Benjamin Caro

Snowshoeing at Rabbit Ears Pass, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Have you ever been snowshoeing? I bet you have.

You’ve trampled over wads of plants before while on a hike through the forest, veering off the path to check out a view or, you know, pee. Remember the feeling of buoyancy from the plants lifting your shoes off the ground? Essentially, snowshoeing is this. Snowshoeing is hiking when the forest is covered in snow, when you’re actually supposed to hike off of the path as opposed to on it, and when you’ve got freakishly cumbersome duck feet strapped to your legs.

My mother, sister and a bunch of friends showed up to Ski Haus in Steamboat Springs to rent some of the flipper-like contraptions. Upon the $10 fee, the clerk threw at us whichever pairs happened to be on the wall, a colorful array of shapes and sizes. My mom was a little concerned at this since apparently at REI they sized the snowshoe renters particularly, making note of height and width (Generally, taller ones are for men, shorter for women). I looked down at my pink-hued feet and thought about where the nearest REI was.

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Farmers tap the pajarete fountain.

Farmers tap the pajarete fountain.

After learning about the modest parajete, a rustic yet legendarily sumptuous concoction of instant coffee, cocoa, sugar, tequila, and unpasteurized frothy cow milk (squeezed straight from the udder to a cup), I was inspired by Mexican farmers’ use of booze to get their usual morning energy boost. With starch squarely in crosshairs, high protein buzz foods like egg-whites, spinach, and chicken breast are the usual go-to breakfast recommendations health writers tend to recommend, so it was damn cool to hear about these farmers, whose workdays are eight times as taxing, skipping the protein and heading straight for sugar, caffeine, alcohol and, of course, warm, raw fat. Here’s an awesomely DIY video of the process complete with killer rock soundtrack. Squirt away, guys:

I wanted to know where else in history has booze kickstarted the day. After some snooping, I uncovered monks, soldiers and even cold, impoverished (and maybe lucky) children who used some combination of drink to wake themselves up in the morning. Check out the LA Weekly article to get some ideas for tomorrow morning:

Karsk
“Put a coin in a cup. Pour on coffee till you can no longer see the coin. Pour on alcohol till you can see the coin again.” These were the instructions used by the residents in the Norwegian Bohuslän district as early as 1795 to make one of the most popular drinks of the time. Russian moonshine is traditionally used because of the small amount of aftertaste, but it’s also drunk with vodka. The name comes from the Old Norse adjective karskr, meaning healthy, vigorous or agile, the three things most of us won’t be if we follow the recipe literally.

More booze here.

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