5 Things to Do With Your Cocktail Besides Drink It

You'll be amazed by these brilliant ways alcohol can enhance your life—without leaving you hungover the next morning


After-work relaxer, social lubricant, truth serum-booze has always been more than just a beverage. But the main ingredient in alcohol, ethanol, has a ton of clever, more out-there uses you may never have heard of. Even non-drinkers have plenty of reasons to start making regular trips to the liquor store to stock up on the stuff. Check out these five creative ways you can enjoy hard liquor, wine, and beer, all with absolutely zero chance of developing a hangover.

1. Take a red wine bath. It might seem criminal to fill up a bathtub with Cabernet Sauvignon and let high-quality wine mix with your sweat and grime. But vinotherapy, as it's technically called, supposedly has real health benefits: Immersing yourself in red grape polyphenols reportedly combats free radical damage and keeps skin healthy. New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire is a fan; he recently Instagrammed a photo of himself soaking away in what he called his "recovery bath."

2. Clean your house with vodka. Making a 50-50 mixture of plain water and vodka in a spray bottle gives you an all-natural remedy for polishing glass, chrome, and ceramic fixtures, getting rid of kitchen grime and bathroom soap scum, and even removing stains.

3. Wash your hair with beer. Here's an argument for keeping a six-pack in your shower caddy: for centuries, women have washed and conditioned their manes with this byproduct of barley-a grain that contains B vitamins and minerals and can reportedly make hair shinier. Exactly how much brew to use isn't clear, but keep it to a minimum, since alcohol can be drying and you don't want to smell like a dive bar.

4. Give yourself a martini manicure. Cold weather can be harsh on your hands. But soaking them for a few minutes in a martini made with a splash (again, not too much, since alcohol is drying) of vodka, lime juice, and sugar will exfoliate, cleanse, and nurture nails, so they're ready for a coat of your favorite polish.

5. Brighten your locks with champagne. If the lighter tones in your hair are looking a little washed out yet you don't feel like dropping by a salon, pop open some bubbly. Pour a cup of the sparkling stuff over your just-washed and conditioned hair, comb through, then leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, and rinse. It's a trick colorists say works just as well as a salon touch up.

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