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28

May 2018

Summer Cocktail Recipes

Posted by / in Responsible Drinking / No comments yet

It’s that time of the year again when the scorching sun makes you want to grab that chilled bottle of beer after work. Just so you know, we meant that it’s the inescapable blazing summer season, because there is no preferred season for beer lovers. Moving on from beer and speaking of summers reminds us of breezy cocktails. You would agree that a refreshing cocktail never hurt anyone, and there’s nothing better than a little experimentation with your favourite cocktail every now and then, to beat the heat.

Now if you’d allow us, we’d like to share with you five cocktail recipes to beat the heat, summer cocktails with a twist.

 

Tomato Mojito

Give your classic Mojito a flavourful twist of tomato and tequila.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 grape tomatoes (yellow and red)
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • pint of salt
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 cup club soda or sparkling water

Directions

  • In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the tomatoes, mint leaves, juice of half a lime, juice of half a lemon, and salt.
  • Pour in the simple syrup (or agave nectar) and tequila. Add ice and shake vigorously. Divide between two short glasses filled with lots of ice. Top off with club soda or sparkling water. Garnish with mint leaves, and a few grape tomatoes on a toothpick. Enjoy!

Note: Image and recipe source https://thechicsite.com/2014/06/19/tomato-mojito/

 

Lavender Sangria

Be sure to try out this cocktail recipe of the heavenly flavours of lavender with heady white wine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750mL) bottle pinot grigio
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup grand marnier
  • 2 cups club soda, whatever flavor you’d like
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup lavender syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 pint of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen peaches

For Lavender simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
  • 2 sprigs fresh lavender

Directions:

Add the strawberries and frozen peaches to the bottom of a pitcher. Pour your wine, brandy, grand marnier, lavender syrup (start with 1/3 cup, taste and add more if you want) and club soda over top and stir. This tastes great when it sits in the fridge and “marinates” for a bit. But you can also serve it right away!

lavender simple syrup

Place the sugar, water and lavender in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside. Let it cool completely. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lavender. Store in a sealed container in the fridge!

Note: Image and recipe source https://www.howsweeteats.com/2018/05/lavender-white-wine-sangria/

 

Blueberry Mint Juleps

This delicious bourbon recipe is surely going to win your heart!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce mint simple syrup
  • 1 ounce mint blueberry puree
  • crushed ice
  • fresh mint leaves

For Mint Simple Syrup

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves

For Blueberry Mint Puree 

  • 2/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons mint simple syrup

Directions:

Combine bourbon, mint simple syrup and mint blueberry puree together and shake or stir well. Pour over crushed ice and serve with extra mint leaves.

Mint simple syrup

Combine sugar, mint and water together in a small saucepan and heat over high heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook for another minute or so, then set aside to cool completely. Remove mint before using. You can do this ahead of time and store it in the fridge!

Blueberry mint puree

In a mini food processor or blender, combine blueberries and mint simple syrup until pureed.

Note: Image and recipe source https://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/04/blueberry-mint-juleps/

 

Mermaid Lemonade

Beat the heat with this refreshing curacao, rum and  lemonade cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. Ice
  • 1/4 c. Blue Curacao
  • 1 c. White rum
  • 2 c. lemonade
  • 4 Lemon Slices, for garnish
  • 8 Maraschino cherries, for garnish
  • 4 paper umbrellas

Directions:

  • To four glasses, add ice. Add blue curacao, rum, and lemonade to each glass. Stir to combine. (If you prefer a lot of ice, stir together mixture first, then pour over ice.)
  • Skewer a lemon slice and two maraschino cherries on each paper umbrella and garnish lemonade.

 Note: Image and recipe source https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a53044/mermaid-lemonade-recipe/

 

Mango Raspberry Mimosa

Sink in the fruity and refreshing effervescence of this Mango-Raspberry liqueur cocktail.

Author: Cheyanne Bany

Ingredients:

  • Champagne , chilled
  • Chambord or Raspberry Liqueur
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Mango Puree (yield ¾ cups):
  • 1 ripe Mango – peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
  • 1-2 TBS Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

Instructions:

  • Make the Mango Puree: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • For Each Mimosa: Pour 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) mango puree into each champagne flute. Slowly pour in champagne, until ¾ full. Add in ¼- ½ ounce Chambord and top with raspberries. Serve.

Recipe Notes

*For Mango Puree – start with 1 tablespoon of sugar, taste and adjust for sweetness by adding more sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired sweetness is achieved.

*Mango Puree will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days.

*If you add the Chambord to the flute last it will sink to the bottom to create the two layers of colors.

Note: Image and recipe source https://www.nospoonnecessary.com/mango-raspberry-mimosa/

This summer, keep your beer aside and try out these simple-breezy cocktail recipes to wow your guests at house parties, or for your weekend solo revelry. Here’s saying cheers to summers!

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28

May 2018

Five Wine Destinations in the World You Didn’t Know About

Posted by / in Binge Drinking, Responsible Drinking / No comments yet

What do Tuscany, Napa, Hunter Valley and Alentejo have in common? They are notable wine destinations in the world. Speaking of wine tourism, for the wine lovers who are bitten by the bug of wanderlust, there is always a new reason to travel and a new destination which calls out to them. A visit to vineyard offers a wonderful opportunity not only to taste different wines but also, to know about the process of winemaking and the local wine industry.

Wine tourism ‘enotourism’ is like a fairytale coming true for the wine lovers who love to travel since it offers a perfect opportunity in the grand scheme of things. As the world has witnessed the increase in wine tourism over the last decade, there has also been a rise in the newer destinations which have sprung up.

Here’s a list of five new wine destinations you probably didn’t know about.

United Kingdom

Often cited as one of the major consumers of wine, the UK is now sprouting up as one of the most appealing wine destinations in the world. The stunning view of the vineyards of Great Britain is like the soothing balm for the soul. Over the years, the English wine industry has flourished, and there has been a substantial increase in the number of vineyards in the UK since 2010. White wine produced in the region of Hampshire is one of the finest English wines.

Mount Etna, Italy

The Italians love wine so much, maybe that explains the thriving vineyards even in the volcanic region! Mount Etna which remains the most active volcano in Europe is a rapidly expanding wine region in Italy. Apparently, the high altitude and mineral-rich volcanic soils give the wine a distinct flavour. It must also be noted that most of the vineyards are located on the slopes of Etna.

Who knew Mount Etna would be a hidden treasure trove as a wine destination.

Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania doesn’t fail to impress with its mild summers and cool climes which are particularly favourable for the making of cool-climate wines, such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It has earned the global recognition as a leading producer of premium Aussie wines. Afterall, it isn’t termed as one of the hottest wine destinations in Australia for nothing!

Telemark, Norway

In the recent years, Norway has emerged as the perfect wine destination for wine tourism. We bet you never thought this name could pop up on the list of the possible destinations for wine tourism. In fact, Lerkekåsa Vineyards are the northernmost commercial vineyards in the world. The melted water from the glaciers at Hardangervidda provide rich minerals for the soil which are suited for the vineyards. And for the curious travellers, the nearly magical landscape is a perfect getaway to gratify the longing wanderer and the oenophile in you.

Penedes, Spain

Located in the southwest of Barcelona and at a few hours away from Costa Brava, Penedes in Spain has emerged as one of the prominent wine destinations in the world. This lesser-known destination is a treasure trove for the sparkling wines and rosé Cava. The wine regions in Penedes are divided into three sub-regions based on the topography, low, central and high. Here’s an impressive fact that there are more than 140 wine producers in the wine region of Penedes.

Do you think that it is now time to charter new destinations yet? As they say, let us never underestimate the power of travel and to couple it with wine, let us also hear the whispers of newer destinations in the roar of the prominent ones. So, as your heart aches to see the new lands and you crave satiate your love for wine, maybe it’s now time to tread the off beaten track and explore the newly sprouted and the lesser known wine destinations in the world.

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24

Apr 2018

National Drinks Of The World

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Think about it, what a unique way it is to express your patriotism with a clink of a glass! It sounds like a beautiful puzzle, doesn’t it? Well, don’t be surprised or alarmed, because we’re talking about that deep, age-old connection between countries, the people, and their national alcoholic drinks! Yep, you heard it right. Whether you are an alcohol enthusiast or you are a curious person who generally likes to explore everything under the sun (we mean almost), this is surely going to get you all revved up. Believe it or not, there are many countries in the world which have dedicated national alcoholic drinks!

Let’s open the Pandora’s box of all distilled alcoholic beverages and find out a fact or two of these great nations and their much-celebrated drinks!

It’s T for Tequila for Mexico

Tequila is made from the plant blue agave and only tequila which is made from 100% blue agave can be labelled so. Majority of the times what we mostly find is ‘mixto tequila’, which usually has no less than 51% agave, along with neutral spirit made from sugarcane.

Here are two really interesting facts about Tequila for you, that-
-There is a town called Tequila!
-Tequila is a volcano!
-Mexicans don’t do Tequila shots!

Yep and yep, believe it! Tequila is a town in Mexico’s western state of Jalisco; there is actually a volcano by the same name as Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico. And, this may be surprising for the uninformed ones but, as the world gulps down the fiery tequila shots, the Mexicans like to take small sips of tequila straight-up!

The older the tequila, the better and mellower it tastes, however, it may not have the aging caliber like Scotch. Based on age, Tequila has five categories-

Blanco- Blanco is unaged tequila which is not even two months old in steel or oak barrels;
Reposado- This type of tequila spends roughly between two months to one year in the barrels;
Añejo- This tequila spends anywhere between one year to three years in the barrels;
and,
Extra Añejo- This tequila is aged more than three years.

Then there is another variety based on age, known as Joven, which is unaged as it usually spends between two months to one year in the barrels and has an acquired golden colour. It is usually Blanco mixed with Reposado or Añejo.

Lote Fuenteseca Extra Añejo aged 18 years, is the known, oldest tequila in the world.

It’s Pisco for Peru and Chile

The Peruvians and Chileans are smitten with Pisco, a brandy which is made by distillation and fermentation of grapes. The colour of this drink usually varies from clear to amber, depending upon the ingredients and the process of distillation.
In Peru, the first Saturday of every February is celebrated as National Pisco Sour Day, and the fourth Sunday of every July is celebrated as National Pisco day! Whereas, Chileans celebrate their love for Pisco by celebrating the 15th of May as Pisco Day.

Schnapps-y Austria and Germany

Even though Germans have a special bond with beer, Schnapps also holds a very special place in their hearts. For Germans and Austrians, their national alcoholic beverage is Schnapps. It is a distilled alcoholic beverage which may come in the form of distilled fruit brandy, herbal flavoured liqueurs, infusions and flavoured liqueurs which
are made by adding fruit syrups, spices, or artificial flavorings to neutral grain spirits.
Schnapps is a clear beverage, and can also be made from grains, nuts, roots, vegetables, and flowers.
It is distilled once for to attain about 40 percent alcohol and twice for about 80 percent alcohol content For Austrians and Germans, schnapps is a generic term for fruit brandy and is usually served as a digestif.

Certainly, this ain’t a drink for the faint-hearted!

Beloved Cachaça of Brazil

Say cheers to Cachaça, the most popular alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is made by the distillation process of fermented sugarcane. It should not be confused with rum, which is made molasses which is a byproduct of sugarcane.
Cachaça has two varieties, based on how it is stored before it is bottled and labelled. The young cachaça is stored in stainless steel containers is called ‘branca’ (white), or ‘tradicional’ (traditional) or ‘prata’ (silver).

The second variety is aged cachaça, ‘Amarela’ or yellow cachaça which is stored or aged in wood, which causes a substantial change in its colour.
Some of the popular names for Cachaça are ‘abre-coração’ which means heart-opener, ‘água-benta’ which means holy water, ‘bafo-de- tigre’ or tiger breath, and ‘limpa-olho’ meaning eye-wash.
Cachaça has been made since the 1500s, and it remains a national pride for the Brazilians. So much so, that September 13th is celebrated as the National Cachaça day.

Grappa from Italy

Ah, the Italians and their love for food and drinks! What whisky is to Scots, likewise Grappa is to Italians. The national drink of Italy is a fragrant brandy made by distillation of grape pomace from the winemaking process. Grape pomace consists of grape seeds, pulp, skin, and stalk.
Mostly grappa is clear, which indicates that it is an unaged distillate. However, some grappa may retain very faint stains from the original fruit pomace.
Young grappa is served chilled, usually around 9-13°C, while the aged grappa should be served at slightly below room temperature, roughly around 15-17°C.

This potent firewater is quite an elixir to Italians!

Meet Raki from Turkey
The Turks love Raki which is their national drink. It is an unsweetened drink made from twice distilled and fermented grapes and aniseed. It is traditionally consumed with chilled water and with this dilution it gets the milky-white colour.
Raki also popularly known as ‘aslan sütü’ or ‘lion’s milk’. ‘Aslan’ is a Turkish metaphor for a strong and a courageous man, this quite interestingly makes it ‘milk for the strong’. Or, rather a ‘drink for the strong’ we’d say!

Some Scotch for the Scots

The Scottish love for whisky is not a secret, the much-noted love has been there for generations or perhaps, times immemorial! The famous Scotch whisky is malt or malt grain whisky aged in oak barrels for a minimum period of three years. The original Scotch whisky was made from malted barley and it is divided into five categories, namely- single malt Scotch, single grain Scotch, blended malt Scotch, blended grain Scotch and blended Scotch.
Come May and the entire month is reserved to celebrate the love for whisky, the month is famously known as ‘Whisky Month’ and they have many whisky-based events and festivals to celebrate. Mark your calendars and pack your bags ladies and gentleman. The Scottish Gaelic name for whisky is ‘Beatha’ which translates to the ‘water of life’!
Boy oh boy, can you blame them for being so famously in love with Whisky!? Scotch whisky tastes so fine, they love it and so do people around the world!

From the many barrels across the world to clinking glasses, here’s a light-headed thought for you- like many other factors, people across the globe seem to be united with their love for alcohol, wouldn’t you agree? Turn on the ‘guzzle mode’, mark your calendars, pack your bags, and off you go to explore and celebrate the wonderful world
with the clink of a glass. And cheers to that!

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