Posts Tagged ‘alcohol

What is the best way to drink whisky? For ages we have been fooling around with this question and finding solutions in mixers, frills and what not. Today your question will be answered by the best in the business! Watch.

For many beer is the beverage of choice, whether it be at your local watering hole, at a restaurant or even at home with friends cheering your favorite sports team.  But there’s definitely more to this mug of sudsy goodness, so I present to you 10 Things to Know About Beer.

3Oldie But a Goodie: Beer is one of the world’s oldest beverages, with the history of beer dating back to the 6th millennium BC, and being recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

To Hop or Not to Hop: The use of hops in beer was written of in 822 by a Carolingian Abbot. Again in 1067 by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen: “If one intends to make beer from oats, it is prepared with hops.” Flavoring beer with hops was known at least since the 9th century, but was only gradually adopted because of difficulties in establishing the right proportions of ingredients. In 15th century England, an unhopped beer would have been known as an ale, while the use of hops would make it a beer. However, by the 16th century, “ale” had come to refer to any strong beer, and all ales and beers were hopped.

No Beer, No Go: Apparently, running out of beer was the reason that Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock as opposed to heading further on to Virginia, as was their original intention.  As the diary of one Mayflower passenger reads, “We could not now take time for further search or consideration; our victuals being much spent, especially our beere.”

Beer Can Be Healthy. Part 1: Dark beer is better for you than light. It contains more flavanoids which are natural oxidants that help to protect the body from disease.

All Shiny and Bright: Let some beer sit until it goes flat, then, dampen a washcloth with it, and rub your wooden furniture. This will polish it, and give it a more shiny and healthy look.

4Mama Mia: In the 1600s and 1700s, midwives in Europe and Colonial America gave delivering mothers “Groaning Ale”, which was fermented for seven or eight months and tapped when contractions began. After the birth it wasn’t uncommon for the child to be bathed in the remaining ale, since it was often more sanitary that readily available water.

Beer Can Be Healthy. Part 2: Up to two beers a day for men (women should only have one), will help to reduce your risk of having strokes, and heart disease. Light drinking appears to reduce the risk by as much as 20% according to research in United States.

Priorities. Priorities: The Finnish epic Kalevala, collected in written form in the 19th century but based on oral traditions many centuries old, devotes more lines to the origin of beer and brewing than it does to the origin of mankind.

No More Brown Grass Blues: Help grass grow easier.  Pour beer on those irritating brown spots on your lawns to help your grass grow. The grass absorbs the nutrients, sugar and energy it needs to be able to grow.

Stealing the Thunder: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 devastated the local beer industry, allowing nearby Milwaukee brewers to swoop in and snatch up market share. After establishing a foothold there, breweries like Schlitz took advantage of Chicago’s extensive railroad hub to begin shipping across the country.

Dont watch it, too close to your computer screens. Its hypnotizing. Go North Korea. Go!

There´s only one word to describe the growth and development within the Spanish wine sector in the last decade: incredible.  Dramatic investments both publically and privately have been made, particularly over the last ten years, to improve the quality and reputation of Spanish wines internationally.  Spain is now the 3rd largest wine-producing region in the world, and their commitment to the future of the sector appears to be reaping its benefits.

Spanish wine exports for the first trimester of 2003 increased 8.9% with respect to the first trimester of 2002, with total sales of 317,850,000 euros.  Export volume growth was even higher, with an increase of 15.85% and over 280,600,000 liters sold.  The good news for buyers?  The average price of Spanish wine exports for the first trimester of 2003 decreased 6%, to an average of 1.13 euros per liter.  In other words, Spanish winemakers are cashing in by selling high quality wines at competitive prices.

An excellent example of this trend is what has occured with Spain´s sparkling wine and export giant, called cava.  Export sales of cava grew 15.26% (33.73% in volume) in the first trimester of 2003, while the average price declined 13.8%.  Cava´s increasing popularity worldwide is due to two main factors:  Cava is high quality sparkling wine made using the same time-consuming, laborious production process used to make French champagne, yet it is available at relatively inexpensive, competitive prices compared to its French counterpart.

It is worth noting that sales of Spanish wines with Designation of Origin (Denominación de Origen) have risen 5.53% in terms of value, with an increase of 4.9% in volume.  The average price of these wines remained stable (0.6%).  With such a large selection of wines available to consumers, the D.O. system (known as Appellations d´Origine Contrôlée in French) offers a guarantee of authenticity and quality that appears to be convincing to consumers.

Approximately 25% of Spanish wines carry the prestigious Denominaciones de Origen label (Designations of Origin in English or Appellations d´Origine Contrôlée in French).  Among the red wines, there are two styles which generate a great deal of excitement among professionals and the wine press: dark, full-bodied powerhouse wines from regions such as Ribera del Duero, Toro, and Priorat, and lighter, fruitier wines which are being produced throughout the country, often in a low tannin, whole-berry fermented style.  La Mancha, the vast baking plane south of Madrid that produces most of Spain´s bulk wine, is a source for some fine value, light, smooth reds, as are other D.O. regions, such as Valdepenas and Jumilla.ª  As far as white wines are concerned, D.O.´s such as Condado de Huelva, Rias Baixas, and Albariño are some of the most refreshing and in-demand whites around today.

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