliminate from your body. As you get older, though, your liver produces less of the enzymes and antioxidants that help metabolize alcohol, according to a study from South Korea. One of these enzymes—called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)— has been called the “primary defense” against alcohol. It kicks off the multi-step process of alcohol metabolization by turning the beer or booze—or whatever you imbibed—into a chemical compound called acetaldehyde. Ironically, this substance is even more toxic than your tipple of choice, and a build-up of acetaldehyde can cause nausea, palpitations, and face flushing. It usually isn’t left in this state for long, though.

Another enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) helps convert the bad toxin into a new substance called acetate, which is a little like vinegar. Lastly, it’s converted into carbon dioxide or water and expelled from your body. You’ve probably heard the one-drink-per-hour recommendation, which is roughly how long it takes for your liver to complete this whole process.

So what does this mean for occasional drinkers whose mid-20s have come and gone? To summarize: As your liver enzymes diminish with age, your body becomes less efficient at metabolizing alcohol. The alcohol lingers longer in your body, leading to prolonged hangover symptoms like headaches and nausea.

This phenomenon can also partly be explained by the fact that our bodies tend to lose muscle and water over time. People with more body fat don’t break down alcohol as well, and less water in your body means that the booze stays concentrated in your system longer, The Cut reports. This is one of the reasons why women, who tend to have a higher body fat percentage than men, often suffer worse hangovers than their male counterparts. (Additionally, women have fewer ADH enzymes.)

More depressingly, as you get older, your immune system deteriorates through a process called immunosenescence. This means that recovering from anything—hangovers included—is more challenging with age. "When we get older, our whole recovery process for everything we do is harder, longer, and slower," gastroenterologist Mark Welton told Men’s Health.

This may seem like a buzzkill, but we're not telling you to put down the pint. However, if you're going to drink, just be aware of your body’s limitations. Shots of cotton candy-flavored vodka were a bad idea in college, and they’re an especially bad idea now. Trust us.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

Planters Is Now Making Peanut-Flavored Beer

Noon Whistle Brewing
Noon Whistle Brewing

If you grab a handful of bar nuts every time you order a beer, Planters wants to save you a step. As Thrillist reports, their appropriately-named Mr. IPA-Nut combines the flavor of honey-roasted peanuts with hoppy pale ale.

A collaboration with the Noon Whistle Brewing company, the special beer marks Planters' first-ever foray into the craft brewing world. Despite the punny name, this beer is no joke: It's made with wakatu and citra hops, making for a salty-sweet-bitter flavor profile that should appeal to some serious beer aficionados.

"Mr. IPA-Nut delivers a citrus aroma and a hint of honey-roasted peanuts, all followed by a slightly salty finish that makes every sip worth savoring," Noon Whistle Brewing writes in a press release.

Picking up a pack of the special-edition beer won't be easy for everyone: Starting October 26, it's only available at select beer and liquor stores in Illinois and at the Noon Whistle Brewery in Lombard. If you can't make it to Illinois, check out these other unusual brews sold around the world.

[h/t Thrillist]

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