A Beginner’s Guide To Wine Tasting

Are you a wine lover and ready to take that plunge by becoming an expert? Wine tasting is not for the frivolous, it is an art. You can follow these simple steps to learning the fine art of knowing your wine.

To begin with, remember the magical four S’s…
When there’s wine, you see, swirl, smell and sip. Yes, in that order.

What you ‘see’ is what you get?

So, what do you ‘see’ in wine? You look for the colour, opacity and viscosity.
The colour of the wine you drink can tell a lot about it. Hold the glass against a white background to make it easier to understand the colour. Wine gets its colour by coming in contact with the grape skin, the longer the duration of the contact, the richer the colour it would be.

For white wines, if the yellow of wine is light, bright and almost clear, taste crisp & refreshing, indicates that they have had minimal contact with grape skin, and likely did not age in the oak barrel. If the colour approaches towards a dark & deep yellow, it indicates that the wine had been aged in oak barrel. This type of wine has a fuller, richer & smoother taste.
For red wines, if the shade swirls towards light red or pink, the taste of wine would be light & fresh, because it wasn’t aged in an oak barrel.
The darker & deeper the hue of the wine gets towards maroon & purple, the bolder & richer it would taste, because of aging in oak barrels.

The opacity of wine is indicative of the type of grapes used in making the wine, and the aging process. Is it easier to see through it and does it appear to be light? Opaque wine appears hazy and unfiltered and a common style of Italian wine. These wines tend to carry richer textures and flavours.

The Viscosity of wine is related to the mouthfeel, it refers to the liquid consistency of wine. It is commonly called as ‘wine legs’ is a result of sugar concentration in the wine. The higher the sugar content, the more viscous the wine will be, which gives it a thicker, chewy and heavier mouthfeel.

Swirl It To Make It Better!

The next step to know your wine is to swirl it. But why do you do that? Swirling calls for some sophisticated physics that makes wine taste better. The experts believe that swirling the glass draws oxygen from the air to wines which are dry because of high tannic acids. It releases the aromas which appeal to the senses as you drink your wine. One important tip to remember though, that you do not have to constantly swirl it before each sip because it becomes messy.

Smell It To Know It Better

As you breathe long into the wine glass, the smell of the wine prepares your brain to register the distinct taste and diverse aromas.

Sip It, Don’t Guzzle It!

You ‘never’ gulp the wine like water or soda. You take a sip and let the wine sit in your mouth for a moment to assess the taste. As the wine lingers in your mouth and touches the taste buds, you can understand whether it tastes bitter, sour or sweet. The experts like to swish it in their mouth to understand the taste better, for example, if it tastes dry, the wine is likely to have a higher content of tannins.

Remember to trust your senses and not be intimidated by how the wine tastes and appeals to your senses. Sit back, relax and enjoy the wine tasting experience as you let the taste and aromas of wine explode your senses.
We wish you a happy wine tasting!

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Things To Know About Gin

Did you know that originally it was Gin that gave birth to ‘Dutch Courage’? Over the decades, gin has seen the resurgence to become one of the most popular drinks around the world. It is by far one of the most preferred base spirits in many cocktail drinks. But, have you ever given a thought about what’s the story of its origin and what makes it popular and what is it made from?

With this article, we give you a quick sneak-peak about this trendy drink.

The root of the word ‘gin’ is derived from the Dutch word jenever, genièvre in French and Juniperus in Latin.
The earliest major mention of the ‘juniper-based health-related drinks’ can be found in 1269 in a Dutch encyclopedia work Der Naturen Bloeme (The flower of Nature) by Jacob van Maerlant.

It is believed to trace its origin in the Middle Ages where it was considered a herbal drink used for medicinal purposes. Juniper was added to mask the otherwise poor taste of this medicinal drink.

Gin saw a rise in popularity during the 80 years’ war of English on the Dutch land when the soldiers drank genever for its calming effects before the battle. This gave birth to the famous phrase ‘Dutch Courage’.

While it is documented to have originated in Holland, it progressed to become a popular drink for the English too. It became a drink of commerce in England when the government allowed unlicensed production of gin and simultaneously imposed heavy taxes on the imported spirits.

What is it made from?
The versatile clear spirit usually made from corn or barley grain mash with the infused predominant flavour of juniper berries. The individual flavouring of gin also depends upon the other herbs & botanicals, such as anise, coriander, lavender etc. It is said that no two Gins are alike, and some gins carry as few as 3- 4 flavours and the Scottish Gin botanist has a whopping 31!

The flavours of gin are added with the process of re-distillation, and generally range from citrus, floral to fruity, and it is bottled at 80-90% proof.

Resurgence of Gin
From the traditional medicinal and commercial use of this clear spirit, Gin has come a long way. It is an essential ingredient in many of the classic cocktails, including Tom Collins, Martini, etc.

Gin is clear & light and easily binds as a base spirit in cocktail recipes. It is the versatility and its short production time of gin in comparison with whisky or rum, that makes it so popular.

Distillation Methods
The main three methods of distillation are –

Pot Still Method is the traditional way of making gin by pot-distilling fermented grain mash from barley or other grain used. It is then re-distilled by infusing the botanical flavours and extracting their aromatic compounds.
Gin produced by this method is often aged in tanks and wooden casks and alcohol content of the distillate is relatively low due to the use of pot stills. This gin has a heavier- malty flavour.

Column Distilled Method was invented in 1832 when the distillation of high proof neutral spirits from the fermented mash using reflux such as column still.  The concentrated spirit is re-distilled with juniper berries or other botanicals in a pot still. Mildly flavoured gin is yielded by this method.

Compound Gin is made by flavouring the neutral spirits with natural flavours without redistillation.

How many types of Gin are there?

Primarily, the EU recognizes 4 types of gins, namely-

London dry, Plymouth, Old Tom & Navy Strength.

So, as the summers have arrived, it’s probably time to perk up your evenings by exploring the different flavours of this refreshingly calming alcobev.

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Have You Tried These Coffee Cocktails Yet?

Are you who can’t begin a day without a good strong hot cuppa coffee, and enjoys few drinks in the evenings too? Does the idea of mixing your two pleasures excite your tastes buds? Just when you thought the world couldn’t get any better, there come coffee cocktails to your rescue! You have come to the right place if you answered in the affirmative, and with this article, we intend to delight the coffee lovers with an ultimate list of coffee cocktails. Whether you throw a party & dish out these drinks to floor your guests, or you simply treat yourself to a good buzz, these recipes are going to make you want to have more than a sip of these delicious cocktails. Read on to find out more…

Irish Coffee

Talk of coffee and alcobev, this list has to begin with the classic Irish coffee, a little bit of roasty coffee and a bit of buzz, served just right for that perfect kick.

Irish Coffee

Image & Recipe Source:


  • 4 ounces strong, rich hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 ounce Irish whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 ounce lightly whipped heavy cream


  • Pour the sugar into a warm Irish coffee glass, mug, or other heat-proof glass.
  • Add the coffee and stir until dissolved.
  • Add the Irish whiskey and stir again.
  • Float the cream on top by pouring it over the back of a spoon.
  • Do not stir again. Instead, drink the coffee through the cream.


The rich & delicious mocha paired with vodka & liqueur can even curb the dessert craving after a meal, very easily!

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Recipe Source:


  • 3 Ounces Coffee Vodka
  • 1 Ounce Baileys Liqueur
  • 1 Ounce Tia Maria Liqueur
  • 1 Ounce (plus garnish) Chocolate syrup
  • Cream (half and half)


  • Fill your martini shaker with ice
  • Add in liqueurs, vodka, and syrup
  • Fill shaker to the top with cream
  • Shake well
  • Prepare martini glass by dripping chocolate on the sides of glass
  • Pour in and enjoy!

Rum Coffee

This one certainly makes for a perfect drink especially in the Caribbeans.


Image & Recipe Source:


  • Hot coffee or espresso
  • 1-ounce Rum
  • Amaretto
  • 2 tsp Sugar (optional)
  • Double or heavy Whipping cream


  • To prepare the mixture, pour 1 ounce of rum into a glass, and half an ounce of amaretto liqueur for added booze.
  • Then pour in eight ounces of hot brewed coffee, or you can use espresso if you want a stronger taste of coffee.
  • If you prefer a sweet version of this Caribbean coffee which we prefer too, you can add two tsp of sugar for a bit of sweetness.
  • Finally, for the finishing touches pour on slowly the heavy cream on top of the mixture.
  • Serve and enjoy the coffee drink.

Dark and Stormy Coffee Cocktail

The fancy & the bold dark and stormy with shots of espresso gives you a different high altogether.

Image & Recipe Source:


  • 25 ml dark rum
  • 25 ml tequila
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer
  • 2 tbsp freshly brewed espresso


Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in the rum and tequila. Stir then top with ginger beer. Slowly pour in the espresso.

Turkish Coffee Sour

If you love Turkish coffee, this cocktail recipe is is a must try. The aromas of spices coupled with grounded coffee & spiced rum will tantalize your senses.

Turkish Coffee Sour

Image & Recipe Source:


  • 2 tbsp coffee grounds
  • 5 cardamom pods, bruised (plus 2 to garnish)
  • strip of lemon peel
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20g egg whites
  • 75 ml spiced rum
  • 25 ml lemon juice
  • Angostura bitters (optional) 


  • Put the coffee grounds in a pan with 250ml water.
  • Add the cardamom pods, lemon peel, cloves and cinnamon stick.
  • Bring to the boil, then strain through a sieve lined with 2 pieces of kitchen paper.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Pour 50ml of the coffee mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Add the egg white, spiced rum and lemon juice.
  • Shake hard for 1-2 mins then double strain into 2 coupe or martini glasses.
  • Decorate with another cardamom pod and a few drops of Angostura bitters if you like.

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