Tag: cognac

3 Delicious and refreshing champagne cocktails

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When it comes to cocktails we first think in very traditional ones such as rum or vodka drinks, however, a trend that has been popular in Spain is to prepare delicious cocktails based on champagne or sparkling wine. Of course, these drinks are better enjoyed with the company of friends and family. Here we list 3 easy-to-make beverages with champagne that you can prepare and share:

Champagne and strawberries cocktail

Ingredients (for 4 glasses)

  • 4 shots of orange liqueur
  • 4 teaspoons of honey
  • 4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 bottle of chilled champagne

Preparation:

  1. Mix in a mixer or food processor orange liqueur, honey and strawberries for a while until you have a smooth and homogeneous liquid.
  2. Take the glasses, previously cooled, and serve the strawberry mixture to half in each one.
  3. Fill the other half with cold champagne or sparkling wine and enjoy!

 

Agua de Valencia Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 40 ml of semi-dry champagne
  • 80 ml of orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 15 ml of Vodka
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

Preparation:

  1. Just take the 4 cold ingredients and mix until dissolved each other.

Note that this is a very strong drink and you should be careful with it. Vodka is the strongest of the spirits and to mix it with a little champagne can be disastrous for some if you do not have any precaution.

 

Sparkling apple cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 unit of apple juice
  • 1/2 unit cognac
  • 1/2 unit of syrup
  • 4-5 apple slices
  • 3 units of champagne 
  • Ice to taste

Preparation:

  1. Place in a mixer or shaker the apple juice, the cognac, the syrup, the apple slices and the ice needed. Shake well until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  2. Take a pre-cooled glass, serve the mixture and add the cold champagne to enjoy.

You can also prepare a nonalcoholic version of this drink: just suppress cognac for pear juice and champagne for nonalcoholic cider.

 TAGS:Bollinger Spécial Cuvée BrutBollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut

Bollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut: a sparkling wine from Champagne based on pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay and has an alcoholic strength of 12%. Dishes like white meat and seafood make for an ideal match for the Bollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut.

 

 

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial: a sparkling wine from Champagne that is based on pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes and has an alcoholic strength of 12,5%. 

 

3 cocktails your grandparents already drank

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Since good things don’t go out of fashion, the cocktails drank by our grandparents are still the perfect choice to relax and enjoy at home. Some of these classic cocktails you can prepare at home are the Americano, the Old-fashioned and the Sidecar. It will not be hard to prepare them and you will enjoy them as much as your grandparents did.

Americano

This cocktail was originally called “Milano Torino”, thanks to the origins of its two main ingredients. In the era of alcohol prohibition in the United States, its inhabitants spent their vacation in Europe and enjoyed this cocktail so often that Italians changed its name to “Americano”.

Ingredients:

  • Ice
  • 1 ½ ounces Campari
  • 1 ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3 ounces of ice cold soda
  • 1 slice orange or lemon

Preparation:

  1. Mix the Campari and sweet vermouth in a shaker and serve.
  2. Fill with soda and ice.
  3. Garnish with a slice of orange or lemon. 

Old-Fashioned

There are records of its invention in the Waldorf-Astoria bar book, in 1931. On it appears the name of Colonel James Pepper, owner of Old 1776 whiskey and member of the club where the mix was prepared for the first time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon soda
  • One thin strip of lemon peel

Preparation:

  1. Mix the ingredients in a shaker, pour into a cocktail glass, garnish with lemon peel on the rim and serve. 

Sidecar

This cocktail of golden appearance was created in 1931 by Harry MacElhone, founder of Harry’s Bar in Paris thanks to a frequent customer of the bar who fought the cold generated by riding on a motorcycle with an aperitif. After his visit and several drinks he could not keep his balance and they brought him home in a sidecar (a vehicle hooked to the side of a bike).

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Put all the ingredients into the shaker, shake and pour into the glass.
  2. Add ice to your liking.
  3. Garnish with lemon peel on the rim of the glass.

 TAGS:Campari 1LCampari 1L

Campari 1L: a vermouth native of Italy with an alcohol content of 25º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Triple Sec Porthos 1LTriple Sec Porthos 1L

Triple Sec Porthos 1L:  a triple sec from Spain and with an alcohol strength of 36º.

 

 

* Images: Uvinum and Señor Hans (Flickr).

The 250 years of Hennessy

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Hennessy turns 250 during this 2015, being a reference in the world of beverages. Therefore, this producer and manufacturer of cognac will celebrate this date with several events around the world.

Among these events highlights the Hennessy Tour, born as a different cultural festival. Firstly, you can find out what the reference of this brand is, its history, its future… with entertainment events and performances by contemporary artists.

In addition, the Hennessy tour includes a travelling exhibition to raise awareness of the life of this cognac producer. It is based on publicizing some contemporary artists offering aspects of the life of the company. Among the various works of these artists there are works by Xavier Veilhan and Pierrick Sorin, Tony Oursler, Charles Sandison or Anton Corbijn. All these artists make a review of the life and history of Hennessy through photographs, documents and some other media.

But this celebration is not the only, since it as has also been released the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend, a very special and unique collection for this different celebration. To get this kind of edition they have used hours of work and rest in barrels that have been specially built for the occasion. This new edition surprises by its colour, very bright, with a warm amber shade, along with fine aromas of herbs with some notes of citrus and nutmeg.

In turn, the makers of Hennessy will also prepare a 21st century time capsule, where people who want to will leave a written message inside the Hennessy cellars barrels. The intention is that these messages will be sealed in the “Time Barrel” until it opens in half a century for the next remarkable anniversary of the company.

 

 TAGS:Hennessy FineHennessy Fine

Hennessy Fine: a great and value for money cognac from France with an alcohol strength of 40º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Hennessy X.O.Hennessy X.O.

Hennessy X.O.: a cognac native of France with an alcohol content of 40º. 4 points on 5 is the valuation Uvinum’s users gave to Hennessy X.O

 

Brandy Alexander: Cocktails with brandy

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Cognac and brandy are often associated, wrongly, with large glasses in which to drink, slightly hot, older brandies very high alcohol content that delight the gourmets.

And yet, it seems that the brandy is an ideal beverage for the preparation of delicious cocktails. It is true that many brandies and cognacs are way too good to be mixed with another drink. As for great whiskies, it is almost a sin. But choosing an average brandy, it is possible to elaborate original cocktails that will appeal to everyone. The idea of the day: the Brandy Alexander.

Brandy Alexander

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of brandy
  • One ounce of cocoa cream
  • 2 ounces of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder or chocolate powder

Preparation

Pour the brandy and the cocoa cream in a shaker. Add the cream, sugar and ice, and shake vigorously.

Serve in a glass and sprinkle with cocoa or chocolate powder.

This is a very digestive cocktail widely consumed after heavy meals.

To choose the ideal brandy for preparing a brandy Alexander, I recommend you to choose an average price one. A brandy that you can drink and enjoy alone, but not too great. It will accompany your cocktail with elegance.

Ready to prepare a Brandy Alexander? We recommend two brandies :

 TAGS:Brandy Soberano 1LBrandy Soberano 1L

Brandy Soberano 1L

 

 

 TAGS:103 Etiqueta Blanca103 Etiqueta Blanca

103 Etiqueta Blanca

Coming Father’s Day

 TAGS:Father’s Day is around the corner and every year we do the same, leaving the choice of the perfect gift for the last time. Luckily there is internet and thanks to it we don’t need to move more than a finger to get home that bottle of wine you want to give to dad (or, even better, to get it directly delivered at his address, why not?).

Probably within a week we will be invited to a dinner with our parents on the occasion of celebrating this day, so let’s be proactive and generous in choosing the gift, because then probably with a little luck, we’ll also enjoy it ourselves ( you just have to have a little nerve).

As perfect gift for Father’s Day I always suggest a bottle of wine. This time, I encourage you to go for Salitre 2009. The reasons are several, and you will certainly agree with me (especially when you taste it). But as I know you like to get some details in advance I would just say that the production is very limited, no more than 1,800 bottles, and the harvest is done manually, after an exhaustive selection of the clusters.

If you prefer to be a little more original and you are looking for a non conventional gift for Father’s Day, you can hit the mark with a bottle of white wine (Yes! Quite original, ain’t it?). Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 1998 is a delight for the palate, and I can ensure you that also like red wine drinkers love it so for sure your father will be very happy because this is a very good wine, with the added value of coming from one of the oldest wineries in the Rioja, which still produces all its wines in the traditional manner.

Although, whatever they say, a classic is a classic, and the typical tie looks better if it comes together with a bottle of brandy, am I right or not? My proposal sets aside all those expensive cognacs, we already know that they are there and that they are good, and goes along the lines of an affordable gift, a nice detail that your father will appreciate. Martell V.S. is a harmonious cognac with a long tradition behind it, one hundred and fifty years of history that give character to its fresh and velvety flavour in which you can easily recognize the wooden notes.

More suggestions? Here you are:

 TAGS:Brandy Soberano 1LBrandy Soberano 1L

Brandy Soberano 1L

 

 

 TAGS:Diemersfontein Pinotage 2011Diemersfontein Pinotage 2011

Diemersfontein Pinotage 2011

Which type of brandy is Napoleon?

 TAGS:Whenever I have to talk about brandy or cognac I have the certainty that someone will not be happy with my words. But let’s try. We agree that cognac is a type of brandy that is distilled twice and that comes from white grapes which origin is close to the French city with the same name, Cognac. But then what is the brandy? And which type of brandy is brandy Napoleon?

Brandy is nothing but a type of spirit obtained from the distillation of wine (although there are brandy varieties that can include cereal or other fruits besides grapes in the process). It is not true that brandy can only come from outside France as a cognac replacement. In fact there are many French brands of brandy.

There is a fact that makes explanations about each other even more confusing, as there was a time when French distilleries used the name “Napoleon” to refer to their best cognac. Even despite that when today we buy Napoleon usually what we are buying is brandy. Take that.

The point is that in the end they decided to unify criteria and instead of using names like Napoleon or Lepanto (which today is also a brandy brand, such are the twists and turns of life) they agreed to use acronyms like OX, VS or VSOP.

Coinciding with the time, more or less, many brands of brandy decided to name their products Napoleon, as a symbol of prestige and quality, in reference to these exclusive cognacs of French origin.

The truth is that in those first moments of designations transition, spirits marketing and confusion everything happened. There was very good brands that were marketed under that name and there were also some others not so good which were called exactly the same.

However, time has proved right to the top, they are the ones who have been able to endure and have had the support of consumers. For example, in Spain we have the example of Gonzalez Byass, who since 1835 has been dedicated to the world of wines and spirits.

Their products are synonym for quality and that is the reason why this family business is already a large group responsible for brands like Tio Pepe or Viñas del Vero, regarding wine, but also Lepanto or Napoleon, in what refers to brandy.

Cognac, bouquet from France

 TAGS:When we talk about Cognac, it´s clear that we are referring to a special spirit. It is because of its geographical specificity, which restricts its output to a little place in the world, coincidences of life, it is in France and includes the regions of Charente-Maritime, Charente, Deux-Sevres and the Dordogne, which in turn are divided into six zones:

– Grande Champagne

– Petite Champagne

– Borderies

– Fins Bois

– Bon Bois

– Bois Ordinaire

It is also due to its double distillation, through which retains the maximum flavor from the wines that become liquor during the process. And it is as well because of the limited number of grape varieties that are allowed as part of its composition.

All these reasons have led to this being a beverage distilled associated with the upper class, the powerful men and the most exclusive circles. And maybe that?s the reason why cognac, despite being only a branch of a type of beverage, brandy, is even more famous than it.

But what happens before it gets to our glass? First goes the copper and the oak. Or in other words, first it is distilled, a process which takes the best from this liquid gold after rejecting the first and last parts to get rid of toxicity, and then it is allowed to settle and mature in new oak barrels (which cannot have contained anything other than cognac), in which it will gain in bouquet up to the peak.

The longer the cognac remains in the barrels will be called differently, alluding to its age:

  • VS (Very Special) cognac are all those who have aged in oak for at least two years.
  • VSOP (Very Special Old Pale): four years of aging, at least. This one is also known as “Réserve” in its French name.
  • XO (Extra Old), the most exclusive, which have evolved in oak barrels for at least six years, and which are also called Hors d’âge or Napoleon.

If we were to choose only one of each type, basing our decision on the powerful argument best quality ? price relation, starting with the best I will recommend the Hennessy XO: for its power and masculinity, its flavor and character, it would be followed by the Courvoisier VSOP Fine, because it makes us feel like Napoleon after fighting his best battle, and finally, the Remy Martin VS, for its aroma, its complexity and intensity that captures our attention from the first contact.

Finally, a couple of curiosities, the first surprise about cognac is the large number of English names for such as typically French product. This is because it was originally exported to England mainly. Another curious note, perfect to bring up in a conversation with friends while holding a glass of cognac, is that finding a cognac recognized as such which does not come from France is possible.

The reason for it takes us back to the end of the Second World War in which France planted a debt to a Latin American country: Uruguay. As payment thereof, in 1946 and by order of the French Government a vineyard and a distillery were established in there. In the first one, Ugni Blanc grapes grew, and the second was built at Juanicó, which still continues to produce its distinctive cognac.

Let’s begin trying “The French Connection”:

 TAGS:Courvoisier V.S.O.P. FineCourvoisier V.S.O.P. Fine

Deep, powerful, savory,… a jewel at the best price.

Buy Courvoisier V.S.O.P. Fine 21,42?

 

 

 TAGS:Remy Martin V.S.Remy Martin V.S.

Remy Martin is one of the most traditional brands in France.

 TAGS:Buy Remy Martin V.S. 22,60?


Difference between Brandy and Cognac

brandy y coñac

Brandy and cognac are two spirits, but in addition to the obvious coincidence we find a great controversy between the similarity and its differences. Lets Know a little more of these traditional drinks and their undeniable familiarity and similarity.

Differences between Brandy and Cognac

  • Brandy is a distilled beverage made on the basis of wine. In the other hand, cognac is a type of brandy also distilled which is processed from the wine, but white grapes wine. Here is where we find its greatest difference.
  • Brandy is originally older than Cognac, although not very clear its crib, brandy got very popular in Europe in the fourteenth century, especially in France, Holland, England and Spain. On the other hand, cognac is of French origin and is named after the town of Cognac (coñac in Spanish)
  • The elaboration of of brandy and coñac are very similar, however there are some small differences witch become large when testing each drink. Among the major differences between the elaboration of brandy and cognac, of brandy is aged, which tends to be made in barrels.
  • Apart from the different strains used to prepare both beverages, there is a difference, cognac is made only with white grapes, -and brandy can be made by both strains (red and white).
  • The appellation of origin is another of the differences plain to see, remember that the cognac is unique from the French region of Cognac. The cognac made in this region obeys strict rules imposed by the BNIC (Bureau National Inter professionnel du Cognac), meaning that although the cognac is a brandy, cannot be produced outside the French borders, even if it follows the same process. This makes great confusion and controversy, because many cognacs are made outside of France, and they are called brandy just for that reason, that is a question that leads to discussion and confusion.

Perhaps the biggest difference between cognac and brandy is the taste, although there’s no need to be an expert to realize, there are several small differences in their aromas, flavours and, of course, colours. In what we all agree, is that both, brandy and and cognac are two great drinks full of history and tradition.

 TAGS:Cardenal MendozaCardenal Mendoza

This is one of the mid range Spanish brandies most commonly consumed for its softness, its aromas and excellent value for money.

Buy Cardenal Mendoza 19,20

 

 

 TAGS:Hennessy Very SpecialHennessy Very Special

Hennessy is the more universal French Cognac brand. Very fine, ideal even for mixing in the most sophisticated cocktails.

 TAGS:Buy Hennessy Very Special 24,19