Posts tagged ‘Beverage’

May 22, 2018

Mezcal

Mezcal (lit. ‘oven-cooked agave’) is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico. Agave, which is often misidentified as a variety of cactus, grows in many parts of Mexico, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca, a southern state. A Oaxacan expression regarding the drink is: ‘Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también.’ (‘For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good as well.’)

It is unclear whether distilled drinks were produced in Mexico before the Spanish Conquest. The Spaniards were introduced to native fermented drinks such as pulque, a milky-looking, alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant (also known as agave americana). Soon, the conquistadors began experimenting with the agave plant to find a way to make a distillable fermented mash. The result was mezcal.

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January 6, 2018

Porter

Arthur Guinness

Porter is a dark style of beer developed in London from well-hopped beers made from brown malt. The name was first recorded in the 18th century, and is thought to come from its popularity with street and river porters.

The history and development of stout and porter are intertwined. The name ‘stout’ as used for a dark beer is believed to have come about because strong porters were marketed under such names as ‘Extra Porter,’ ‘Double Porter,’ and ‘Stout Porter.’ The term ‘Stout Porter’ would later be shortened to just ‘Stout.’ For example, Guinness Extra Stout was originally called Extra Superior Porter and was only given the name Extra Stout in 1840.

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June 21, 2017

Bourbon Whiskey

Pappy Van Winkle

Bourbon [boor-buhn] whiskey is a type of American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name is ultimately derived from the French Bourbon dynasty, although it is unclear precisely what inspired the whiskey’s name (contenders include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans).

Bourbon has been distilled since the 18th century. The use of the term ‘bourbon’ for the whiskey has been traced to the 1820s, and the term began to be used consistently in Kentucky in the 1870s. While bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South, and with Kentucky in particular.

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April 15, 2016

Apéritif and Digestif

dryness

Apéritifs and digestifs are drinks, typically alcoholic, served before (apéritif) or after (digestif) a meal. An apéritif is served to stimulate the appetite, and is therefore usually dry rather than sweet. A digestif is intended to aid digestion. When served after a coffee course, it may be called ‘pousse-café.’ Digestifs are usually taken straight and typically contain carminative herbs, which are thought to aid digestion. ‘Apéritif’ is a French word derived from the Latin verb ‘aperire,’ which means ‘to open.’ The French slang word for ‘apéritif’ is ‘apéro,’ although in France an ‘apéro’ is also light food eaten in the late afternoon/early evening.

Common apéritif choices include dry vermouth, champagne, pastis (an anise-flavored spirit from France), gin, and dry sherry (e.g. fino and amontillado). ‘Apéritif’ may also refer to a snack that precedes a meal. This includes an amuse-bouche (a single, bite-sized hors d’oeuvre), such as crackers, cheese, pâté or olives. Common kinds of digestif include: Brandy, Cream Sherry, Sweet Vermouth, Port, Grand Marnier, Jagermeister, Kahlua, limoncello, ouzo, and tequila. In certain areas, it is not uncommon for a digestif to be taken before a main course. One example is le trou Normand, a glass of Calvados taken before the main course of a meal.

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May 13, 2015

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve

pappy

Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve is the flagship brand of bourbon whiskey owned by the ‘Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery’ company (which does not actually own or operate a distillery, but rather has it produced under a contract with another company). It is distilled and bottled by the Sazerac Company at its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. It is often regarded as one of the finest bourbons in the world, and is rare to find on the market due to its very low production and high demand. The product has a cult-like following. Famous chefs such as Anthony Bourdain and David Chang have favored the product.

‘Food Republic’ reported that Chef John Currence said: ‘There’s Pappy Van Winkle, then there’s everything else.’ Bourbon aficionados have shown up in droves to get a small chance in a lottery to purchase some. It has been called ‘the bourbon everyone wants but no one can get.’ A writer for ‘The Wall Street Journal’ said ‘You could call it bourbon, or you could call it a $5,000 bottle of liquified, barrel-aged unobtanium.’ Jen Doll wrote in ‘The Wire,’ ‘It’s an age-old dilemma (supply and demand) leading to an age-old marketing dream (a product that can’t be kept on the shelves … money in the pockets … bourbon in the bourbon snifters).’

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April 7, 2015

Alcohol Powder

Palcohol

Alcohol powder is molecularly encapsulated ethanol. The powder produces an alcoholic beverage when mixed with water. According to food chemist Udo Pollmer of the European Institute of Food and Nutrition Sciences in Munich, alcohol can be absorbed in cyclodextrins, a synthetic carbohydrate derivative. The cyclodextrins can absorb an estimated 60 percent of their own weight in alcohol while remaining dry to the touch. A US patent was registered for the process as early as 1974.

Alcohol powder can be used to reconstitute alcoholic beverages or inhaled through a nebulizer (mister). In Germany a product called Subyou reportedly was distributed on the Internet. The product was available in four flavors and packed in 65 – 100 gram sachets. When mixed with 0.25 liters of water it gives a drink with 4.8% alcohol. It was assumed a German producer manufactured the product from imported raw alcohol powder from the US.

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November 23, 2013

Soju

jinro chamisul

Soju (lit. ‘burned liquor’) is a distilled beverage native to Korea, typically 20% alcohol by volume. Jinro and Lotte soju are the first and third top selling alcohol brands in the world. It is usually consumed neat. It is traditionally made from rice, wheat, barley, but modern producers of soju use supplements or even replace rice with other starches, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.

Alcohol etiquette is tied to South Korea’s strict culture of respect, particular for elders. When accepting a glass from an older person, the recipient must hold the glass with two hands (left palm on the bottom, right hand holding the side) and bow the head slightly. When drinking the younger person must turn away from the elder and cover their mouth and glass with their hands. There are a few rules unique to Soju: never pour your own glass, and don’t refill your glass until it’s empty.

November 13, 2013

Soylent

Powder People

Soylent is a food substitute intended to supply all of a human body’s daily nutritional needs, made from powdered starch, rice protein, olive oil, and raw chemical powders. It was designed by software engineer Rob Rhinehart as a low cost alternative to traditional food that can be prepared and consumed very quickly.

Lacking background in chemistry or nutrition, Rhinehart developed the formula through research and self-experimentation. He named it after a fictional food from the novel ‘Make Room! Make Room!’, on which the 1973 film ‘Soylent Green’ was loosely based.

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March 24, 2013

Chifir’

chifir

Chifir’ is a type of strong tea brewed in Russia. The etymology is uncertain but is thought to come from the word ‘chikhir” meaning a strong Caucasian wine, or a Siberian word for spoiled wine that has become sour and acidic. Chifir’ is typically prepared with either two or three tablespoons of loose tea per person poured on top of the boiled water. It is brewed for 10–15 minutes without stirring – until the leaves drop to the bottom of the cup. Chifir’ drunk without sugar is highly unpleasant; sweets can be held in the mouth before, during or after drinking to soften its bitter taste.

It is similar to Egyptian Sa’idi tea, a somewhat similar beverage (essentially a 1/9-strength recipe, but consumed in larger quantities).

January 3, 2013

Espresso

Espresso [e-spres-oh] is a type of Italian coffee that is concentrated. It is brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.

Espresso often has a thicker consistency than coffee brewed by other methods, a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and crema (meaning cream, but being a reference to the foam with a creamy texture that forms as a result of the pressure). Because espresso is so strong, it is usually mixed with with milk (steamed, wet foamed, or dry foamed) or hot water (e.g. latte, cappuccino, macchiato, mocha, or americano).

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January 3, 2013

Affogato

An affogato [ahf-foh-gah-toe] (Italian, ‘drowned’) is a coffee-based beverage.

It usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso. Some variations also include a shot of Amaretto or other liqueur.

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July 24, 2012

Duff Beer

duffman

Duff Beer is a brand of beer that originally started as a fictional beverage on the animated series ‘The Simpsons,’ since then it has become a real brand of beer in a number of countries without permission or consent from it’s original creator, Matt Groening, and has resulted in legal battles with varying results. Groening has stated that he will not license the Duff trademark to brew an actual beer, over concern that it would encourage children to drink.

It is Homer Simpson’s beer of choice and a parody of stereotypical commercial beer: very cheaply priced, poor-quality, and advertised everywhere. The name was inspired by one-syllable beer names in the US (such as ‘Bud’). In an excerpt from his autobiography, former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan claimed that the beer was named after him as the writers were fans of the band and he was known for his extreme alcohol consumption.

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