Tag: whisky

New cocktails from the far East

 -
Hong Kong has numerous flashy cocktails, product of the characteristic ingenuity of the Far East?s inhabitants. You might dare to prepare some of them at home with ingredients you get in our store, or perhaps these cocktails will give you the expected final push that will make you undertake that trip you dreamed of so many times. If you make them at home, remember, all of them are characterized by the excellent presentation and aesthetic harmony. Think Feng Shui!

Among the most innovative cocktails we have the Super Lemon, a cocktail meant for those who truly love the citrus beverage. It is made with lemon cream, gin and lemon juice, usually served with a super bitter lemon sweet. This candy is the last touch that will transport you to your childhood, according to Antonio Lai.

The Nine Dragons is a vodka-based cocktail that was designed to pay tribute to Feng Shui. It is served in the InterContiental of Tsim Tsui, and has become very popular. It is made with nine different ingredients that represent the nine dragons Kowloon: Absolute Blue, Citron, Campari, cranberry puree, lime juice, currants, mango, grapefruit and cranberry bitters. Besides it has a very attractive look, thanks to the color Gradation.

The Dragon is surely one of the most prominent symbols of Hong Kong and the cocktail that is named after it must have something special. It is served in the Room Ning Peninsula, and made with Absolut Citron, gin, lemon juice, orange juice and syrup rubber. Its colour is striking and its fruit flavors will make you smile. Additionally, spicy cocktails to refresh your palate are an interesting option. Motox is one of them. It is made with coriander, ginger, Belvedere Citrus Vodka, Luxardo lemongrass, apple, pineapple and lemon, and you can get it at Mo Bar, in the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Finally, the Oolong Tea Collins has a tea extract taste, sugar and citric acid, served before pouring Absolut vodka and soda water in the glass, creating two levels of flavour and colours. Want to make Hong Kong cocktails? Then you surely need some Vodka and Gin in your personal bar.

Today we recommend two great spirits:

 TAGS:Tequila Corralejo ReposadoTequila Corralejo Reposado

Tequila Corralejo Reposado

 

 

 TAGS:Armagnac Cles de Ducs V.S.O.P.Armagnac Cles de Ducs V.S.O.P.

Armagnac Cles de Ducs V.S.O.P.

The rise of rum

 TAGS:The WHO shared new statistics about the average baskets in the United Kingdom. The results show a significant change in the consumer?s habits, more specifically in the alcoholic beverage consumption: it still tends to decrease.

In the UK, alcohol consumption declined for several years in-a-row. The lowest percentage was recorded in 2011. It appears that average consumers prefer to choose white rum over other drinks like champagne, which sales reduced dramatically.

The demand constantly changes and we can ask ourselves if it is a reflection of the society?s evolution. But if we take a closer look at the study we can see that blueberries, salami, e-books and even men T-shirts sales are decreasing too. Not easy under those conditions to figure a general trend from those statistics… However, let?s play a little bit and allow ourselves to imagine an explanation to the ?Rise of the White Rum?

What is pushing the UK into abandoning champagne? Champagne represents luxury, victory, effervescence, and sparkling occasions. Nowadays, it may also convey a certain idea of overdoing things. On the contrary, rum seems to fit any kind of events, from the most mundane parties to the average teenage binge drinking nights. In effect, rum has a large price range, depending on its aging and quality.

White, gold and black rum are the result of the fermentation and distillation of sugar cane. The barrels of oaks, the sugar cane quality, the aging and the distillates used are decisive in the final flavour of the beverage. If you choose a medium quality rum, you can still use it as the main ingredient of the two popular cocktails Pina colada and Cuba libre.

Would you like to experience it? Today we recommend:

 TAGS:Champagne Billecart Salmon Brut RéserveChampagne Billecart Salmon Brut Réserve

 

Champagne Billecart Salmon Brut Réserve

 

 

 TAGS:Legendario Elixir de Cuba 7 YearsLegendario Elixir de Cuba 7 Years

 

Legendario Elixir de Cuba 7 Years

 

 

Whisky Glossary (II)

 TAGS:In this second part of the Whisky Glossary we will continue with a brief explanation of some terms that are related to this spectacular drink:

N

New Make Spirit: Spirit just off the still, ready to be diluted to Cask Strensht for Ageing.

Nose: The smell of a whisky.

P

Peated Malt: Malt whisky with the smoky smell that comes from treating barley with Peat.

Pot Still: Stills used for batch distillation. The liquid is distilled usually twice, occasionally three times, first in a Wash still and then in a Spirit still.

R

Reflux: Vapour high in alcohol that returns to the still for further distillation.

S

Safe mind: Large container padlocked, with glass walls. Allows the distiller to observe the spirit leaving the still, without coming into direct contact with the spirit itself.

Saladin Box: Vessel in which barley germinates while being mechanically turned.

St. Patrick: Monk that introduced the art of distillation to Ireland in 432 AD. He is celebrated by all the Irish on March 17 of each year.

V

Vatting: The blending of malt or grain whiskies from different distilleries.

Vinasse: The residue in the bottom of the fermentation, alcohol.

W

Wash Still: In Pot Still distillation, the first still. The products of this still go to the Spirit Still.

Waste: Residues remaining after fermentation. Used for animal feed.

Do you want to share your knowledge? If you want to organize a wine tasting and teach your friends what you have learned, here are two whiskies that you should not miss:

 TAGS:The Famous Grouse 1LThe Famous Grouse 1L

The Famous Grouse 1L

 

 

 TAGS:Jameson 1LJameson 1L

Jameson 1L

Whisky Glossary (I)

 TAGS:Among the wide variety of drinks whisky is definitely one of the most appreciated. But as each great topic, it has its own language. Are you ready to enter into this amazing world by learning a bit of the ?great spirit? vocabulary?

A

ABV: An acronym that refers to the percentage of alcohol.

Amylase: Enzyme that converts starch into maltose.

Age: Aging time of whisky, indicated on the label.

B

Ball of Malt: A glass for irish wiskey.

Backset: Liquid at the bottom of the stills after distillation.

Beer Ale: Protein-rich beer, it is used as a basis for the development of whisky.

Bond: A whisky left in customs warehouses until the taxes are paid.

Bothie: Building that housed clandestine distilleries in the Scottish Highlands. Some were hidden underground.

Bourbon: An American corn whiskey that is kept in oak barrels.

Brewing: A process in which the beans are crushed and fermented in hot water to create yeast.

C

Carbonization: Process in which the interior of the drums is exposed to flames. It is this process that gives it a very special color and flavor.

Cytase: An enzyme which breaks down cell walls and allows access to starch.

Congeners: Chemical compounds produced as a result of the fermentation and maturation. They are composed of ether, alcohols and acids.

Couch: After the barley begins to germinate in a second tank.

D

Distillation: Vaporization of liquid through heat, which leads to the alcohol condensation.

Drachma: A glass for scottish whisky.

Dram: A Scottish term for a measure of spirits, particularly whisky.

Drum Malting : Large drum which is turned constantly until the malting process is complete.

E

Enzymes: In whisky production, enzymes are present within cereal grains which convert starch into a fermentable substance.

F

Feints: During the second distillation, the “heart of heating” will be put into barrels. The rest is called “Feints”. It is unpotable even to the most hardened drinker. 

Fermentation: The conversion of sugar into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol with the addition yeast enzymes.

Foreshots: The first part of the second distillation run.

G

Green Malt: Green Malt is barley that has begun the process of germination.

K

Kilning: In malting, the process of arresting the growth of the germinating barley before starch can be used up.

L

Low Wines: Low Wines are produced in the first distillation in a Wash Still.

Lyne arms: Arm that connects the still to the capacitor.

M

Mashing: Process of mixing milled grain and water. The mixture is then heated. This technique allows the enzymes to change the starch into sugar.

Mash Tun: Also known as Mash tub. The vessel in which Mashing takes place.

Malting: Controlled germination of grain.

Mash Bill: In North America, the proportion of different grains used for Mashing.

Mixture: Liquid mixed with boiling water to extract the soluble starch and convert maltose.

Did you know all these words? Which one did you find most interesting? Do you use them often? Today, in order to practice this new language, we recommend the following whiskies:

 TAGS:The Famous Grouse 1LThe Famous Grouse 1L

The Famous Grouse 1L

 

 

 TAGS:Jameson 1LJameson 1L

Jameson 1L

Top 10 single malt according to the americans

 - The single malt whisky is named after its elaboration in a single distillery, by fermenting malted barley or rye. For the most representative of these drinks, produced in Scotland, the product is distilled at least twice in copper stills, has a minimum alcohol content of 40° and gets aged for at least three years in oak barrels, which capacity can not exceed 700 liters.

This is probably the most appreciated Scotch whisky by connoisseurs, since the storage, aging and elaboration limitations of this drink originate very distinct and different characteristics depending on the type of barrel, wood or even different types of water used in the process, something that at first glance may seem minor but it is crucial in the final outcome. Sometimes are used barrels previously used for aging sherry, port, madeira, rum or cognac, which give the whisky additional and distinctive flavors.

According to a classification recently made in the United States, the top 10 single malt whiskies today are:

  • Springbank 10 Year Old 100 Proof – Campbeltown. A single malt with aromas of honey, cucumber, aftertastes of lemon zest, peat and autumn leaves.
  • Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old – Highlands. An exclusive whisky, preferred by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, classic flavor and rich hues.
  • The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old – Speyside. One of the most unique and complex, with notes of vanilla, caramel, peach, honey and prunes.
  • Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old – Islay. Elegant and appreciated by both experts as beginners in the world of whisky.
  • Highland Park 18 Year Old – Orkney Islands. This is one of the youngest members of the top 10, yet balanced, subtle and sophisticated.
  • The Macallan Cask Strength – The Highlands. A true classic among classics, rich but accessible to any palate, with a characteristic bouquet of port wine, cinnamon and oat meal.
  • Scapa 16 Year Old The Orcadian – Orkney Islands. A legendary single malt scotch, with amber color and aroma of berries, sea salt, chocolate and pepper.
  • Glenkinchie 1991 Distillers Edition – The Lowlands. The Lowlands have also much to offer, as evidenced by this whisky with grass and floral aromas, and a palate rich in notes of leather, smoke, vanilla and honey.
  • Lagavulin 12 Year Old Cask Strength – Islay. Endless aromas with multiple interpretations, a rich palate in a special edition for its most loyal followers.
  • Glenmorangie 18 Years Old “Extremely Rare” – The Highlands. As its name suggests, it is probably the most unique and sought after, aged for 15 years in Bourbon barrels and 3 in Oloroso sherry barrels, with tastes of nuts, figs, dates and vanilla.

 TAGS:Lagavulin 12 Years Special ReleaseLagavulin 12 Years Special Release

Lagavulin 12 Years Special Release

 

 

 TAGS:Whisky Balvenie 12 Years Double WoodWhisky Balvenie 12 Years Double Wood

Whisky Balvenie 12 Years Double Wood

Good whiskies need time

 - Do you agree when people say that good things take while? As there are many things that are worth waiting for, the same rule applies to whisky.

Real whisky lovers appreciate the ones that have aged in barrels over many years and that unfold a special flavour once opened. They are certainly a temptation you won’t resist. But what makes these long aged whiskys so special and most of all, how are they produced? In this post I want to give you more information about the topic.

It’s important to know about the countries in which they are produced. Among them there are the United States, Canada, Ireland and Scotland and they are produced in distilleries that have become famous in the whole world. In Europe, Scotland is the pioneer in the production of whisky and every year it attracts visitors and “thirsty” people from all over the world that want to try them and learn more about their production. The ones who have experienced the icy winds and the warmth of the distilleries of the Scottish Highlands, will remember this experience for a long time for sure.

Some whiskies age for over 60 years, others even for centuries. Of course this long ageing process is noticeable in the price as well, that can reach 10.000 Euros per bottle. Long aged whiskies are more popular because of their softer taste and because  they loose strength and angularity during the years. The aftertase is also much better.

The most important factor in ageing is storage in wooden barrels which leads to an interaction of the distillate with the wood aroma. In this way undesired characteristics are eliminated and desired ones are added, as for example sweet taste of wood. For the taste it is very important to keep in mind which type of wood is used. Normally the wood used is either American or European Oak. The European one gives a more intense aroma but it grows much slowlier, normally it takes 100 years longer to grow than the American.

Single-Malt Whiskies have an especially long ageing process which makes them very appreciated. Single-Malt also indicates that they are produced in only one distillery and the wheat used is malted barley.

To obtain certain flavours, the distillates are poured into different barrels after some years, in which they stored sherry, ron, Portwine or wine or even very smokey whiskies before, to obtain their final maturity.

Remember that if whiskies are bottled, there ageing and maturing process automatically stops. That means that a 10-year old whisky after ten more years in a bottle, doesn’t become a 20-year old whisky.

Do you want to try some good whiskies? We recommend you these ones:

 TAGS:Chivas Regal 12 YearsChivas Regal 12 Years

Chivas Regal 12 Years, a good present

 

 

 TAGS:Chivas Regal 4.5LChivas Regal 4.5L

Chivas Regal 4.5L, pure excelelnce

World leaders’ favorite drinks

 TAGS:World leaders are human. They have a favorite football team, movie, meal and even a favorite drink. Psychologists can probably get a lot from the information I will share with you in this post and they will for sure attribute all kinds of personality traits to each of these powerful leaders, based on the contents of their glass. Is it true that all beer or whisky drinkers have something in common?

Well, in the first assault we have Barack Obama and Angela Merkel. If this unrivaled couple gather together a holiday on a terrace by the sea on a sunny afternoon (we will give a bucolic touch to the matter), they both would ask for beer.

Although the favorite drink of Mr. President is actually tea, and not just any lemon or peach flavored tea, but the Black Forest Berry iced tea, he has also been seen drinking a Guinness down in one of his most Recent visits to the world capital of stout. Still, that’s not really him as his favorite beer is quite soft: the Miller Lite, in case someone wants to take note.

For Merkel I can imagine that her leisure time is more enjoyable with a wheat beer, one made with special care and all the attention in a small town in the Bavaria area, how could it be otherwise. Although I cannot really think of her singing a popular song at Oktoberfest, I must say.

Francoise Hollande promotes his country’s wines confessing himself as the number one fan of some of the French red wines. Presumably, the same thing will happen to the President of Spain, probably a good enthusiast of Ribera del Duero or Rioja, specially of the classic ones, but in these times of crisis in our country is rather time to be on bread and water.

It’s not all beer and wine, don’t worry, there are also world leaders who don’t feel shy to admit that their best friend is a spirit, or at least that some of them is among their favorite alcoholic drinks (we don’t have to be so dramatic). David Cameron is one of them, following the example of Margaret Thatcher, as both have never hidden his fondness for whisky (in moderation, of course).

Tony Blair also belongs to the malt lovers club and admits that there is nothing better than a good whiskey to celebrate a special occasion, although the wine is actually his favorite alcoholic beverage.

The whisky of the United States

 TAGS:The Bourbon obtained its name because the clients in New Orleans used to ask for whisky produced in Bourbon County (Kentucky) where some of the most important cities for the production are placed.

The history of this drink goes back to XVIII century when the american farmers began to distillate the remaining grain of their harvest. A new industry and tradition has just begun: the real american whisky.  The whisky production became very extended and after a discussion about the taxes collected by the government (which ended in the whisky rebellion of 1794) many of the producers moved to the south of Kentucky and Tennessee where they found excellent conditions for the production which gave them an easy access to transport ways as well as rivers. In little time places as Bardstown and Louisville flourished to prosperous communities of whisky producers.

 The business converted into an industry, the american palate began to appreciate that unique and characteristic mix of flavours. Three centuries later it is still the favourite one of The United States and in many cases also outside its frontiers, competing even with the most traditional and famous scottish whiskies. Since its introduction on the market and in the palate of the consumer a lot of time has passed. It is a strong industry that still maintains traditional traits refering to the creation of that characteristic drink.

With the time some improvements were introduced in the whisky production process as the carbonization of barrels with the aim of producing a rich and sweet spirit of high quality.The success of those whiskies led to the general introduction of these new methods and soon it became a standard method in the industry.

According to every industry based on tradition and demand and with the objective of fulfilling the commercial legislation of the US, a whisky can only be called Bourbon if it fulfills the following conditions:

  • The mixture of grain used for the production has to consist of 51% to 80% corn. Usually it contains about 70% of corn.
  • For the rest other cereals are used, normally rye, wheat and malted barley.
  • The whisky has to be left in the still of alcohol to a volume not superior to 80.
  • It has to mature in new barrels of white oak and carbonized in a percentage not superior to 62,5 when entered in the barrel.

Do you know the best american bourbons? For sure we surprise you with our recommendations of today:

 TAGS:Jim BeamJim Beam

Jim Beam, the favourite whisky of whisky lovers

 
 
 
 
 

 TAGS:Jack Daniel's Gentleman JackJack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack

Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack, a special edition of the most famous whisky

The whiskies of Speyside

 TAGS:The malts of Speyside are the raw material for the Scottish malt whisky,  the most desirable of the world. This malt is distillated in Cairngorms, the area next to the Spey river in Moray and Aviemore Cairngorms, in the north of Scotland. The two most sold whiskies of the world come from Speyside and that tells a lot about the quality of the malts and their distillation process. The region with the biggest number of distilleries of any whisky producing area is Scotland. 

Scottish whiskies are among the lightest of Scotland. They are sweet, delicate and have a characteristic flavour and the best quality. With ageing they adquire more body and nuances, they are  highly appreciated whiskies that also gives economical power to that region. Speyside is unambigously the scottish region with the biggest number of distilleries of scottish whisky. There are 84 famous distilleries, including the most popular ones: The Glenlivet DistilleryGlenfiddichGlen Grant Distillery and The Macallan Distillers.

The 10 most important whisky distilleries to visit in Scotland

Today we will visit some of the whisky distilleries that you have to see when visiting  TAGS:Scotland. Scotland, apart from beatiful landscape and coasts, counts on one of the biggest and most popular whiskey productions and exportations which generate an income of 800 million euros. It is one of the most popular products of this land and the touristic visits to its distilleries are one of the attractions you cannot miss.

  • Glenmorangie: In the Scottish Highlands. In the town of Tain the distillery Glenmorangie opens its doors to tourists and visitors. Additionally you can visit the cellars and stay there for the night.
  • Balblair Distillery: This distillery is located close to the lakes of Dornoch Tain, it has more than 4000 years of history and is a historic spectacle that you should not miss on your trip to Scotland.
  • Ardbeg Distillery: Located on the island of Islay, together with others of the zone this distillery is picturesque and its location is suitable  for taking a walk and enjoying the landscape.
  • Isle Of Jura Distillery: With a length of 30 miles and 7 kilometres width this distillery also offers a hotel where you can spend the night after spending the day in its installations.
  • The Glenlivet Distillery:  Located in the hills of Speyside this distillery was reinaugurated in 2010 and since then it offers tours through its installations every day from april to october.
  • Speyburn (Inver House Distillers): This distillery is located in a valley in the north of Rothes and it is the most photographed in Scotland thanks to the gorgeous landscape that is surrounding it and its big facade.
  • Talisker Distillery: The only distillery of the island Skye, it can be visited and admired from the ferry that passes through the area.
  • Aberlour Destillery: Distillery located in the center of Speyside, its vistor’s centre has been awarded with 5 stars of the Scottish tourist board because of its installations and its service.
  • Glenfiddich: This distillery in the centre of the Highlands is the home of one of the most popular whiskybrands, its name means “valley of the deers” in gealic and it is an excellent place for getting to know Scotland.
  • Lagavulin Distillery: another distillery located on the island of Islay, its whiskies are smoky and its installations and surroundings picturesque. 

Are you a whisky fan? Do you want to recommend us a distillery to visit? While you are thinking about it, we recommend you some good whiskies (scottish ones of course):

 TAGS:100 Pipers100 Pipers

100 Pipers, best scottish quality.

 
 
 
 

 TAGS:Johnnie Walker Black Label 4.5LJohnnie Walker Black Label 4.5L

Johnnie Walker Black Label 4.5L ablend of Scotland