Tuesday 1 April 2014

Absinthe

Nicknamed the 'Green Fairy', Absinthe is a bitter, aniseed-flavoured green liquor distilled with anise, fennel and wormwood. It has a reputation to...

Friday 28 March 2014

Beer, Cider & Perry

Beer, cider and perry are fermented alcoholic drinks, each with a colourful and lengthy history of production and consumption. Enjoyed today as much as...

Friday 28 March 2014

Bourbon

Bourbon is as American as the Stars and Stripes, the Grand Canyon and pumpkin pie, but there are some common misconceptions as to what...

Friday 28 March 2014

Calvados

Calvados is a French brandy made from apples (though it can also contain pears). The name is an appellation controlee, meaning that...

Friday 28 March 2014

Cognac

The Cognac region sits at the northern end of the Aquitaine basin plains 120km (75 miles) north of Bordeaux, 80km (50 miles) from the...

Friday 28 March 2014

Gin

Gin is potable spirit flavoured with juniper and other botanicals (such as coriander, angelica, lemon and orange peels) either by compounding or...

Friday 28 March 2014

Rum

The spectrum of rum ranges from light, vodka-like extra-light white rums through to characterful cognac-like aged rums with Navy, Dunder...

Friday 28 March 2014

Tequila

Named after the Mexican town of the same name, tequila is made in Mexico and like cognac and champagne, to be called tequila it must be...

Friday 28 March 2014

Vodka

Vodka is a clear spirit which can be produced from anything containing starch or sugar - including potatoes, sugar beet molasses and, most...

Friday 28 March 2014

Wine - White

White wine is produced through the fermentation of the pulp of grapes and as grapes are naturally chemically balanced to ferment without requiring additional...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Sake / Rice wine

Sometimes described as a rice wine, sometimes as a rice beer, sake shares qualities of both. It is fermented from specially developed rice and water by...

Monday 24 March 2014

Orange/curaçao liqueurs

Curaçao liqueurs are traditionally made from the dried peel of the small bitter Curaçao orange, named for the island of Curaçao. As Curaçao was a Dutch...

Friday 28 March 2014

Falernum

Falernum (pronounced 'Fah-Learn-Um') is a sweet liqueur or syrup (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from the Caribbean which is used to sweeten and flavour cocktails...

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Floc de Gascogne

Floc de Gascogne is a fortified aperitif wine from France's Gascony region, an inland area between Bordeaux and Toulouse, stretching to the Pyrenees famous...

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Advocaat / Eierlikör

Advocaat (or Advocaatenborrel) is a traditional Dutch liqueur made from eggs, sugar and brandy, usually with vanilla and sometime also with fruit. With...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Cherry (cerise) liqueurs

Cherry 'brandy' is traditionally the largest category of cherry liqueurs. A confusing term as most of these liqueurs are actually made by macerating cherries...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Cream of coconut

Cream of coconut is a non-alcoholic sticky goo not be confused with coconut cream. Cream of Coconut is made by mixing coconut juice, sugar, emulsifier,...

Friday 28 March 2014

Vermouth & aromatized wines

Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavoured with aromatic herbs and spices. Part of the 'aromatised' wine family, vermouth is a staple cocktail ingredient,...

Friday 28 March 2014

Kümmel (caraway) liqueurs

Kümmel is a sweet clear digestive liqueur is distilled from grain or potatoes and flavoured with caraway seeds, cumin, fennel, orris and other herbs...

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Arrack

Arrack is often confused with the similarly pronounced and spelt 'Arak', which is a Middle Eastern anise flavoured distillate, similar to pastis or ouzo...

Friday 28 March 2014

Light White Rums

Rum is termed 'light' or 'heavy' depending the level of flavour components or 'congeners' - products of fermentation that are not ethyl alcohol. The level...

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Old tom gins

Often described as a sweet or 'cordial' style of gin, 'old tom' gins were overwhelmingly popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries, when gin was...

Thursday 27 March 2014

Baijiu (白酒) / Shaojiu (烧酒)

Baijiu (白酒) or Shaojiu (烧酒) is a Chinese distilled alcoholic beverage between 40-60% alc./vol. Baijiu literally translates as 'white alcohol' and...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Brandy (eaux-de-vie, cognac & armagnac)

Brandy is distilled from fermented fruit (not grain). The name brandy comes from northern Europe, where 'brand' means to burn, and is a reference to...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Canadian Whiskey

Canadian whisky (spelt without an 'e') has for decades been the best-selling whiskey in the USA and tends to be light bodied in style...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Scotch - blended Scotch whisky

For whisky to be called 'Scotch whisky' it must be a) made on Scotland and b) be aged in oak casks in Scotland for a minimum of three years...

Friday 28 March 2014

Beer eau-de-vie (bierbrand)

Beer eau-de-vie is traditionally made in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and France, typically by smaller breweries and beer brewing monasteries...

Friday 14 March 2014

Akvavit

The word akvavit, like the word whisky, originates from the alchemical term 'water of life' - in Latin, aqua vitae. It is also known as aquavit. This flavoured...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Scotch Grain Whisky

Until the 1830s almost all Scottish whisky was made exclusively from malted barley and produced in pot stills – i.e., it was what we would today call...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Barolo Chinato Wines

As the name (which incidentally is pronounced 'barolo kee-NOT-oh') suggests, Barolo Chinato is an aromatised wine is based on Barolo wine, the famous red...

Monday 31 March 2014

Naval Rum

The long connection between the Royal Navy and rum can be traced back to 1655 and Vice-Admiral William Penn's expedition to the West Indies. In addition...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Fruit cups

Fruit cups were invented by the Victorians and were originally a mixture of fruit, liqueurs and spices with a base spirit of gin and usually made in the...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Blanche d'Armagnacs

Blanche has long been consumed in the Armagnac region but you had to know a distiller in order to obtain what was flavoursome hootch. However, in 2007...

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Armagnac

Armagnac is a fine brandy from South West France. It is distinguished from Cognac by its use of single continuous distillation rather than double batch...

Friday 28 March 2014

Mastikha/Mastika/Masticha/Mastic/Μαστίχα

Mastikha, pronounced 'mahs-TEE-ha' and variously spelt Masticha, Mastichato Chiou, Chios Masticha is a Greek liqueur flavoured with mastic, a semi-transparent...

Friday 28 March 2014

Cold compounded gins

To produce a decent (i.e. distilled) gin requires a two stage process – first a base 'neutral spirit' is made and then this is flavoured by through...

Monday 24 March 2014

Wine - Red

Red wine is made from dark (red or black) grape varieties and can range in colour from intense violet, typical of young wines, through to brick red for...

Monday 24 March 2014

Olives, Cherries & Garnishes

Garnishes are used to decorate cocktails and are often anchored to the rim of the glass. You'll find more about garnishes and how to prepare them in...

Monday 24 March 2014

Mixers, Minerals, Juices & Garnishes

Mixers, minerals and juices are hardly the sexiest items gracing the shelves and fridges of your average bar. However, they are equally important as the...

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Wine - Sparkling

Sparkling wine can be red, white or rose, be any alcoholic strength (up to the mid-teens), have any degree of sweetness and any amount of fizziness. The...

Friday 28 March 2014

Wine - Fortified

If you missed The Art of Shim by Dinah Sanders now would be a good time to invest, because vermouth, amaro, sherry and port have cemented themselves as...

Friday 28 March 2014

Spirits

A spirit or liquor is a strong alcoholic beverage produced by distilling an already alcoholic liquid ('wash') produced by fermentation, most commonly wine...

Friday 28 March 2014

Cocktail Ingredients

Cocktails are made from practically anything which is edible, alcoholic or otherwise. The range of spirits and liqueurs available is vast, as are the variety...

Friday 28 March 2014

Spiced / Flavoured Rums

The spectrum of rum ranges from light, vodka-like extra-light white rums through to characterful cognac-like aged rums with Navy, Dunder and such like...

Friday 28 March 2014

Jenever (Genever)

Also known as jenever, jeneva, geneva and hollands, genever is a juniper-flavoured spirit from Holland and Belgium. Helpfully, the van Dale Dictionary,...

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Amaro

Amaro is both the Italian word for bitter and the name of a bittersweet style of liqueurs traditionally from Italy. Amari (the plural of amaro) are usually...

Sunday 20 April 2014

Bourgogne Aligoté

Bourgogne Aligoté is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) white wine produced from the Aligoté grape variety in the France's Burgundy region...

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Barley Wine

Barley wine has nothing to do with grapes. Instead it is the strongest of beers, with alcoholic strengths approaching those of wine (7 to 12% alc./vol.)...

Saturday 31 May 2014

Root Beer

Root beer originated in North America and remains most popular in North America. Historically made using the root of the sassafras plant with that being...

Sunday 1 June 2014

Whisk(e)y

The word 'whiskey' derives from the Gaelic 'uisque beatha', meaning 'water of life' and whiskies are distilled in countries around the world...

Monday 2 June 2014

Tasmanian Whisky

Easily misunderstood as a pretty wilderness south of the mainland and famous for the Beaconsville mine collapse that left two men trapped a kilometre underground...

Monday 16 June 2014

Coconut water

Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut plant Cocos nucifera, which belongs within the Arecaceae family of palm trees. Coconut palms flourish in coastal...

Three Barrels Honey

A 'blend of Three Barrels VSOP and natural honey flavouring.' ...

PMG Rhum Blanc Agricole Rum

A 'premium' un-aged agricole rum distilled on the island of Marie-Galante, from sugar cane grown on the island...

Caroni 15 Year Old

Distilled at Trinidad's legendary Caroni Distillery in February 1998, before the closure of the nearby state-owned sugar plantation caused the distillery...

The Naked Grouse

This blended Scotch whisky includes malt whisky from Highland Park and The Macallan, both of which have undergone aging in first-fill sherry casks. ...

Unoco coconut water

Made using '100% young green coconut water'from coconuts grown Philippines, Unoco coconut water is also bottled in Philippines unsweetened and without...

Pallini Limoncello

This liqueur takes its name from Nicola Pallini, an Italian merchant who started trading in spirits and liqueurs in 1875. Today the company is in the hands...

Giffard Apricot

This apricot liqueur is made with an infusion of ripe 'Rouge du Roussillon' apricots by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur...

Giffard Watermelon

This liqueur is made with an infusion of Spanish watermelons by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer in France's...

Giffard Triple Sec

This triple sec liqueur is made from distillates of sweet and bitter oranges by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer...

Giffard Rhubarbe

Launched in November 2006, this liqueur is made in small batches from the slow maceration of green and pink rhubarb in beet neutral alcohol...

Giffard Poire William

This pear liqueur is made with distillates of Poire William by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer in France's Loire...

Giffard Parfait Triple Sec

This triple sec liqueur is made from distillates of sweet and bitter oranges by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer...

Giffard Parfait Amour

Made according to a very old recipe with natural violets, geranium, orange and vanilla flavourings by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and...

Giffard Orange Curacao

This orange curaçao liqueur is made with a distillate of bitter orange peels and cognac by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur...

Giffard Noisette/Hazelnut

This liqueur by the family firm of Giffard in France's Loire Valley is made by the slow maceration of roasted hazelnuts in beet neutral alcohol...

Giffard Creme de Menthe Verte

This green mint liqueur was created by Emile Giffard in 1887, who was a pharmacist at the time in the city centre of Angers, France...

Giffard Green Melon

As the name suggests, this liqueur is made from the slow maceration of green melon in beet neutral alcohol...

Giffard Marasquin

This maraschino liqueur is made with the distillate of sour cherries by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer in France's...

Giffard Mandarine Liqueur

This liqueur by the family firm of Giffard in France's Loire Valley is made from the distillation of tangerine peels...

Giffard Grenade / Pomegranate

Flavoured with pomegranate juice and natural extract, this liqueur is made by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer...

Giffard Blue Curacao

This blue curaçao liqueur is made with distillates of sweet and bitter oranges by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer...

Giffard Cherry Brandy

This cherry flavoured liqueur is made with the slow maceration of two varieties of cherries (one sweet and one bitter) by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation...

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Ketel One Vodka

The Dutch refer to their pot stills as 'ketels', thus this vodka is named after the Nolet's original 1864 'Distilleerketel #1' which is still...

Tanqueray Old Tom gin

Launched as a 'Limited Edition' of 100,000 individually numbered bottles in June 2014, Tanqueray Old Tom is Master Distiller, Tom Nichol's interpretation...

Bigallet China China

Produced by Bigallet since 1875, China China is made from a blend of sweet and bitter orange peels macerated in beet neutral alcohol and re-distilled in...

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

Cordon Rouge (literally 'red ribbon') is the original Grand Marnier liqueur created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle and was first served...

Cherry Heering Liqueur

Cherry Heering is made to an 1818 recipe from Danish Steven's cherries, harvested in August. The fruit is crushed together with the stones, which give...

Tanqueray No. Ten

Launched in 2000, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin is based on the traditional Tanqueray botanical recipe but with unusual extras such as camomile and fresh grapefruit...

Beluga Noble

Beluga vodka is distilled in Siberia, 300 km from the nearest town. It is produced from malt using a natural fermentation process without the addition...

Ketel One Citroen

Ketel One Citroen was launched in 2000 and is created by infusing Ketel One vodka with citrus essential oils essence. Two different types of lemon from...

Ketel One Oranje

Ketel One Oranje was launched on 30 April 2010 to coincide with Queen's Day, a national holiday in The Netherlands honouring the Queen's official birthday...

Tanqueray London Dry Gin

Packaged in the same iconic bottle and almost identically labelled to the original 47.3% Tanqueray Special Dry 'Export Strength', this lower 43.1%...

The Botanist Gin

Distilled by Bruichladdich on Islay with nine traditional botanicals (wild Islay juniper berries, cassia bark, angelica root, coriander seed, cinnamon...

Hendrick's Gin

This 'most unusual gin'has been brilliantly marketed as a quintessentially British product, associated with cucumber sandwiches and rose gardens,...

Giffard Banane du Brésil

Part of Giffard's 'Premium' liqueur range, this banana liqueur is made by the slow maceration of Brazilian puree (to optimize contact with alcohol...

La Fee Parisienne Superieure

Launched in 2000, La Fée was the first traditional absinthe to be commercially produced in France since the 1914-15 ban. This improved 'Supérieure'...

Giffard Triple Sec

This triple sec liqueur is made from distillates of sweet and bitter oranges by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer...

Agave Sec Liqueur

Agave Sec retains the classic orange notes of a triple sec liqueur and blends them with rich agave nectar extracted from the same plant tequila is distilled...

Passoa Liqueur

Passoã is a passion fruit flavoured liqueur launched in the Netherlands in 1986. The matt black Passoã bottle features a brightly coloured tropical motif...

Affligem Blond

Affligem is an Belgian Abbey beer brewed since the 12th century and now produced by Affligem Brewery under licence from the Benedictine monks. Affligem...

Mandarine Napoleon liqueur

Mandarine Napoléon is flavoured with Mediterranean mandarin peel macerated in alcohol with a secret combination of 20 other botanicals (including green...

Larressingle Armagnac

Not data supplied...

Giffard Abricot du Roussillon

Part of Giffard's 'Premium' liqueur range, this apricot liqueur is made by the slow maceration of 'Rouge du Roussillon' apricots in neutral alcohol...

Cointreau Liqueur

The distilling firm of Cointreau was founded in 1849 by two brothers Adolphe and Edouard-Jean Cointreau, who were confectioners in Angers. The liqueur...

Giffard Marasquin

This maraschino liqueur is made with the distillate of sour cherries by Giffard & Cie, a fourth generation family-owned and run liqueur producer in France's...

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