THE WORLD OF WINE AND SPIRITS

The World of Wine & Spirits from HEMANT SINGH

Beverages are potable drinks which have thirst-quenching, refreshing, stimulating and nourishing qualities. By refreshing, one means the replenishment of fluid loss from the body due to perspiration. Simulation results in increase of the heart beat and blood pressure. This is due to the intake of spirits (alcohol) or tea (thein) and coffee (coffein). Nourishment is provided by the nutrients in the beverages, especially fruit juices. Most of the beverages supply energy in the form of sugar or
alcohol. They also provide other nutrients like mineral salts and vitamins. For example, milk gives calcium and citrus fruits give vitamin C.
Generally, people drink for one or more of six reasons; to quench thirst, to get drunk, to enjoy a social setting (social drinking), to enjoy the taste of the beverage, to feed an addiction (alcoholism), or as part of a religious or traditional ceremony or custom (proposing toast).

3 Liquor brands to know

                               
Sipsmith Gin
Born over 200 years ago in the UK, Sipsmith is a complex gin made from ingredients sourced from all over the world (Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seeds, Sevillian orange, Spanish licorice root, Chinese cassia bark). It’s smooth enough for a martini, yet rich enough for the perfect British G&T.

Puschkin Vodka 
Available in crystal clear and whipped cream, this German vodka undergoes an ice filtration process to give it a clean flavour. Best for shots, or drinking on the rocks. Available at most liquor shops across India.

Carling Beer
Brought to India by the makers of Cobra beer, this is one of the best-selling lagers in the UK. Light with a sweet hoppy taste, it’s best for afternoon drinking in front of the TV. Available at most liquor shops across India.
http://www.gqindia.com

How to set up a home bar

No man’s home is complete without a well-stocked bar, but what exactly is that supposed to mean?

                     1. Assemble your arsenal (But don’t go overboard)

How you assemble your bar depends on two things: your wallet and your temperament. Got a lot of money and no restraint? Pick up every bottle here and go nuts. (Also: Let’s hang out.)
But the other end of the spectrum – not much money, tons of restraint – isn’t all that bad, either. We call this collection the Core, because it’s these liquors that should be the base of your bar. Whisky, gin, vodka and rum give you a totally unassailable selection of drinks. Then you’ll need sweet and dry vermouth, for Manhattans and martinis; a bottle of bitters; and always, always fresh citrus.
From there, start growing – but be selective. El Dorado rum (and a bottle of ginger beer) will help you quench your Dark ’n’ Stormy craving. A good cognac like Delamain and any Islay scotch will satisfy the people in your life who like to drink things neat. Tequila and triple sec are necessary if you’re a margarita man.
Most bar nerds will insist on Campari, but we think Gran Classico — a Swiss-made variation — makes for a better Negroni. Whether you want absinthe is up to you, but how are you supposed to rinse a Sazerac glass without it?
2. Then get yourself something obscure
Even if your bar is a tiny cabinet in your living room, you’re going to want to have that one outlier bottle that will not only make you look well-stocked, but a bottle that will get you laid, like a local vodka from somewhere in Poland or, a bottle of Caroni Caribbean rum. The distillery has been dismantled and an Italian baron-type figure has control of every last barrel, which experts say will run out in about three years. This rum tastes like burnt tyres sitting out in a tropical sun, but in a good way that’s from charred molasses and the flavors are best set off with some orange rind. Now, finish up and come to bed, darling.
3. Pick up your glassware in the singles section
In the world of cocktails, all that matters is volume; mixed liquor doesn’t need to swirl or breathe. So you should have some four-ounce glasses, for sipping; some four- to eight-ounce short glasses, for lowball cocktails; and some tall eight-ounce glasses, for ice-loaded highballs. Best practice: If you see a glass you like, buy one. Just one. Then repeat until your cupboard’s full.
4. Solve the bitter variables
What bitters are – concentrated botanicals preserved in alcohol- is less important than what they’re capable of. Which is, basically, making a brand new drink out of the same recipe. Take the Old Fashioned. Sub in Regans’ Orange Bitters for Angostura and you plug an amplifier into the drink’s circus note. Bittermens Burlesque will make it sour and a tad spicy. And Dutch’s Colonial Cocktail Bitters, made with hand-harvested flowers and berries, gives the Old Fashioned a dash of pepper and a whole fistful of floral. But be selective. As with automobiles, if you have more than three, you’re just showing off.
5. Go ahead, hide the good stuff
I’ve got my bar. And then I’ve got my Pappy Van Winkle. You may have a bottle or two like this – an old scotch, or maybe a pricey bottle you picked up while travelling. Something that gets secreted away when people come over. I keep mine in my clothes hamper, next to my undies. Am I proud of this? Maybe not so much. But it’s necessary. I don’t need my friends helping themselves whenever they’re over for dinner – and I don’t want to explain why it’s just not the right time, every time. There’s no shame in keeping your best bottle under wraps. The only shame would be never getting around to drinking it.
6. Lighten your tool belt
                
There are about six tools you need to make drinks, and none should come with batteries. Start with a Parisian shaker and a crystal Yarai mixing glass, for shaking and stirring, respectively. You’ll need a strainer, too, for seeds and pulp. Get a jigger with one-ounce and two-ounce sides and a stirring spoon with some weight to it. (It’ll be easier to twirl.) And then settle on a paring knife that feels good in your hand. This one – with a squared-off edge – is specifically designed for dealing with citrus. You will be dealing with a lot of citrus.
Source:http://www.gqindia.com

HENNESSY MARK 250TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ULTRA-RARE COGNAC RELEASE

Hennessy celebrates two and a half centuries of excellence, international expansion, and visionary passion with the release of an ultra-rare Cognac, Hennessy 250 Collector Blend. The distinctive Cognac is the product of eight generations of the Hennessy family’s savoir faire, along with exceptional blending and aging born of the creative inspiration of seven generations of Master Blenders from the Fillioux family.
“The Hennessy 250 Collector Blend is a tribute from the present Master Blender Yann Fillioux to his predecessors and marks a crowning achievement of his illustrious 50-year career,” said Rodney Williams, Senior Vice President, Hennessy, Moet Hennessy USA. “It is a testament to the progressive vision and dedication to excellence that has made Hennessy endeared the world over.”
Hennessy 250 Collector BlendAvailable nationwide in the US, Hennessy 250 Collector Blend is an expertly assembled blend of eaux-de-vie selected to achieve a harmony between power, vivacity, and elegance. Yann and Hennessy’s Comite de Degustation (Tasting Committee) drew from the full Maison Hennessy Reserve to hand select eaux-de-vie with subtle nuances, most notably those that exhibit the lightest wood influence.
“The Hennessy 250 Collector Blend is my way of transmitting heritage to future generations,” said Yann Fillioux. “Blending the very best eaux-de-vie in the Hennessy Reserve to make a Cognac that is absolute happiness, and the inspiration is simple: beautiful, elegant, subtle; all wonderful characteristics for a Cognac to possess.”
A different approach was taken for the finishing of this special anniversary Cognac, yielding distinctive notes and flavors that will never be replicated. The blend completed its maturation by resting for five years, longer than any other Hennessy expression, in 250 specially crafted barrels of 250 liters each, stored at ground level near the banks of the river Charente in Cognac, France. As a result, the rich and expressive aromas are lively and spicy, with notes of bitter orange, fresh nutmeg, licorice, dried peppermint and saffron that unfold with spicy complexity and bold flavor.
Each limited edition bottle (1-liter, $600) is enclosed in a specially designed gift box with a graphic silver map on a luxurious copper metallic surface, evoking Hennessy’s 250-year adventure of crafting the future since 1765.