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What Exactly Is Rye Whiskey?

Traditionally, whiskeys distilled from Rye grain are regarded as Rye Whiskey.

Rye whiskey is one of the feisty, original and most popular styles of American spirits. American Rye whiskey must be distilled from at least 51 percent Rye amongst other grains. Presence of Rye brings in all new layers of texture and flavour to your whiskey.

While in Canada, whisky is often referred to as Rye whisky for some historical reasons, although it may or may not actually contain any Rye grain.

DID YOU KNOW?

Whisky from Scotland, Canada and Japan is written without an “e” and whiskey from Ireland and the United States is generally written with an “e.”

The past, present and future of Rye Whiskey

Historically, Rye whiskey was the prevalent whiskey but it disappeared after prohibition in the United States. It wasn’t until the Rye whiskey revival in the early 2000s that the thirst for Rye whiskey and Rye whiskey based cocktails accelerated.

Tex Ritter even wrote a folk song “Rye Whiskey” after the prohibition to express the state of Rye drinkers, which goes like:

Her parents don’t like me they say I’m too poor

They say I’m unworthy to enter her door

It is a whiskey Rye whiskey Rye whiskey I cry

If I do not get Rye whiskey, well I think I will die

After decades of near-nonexistence, Rye is now officially making a comeback and whisky connoisseurs around the country couldn’t be happier as Rye whiskey is often their preferred drink.

In an age where strong flavours are back in style, Rye is enjoying a new golden era. Rye whiskey is much spicier than their bourbon or wheat or corn counterparts.

Rye whiskey is the whiskey that feels like next level booze. There is a lot more going on in Rye whiskey than your average drink and that can be little intimidating for the novice whiskey drinker.

Here are some of the parameters an American whiskey-maker must follow in order to label the whiskey bottle as Rye:

  • Must use at least 51 percent Rye as the base grain
  • New, charred oak barrels must be used for aging
  • Whiskey must be distilled to no more than 160 Proof (80 percent ABV)
  • Whiskey must be put into the barrel at no higher than 125 proof (62.5 percent ABV)
  • Whiskey must be bottled at a minimum of 80 Proof (40 percent ABV)
  • To call it “Straight” Rye it must be aged at least for two years. The bottle should carry an age statement, if it is aged less than four years. For a bottle labelled “straight Rye” and having no age statement, it must be at least four years old. And also make sure it’s not blended with any other spirits during the process.

Once all the above parameters are met you have your American Rye Whiskey.

Rye is known for its peppery bite, a spicy splash of flavour, wonderful high notes and at the same time deeper, bolder, taste that washes over the palate with every sip.

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What Are Tiki Cocktails?

The word ‘Tiki’ is derived from Māori mythology. As per the mythology, Tiki was the first man created by either Tūmatauenga (The god of war, hunting, food cultivation, fishing, and cooking) or Tāne (The god of forests and birds).

There is no precise definition of a Tiki cocktail. However, there are few features found in almost every Tiki cocktail, which sets it apart from other cocktails.

Rum –

Most tiki drinks at least have one type of rum in it, although many mix up to three distinct styles of the sweet liquor. 

Lots of tropical fruits –

Like true tropical fashion, Tiki drinks include fruit juices and many tiki cocktail recipes include more than one fruit. So, when it’s time for Tiki drink, make sure to have a decent stock of fruits like Orange, Passion fruit, pineapple, Guava, and Coconut. The fruit dominates the flavour and hides the heavy taste of Liquor. This is ideal for people who prefer less alcohol flavour, and yet it also makes them mildly more hazardous because they end up feeling so great that they almost forget how powerful these drinks are.

Layers of flavours –

These first two features are the sign that these cocktails are anything but plain or boring. The Tiki cocktails will often have four or more components that add a pleasing depth to the flavour of the drink. Tiki drinks are among the most exciting and delightful flavour experiences you will have.

Spices –

Although spices are not a requirement, you will find that many Tiki drinks have an ingredient that adds a touch of spice. Pimento dram, spiced rum and spices like nutmeg can be found in several Tiki cocktail recipes.

Variations in a recipe –

One of the many theories is that the ingredients in the Tiki cocktails were kept secret for so long, that bartenders began interpreting what may be in them. For this reason, Tiki cocktails have multiple variations. Almost every drink has had ingredients added, subtracted, and substituted multiple times over the years. Some barely resemble what we accept as the original recipe.

The Presentation –

We often believe that Tiki drinks will be served in quirky mugs with extravagant garnishing, but to your surprise, the two classic tiki drinks, the Mai Tai and the Zombie, are served in regular glasses. However, Tiki mugs have become vital; people expect them and love them. Tiki presentations are a little lavish. You might find Chinese lanterns, paper peacocks, and fog or fire flowing out of your drink.

The Tiki cocktails require a lot more effort than your standard gin and tonic, but the layered, complexly flavoured; highly boozy drinks are worth a little extra hard work.

Here are the top 5 Tiki cocktails – 

Mai Tai –

Mai Tai is one of the most famous Tiki cocktails. It is created by Victor Bergeron, one of the founders of the tiki bar scene. In Tahitian, Mai Tai means good. A proper Mai Tai is a profound amber colour that enables the rum to shine through with the other ingredients. The Mai Tai has taken on a much more fruitful flavour over the years.

Zombie –

Legend has it that Donn Beach created this potent drink in the 1930s and named it for its impact on a friend who consumed three of them.

Painkiller –

You’re looking at something similar to a Pina Colada with a twist. Add a touch of spice, the painkiller cocktail is a fun and fruity mix, made of pineapple, orange, coconut, and bold rum.

Singapore Sling –

This cocktail wasn’t created in the tiki world. It was invented and reinvented time and again. The original recipe is attributed to a bartender named Ngiam Tong Boon, who said to have mixed the first Sling around 1915 at the Long Bar inside Singapore’s Raffles Hotel.

Rum Runner –

Rum Runner was invented at a popular bar in Florida in the 1950s. Rum Runner is another example of a fabulous drink with many recipes. Generally, a Rum Runner should have rum, banana liqueur, and blackberry liqueur, and grenadine.

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What Are Some Of The Best Drinks In France, Apart From Wine?

French people are passionate about everything, including their food, their art, their culture and of course their drinks.

Historically, the French have been associated with the finer things in life like French fashion, French fragrances and French wine. They have admirers all over the globe.

So here is a list of some of the best drinks the French consume apart from wine:

  1. Benedictine

Benedictine is an herbal liqueur but unlike other herbal liqueurs, it’s not medicinal. It was first developed by Alexandre Le Grand in 19th century. Benedictine is truly a unique drink flavoured with a secret concoction of 27 flowers, berries, herbs and spices. 

  1. Chambord

Chambord Liqueur Royale de France is made with raspberries, blackberries and Madagascan vanilla steeped in cognac. It is produced at a chateau in the Loire Valley of France. It’s a fruity drink which makes a good base for cocktails, especially “Sex on the Beach.”

  1. Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is an orange scented, Cognac based spirit. It is first produced by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880. Grand Marnier is a blend of cognac brandy, distilled essence of orange and sugar and have 40 percent ABV. It is popular as a straight up drink, on the rocks or in a cocktail making it the perfect accompaniment for crepes, patisseries, and Christmas cake.

  1. Absinthe

Absinthe also known as “la fée verte” meaning the Green Fairy due to its natural green colour (it may also be colourless) was originally made in Switzerland. It was in 19th century that France started producing the aniseed tasting liqueur. Traditional absinthe is made from grand wormwood, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.

  1. Calvados

Calvados is a variety of brandy which is made from apples and sometimes pears also. It is produced predominantly in the Normandy region of France. Specially grown and selected apples from over 200 different varieties are fermented to make apple cider. It is then distilled and aged in oak casks, where they remain for at least two years to be classifies as calvados.

  1. Eaux de Vie

French for ‘water for life’, Eaux de Vie is a clear, colourless fruit brandy, made from fruit other than grapes. Ripe fruit is fermented, distilled twice and quickly bottled to preserve the freshness and aroma of the parent fruit. They are typically not aged in wooden casks, hence they are colourless. Eaux de vie is usually served after a meal. 

  1. Chartreuse

Chartreuse is a popular herbal liqueur made by Carthusian Monks since 1737. It got its name from the monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery. It is available in green and yellow versions. Both Green Chartreuse and Yellow Chartreuse use a secret blend of 130 herbs, plants and flowers which are only known by two Chartreuse monks and they alone supervise the entire process.

Green Chartreuse (110 proof or 55% ABV) is the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green colour and Yellow Chartreuse (80 proof or 40% ABV) has a milder and sweeter flavour and aroma than green Chartreuse.

  1. Pastis

Pastis, an anise-flavoured aperitif is found in almost every French house. Typically containing 40–45% ABV and less than 100 g/l sugar, it is generally quite sweet. Paul Ricard commercialized Pastis in 1932. It was a popular replacement for the banned Absinthe, as it had the same flavours.

Pastis means “mixed.” Some believe that refers to the blending of flavours used to create it and some believe that refers to the water you need to add in order to get your flavour to flow out.

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