Cognac is a variety of brandy named after the town of Cognac, France. It is produced in the surrounding wine-growing region in the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime. Cognac production falls under French appellation d'origine contrôlée designation, with production methods and naming required to meet certain legal requirements. Among the specified grapes, Ugni blanc, known locally as Saint-Emilion, is most used; the brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wines barrel age, most cognacs spend longer "on the wood" than the minimum legal requirement. Cognac is a type of brandy, after the distillation and during the aging process, is called eau de vie, it is produced by twice distilling white wines produced in any of the designated growing regions. The white wine used in making cognac is dry and thin. Though it has been characterized as "virtually undrinkable", it is excellent for distillation and aging.
It may be made only from a strict list of grape varieties. For it to be considered a true cru, the wine must be at least 90% Ugni blanc, Folle blanche and Colombard, while up to 10% of the grapes used can be Folignan, Jurançon blanc, Meslier St-François, Sélect, Montils, or Sémillon. Cognacs which are not to carry the name of a cru are freer in the allowed grape varieties, needing at least 90% Colombard, Folle blanche, Jurançon blanc, Meslier Saint-François, Montils, Sémillon, or Ugni blanc, up to 10% Folignan or Sélect. After the grapes are pressed, the juice is left to ferment for 2-3 weeks, with the region's native, wild yeasts converting the sugar into alcohol. At this point, the resulting wine is about 7 to 8% alcohol. Distillation takes place in traditionally shaped Charentais copper alembic stills, the design and dimensions of which are legally controlled. Two distillations must be carried out. Once distillation is complete, it must be aged in Limousin oak casks for at least two years before it can be sold to the public.
It is put into casks at an alcohol by volume strength around 70%. As the cognac interacts with the oak barrel and the air, it evaporates at the rate of about 3% each year losing both alcohol and water; this phenomenon is called locally la part des anges, or "the angels' share". Because the alcohol dissipates faster than the water, the alcohol concentration drops to about 40% over time; the cognac is transferred to large glass carboys called bonbonnes stored for future blending. Since oak barrels stop contributing to flavor after four or five decades, longer aging periods may not be beneficial; the age of the cognac is calculated as that of the youngest component used in the blend. The blend is of different ages and from different local areas; this blending, or marriage, of different eaux de vie is important to obtain a complexity of flavours absent from an eau de vie from a single distillery or vineyard. Each cognac house has a master taster, responsible for blending the spirits, so that cognac produced by a company will have a consistent house style and quality.
In this respect, it is similar to the process of blending whisky or non-vintage Champagne to achieve a consistent brand flavor. A small number of producers, such as Guillon Painturaud and Moyet, do not blend their final product from different ages of eaux de vie, so produce a "purer" flavour. Hundreds of vineyards in the Cognac AOC region sell their own cognac; these are blended from the eaux de vie of different years, but they are single-vineyard cognacs, varying from year to year and according to the taste of the producer, hence lacking some of the predictability of the better-known commercial products. Depending on their success in marketing, small producers may sell a larger or smaller proportion of their product to individual buyers, wine dealers and restaurants, the remainder being acquired by larger cognac houses for blending; the success of artisanal cognacs has encouraged some larger industrial-scale producers to produce single-vineyard cognacs. According to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac, the official quality grades of cognac are: V.
S. or ✯✯✯ designates a blend in which the youngest brandy has been stored for at least two years in cask. V. S. O. P. or Reserve designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least four years in a cask. XO or Napoléon designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is stored for at least six years; the minimum storage age of the youngest brandy used in an XO blend has been increased to 10 years in April 2018. The Napoleon designation unofficial, will be used to denote those blends with a minimum age of six years that do not meet the revised XO definition. Hors d'âge is a designation which BNIC states is equal to XO, but in practice the term is used by producers to market a high-quality product beyond the official age scale; the names of the grades are in English because the historical cognac trade in the 18th century involved the British. Cognac is classified by crus defined geographic denominations where the grapes are grown
A Brandy Alexander is a brandy-based cocktail consisting of cognac, crème de cacao, cream that became popular during the early 20th century. It is a variation of an earlier, gin-based cocktail called an Alexander; the cocktail known as Alexander today may contain brandy. There are many rumors about its origins; some sources say it was created at the time of the London wedding of Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in 1922. Drama critic and Algonquin Round Table member Alexander Woollcott claimed that it was named after him. Other sources say it was named after the Russian tsar Alexander II; the drink was named after Troy Alexander, a bartender at Rector's, a New York City restaurant, who created the drink in order to serve a white drink at a dinner celebrating Phoebe Snow, a character in a popular advertising campaign in the early 20th century. The cocktail is known to have been John Lennon's favorite drink, he was introduced to the drink on March 12, 1974 by Harry Nilsson, in the midst of Lennon's so-called "lost weekend."
The pair began heckling the Smothers Brothers, whilst being ejected Lennon assaulted a waitress. Lennon said the drinks "tasted like milkshakes." In the movie Days of Wine and Roses, alcoholic Joe Clay takes Kirsten Arnesen out on a date. When she explains that she dislikes liquor but likes chocolate, he orders her a Brandy Alexander; this begins Kirsten's descent into alcoholism. In the 1981 film Tattoo, Bruce Dern takes Maude Adams out for orders a Brandy Alexander; when she comments that he does not look the Brandy Alexander type, he replies, "I like the foam...it reminds me of the ocean."The 1981 Granada Television production of Brideshead Revisited, episode 1, has a scene where Anthony Blanche offers Charles Ryder two Brandy Alexanders while at Oxford. In the James Gray movie Two Lovers, Michelle tells Leonard she drinks Brandy Alexanders with her boyfriend Ronald, a rich lawyer. Leonard orders one at a restaurant to impress her, but ruins the effect by mistaking the stirrer for a straw. In the TV series Greenleaf the bishop's wife Lady Mae drinks it on a daily basis.
The character Brandy Alexander in the novel Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk is named after the drink. Anthony Blanche orders four brandies Alexander in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited; the Granada Television adaptation for television helped repopularize the drink in the 1980s. Christian Kracht repeats the four Brandy Alexanders motif in his 1995 novel Faserland. In Kurt Vonnegut's book, Mother Night, the protagonist suspects that an overly flattering article in the Herald Tribune about his neighbor was "written by a pansy full of Brandy Alexanders." Alexander, a related cocktail that antedates the Brandy Alexander List of cocktails IBA Official Cocktails
Beer is one of the oldest and most consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewed from cereal grains—most from malted barley, though wheat and rice are used. During the brewing process, fermentation of the starch sugars in the wort produces ethanol and carbonation in the resulting beer. Most modern beer is brewed with hops, which add bitterness and other flavours and act as a natural preservative and stabilizing agent. Other flavouring agents such as gruit, herbs, or fruits may be used instead of hops. In commercial brewing, the natural carbonation effect is removed during processing and replaced with forced carbonation; some of humanity's earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, "The Hymn to Ninkasi", a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people.
Beer is distributed in bottles and cans and is commonly available on draught in pubs and bars. The brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries; the strength of modern beer is around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume, although it may vary between 0.5% and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% ABV and above. Beer forms part of the culture of many nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling and pub games. Beer is one of the world's oldest prepared drinks; the earliest archaeological evidence of fermentation consists of 13,000 year old residues of a beer with the consistency of gruel, used by the semi-nomadic Natufians for ritual feasting, at the Raqefet Cave in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in Israel. There is evidence; the earliest clear chemical evidence of beer produced from barley dates to about 3500–3100 BC, from the site of Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran.
It is possible, but not proven, that it dates back further — to about 10,000 BC, when cereal was first farmed. Beer is recorded in the written history of ancient Iraq and ancient Egypt, archaeologists speculate that beer was instrumental in the formation of civilizations. 5000 years ago, workers in the city of Uruk were paid by their employers in beer. During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, each worker got a daily ration of four to five litres of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment, crucial to the pyramids' construction; some of the earliest Sumerian writings contain references to beer. The Ebla tablets, discovered in 1974 in Ebla, show that beer was produced in the city in 2500 BC. A fermented drink using rice and fruit was made in China around 7000 BC. Unlike sake, mold was not used to saccharify the rice. Any substance containing sugar can undergo alcoholic fermentation, it is that many cultures, on observing that a sweet liquid could be obtained from a source of starch, independently invented beer.
Bread and beer increased prosperity to a level that allowed time for development of other technologies and contributed to the building of civilizations. Xenophon noted. Beer was spread through Europe by Germanic and Celtic tribes as far back as 3000 BC, it was brewed on a domestic scale; the product that the early Europeans drank might not be recognised as beer by most people today. Alongside the basic starch source, the early European beers might contain fruits, numerous types of plants and other substances such as narcotic herbs. What they did not contain was hops, as, a addition, first mentioned in Europe around 822 by a Carolingian Abbot and again in 1067 by abbess Hildegard of Bingen. In 1516, William IV, Duke of Bavaria, adopted the Reinheitsgebot the oldest food-quality regulation still in use in the 21st century, according to which the only allowed ingredients of beer are water and barley-malt. Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution continued to be made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century AD, beer was being produced and sold by European monasteries.
During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture to industrial manufacture, domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the 19th century. The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing by allowing the brewer more control of the process and greater knowledge of the results. In 1912, the use of brown bottles began to be used by Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the United States; this innovation has since been accepted worldwide and prevents harmful rays from destroying the quality and stability of beer. As of 2007, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ran
The Vesper or Vesper Martini is a cocktail, made of gin and Kina Lillet. The drink was named by Ian Fleming in the 1953 James Bond novel Casino Royale. "A dry martini," said. "One. In a deep champagne goblet.""Oui, monsieur.""Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it well until it's ice-cold add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?""Certainly, monsieur." The barman seemed pleased with the idea."Gosh, that's a drink," said Leiter. Bond laughed. "When I'm...er...concentrating," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and strong and cold and well-made. I hate small portions of anything when they taste bad; this drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."—Ian Fleming, Casino Royale, Chapter 7, "Rouge et Noir'Fleming continues with Bond telling the barman, after taking a long sip, "Excellent... but if you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it still better," and adds in an aside, "Mais n'enculons pas des mouches".
Bond in the next chapter, "Pink Lights and Champagne", names it the Vesper. At the time of his first introduction to the beautiful Vesper Lynd, he obtains her name in a perfect interrogation indirecte, "I was born in the evening..on a stormy evening.." and asks to borrow it. A Vesper differs from Bond's usual cocktail of choice, the martini, in that it uses both gin and vodka, Kina Lillet instead of the usual dry vermouth, a lemon peel instead of an olive. Although there is a lot of discussion on the Vesper, it is only ordered by Bond once throughout Fleming's novels – although Bond drinks the Vesper in the film Casino Royale – and by books Bond is ordering regular vodka martinis, though he drinks regular gin martinis. Felix Leiter ordered a Vesper for Bond in the novel Diamonds Are Forever, albeit with Cresta Blanca in place of Kina Lillet, which Bond politely remarks is the "Best Vermouth I tasted." It may be that Fleming decided not to have Bond order a Vesper again due to the way in which Casino Royale ends.
In actuality, the book version of the Vesper was created by Fleming's friend Ivar Bryce. In Bryce's copy of Casino Royale Fleming inscribed "For Ivar, who mixed the first Vesper and said the good word." In his book You Only Live Once, Bryce details that Fleming was first served a Vesper, a drink of a frozen rum concoction with fruit and herbs, at evening drinks by the butler of an elderly couple in Jamaica, the Duncans, the butler commenting, "'Vespers' are served." Vespers or evensong is the sixth of the seven canonical hours of the divine office and are observed at sunset, the'violet hour', Bond's chosen hour of fame for his martini Vesper. However, the cocktail has been misrecorded after mishearing the name in several instances, resulting in its being alternatively named'Vespa'. Since Gordon's Gin was reformulated in 1992 and Kina Lillet was reformulated in 1986, substitutes can be made that attempt to recapture the original flavour of the drink: Lillet Blanc is still available, but had the quinine removed in 1986.
During the mid 20th century Lillet and Kina Lillet were noted as being different products. Cocchi Americano can be used as a substitute to recreate the original recipe, gives a more bitter finish than Lillet Blanc. For a more traditional flavour, 50% vodka is used to bring the alcohol content of the vodka back to 1953 levels, with grain vodka being preferred. Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, American Beefeater, or Broker's gin provides the traditional flavour of 47% gin, whereas Gordon's Gin, in the UK domestic market, has been reformulated to 37.5%. Esquire printed the following update of the recipe in 2006: Shake with plenty of cracked ice. 3 oz Tanqueray gin, 1 oz 100-proof Stolichnaya vodka, 1⁄2 oz Lillet Blanc, 1⁄8 teaspoon quinine powder or, in desperation, 2 dashes of bitters. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and twist a large swatch of thin-cut lemon peel over the top; the recipe concluded, "Shoot somebody evil." Martini Outline of James Bond Wondrich, David. "James Bond Walks Into A Bar... and orders a Vesper, a cocktail.
Here, a remake." Esquire. Retrieved March 1, 2016. "Shaken and Stirred, James Bond Loves His Booze" Time.com. Retrieved November 12, 2008. "Matin" ZimZahm Productions. Retrieved July 6, 2009. Gordon's Gin Lillet
Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy contains 35–60% alcohol by volume and is drunk as an after-dinner digestif; some brandies are aged in wooden casks. Others are coloured with caramel colouring to imitate the effect of aging, some are produced using a combination of both aging and colouring. Varieties of wine brandy can be found across the winemaking world. Among the most renowned are Cognac and Armagnac from southwestern France. In a broader sense, the term brandy denotes liquors obtained from the distillation of pomace, or mash or wine of any other fruit; these products are called eau de vie. The origins of brandy are tied to the development of distillation. While the process was known in classical times, it was not used for significant beverage production until the 15th century. Wine was distilled as a preservation method and as a way to make it easier for merchants to transport, it is thought that wine was distilled to lessen the tax, assessed by volume. The intent was to add the water removed by distillation back to the brandy shortly before consumption.
It was discovered that after having been stored in wooden casks, the resulting product had improved over the original distilled spirit. In addition to removing water, the distillation process led to the formation and decomposition of numerous aromatic compounds, fundamentally altering the composition of the distillate from its source. Non-volatile substances such as pigments and salts remained behind in the still; as a result, the taste of the distillate was quite unlike that of the original source. As described in the 1728 edition of Cyclopaedia, the following method was used to distill brandy: A cucurbit was filled half full of the liquor from which brandy was to be drawn and raised with a little fire until about one-sixth part was distilled, or until that which falls into the receiver was flammable; this liquor, distilled only once, was called spirit of brandy. Purified by another distillation, this was called spirit of wine rectified; the second distillation was made in balneo mariae and in a glass cucurbit, the liquor was distilled to about one half the quantity.
This was further rectified as long. To shorten these several distillations, which were long and troublesome, a chemical instrument was invented that reduced them to a single distillation. To test the purity of the rectified spirit of wine, a portion was ignited. If the entire contents were consumed by a fire without leaving any impurities behind the liquor was good. Another, better test involved putting a little gunpowder in the bottom of the spirit. If the gunpowder could ignite after the spirit was consumed by fire the liquor was good; as most brandies have been distilled from grapes, the regions of the world producing excellent brandies have paralleled those areas producing grapes for viniculture. At the end of the 19th century, the western European markets, including by extension their overseas empires, were dominated by French and Spanish brandies and eastern Europe was dominated by brandies from the Black Sea region, including Bulgaria, the Crimea, Georgia. In 1884, David Sarajishvili founded his brandy factory in Tbilisi, Georgia, a crossroads for Turkish, Central Asian, Persian trade routes and a part of the Russian Empire at the time.
Except for few major producers, brandy production and consumption tend to have a regional character and thus production methods vary. Wine brandy is produced from a variety of grape cultivars. A special selection of cultivars, providing distinct aroma and character, is used for high-quality brandies, while cheaper ones are made from whichever wine is available. Brandy is made from so-called base wine, which differs from regular table wines, it is made from early grapes in order to achieve lower sugar levels. Base wine contains smaller amount of sulphur than regular wines, as it creates undesired copper sulfate in reaction with copper in the pot stills; the yeast sediment produced during the fermentation may or may not be kept in the wine, depending on the brandy style. Brandy is distilled from the base wine in two phases. In the first, large part of water and solids is removed from the base, obtaining so-called "low wine" a concentrated wine with 28–30% ABV. In the second stage, low wine is distilled into brandy.
The liquid exits the pot still in three phases, referred to as the "heads", "heart" and "tails" respectively. The first part, the "head," has an alcohol concentration of an unpleasant odour; the weak portion on the end, "tail", is discarded along with the head, they are mixed with another batch of low wine, thereby entering the distillation cycle again. The middle heart fraction, richest in aromas and flavours, is preserved for maturation. Distillation does not enhance the alcohol content of wine; the heat under which the product is distilled and the material of the still cause chemical reactions to take place during distillation. This leads to the formation of numerous new volatile aroma components, changes in relative amounts of aroma components in the wine, the hydrolysis of components such as esters. Brandy is produced in pot stills, but the column still can be used for continuous distillation. Distillate obtained in this manner is less aromatic. Choice of the apparatus depends on the style of brandy produced.
Cognac and South Afric
International Bartenders Association
The International Bartenders Association, founded on 24 February 1951 in the saloon of the Grand Hotel in Torquay, England, is an international organisation established in order to represent the best bartenders in the world. An annual event, both World Cocktail Competition and World Flairtending Competition were presented and organised by the IBA; the IBA sanctions a list of official cocktails. Each year the events take place in different destinations. For instance in 2006, the competitions were held in Meliton Porto Carras Hotel, Greece, from 6 October 2006 to 7 October 2006. IBA Cocktails are measured in centilitres rather than the more used millilitres. List of IBA official cocktails Official website