Thursday, 27 December 2012

Top 10 ultimate barcodes

There are many innovative ways that barcodes are being used, from coded coins to edible QR codes on top of cupcakes. Even when it comes to the barcode’s typical use on products, there’s room for fun with humorous shapes instead of the usual rectangle or square.

Thanks to smartphone technology, QR codes can be scanned and take consumers to a company’s website. There are even virtual stores that use barcodes on images of products to create a new shopping experience!

Take a look at the top 10 ultimate barcode designs and uses below, from edible QR codes to barcode artwork.


Barcodes in the shape of products

Although most of us are familiar with rectangular barcodes, they can in fact be designed in any shape. These ‘vanity barcodes’ still scan as normal, but add extra marketing and fun to a product.

Ironic barcode shapes

The use of decorative barcodes can provide laughs through ironic pairing of product and code shape. For example, a barcode in the shape of a cow could be placed on the packaging of beef burgers! Companies such as South East Labels are experts in the creation of interesting barcodes.

Using a company such as this will enable you to create your own custom barcode labels so that you can come up with something truly individual.

Barcode art

Street artists including Banksy take the idea of barcodes as decoration to the next level. Using spray paint, they create barcode-based designs on public walls to make those passing by stop and look.

QR Street Art

Montages made of barcodes

There are also barcode artists such as Scott Blake who use the black and white lines in a montage to create portraits. Blake uses barcodes from relevant products, like his portrait of Andy Warhol made from barcodes from Campbell's Soup cans.

QR codes linking to URLs

QR codes are now a big part of advertising thanks to smartphones. QR code scanner apps send the user to a URL that could be the company’s website or a page about that particular product.

Virtual stores

There are now virtual stores where you can scan codes on 2D pictures of the products you want to order. A famous example is a Tesco (Homeplus) in a subway station in South Korea.

Edible codes

Taking the idea of barcodes and shopping further, companies like Clever Cupcakes have made edible images of QR codes that link to their website when scanned by a smartphone before being eaten!

QR cupcakes

Barcodes in wheatfields

Creative types with access to a big field and a combine harvester can be inspired by semacodes to present a new straight-line take on the crop circle.

Business card barcodes

A traditional business card provides contact information including an email address and telephone number that you have to input manually into your phone contacts list. Thanks to barcodes, you can just scan it and all of the details will automatically upload, eliminating the possibility of mistakes.

Coded coins

Even money can be a surface for a barcode! The Royal Dutch Mint issued the first coin with a QR code in June 2011 to celebrate its current building’s centennial. The code linked to a website all about the special coin.

Useful links

Barcode birthday
The BBC marks the barcode patent’s 60th anniversary.

QR readers
The Guardian’s review of QR scanner apps.

Banksy barcode art
The Telegraph’s article on the street artist.

Monday, 5 November 2012

The top 10 things you can learn from French people

There are so many things about the French way of life which those from other nations envy. Some, such as their excellent food and wine, are well known. Others, such as their good work/life balance, are less recognised.

Many people dream of living in France or achieving a more French way of life. For some it’s the language – choosing to stay in the country to study languages with ESL Language Studies Abroad or another study provider is a dream holiday. Others appreciate French cultural offerings, from art to literature.

But what are the top 10 things which we could learn from the French?

1. How to achieve work/life balance

According to the uSwitch Quality of Life Index 2011, those living in France have an average of 36 days holiday per year. This compares with the UK’s 28 days and the US workers lack of holiday entitlement under Federal Law.

2. Great family life

Although paternity and maternity leave is organised along similar lines to other European countries with mothers due longer paid leave than fathers, in France parental leave is available. Either parent can take a length of time off work and still be able to return to their job once the child is old enough.

This makes planning for the family more fair, and enables women or men to take responsibility for child care depending on the family’s situation.

3. Starting the day

Unlike the heavy British or American breakfast, the first meal of the day in France is lighter and more delicious. The range of pains available for breakfast are impressive, including baguettes, croissants and croissants flavoured with chocolate, raisins or other fruit.

4. Effortless style

Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior. French fashion is famous the world over and French men and women, especially in urban centres such as Paris and Lyon, are known for their seemingly effortless style.

5. Making cinema

From the eyrie proto-sci-fi narratives of Georges Méliès to the kooky exploits of Amelie, French cinema takes an innovative and forward-thinking approach. Film-making in France has impacted upon the medium worldwide.

6. Atmospheric cities

Paris features as a cultural reference point for film, literature, arts and music, and no other city can compete with its scenic views. Other French cities similarly touched with a certain je ne sais quoi include: Avignon, Lyon and Dijon.

7. Not dieting

Books such as Why French Women Don’t Get Fat explain the sense of balance which French people have when it comes to eating. Food is not seen as guilt-inspiring, but instead small measures, such as eating a lighter lunch after a heavy breakfast, keep weight in balance. This is a far cry from the extreme diets of other cultures.

8. Greeting people

If you meet up with a French person you are close to, you are likely to faire la bise, or share several kisses on the cheeks. Depending upon the region, you may repeat the gesture up to four times.

9. Delis and patisseries

Those visiting or going to study French in France for the first time often stare wide-eyed into the windows of delicatessen and patisseries at the intricately created delicacies inside. French strawberry tarts are like no other.

10. Regional loyalty

They love all things French in France; a vital part of French culture is to take pride in preserving the French language, customs and history.

But loyalty to a local region is also important. In rural towns, markets stock produce from local producers and shoppers always choose regional goods, such as cheeses, vegetables and meats.

There’s a reason that French culture is envied the world over. We could all do with living a little more like French people from time to time.

Useful links

The history of French cinema
A short history of French cinema on the Guardian

Gestures for each situation
Never embarrass yourself again – here are the top 10 French gestures

French strawberry tart
Cook your own French strawberry tart with this recipe

Friday, 2 November 2012

Top ten things to pack for your travels


Getting everything packed into your suitcase can be a stressful affair. This article offers tips on ways to save space and money while you pack for travels.

From books to toiletries, there always seem to be too many items to fit into one suitcase. We often pack a lot of things that we never end up using without taking some of the most essential items. Here are the top ten things to take on your travels.

1. Luggage scale


Overweight luggage fees can really swallow up your budget so make sure you avoid extra charges by packing a luggage scale and weighing your bag before you leave for the airport.

2. Sunscreen lotion

If you are jetting off to somewhere sunny then sun lotion is a must. Shop around for a deal in your local high street because sun block sold in tourist shops is often really expensive.

3. Compression sacks

One way to lower your checked in baggage weight is to put heavy items into your hand luggage bag and to stuff as many clothes as possible into your suitcase. Compression sacks help you to create space by eliminating any air surrounding your items.

4. E-reader

If you have a bunch of books that you want to get through while you are away then you are definitely better off saving space by investing in an E-reader. Instead of dragging around hefty hardbacks you can just slip your lightweight reader into your hand luggage.

 5. Snacks

Airport shops can be pretty expensive and not all flights will provide you with complimentary food so make sure you take a trip to the supermarket before you leave to stock up on some of your favourite snacks.

6. Empty water bottle

Bottled water sold at airports is overpriced but you are bound to want some for your flight. Save money by packing an empty water bottle in your bag which you can then fill up at a water fountain when you pass through security.

7. Travel-sized containers

Travel sized products are a rip-off, but you probably don’t want to take all of your full-sized toiletries on holiday with you. Solution: buy empty travel-sized containers and fill them with your favourite products.

8. Security bags

You want to make sure your belongings are safe so invest in a padlock for your backpack and a secret pouch that you can wear under your clothing to hold your passport and money in.

9. A VoIP adapter

It is important to work out how you will keep in touch with loved ones back home, especially if you are planning on travelling for a while. A voice over IP adapter is an easy way to connect to a broadband connection allowing you to make cheap calls home.

Click here for more information on low rate VoIP.

10. A camera

An essential for your trip is a decent camera. Instead of spending all your money on postcards and expensive souvenirs you can take meaningful photos of your time away. Take plenty of pictures so that you can make a scrapbook or album of your favourite memories when you get back home.

Everyone over-packs and you are bound to end up taking something away on your travels that you won’t use, but by using these tips you will create more room in your luggage and so that you won’t be hit with hidden charges at check-in.

Resource box
Traveller’s Point has an article on 21 tips to help you pack for a trip.
This website offers information on what pack if you’re going on a long-term trip.
Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum enables you to swap tips and advice with other travellers.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Top 10 winter holiday destinations from Sun to Snow



1. Tunisia


Tunisia is has a variety of lovely beaches with modern hotels along the beach side. Temperatures peaking at 20 degrees in November, what better way to spend your winter?

2. Australia


When it’s turning cold in England, Australia is doing quite the opposite. They have a wide variety of different beaches and busy City’s to visit, perfect place for some winter sun.

3. Tenerife


Tenerife which is one of the 7 Canary Islands, just off of Spain peaks at 19 degrees during the winter months. It attracts thousands of tourists each year with beautiful sandy beaches.

4. Jamaica


Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean Sea, during the winter season it peaks at an amazing 29 degrees. If you want a baking winter then Jamaica is the best place for it!

5. Thailand


Thailand’s reaches 28 degrees in November which is another scorching temperature. It has a wide range of beach resorts to choose from I can’t think of a better place if you’re want a hotter winter.



 6. Finland

Finland reaches a freezing -5 Degrees in the winter months, guaranteed lots of snow and ice! It is also a perfect location if you want to go skiing or Snowboarding.

7. Switzerland


Switzerland is known for its snow during the winter which also provides tourists with all the typical winter sports. The temperatures get down to a freezing -11 degrees, so best wrap up warm!

8. Bulgaria


Borovets in Bulgaria is another freezing destination to visit this winter, they have lots of different Ski resorts to choose from.

9. French Alps


There have a variety of different snowy activities that take place in the French Alps from snowboarding to snowshoeing, perfect for winter fun.

10. Alaska, Prudhoe Bay, USA


Prudhoe Bay reaches the coldest temperatures out of the whole of the state, with the lowest of -27 degrees! If you want a freezing winter this is the place to go, but make sure you wrap up warm!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

10 of Many Ways to Save Money

We all know that the cost of life isn't getting cheaper and that the state of crisis is making it hard for many to live comfortably. There are ways to save money though without making drastic changes in your everyday life.

Get rid of the unused and useless
Check around your house if you have anything that you don't need and that is using electricity, costing you money in any way or could be sold. This could simply be insurance for items that are not worth it anymore, or items that are taking the dust in the cupboard.

Reduce your electricity bill
Start by switching off all the appliance that are on stand-by, and change your old light bulbs by energy saving ones if you haven't done it yet. Turn off any lights and appliances in your house that are not necessary.

Shop intelligent
Take some time when shopping for food to choose the cheapest product by comparing the cost per kilo. Own supermarket brands are usually a good choice without compromising on quality. Only buy what you need even if an offer seems too good to miss.

Haggle when renewing insurances
Sometimes, calling the insurance at the time of renewing instead of opting for the automatic option can save you a few quids. If you have time, shop around for the best deals.

Cycle or walk

Cutting down on public transport use can save you a lot as well as providing you with healthy exercise. You can probably walk or cycle to work or to the train station instead of taking the bus.

Work out at home
You don't always need a gym to stay fit and there are plenty of exercises that you can do at home with a pair of dumbbells. Instead of spending hours on a treadmill, go for a run into your nearest park, or join a running group.

Go to the library
Why buying books, CDs and DVDs when you can borrow them for free in your local library? You can also read the newspaper there.

Stick to digital TV channels

Most of us don't need hundreds of extra TV channels than the ones on Freeview. If you want to watch sports, a pint down the pub will cost you less than a subscription.

Cook instead of eating out

Cooking your own meals will cost you less than buying ready ones or going out. It will also be healthier. Think of having your friends over for dinner and ask everyone to bring something, it'll be fun, more convivial and cheaper than a restaurant.

Take holidays at home
Sometimes, you don't need to go far to find a great place to spend holidays. There are surely many parts of the country you leave in that you don't know yet and are worth a visit.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The top 10 drinks

This list of drinks is going to be a bit curious because I’ve carried out a selection those drinks which don’t exactly quench your thirst, but you’ll love to have them in summer.

The first is, of course, the most famous drink in the world, Beer. There are lots and lots of types of beer: malt, lager, bitter, organic, wheat, dark, mild, etc. and you love to have them very cold and, if possible, accompanied with fries!

Pimms is one of the most popular English drinks. It was created as a digestive and the drink contains 25% alcohol. It’s made by a secret combination of herbs; it’s ideal to be combined with slices of lime, orange and various fruits.

A similar Pimms drink is the well-known Spanish drink called Sangría. You’ve probably heard various ways to make it because it depends on the region of Spain and overall the person who makes it. But you can mix (cheap) wine, lemonade, pieces of fruit (apple, orange, lemon and lime), martini, sugar and lots of ice cubes.

Iced tea is very refreshing and is a very good option to be had in the evenings or when you have had a swim and you do not want to drink water. The most famous is the green tea but there are many flavours such as lime, peach, passion fruit, lemon, etc.

One of the best non-alcoholic drinks is cola drinks. There are lots of different brands which produce this kind of drink. I’m sure you have your favourite- and then if you’re served another brand you drink it with dissatisfaction. In this category I would include the rest of sparkling drinks.

Mojito, if you go to South America I am sure every person will tell you that the origin of this cocktail is from his/her country. To be honest, it doesn’t matter. The matter here is when you drink it and taste it, because you will never have enough with just one glass. It’s made with white rum, sugar cane, soda or lemonade, lime juice, some mint leaves and crushed ice.

The Piña colada is another well-known cocktail. It was created in Puerto Rico and is very very sweet made with rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice.

The origin of the Mai Tai cocktail is American. It is a drink which mixes some spirit drinks, so do not drink it too fast because you can get drunk very quick. It is based on aged rum, curaçao liqueur, Cointreau and lime juice.

Pink Lemonade is a non-alcoholic drink made with pomegranate and lemon juice, water, sugar and crushed ice.

And finally, the Gin and Tonic. Despite the fact it’s the last one, it does not mean it’s the worst because I love to have it when I am in a club or just after lunch accompanied with close friends. There are lots and lots of brands and ways to have this drink. One of my favourites is with pieces of cucumber- very refreshing.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The 10 best spots for a spot of voluntourism

A voluntourist is the name given to those who choose volunteering as a way to explore an overseas destination. By working with, and living in, the local community the volunteer can really get to know the country, its culture and its people. All the countries listed below offer heaps of volunteering opportunities whether they be law internships, medical placements, volunteer teaching, work on environmental projects or work in social and community projects. Here are the reasons why – other than the stimulating and rewarding work – volunteers are heading to these 10 voluntourism hot spots.

1.       Brazil

Brazil is a country of unbelievable geographical, cultural and economic diversity. Contrasts abound, typified by the majesty of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the misery of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas below. The city’s cultural diversity is showcased in the famous carnival but Brazil also offers great sandy beaches, stunning cloud-topped mountains, pristine rainforests, plains, savannahs and the mighty Amazon River.

2.       Vietnam

If the hustle and bustle of Hanoi does not hold you then Ba Vi National Park offers plenty of chances to take in panoramic views, seek out wildlife and hike in splendid isolation. Vietnam also has some truly chilled beach spots such as those on the island of Phu Quoc.

3.       Nepal

Nepal is the ideal location for those who love adventure and the outdoors. There are plenty of opportunities for activities like white water rafting and extreme mountain biking. It is undoubtedly the lure of Mount Everest and the opportunities to trek in its foothills that draws many volunteers to Nepal.

4.       Mongolia

Mongolia appeals for its remoteness and difference. Around a third of Mongolians belong to nomadic herding tribes living a life unchanged for centuries. With natural sights ranging from bio-diverse mountains to the evocative wilderness of the Gobi desert, Mongolia is a great place for those who love to get away from it all.

5.       Moldova

Moldova is a small, beautiful country where Romanian and Russian influences mingle. It is like stepping back in time to when life was lived slower, people were friendlier, food was organic and the countryside unspoilt. Whitewashed homes, sunflower filled fields, inviting caves and serene lakes are all part of its many attractions.

6.       Burma

With the lifting of the tourism boycott in 2011, now is an ideal time to discover this previously hidden country. Make sure to visit Burma’s relatively unknown Angkor Wat at Bagan where there are more than 4000 evocative historic Buddhist temples.

7.       Sri Lanka

While for many looking to volunteer India springs to mind it is worthwhile considering Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka offers palm-fringed beaches, tea plantations, deliciously sweet mangos and rickshaws in abundance. Much smaller in scale and more manageable than India, the island is an increasingly popular choice.

8.       Bolivia

Bolivia lies at the heart of South America but a long way off the tourist trail. There are opportunities to trek in the Andes, relax by the shores of Lake Titicaca, visit volcanoes and salt lakes, or explore the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin – all of which you will be able to do far away from the tourist crowds.

9.       Samoa

This laid back South Pacific island is for those who love palm-fringed white sand beaches and diving or snorkelling opportunities aplenty.

10.   Jamaica

Lovers of reggae can make a pilgrimage to where it all began and try and grasp the cultural and social forces that led to its creation whilst they get to grips with the patois and language of the Jamaicans.

Resource Box
No list can be exhaustive so here are some other ideas to consider.
Find out more about the hidden delights of Burma.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

10 ways to make a date in London amazing

If you’re heading to London for a romantic date with your partner or new love you will find oodles of things to do. But with so much choice how can you make the best of your time together and enjoy the city too? Here is a guide to the top ten ways to make your London date amazing. 

1. Walk

Forget the crowds and sweat of the tube, the best way to get around London is on foot. Walking through new areas will heighten your sense of adventure and give you and your date a chance to explore side streets and squares together.

2. Head to the river

The Thames is a big silt-filled river at the best of times, but a stroll along its banks can be a romantic way to take a rest from the crowds of the city. Head to the South Bank for picturesque views of St Paul’s and the city, or further out to places such as Richmond for country charm.

3. Hampstead Heath

Pack a picnic and your swimsuit in summer and head to the heath for a romantic walk through nature. This expanse of rolling heathland and woods is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with someone special.

4. The National Gallery

This central museum located on Trafalgar Square is an art haven in the centre of the capital. Entrance to the permanent exhibitions is free and there is plenty to explore. Stand next to your love match in front of a Turner and let the sparks fly.

5. Half-price restaurants

Taking your time over a romantic meal makes any date intimate and London has such a wide variety of eateries to choose from. London dating can be expensive if you plan to eat out several times a week. But there are many websites that offer discounted meals, so book in advance and enjoy half-price dining with all the flair of a top-notch restaurant.

6. Hire a Boris Bike

For the active dater who wants to explore the city further than is possible on foot, there is another way. Grab a Boris bike from one of the many blue hire stations inside central London and cycle around the city. 

7. Borough Market

Foodies will have a ball at this long-established farmer’s market that buzzes with London charm. Take your date on a tour of the market and sample international culinary delights along the way.

8. The Monument

For a cheaper and less crowded aerial view of the city, head up the Monument on the north side of London Bridge. For £2 you can climb the 311 steps to the top and enjoy spectacular views over the city.

9. Regent’s Park

Of all of London’s central parks the most romantic and wild is arguable Regent’s park. Once inside the park grounds the air seems to freshen, and as sounds of London Zoo resonate around you, it is easy to let your imagination run free and get lost with your partner.

10. Plan ahead

It’s great to be spontaneous, but when it comes to a date in London, planning is the key to success. It’s no fun wandering about waiting for something to happen. For dating tips you can follow the eHarmony UK Twitter profile for the latest info. Then decide where it is you want to go, and once your there, who knows what could occur!

Resource box
Urban walking guide for iPhone users
The Regent’s Park
A guide to the popular park
Taste card
Half-price dining deals

Friday, 1 June 2012

Top 10 tips for investing

To ensure that money makes a good return, investors need to do their homework. Use these 10 pointers as a guide to making wise investment decisions.

Conventional wisdom says that a fool and his money are soon parted. While most investors could hardly be called fools, that doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to making regrettable decisions – especially those new to investing. To avoid expensive errors, consider these 10 points before assigning any money.

1. Assign a fixed amount
Decide how much you have to invest and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to spend more money if an investment goes awry.
2. Gauge your level of risk
The level of risk indicates the potential for money to be both made and lost. People who are investing in order to make money should choose relatively ‘safe’ options such as ISAs or bonds issued by the government, known as index-linked gilts. Those with money to play with can take the greater risks associated with stocks and shares – and potentially reap greater returns.
3. Diversify
Like eggs, investments should not all be put in one basket. A diversified portfolio reduces risk. Investors can manually invest in a number of different areas or sign up to something like a global equity fund, which will do it for them.
4. Keep calm
Make all investment decisions rationally. Seek second opinions on any advice you may receive.

5. Understand what you’re investing in

If you’re investing in a company, make sure you understand how that company works and what it does. Simply throwing money at a business that vaguely seems to be doing something interesting isn’t investing, it’s speculating. Buying shares is effectively buying a piece of the company, so do your research – reading its annual report is a good start.
6. Avoid fads
The investment industry is susceptible to fads like any other. For the first-time investor, these fads are best avoided. By the time news of a money-making certainty has reached the level of the masses, it will be anything but a certainty.

7. Understand pricing
You should always check the recent price performance of any share you are thinking of investing in. However, just looking at the fluctuations is meaningless in itself – you must understand why any changes have happened. Check the news to see how industry or management changes may have affected the company.
8. Set limits
Decide on a target profit for shares and sell them when this is reached. Similarly, set a maximum loss to dictate at what point to sell loss-making shares. This technique can help prevent novice investors from making large losses.

9. Respect the stalwarts
While investing in a start-up may seem glamorous, the chances are that it won’t be the next Big Thing. With their lack of demonstrable abilities, start-ups may have the potential for high returns, but they also have the potential for failure. Large companies with proven track records are far safer bets.
10. Make use of available tools
There are numerous tools available that can help investors reduce risk. For example, software available from can be used for portfolio construction, factor modelling and risk reporting.

Image sources (1,2)

Resource box
The beginner’s guide to investment
Expert opinion on the best investments for 2012
Preview of investment guru Warren Buffett’s annual letter

Monday, 21 May 2012

10 Types of Coffee

Who doesn’t like the intense coffee flavour? You have probably tasted some different types of coffee but I’m sure that you would like to try more and more. Coffee is an experience of different textures, colours and flavours.

It represents the most intense type of coffee flavour. It is the original one and if you are brave it can be served without sugar. But if not, please, don’t sweeten it too much because it may lose its essential bitterness.

Caffé Latte
It is a typical French coffee. It is prepared with an espresso and a generous amount of steamed milk. Some people like with a bit of milk foam and others prefer without it.

Caffé Mocha
It is a variant of caffé latte. It is made with an espresso, steamed milk and chocolate syrup with milk foam over the top.

It is probably the most famous Italian coffee. Although it can be made in different ways, not everybody makes a good one. Once you have added the coffee and the steamed milk, it is very important to create very solid milk foam; this is the essence of this coffee. Then you can add a little cinnamon or chocolate powdered topping.

Although carajillo (Spanish coffee) and correto (Italian coffe) are not exactly the same, they would be in the same category. Correto is an espresso sprayed with liquor such as grappa or cognac.  Carajillo is a large espresso sprayed with liquor (the most known is cognac or brandy but with whisky or rum is also fine) as well but with a very important difference. First, put sugar and the liquor in a small crystal glass. Burn the liquor and remove it with a spoon until the flame was disappeared. Then, add the coffee. Put a cinnamon steak and a little slice of lemon.

Irish Coffee
Put hot black coffee into a mug and then serve the Irish whiskey in there with a little amount of brown sugar (better than white sugar) and mix all together. Finally, gradually add a layer of cream with the spoon, without mixing with the coffee.

Granita Caffé
It is a cold espresso. Once you have prepared the coffee let it cold in the fridge. Once it is cold mix it with a glass of crushed ice cubes. Add sugar to taste.

Café Sour
It is prepared with Kalua, a Mexican coffee liquor. Mix sugar, lemon juice, a beaten egg white, crushed ice cubes and liquor in a whisky sour glass.

It is a cold drink and it has to be served in a large glass. It is made in various different forms. In a blender combine cold milk with ice cubes, vanilla ice cream, coffee and a bit of chocolate and mixture well blended. It is a delicious combination to be had in summer.

Passion me
It is a coffee originated by the Spanish chef and the coffee brand Lavazza in 2002. It is made by an espresso, maracuyá juice, crushed ice cubes and topped with some mint leaves. Add sugar to taste.