Christmas dinners in Europe

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Soup, seafood, nougat and cava will be present in many Spanish tables this Christmas, but what usually eat and drink during the Christmas dinners in the rest of Europe? Let’s do a review of some of them. Take note if you want to incorporate some dishes into your menus!

Christmas dinners in England

As you already know, in Anglo-Saxon countries there are plenty of sweets and desserts, therefore, at Christmas puddings of different flavours with seasonal fruits are common, in addition to ginger cookies that can be decorated with Christmas designs and cakes as the Yule log. But before, the English eat roast turkey accompanied by side dishes such as potatoes. To drink, as is often quite cold, Mulled Wine is a tradition, being a hot wine with sugar and other spices.

Christmas dinners in Belgium

Turkey is repeated to eat at Christmas dinner, and sweets run through the holidays. During the dinner is usually eaten a dessert made with cream, in addition to the special and differently flavoured Belgian chocolates. Champagne and wine from France or Italy are the preferred drinks for Belgians.

Christmas dinners in Italy

Christmas dinner in Italy mix capon and turkey with different types of fish. The dessert is known worldwide: panettone and pandoro. Besides Italian D.O. wines to drink, it is also frequent the mulled wine and fruits.

Christmas dinners in Sweden

In the countries of northern Europe drinks also must be hot, so the Swedes drink julmust, with malt and hops, in addition to delicious fish, ham, chocolate candy and gingerbread cookies.

Christmas dinners in Germany

The combination of dishes is rich, so we can find lamb, duck and fish. As in other countries, it’s usually a family dinner, in which each member receives dishes with fruits and varied sweets. And mulled wine, which in this case is a mixture of red wine, lemon, cinnamon, cloves or other spices, and sugar. Besides champagne, also not lacking in the German Christmas tables.

Christmas dinners in Spainn

Seafood, fish, soups, Iberic ham have always a highlighted place in Christmas dinners, and so have sweets. The so-called “turrones”, also known as Nougat (a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts, whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit) are equally important in Christmas dinners, as much as wine and sparkling wines.

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial:  a sparkling wine from Champagne DO of the best of pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes and 12,5º of alcohol strength.

 

 

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger Brut Réserve: a wine sparkling with DO Champagne a based on pinot noir and pinot meunier and 12.5º of alcohol. 

 

 

4 cocktails to warm you during Christmas

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Inevitably, the cold season is here, and what better than to take sit by the side of the chimney with a rich and strong drink, especially during Christmas. Here we give you 4 recipes for drinks that surely will chase the cold out of your body.

1. Winter Sun

Ingredients:

  • 60ml of mandarin juice
  • 15ml of lemon juice
  • 1 part triple dry (Cointreau)
  • 45ml of Vodka
  • Sugar to taste
  • A spig of rosemary

Preparation

  1. Pour the tangerine and lemon juices into an ice-free shaker.
  2. Add the vodka and triple dry and shake very well.
  3. Take a large glass and frost the edge with the help of some tangerine juice and sugar.
  4. Serve the mixture in the frosted glass and garnish with the rosemary.

2. Rothes Original

Ingredients:

  • 6 cl. Of The Glenrothes Select Reserve
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or gingerbread sugar to give it a spicy touch
  • 2 cl. Of dulce de leche
  • 1 drop of vanilla essence
  • ½ lime juice
  • 1 cl. Of liquid caramel

Preparation:

  1. Introduce all ingredients in a shaker with a little ice and shake very well until a homogeneous and fresh mixture.
  2. Serve in a low glass without ice.
  3. You can decorate the surface with a little-whipped cream.

3. Punch of Granada and Champagne

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of pomegranate juice
  • 1 pear nectar
  • ¼ orange liqueur
  • 1 bottle of champagne

Preparation:

  1. Take a large pitcher and pour in the pomegranate juice, the pear nectar and the orange liqueur.
  2. Shake well to mix and then pour the champagne.
  3. Serve in short glasses with ice to taste.

4. The Mount Christ

Ingredients:

  • 15ml of orange liqueur
  • 15ml of coffee liqueur
  • 120ml of coffee
  • Whipped cream

Preparation:

  1. Pour the hot coffee and add the two liquors: coffee and orange.
  2. Cover the surface with a little-whipped cream.
  3. Enjoy!

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger Brut Réserve is a balance between power and finesse. It combines wonderfully structure and vinosity, elegance and freshness.

 

 TAGS:Gosset Grande RéserveGosset Grande Réserve

Gosset Grande Réserve is the flagship sparkling from the brand, Gosset. Filled in an ancient and elegant bottle, it’s a harmonic and fine cuvée. You’ll best enjoy it after a fun and interesting meal just for dessert.

This is what you need to know in terms of restaurant trends

We do not have a magic wand to determine what is to come in gastronomy, but according to the trends and what we pick up in restaurants, we can get an idea of ​​what will come in terms of restaurant trends. Do you want to discover it?

Restaurant trends

Bet on the local. It is a current trend, and therefore we will see it in the coming years. The taste for everything ecological moves to what is closest. That is, consuming products from the land, the region, the field next door, much better if it is from a well-known farmer. We will eat healthier, and also encourage the economy of the area.

Flexitarianism. It is a trend established by the people in charge of the International Hotel, Catering and Food Trade Exhibition, SIRHA, to be held in Lyon from January 26 to 30, which has identified other influences based on four different concepts: Consciousness, Welfare, Territorialities and Augmented experience. Thus, flexitarianism gains popularity because of this healthy trend, but without reaching extremes. That is, you can eat vegetables, but also fresh fish. It seems that this phenomenon will go further.

restaurant trends

Healthy. It is linked to the above, and perhaps also to the first point. Now there are many venues where they offer vegetarian and vegan cuisine, and in the rest of the restaurants there are dishes for vegans so that when we go there as a group or as a couple to have dinner, everyone can find diversity, especially regarding health.

Responsibility. As we see, this is another trend established by the owners of SIRHA. When we talk about restaurants, this concept takes shape because it is based on how food is produced, preserved, transported and consumed, always without damaging the environment. Restaurant professionals advocate increasingly for ecological and sustainable solutions.

Experiences. For some time now, consumers do not want to go to lunch or dinner and just that. They want for everything offered (the product, the menu, the environment…) to be part of a ritual of emotions that generate an experience. And this keeps coming strong. Restaurant owners need to devise how their businesses become places of emotion.

restaurant trends

Practicality. This trend explains the digital era in which we live. Online reservations and home-ordering are already everyday things and restaurants must enter necessarily in this circuit to increase their turnover. So it is mandatory to have a convenient website and that reservations can be made instantly, in a single click and from the mobile phone.

4 unique wine bars in Vienna

Vienna, once again voted the most liveable city in the world, is always worth a visit. If we think of the Austrian capital, imperialist architecture, Sachertorte or Empress Sissi comes to mind at first.
But Austria is also a wine country and if you are already in Vienna, you should visit one of the many wine bars of the city after an exciting sightseeing tour. At Uvinum we present 4 unique wine bars in Vienna in any order to enjoy one or two glasses of wine.

MAST Weinbistro

For the Falstaff team the best wine bar in Vienna is the MAST Weinbistro. This bar awaits you in a modern minimalist design and you will certainly feel at home there immediately thanks to the nice staff.

Are you a fan of organic wines? Then this is the right place! MAST Weinbistro has a passion for natural wines from national and international winegrowers. You should definitely come in with a little hunger. The futuristic dishes will certainly suit the taste of your palate.

Der Dachboden

The Millennials of Vienna feel particularly at home here. A rooftop bar with one of the best views over Vienna. The bar Der Dachbonden has everything the hipster heart desires.

On the wine list you will only find Austrian wines from the wine regions Neusiedlersee, Kremstal or Weinviertel. You can also try the popular Austrian long drinks with wine such as Weißer Spritzer or the cult drink Hugo, which is made with white wine and elderberry juice.

O Boufés

The O Boufés wine bar is located in the luxurious first district, close to the Austrian landmarks such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg. It was opened in 2015 by Michelin-starred chef Konstantin Filippou.

As you would expect from a chef of this class, this wine bar offers only products of the highest quality. Here only natural wines from famous and also less well-known wine regions like Istria or Transylvania are served. And we certainly don’t have to ask you to try the dishes of this Michelin chef, do we? 😉

Winery Wailand

In the 19th district of Döbling you will find the Viennese Winery Wailand. Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling and Zweigelt have been cultivated here for over 20 years. In the adjacent vineyard you can stop in the popular Heuriger and taste the wine and excellent food.

In Austria, a “Heuriger” is a restaurant where only self-produced wine and food may be served. Here you will experience an authentic Viennese tradition. The winery is not difficult to reach by public transport.

 TAGS:Glatzer Grüner Veltliner 2016

Glatzer Grüner Veltliner 2016

Glatzer produces the Glatzer Grüner Veltliner 2016, a white wine from Carnuntum with a blend based on grüner veltliner of 2016 and presents an alcohol content of 12%.

 TAGS:Hannes Reeh Heideboden Rot 2015

Hannes Reeh Heideboden Rot 2015

The winery Hannes Reeh elaborates this Hannes Reeh Heideboden Rot 2015, a red wine from Neusiedlersee with 2015 grapes and shows an alcoholic content of 13.5%.

How does drinking affect your skin?

Surely when we talk about wine and skin care, grape’s polyphenols come to mind: they are really antioxidants and take care of our skin in general, rejuvenating it. However, beverages, especially the alcoholic ones, can have somewhat negative effects, starting with the dehydration that affects the body and also the skin.

Effects of drinking on the skin

According to Wine Spectator, some beverages, such as wine, dehydrate the body and skin. So, if we drink them excessively, the skin looks more wrinkled and dry. Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means that your blood vessels widen when you drink. This, combined with water retention due to dehydration, can cause swelling in certain areas of the body.

Effects of wine on skin

In any case, it was established that if you drink in moderation, it is not often that you see many side effects on the skin, especially for healthy people, meaning people who drink enough water every day, eat properly, exercise…

Spirits

The majority of spirits such as rum, tequila or vodka usually reduce the levels of oxygen in the blood and this can unbalance the production of collagen in the skin. As a result, the epidermis becomes somewhat dull.

In turn, the consumption of alcohol increases the number of blackheads and pimples on the skin, and causes dryness because it reduces the amount of oxygenated blood from the veins. In addition, there is the swelling caused by drinking excessively, because spirits are high in sugar and cause fluid retention.

Beer and skin

Everything that is drunk in excess has negative effects on the organism. Beer contains salt and may not be as beneficial as it was believed for the body. On the other hand, if it is drunk in moderation it offers softness and hydration in face, body and hair, strengthening them. In fact, there are facial beer masks and spa with treatments with this drink having important success.

The polyphenols of red wine

As we announced at the beginning of the article, red wine has anti-ageing properties, thanks mostly to resveratrol, the polyphenol found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol stands out for its ability to fight free radicals, the unstable molecules that come from things like pollution and sun damage.

Resveratrol can fight oxidative stress and mitigate the damage it causes in the body. While a glass of wine a day will not counteract the natural ageing process of your body on its own, it can help when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

The most original wine and pasta pairings

White wine is not always the best for pairing pasta. It depends on the sauces added and, in the case it is stuffed pasta, the ingredients that are inside. We’ll show you some tricks to learn how to pair wine and pasta.

Wines for light sauces

There are a lot of sauces to complement pasta. From oil with oregano to béchamel, or even made from softer tomato. For these sauces, we will pair with white or rosé wines. If the sauce is carbonara, in addition to the white wine, it goes well with a good cava. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the varieties that pair better thanks to its touch of freshness, which breaks with the eventual acidity of the dish.

Wines for meat sauces

In this case, the sauces are more powerful and offer strongest flavours to the dish. It is clear that, with meat sauces, it is better to choose a red wine. But this can be either young or aged. Here we can choose from the most powerful Rioja to the Merlot and other softer varieties that help soften a strong dish.

wine and pasta pairing

Wines with pesto sauce

Pesto is a particular sauce. For many it can be too strong and for others, rather light, it depends on the taste of each one. In this sense, the wine that best suits pasta with pesto sauce is a white Sauvignon Blanc, because it provides the freshness needed to counteract the strong flavour of the dish.

Wines with pasta stuffed with mushrooms

We have already specified that we should be attentive to the filling of the fresh pasta, beyond the sauces. For this type of pasta we can choose either red, Merlot type wines, or whites that have a lot of body, such as Chardonnay.

Pasta with seafood and fish

Pasta is a very versatile dish that can be accompanied with vegetables, meats and fish. In this case, we will pair wine and pasta with a young white.

Wine and pasta pairing

Pasta with vegetables

If it includes vegetables, then the pairing will be made with Sauvignon Blanc varieties and also light rosé wines.

Wines according to the cheese

Cheese must also be taken into account, because it usually accompanies pasta and marks unmistakable flavours. We usually use not too strong cheeses or the classic parmigiano. This cheese goes perfect with red Italian wines although a white Spanish wine can also do a good job.

Where in the World Was Wine First Produced?

wine, history of wine

Russia is the cradle of vodka. Mexico invented tequila. Cuba gave us rum. Scotland is the birthplace of whiskey. But … where does wine originate from? Which country claims the honour of having created wine for the first time? It is doubtful who can be granted the honour of this attribution, and it is not an apolitical issue. Being recognised as the country that discovered such a divine drink would be considered a very beautiful award indeed. However, the origin of wine is not a fact that can be isolated from history. On the contrary, it is inseparable from the historical evolution of agriculture and gastronomy.

The history of wine was born in the Neolithic

All evidence suggests that the wine was born during the Neolithic (stone age). Early remains of what could be wine were found in the Zagros Mountains (in the region now occupied by Armenia, Georgia and Iran), specifically in the Neolithic town of Hajji Firuz Tepe.

It was in this settlement that a vessel dating from 5400 BC was first found. It contained tartaric acid, present in the skin of the grapes, which seems to indicate that it contained wine. In addition, it could be determined that this wine originated from the variety Vitis Vinifera Sylvestris.

The development of trade routes

As cultures around the world evolved many nomadic societies shifted to become sedentary societies. This paved the way for improving the mastery of agricultural techniques. In addition, new professions would appear, and with them the exchange of merchandise and trade. Because of this expanding trade wine from Eastern Europe now found its way to India and China.

Wine in Ancient Egypt

Pictorial representations showing Egyptians harvesting were made during the reign of Udimo, fifth Pharaoh of the 1st dynasty of Egypt (between 2914 BC and 2867 BC). In the beginning, the wine, which could also come from pomegranate juice, was used in religious ceremonies and was called shedeh. During the holiday periods, even the Egyptians of the lower classes had access to wine. Usually wine was reserved for the noble classes and the priesthood.

The wine was kept in sealed amphorae to conserve it. Some of these even became part of the funeral trousseau of the pharaohs. Archaeologists also found thirty large jars of wine when they uncovered Tutankhamun.

In Ancient Egypt, the wine was also used to clean the bodies before and after emptying them during the mummification process.

From Egypt to Greece

It is believed that wine came to the cradle of modern civilization through the mythical islands of Greece in the eastern Mediterranean given the geographical proximity of Crete with Egypt and Phoenicia.

Wine had become a habitual drink around 700 BC. It had become so popular that it was even assigned a god of its own: Dionysus. People would usually drink the wine mixed with water due to the high alcoholic strength of the wines. It was only consumed in its pure form during rituals and religious celebrations.

The cultivation of the wine by the Mediterranean countries expanded in the hands of the Greek culture. And the first documentation about wine also comes from ancient Greece: under the title Works and Days, the Greek poet Hesiod (8th century BC) described the harvesting and pressing of grapes, how wine was consumed – with water – and its conservation – in goat skins.

Wine in the Roman Empire

Towards 200 BC the wine arrived in the peninsula of Italy and even the southern lands were beginning to be known as Oenotria (“grape land”), given the ease of cultivation of the vine. The Roman Empire had a fundamental role in the dissemination of wine and the spread of grape cultivation in Europe. Vines were planted in latitudes as far as Normandy, Flanders or the Baltic countries. It was a glorious time for wine, and we owe our thanks to the technique of grafting on wines, among others.

The Romans also began using wooden barrels to store and transport the wine. It was a method that came from northern Europe where it was being used for the storage of other beverages.

With the fall of the Roman Empire, the Christian monasteries would continue with the cultivation of the vine during the Middle Ages to obtain wines for the consecration of the mass.

Wine in the New World

The introduction of the vine and wine in what we call the New World was at the hands of the Jesuits and the conquerors. It was necessary to guarantee the supply of wine in the religious services. Little by little they were importing and planting vines, a process that was accelerated with the rootstocks. In just under 100 years, during the sixteenth century, wine arrived in Mexico and Baja California to further reach Peru, Chile and Argentina.

More history and curiosities about wine

On the Uvinum Blog, we love writing, learning, and spreading information about wine. If you want to continue reading articles about the history and curiosities of wine, we are sharing some links below that will surely interest you. Cheers!

Celebrate “Hallowine” with the funniest drinks

We are sure you already have plans to celebrate Halloween, but do you already have the drinks? At Uvinum we share a selection of drinks for Halloween with which you’ll have a terrifying time.

Wines, whiskies, vodkas and much more for a different Hallowine

Have a great time with the best selection of drinks for Halloween. Trick or treat?

 TAGS:Gin Black Death

Gin Black Death

We present this gruesome gin with an alcohol content of 40% for the creepiest night of the year.

 TAGS:Dead Mans Fingers Spiced Rum

Dead Mans Fingers Spiced Rum

The Uvinum community values the Dead Mans Fingers Spiced Rum with 4 of 5 points.

 TAGS:Infinite Eight Brut Cuvée Skull Edition

Infinite Eight Brut Cuvée Skull Edition

Want some creepy champagne? Take a closer look at the bottle design of this delicious champagne.

 TAGS:Death's Door New Make Spirit

Death’s Door New Make Spirit

Halloween is whisky time with this scary masterpiece from DEATH’S DOOR DISTILLERY.

 TAGS:Ghost Vodka Gold

Ghost Vodka Gold

Ghost Vodka Gold: very aromatic, creamy and persistent vodka.

Wines for Halloween

In addition to this magnificent selection of distillates, we offer you a few wines to drink on Halloween – they have funny names and high quality!

 TAGS:La Bruja de Rozas 2016

La Bruja de Rozas 2016

La Bruja de Rozas 2016: the Madrid winery Comando G surprises us once again with this very special red wine.

 TAGS:Vinovalie Démon Noir 2017

Vinovalie Démon Noir 2017

Vinovalie Démon Noir 2017: wine of French origin with marked aromas of black fruits and toasted almonds, some toasted notes of vanilla.

 TAGS:Anima Negra Án 2016

Anima Negra Án 2016

Anima Negra Án 2016: sincere, accessible and with Mallorcan personality… A very well established reference on the market.

 TAGS:Bodega el Fin del Mundo Special Blend Reserva 2013

Bodega el Fin del Mundo Special Blend Reserva 2013

Bodega el Fin del Mundo Special Blend Reserva 2013: from Patagonia comes this balanced red wine, with soft tannins, complex and full body.

 TAGS:Cantos del Diablo 2015

Cantos del Diablo 2015

Cantos del Diablo 2015: wine of the famous
winegrower Daniel Landi very fruity and expressive.

Choose the wine, vodka, gin or rum for Halloween that you like best and celebrate it in the funniest way!

Images: Uvinum and Ginny

Why is grape harvested at night?

At the end of August, depending on the year, the process of grape harvesting usually begins, lasting in some cases can until October. The night harvest is a common practice in some areas and winemakers in Spain, but not all of them, although it is something that is carried out more and more. The reason is because it offers a number of advantages, even if many do not just see it that way. Let’s see what they are.

The reasons for the night harvest

To lower temperatures. One of the most obvious reasons to make a harvest at night is because when the harvest season starts it is still summer and it is hot. It is during the night when temperatures drop and workers can make their harvest better and without risks.

Riper grapes. Some winemakers, such as those belonging to the Designation of Origin of Rueda, where this practice is quite common, point out that the night temperature helps when collecting and handling bunches because the grapes are harder, avoiding thus the fermentative lack of control.

Photo: Raimat

Heat harms the grape. Not only high temperatures decrease the performance of grape harvesters but the grape also suffers. During the day, the grape tends to open up and arrives in bad condition at the winery. This entails a greater oxidation. At night all this does not happen, being the best time to pick them up and make sure they arrive correctly at the winery.

Cellars save energy. When temperatures drop, the cellar can save energy because all the collected grapes come at a lower temperature. With the heat, it takes a higher energy expenditure to cool down the chambers in which the fruit will be deposited.

Can all grapes be harvested at night? Although each winemaker has a different opinion, all types of grapes can be harvested at night, even if experts in the subject state that white grapes are the most indicated, since they are more sensitive to light because of their colour and skin type, and the red feature a more resistant surface.

Grape harvest

Mixed harvesting system. As we can see, the night harvest has clear advantages but it does not extend throughout the territory. We would say then that there is a mixed harvesting, from the early hours of the morning to the night, which are in both cases when it is less hot.

More fruity wines. In this case, there are also experts who think otherwise, but some winemakers point out that the enzymatic activity of the grapes at night is very low, which is why it provides more fruity wines.

 TAGS:Honoro Vera Rioja 2016

Honoro Vera Rioja 2016

Honoro Vera Rioja is the result of the first harvest and shows as a gorgeous young Tempranillo red wine with a short period in French oak for only a part of the assemblage.

 

 TAGS:Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015

Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015

The Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015: a red wine from Maremma Toscana produced by Tenuta Fertuna that is based on 2015 merlot, cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese and shows an alcoholic strength of 13%

Cocktails for the fall

Enjoying a good cocktail is something pleasant not only in summer. When the cold weather comes, cocktails for the fall are recommended, less refreshing, lighter and without citric flavours, giving way to drinks that make us warm. For appetizers, after dinner, at the end of the night… we highlight some of the best cocktails for this season.

What cocktails to drink during autumn

New York Sour

This mix usually comes with rather strong spirits, which are the ones that are styled during this time of year. The New York Sour combines whiskey sour with red wine, so it adds complexity to a mixture that is usually surprising due to its strong flavor.

Negroni

It is a classic of all times, so it goes well in these transition months, since it can be hot day but cooler at the evening. It is made with gin, lemon, campari and sweet vermouth in equal parts, so it isn’t too dry or sweet. We can decorate it with a slice of orange on the glass. Perfect for appetizers or even to end the night.

Old fashioned

It is another classic, which as such, does not go out of style. It is made with whisky or bourbon, Angostura Bitters and orange juice. It is usually served in a wide glass. We can decorate it with an orange peel.

Cocktails for the fall

Dry Martini

Yes, we drink it during any season, but maybe we have abandoned it for the gin and tonic, the mojito and the refreshing summer beer. If you still do not know how it is made, we must emphasize that it is usually made with lemon, dry gin, dry white martini and a slice of lemon.

Daiquiri Mulata

The plain daiquiri is rather for hot seasons, but we can add lemon juice, coffee liqueur and rum, or, failing that, cocoa liquor or kahlua. It goes well after having dinner, since it is a great digestive.

Cocktails for the fall

Frangelico

Made in Italy, it tastes like autumn, with a base of toasted hazelnuts, released in alcohol with berries and spices. Its origin is related to the Italian Christian monks, since that is where its name comes from: Angelic Friar. Many people drink it as a digestive after heavy dinners.

Amarula

We are talking about another fall cocktail that has a somewhat stronger flavor. Amarula is made with a liqueur cream made in South Africa, and it has sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree. It has a characteristic caramel flavour and there are those who confuse it with Baileys, but they are different.

 TAGS:Martini Bianco 1L

Martini Bianco 1L

The Martini Bianco 1L by Martini & Rossi: a vermouth with roots in Italy with 15% of alcohol.

 

 TAGS:Red Leg Spiced Rum

Red Leg Spiced Rum

The Red Leg Spiced Rum is a rum produced by Red Leg Rum Company Ltd with origins in Jamaica with an alcohol content of 37%.