Tag: liquors

Booze up your Hot Chocolate

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This week, we officially survived the so-called Blue Monday, the infamous “most depressing day of the year”. However, winter is here to stay, and every one of us could use some comfort food after spending the day fighting off polar winds, enduring dark afternoons and surviving icy rains. This is where our “ameliorated” hot cup of chocolate come into play. 

The sweet-powered: Caramel Lush

To start this list, I suggest a delicious caramelised hot chocolate. Its sweet flavours will make you forget about the long day you just had. Just sit down and relax.  

Ingredients

  • Achieving the caramel flavour is the tricky part. The easiest way is to use flavoured vodkaliquor or cream.
  • Alternatively, combine dark rum and caramel syrup for a more intense taste. 
  • Cocoa powder
  • Milk
  • Whipped cream

Preparation

After pouring the milk and cocoa powder into the pot, bring to a simmer. Make sure the ingredients are perfectly mixed. Add the syrup and the alcohol. Top it off with whipped cream.

Hot tip: add some toffee or hazelnut sprinkles on the whipped cream for a gourmet hot chocolate!

The fresh twist: Minty Bomb

This refreshing hot chocolate will make you want to live in winter for the whole year just to have the excuse of the cold to drink it again and again. This the perfect warm drink for your Sunday morning to enjoy on the sofa before starting the day. 

Ingredients

Preparation

Place the milk and cocoa powder in the pot, then, bring to a simmer and mix. We recommend replacing the cocoa powder with melted bitter chocolate. Add the mint schnapps and whipped cream. Your hot chocolate is now waiting for you!

Hot tip: To boost the mint taste of your preparation use some crushed mint candy or fresh mint leaves.

The fruit-infused: Soothing Orange

Discover this yummy citrus-flavoured hot chocolate. Admittedly, you are not going to drink it for the vitamin C but savouring it is likely to be the perfect way to spend the evening on your couch while the rain is pouring outside.

Ingredients

  • Typically, Cointreau and Grand Marnier are the recommended alcohol. But do not hesitate to be creative! There are many creams, liquors and bitters available. 
  • Orange zest
  • Cocoa powder
  • milk
  • Whipped cream

Preparation

Prepare your hot chocolate by warming and mixing together the milk and the cocoa powder or melted chocolate (go for a dark one!). You can also add some orange zest in the pot for a more intense taste. Once your chocolate is at the right temperature, add the orange liquor. Add some whipped cream and sprinkle the orange zest on top. 

Hot tip: use a small slice of candied orange or additional melted dark chocolate to top the whipped cream and create a stunning look.

The exotic-longing: Coco Delish

Bring back some of that exotic summer flavour in your dreary winter with this coconut-tasting hot chocolate! It will remind you of the great cocktails you drunk last summer.

Ingredients

  • Again two possibilities exist, the first (and our favourite) consists of dark Rum and coconut milk.
  • Another possibility is to use flavoured vodkarum or liquor and milk.
  • White chocolate
  • Toasted coconut sprinkles
  • Whipped cream

Preparation

Depending on the option you chose, put the melted white chocolate in the pot with the milk or coconut milk and bring to a simmer. When you reach the desired temperature, add the liquor and the whipped cream. Add coconut sprinkles generously to garnish. 

Hot tip: to make your cocoa even more savoury, add some cardamom or vanilla extract.

TAGS:Santa Teresa 1796Santa Teresa 1796

Santa Teresa 1796, a Dark Rum with origins in Venezuela which is aged with the solera method. This allows it to acquire a unique maturity and quality.

 

TAGS:Vodka DanzkaVodka Danzka

Vodka Danzka,  a vodka born in Copenhagen and the bottle is designed in the famous minimalist Nordic style.

The scarcity of blue agave is having consequences in the production of tequila

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About 15 years ago, the production of tequila entered a crisis due to the worldwide exploitation of this drink, and the little supply of blue agave that existed in Mexico to provide the whole globe with agave.This was causing the price of the plant to rise to stratospheric prices. Today, it seems that history repeats itself.

Tequila is strictly regulated by the Tequila Regulatory Council which imposes the laws and rules on this beverage and its preparation. These standards stipulate that only the blue agave can be used to create the beverage and nothing else. For its part, agave is a plant that has hundreds of types available but the fact that only blue is allowed to make tequila is a problem that is putting the world market at risk.

And, unlike other fruits or plants that are given annually, a blue agave plant takes approximately 8 to 9 years to grow, mature and be ready to create bottles of tequila. The standard formula for producing 1 litre of tequila used to be 6 kilos of blue agave and today it may take up to 10 to generate the same result.

It is expected that within the next 3 years many brands and small tequila houses will disappear from the shelves of the liquor stores because of this problem. And the largest companies in the industry will pay what they have to pay to keep their famous brands available to all. Farmers are selling everything and as soon as their inventories reach zero, it’s over … not many will want to re-plant and wait 8 years for the next crop and sell it with the uncertain price.

According to The Drinks Business, the tequila crisis is real and there can be a shortage of this precious liquor.

 TAGS:Jose Cuervo Especial ReposadoJose Cuervo Especial Reposado

Jose Cuervo Especial Reposado

 

 

 TAGS:Tequila Patrón SilverTequila Patrón Silver

Tequila Patrón Silver

Digestive liqueurs that will help you after heavy meals

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Now that Christmas, New Year and Epiphany holidays are close, it’s time to celebrate family lunches and dinners which, as usual, will be abundant and long-lasting: it’s the moment to catch up with relatives that, perhaps, we see less than we would like, and the opportunity to share a table with the loved ones without the rush of everyday life.

While it is true that from Uvinum we have always recommended and will recommend moderate and responsible alcohol consumption, we must also take into account that low and average alcohol content liquors promote digestion, stimulating our gastric secretions, which is known from ages ago. Not surprisingly, the first digestive liqueurs that have survived to this day appear at monasteries and abbeys in the Middle Ages.

Today, there are people who likes to taste spirits such as whisky, orujo, grappa or brandy after a heavy meal, but for the after-dinner herbal liquors may be more desirable, generally having less alcohol content and more digestive properties. Below we give you some examples:

  • Amaretto: This almond and apricot kernels liqueur, from Saronno (Italy), includes also among its ingredients berries and herbs.
  • Benedictine: French herbal liqueur made from 27 different plants and spices. As the name suggests, it originally comes from the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy.
  • Cointreau: made from the distillation of different varieties of orange peels, in addition to spices. It’s also extensively used in the preparation of many cocktails.
  • Drambuie: a Scottish liqueur made with whiskey, heather honey, herbs, saffron and nutmeg, specially created for Prince Charles Stuart of England and Scotland in the eighteenth century.
  • Pacharán: a popular Spanish digestive, from Navarra, which is obtained from the maceration of sloes or blackthorns in aniseed liquor. Also known as “sloe gin”.

So, what liquor do you prefer for your after-meals?

 TAGS:CointreauCointreau

Cointreau: a drink of the triple sec category produced in France and presents an alcohol content of 40º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Pacharán Baines OroPacharán Baines Oro

Pacharán Baines Oro: a drink of the pacharán category made in Spain and with 30º of alcohol strength. 

 

 

What is the difference between a liquor and a spirit?

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Many people use the word “liquor” to describe any drink of strong alcohol content, but there are differences between liquors and spirits to take into account.

Liquors are beverages based on flavoured spirits or with flavourings. They are generally colourful and fragrant, and have an alcohol content of between 25 and 55 degrees. They are usually mixed with fruits or herbs, but there are also liquors made with coffee, cocoa and other foods.

The correct way to drink a liquor is on small glasses at a slightly cold or room temperature.

Spirits, meanwhile, are the result of the chemical process named “distillation”. This process involves heating a beverage consisting of water and alcohol to over 78.3 degrees and less than 100 degrees, preventing the water contained from boiling.

The alcohol evaporates and separates from the original liquid and is recondensed to form a stronger drink. They usually have between 40 and 65 degrees of alcohol content.

Spirits are prepared from foods that contain natural sugars such as sugar cane and agave. Some of them are whisky, rum, vodka and tequila.

 

 TAGS:Tequila Reserva 1800 AñejoTequila Reserva 1800 Añejo

Tequila Reserva 1800 Añejo: a Vintage tequila native of Mexico with 38º of alcohol proof. 4,3 points on 5 is the average score of Tequila Reserva 1800 Añejo on Uvinum.

 

 

 TAGS:Disaronno AmarettoDisaronno Amaretto

Disaronno Amaretto: a drink of the amaretto category from Italy and with an alcohol strength of 20º. Deserves an evaluation of 4,1 points on 5 according to Uvinum’s users.

 

 

* Image: KittyKaht (flickr)

Fruit liquors, perfect for all occasions

 TAGS:In recent years, the liquors of different flavors are becoming more prominent in formal or friend lunches and dinners. With citrus, cinnamon, fruits and even flowers. The best is that they offer new flavors always good to find out. 

They are usually taken at desserts or in the afternoon when we have a snack, with chocolate or a sweet cake. And these liquors, especially the ones made with berries, contrast with the sugar in the desserts and their pairing is perfect. 

The most popular of the fruit liquors are, for example, the hazelnut liqueur, perfect for after dinner, as their bitter taste considerably reduces the feeling of being full after long and abundant lunches and dinners. The most famous, of course, is the Frangelico, which is produced in the Piedmont region of Italy, and has a history of 300 years when it was elaborated by the Christian monks who lived in the mountains of this

region. 

Similar to the hazelnut liqueur, almond liqueurs also bring an unmistakable bitter taste and suit the most demanding palates. We must control our drinking cup because we can drink lightly, without realizing it. The Amaretto is the star of this type of liquors and its success is due to the mix of flavors from the apricot and almond bones, caramelized sugar and various spices, like vanilla, which give an extra special touch. 

One of the main characteristics of the fruit liquors is that they usually have a high alcohol content and are macerated with nuts and other spices. Among them, we can highlight the pacharán, from Navarra, which is obtained by macerating sloes or blackthorns, with a color and taste something stronger, fresher and more natural.

Wines and other digestifs

 - Grappa, cognac, brandy, malt whiskey or Armagnac are just some of the members of the large family of digestifs, those drinks revered for its ability to assist the digestive process, mainly because of their high alcohol content and even the herbs or oils that make them up. Those who enjoy these drinks call them ‘pousse café’ (after coffee), due to the moment they usually are drunk, and advise to serve them, almost everyone, at room temperature, except the grappa, which is used to drink cold, and cognac, which should be served at the same temperature as the body, 36° C.

Often confused with aperitifs, motivators of appetite, the digestifs differ by their body, given generally by the high alcohol content, and their dry and bitter character. However, not only the spirits are part of this select group. They are also fortified wines like port and sherry. These wines receive, before finishing their fermentation, the addition of a higher volume of alcohol, and therefore are generally sweet. Similarly, it is also possible to consume as digestifs dry liquors, such as type Chartreuse, Bénédictine, Cointreau, Drambuie, Grand Marnier, Curaçao and Frangelico, i.e. alcohols infused with aromas, flavors and even properties, like Fernet, a popular bitter drink based on carminative herbs.

The digestifs, also called “water of life”, are known by this name because with their discovery was found an alternative cure to the plagues contracted by ingesting contaminated water. In contrast, another is the reason why they are called ?spirits? at the same time, which responds to the fact that in the distillation of liquid which always remains is the ‘heart’ or ‘spirit’ of the beverage. This essence is obtained by subtraction and concentration of alcohol and added flavors such as orange, herbs or nuts. This extraction is done by condensing the macerated brew vapors after heating.

These miraculous waters come from diverse origins yet possess a particular characteristic in common: they are almost all products distilled in small stills or boilers. For this reason, their elaboration requires a careful craftsmanship. Such is the case of wine distillates known as cognac, Armagnac and brandy, which take their denomination depending on the area where they are produced. For example, the first and the second belong to a specific region of France, and brandy is the generic name which get all the distillates of wine from any other location. Additionally, there are also spirits made of fermented fruit juice, such as plum or pear. Among these perhaps the best known is the Kirsch, made of cherry or the Calvados, elaborated with apple, also named after the region where it is produced.