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National Drinks Of The World

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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Tips To Remove Wine Stains

Like the prominent expression goes- ‘been there, done that’, the tragic tales of spilled wine glasses indeed ring a bell of familiarity. Haven’t we, after all, experienced our world at a party blissfully waltzing away to glory when all at once the sound of a toppled glass brings it crashing down. It’s that moment which feels like the heart almost skipped a few beats at the sight of spilled wine glasses on the finest attire, or perhaps on the much-celebrated couch. So, we’ll take it as a universally accepted common sense that as much as we love the heavenly taste of wine, we surely don’t like the stains of wine. Getting wine stains on your clothes, carpet or other upholstery can be quite dismaying and removing
them can be quite challenging; but do not worry, we bring you some useful tips to get rid of those stubborn stains.

Teeth

Ever wondered why does wine, which tastes like heaven (well almost!) leave you with an unattractive purplish grin? It is because wine is highly acidic alcoholic beverage which leads to sensitive teeth and enamel erosion. Also, the pigment-producing tannins aid the chromogens in binding to teeth which leads to unattractive stains.

But we love wine, don’t we? And when it comes to red wine, well nothing can come between this love, right? So do not fret about your pearly whites because we have got you covered, you no longer need to be worried about the horrendous purplish grin! Follow these simple tips to keep at bay that scary purplish grin.

● The experts say that brushing your teeth before stepping out removes the plaque or tartar on teeth. Red wine tends to stick to the plaque which worsens the stain so brushing before drinking lessens the chances of stained teeth. Brushing your teeth after drinking leads to damaged tooth enamel, and it makes them more susceptible to damage in the long-term.
● Don’t forget to drink water in between those glasses of wine. Besides keeping you hydrated, it keeps those nasty stains at bay.
● Avoid white wine because the higher acid content in white wine strips off the natural protective layer of teeth; which in turn means greater susceptibility to staining.
● Eat fibrous food because they scrub away the stains as you chew on and help in producing more saliva in the mouth.
● Eating cheese builds up calcium layer on your teeth. It closes the micro-pores on teeth which prevents wine stains.

You can flash that charming smile of yours and sip on that glass of wine, and don’t forget to pay the dentist a regular visit for a healthy set of pearly whites!

Carpets and other Upholstery

So you hosted a party last night and your drunken friend spilled over some wine on your carpet. Oh good Lord, those perfect moments of love and hate! Or wait, it could also be the other way around, maybe it’s the clumsy ‘you’ who did the dreadful deed…so now what do you do? Here’s what you can do, begin with the sheepish smile and help your friend with this simple step-by-step guide to fight those stubborn wine stains.

● Red wine tends to settle in the fibers so, the sooner you act, the better are the chances of getting rid of stains.
● Blot the stain with a cloth, the more it soaks up the better.
● Pour cold water directly on to the wine stain. Water helps in diluting the remains of stain which helps in proper blotting.
● Prepare a paste by adding three parts of baking soda and one part of water. Apply this paste to the stained area. Vacuum the stain once the paste dries off.
● REMEMBER – Do not scrub the stain as it only worsens it.

Clothes

● Gently dab the stain with a cloth.
● Salt is quite a useful tool as it soaks up the excess liquid and prevents it from penetrating to cloth fibers.
● Apply baking soda to neutralize the stain. Make a paste by adding three portions of baking soda and one portion of water and apply this paste on the affected area. Follow this tip by soaking the garment in white wine or club soda.
● If above methods fail, you can perhaps use stain removal formula available in the markets and then wash the garment in a washing machine. Use cold water wash and a good quality detergent. Also, avoid hot water because it lets the stain to set in.
● Again, REMEMBER – Do not rub or scrub the stain!

We hope that these tips prove to be quite useful to you and in a small way. The curtain now falls and the show is over ladies and gentlemen, you may now roll up these useful tips up your sleeves and be a fine stain removal ninja as you can be. We say, keep calm and clean on!

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Drinking Traditions Around The World

The world is a diverse playground and without diversity it would be a mighty dull place to be in, we all know that. Experiencing the local cuisines is one of the many charms of travelling, with so many countries and unique cultures to learn about, you’d be surprised to know that there is a similar uniqueness when it comes to drinking traditions too. Have a drink or two with the natives to explore the quirky drinking traditions, you might as well find out a thing or two about their distinct traditions.

Let’s take you through some of the wackiest and fascinating drinking cultures around the world.

Britain

British culture is so much more than people enjoying their tea. People there LOVE to drink and it is a close contender to the title of beer pilgrimage, well the next in line is Germany! The Brits have ‘drinking sessions’ well in place, rule of the thumb is that each person at the table buys drinks for the entire group until they have all bought a round each.

Germany

Oh the Germans and their much celebrated love for beer! In many regions, Frühschoppen is generally understood to be a tradition of drinking before midday. Thanks to astonishing production and consumption of beer, beer gardens and the famous Oktoberfest, Germany has become one of the most sought after destinations for the beer lovers around the world. No trip would be complete without trying out local beers and the natives of Cologne are particular about drinking ‘Kosch’ which traditionally should be consumed roughly at 10 °C.

Iceland

The Icelanders have taken their love for alcohol to an altogether next level by dedicating two holidays a year solely to alcohol!  First of March is reserved as Beer day or Bjórdagurinn Bjórdagur. It is celebrated to honour the elimination of prohibition of beer which lasted from 1st January 1915 to 1st March 1989.  Yet another listed public holiday is the first weekend of August called as Merchant’s weekend or Verslunarmannahelgi, which is considered as the biggest party weekend.

Italy

Italians are more of wine drinkers and drinking in Italian culture is usually associated with meal time. They like to have aperitivo is an alcoholic beverage meant to stimulate the appetite. Aperitivo is usually a cocktail, wine or liqueur. Similarly digestivo is served after meal, it is usually infused with herbs which aids in digestion. So much love for drinking!

Spain

Spaniards believe that you earn the curse of seven years of bad sex if you toast with water. Whether in Spain or not, we bet that you surely wouldn’t want to let this nightmarish curse befall you!

Czech Republic

People here are as proud of their beer as French are of their wine! Czechs toast to ‘Na zdraví’ which means ‘to health’ and look at each person in the eye as they clink glasses with them. This custom must be followed to avoid seven years of bad sex!

France

French have a cultivated drinking tradition- they savour their drinks. They are pretty prim and proper in their drinking ways, Frenchmen serve the ladies first and the glasses are to be only half-filled. While in a gathering, they wait for everyone’s glasses to be filled and whoever serves the wine in the gathering makes sure not to fill their glass as it is considered rude. It is customary to look in the eyes as you clink glasses with people and you never cross your arms over theirs.

Russia

Russians are known to be vodka lovers. They make sure to eat something before drinking- zakuska, as they call it and toasting before the drink is also very important there. Remember to pour your vodka last if you’re proposing a toast! Russians usually pair their beer with dry fish and vodka follows pickles.

Peru

They thoroughly enjoy their beer and beer drinking is quite a tradition for Peruvians. Traditional Peruvian way of drinking is a reflection of their kindness and generosity which involves sharing the drink among the group. Usually one person in the group orders a large bottle with a glass and the drink is to be shared using only that one glass.

The Japanese and South Koreans love to follow nuanced age-old traditions. They also love to extend camaraderie toward each other by pouring a cup of drink for each other. They consider it outright rude to pour your own drink and elders must be served first, they also make sure that no one’s glass is empty.

Whichever part of the world you travel to, remember to make your trip more memorable by mingling with the natives. Being respectful of the traditions and culture is an obvious prerogative one must follow. And as it goes, there’s beauty in uniqueness and people who drink share a strange kind of bond that way so go forth and clink glasses the local way.

P.S. Dear teetotalers, please keep heart for you can find other things to explore!

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