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How To Order Whiskey Like A Pro

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There’s something intriguing about whiskey that makes us revere it with awe — its name, after all, comes from the Gaelic uisce beatha, which means “water of life.” If it’s in fact the “water of life,” then let’s drink up! But before you lift that glass, you need to either A) buy the right kind of whiskey for your home or B) know what to order at the bar! There are several different whiskeys around the world and all are slightly different — made of different ingredients, and even given different names, like Scotch or Bourbon. So sidle up and find out what you should be looking for …

The Many Types

SCOTCH WHISKYS can only be produced in Scotland and are generally made from malted barley, distilled at least twice and aged for at least three years in oak barrels. Scotch typically has a smoky taste because peat (basically dirt) is used in the malting process.

There are two main types: single malt Scotch (made from malted barley) and single grain Scotch (made at a single distillery of malted barley and other grains, malted or unmalted).

Furthermore there are three blends: blended malt Scotch (a blend of single malt Scotch whiskies from different distilleries), blended grain Scotch (a blend of single grain Scotch whiskies from different distilleries) and blended Scotch (a blend of single malt Scotch and single grain Scotch).

IRISH WHISKEYS can only be produced in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and are aged for at least three years. Unlike Scotch whiskies, Irish whiskeys have a cleaner taste since peat is not used in the malting process. Most Irish whiskeys are distilled three times from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley and other grains. This produces a whiskey that is much lighter and more neutral than most others.

AMERICAN WHISKEYS are generally aged in new charred oak barrels. Some of the most popular American whiskeys include Rye whiskey, Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.

  • Rye whiskey, is, as the name suggests, made from rye (at least 51%). It has a spicy, fruity taste. Originally cocktails like the Manhattan, Old-Fashioned, and Whiskey Sour were created with rye.
  • Bourbon is mostly made from corn (at least 51% by regulation) and has a sweet taste. Brands include Maker’s Mark and Wild Turkey.
  • Tennessee whiskey is straight Bourbon whiskey that is made in Tennessee. What differentiates it from regular Bourbon is that it’s filtered through maple charcoal before going into barrels for aging, which removes unpleasant aromas and flavors, giving the whiskey a cleaner taste. There are four brands: Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel, Collier and McKeel, and Benjamin Prichard’s (does not use the filtering process).

How To Serve And Taste Whiskey

Whiskey is really best served “neat“ in a snifter at room temperature with no ice. This type of glass with its particular tulip-like shape helps the drinker enjoy the aroma and flavor. The heat of your hands also helps bring out more flavors in the whiskey.

When you get your whiskey, smell it, but be careful not to inhale abruptly as the alcohol will deaden your senses — it’s best to leave your mouth open as you smell the whiskey. Watch the video below for exact tips on drinking whiskey.

If you order a whiskey “on the rocks,” which means with ice, it will be served to you in an old-fashioned glass. It’s also quite common to order whiskey with water, which some drinkers say helps bring out the flavor of the whiskey. It’s a good idea to taste the whiskey first before adding water to see if it’s even needed. Try to use spring water instead of tap water, which contains chlorine that may react with the whiskey.

Whiskey Terminology

Grain whiskey refers to whiskey made from grains other than malted barley that’s distilled in a continuous column still, which produces a light-tasting whiskey. Grain whiskey is usually mixed with malt whiskey to create a blended whiskey.

Blended whiskey contains both malt whiskey and grain whiskey. It’s the most common kind of whiskey available. Brands include Dewar’s, Johnnie Walker, Seagram’s Seven Crown, and Chivas Regal.

Single malt whiskey is made from a single malted grain, traditionally barley, that is made in one distillery. The term is most often applied to Scotch whisky.

Single barrel whiskey means the entire bottle came from one barrel of whiskey instead of a blend from many barrels. This term is most often applied to Bourbons.

Straight whiskey is a term used for an American whiskey that is aged for 2 years or more in new charred white oak barrels.

 

“Oenophilia” – Celebrities owning their own Winery!

francis-ford-coppola-francis-ford-coppola-winery-california images6VOYGGPH kyle-maclachlan-pursued-by-bear-washington It is true that celebrities have access to everything but to own their own winery is of course a very unique experience.

One of the well know celebs who has done this transformation with impeccable taste is Francis Ford Coppola and now this trend has been catching on many others in Hollywood.

Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie are the epitome of a power couple. Among their charity projects and awards, Angie and Brad own a $60 million estate and winery in Provence, near a village of Correns.

Their winery is located at Château Miraval, a 1,200-acre estate in the village of Correns, France. Built in 1841, the French Country manor has 35 rooms and 926 acres of fountains, gardens, and woodlands. It even has a moat.

The couple just released their second award-winning wine this year, a rosé called the Chateau Miraval. The wine, which was was one of  Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines   last year, was released on February 7th and sold out with in 5 hours.    

The Château was also the location of their secret wedding.

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Brangelina aren’t the only celebrities with a wine label. Cliff Richard, Drew Barrymore, Yao Ming, Ernie Els, Antonio Bandaras, Francis Ford Coppola, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Zhao Wei and even rapper Lil Jon have one too. David Beckham reportedly gave wife Victoria a vineyard in California’s Napa Valley when she turned 34 in 2008, while former Brat Packer Emilio Estevez and his journalist wife Sonja Magdevski dug up the grass of their Spanish-style Malibu home, planted vines and started boutique wine endeavour Casa Dumetz in 2004.

While the trend of celebrities owning vineyards is no recent phenomenon — back in Roman times, philosophers, playwrights, politicians and generals often owned one for personal use —  it is increasingly possible to throw a stone at any film or sports gala and hit a star with a wine business these days. (In fact, in the last few months alone, this writer has met a banker, restaurateur, interior designer, fashion titan and tyre maker, all with wine ambitions, so this particular dream isn’t exactly celebrity-specific either.)

Some, like Estevez, do it to battle creative burnout. “I write a lot of dialogue out there,” says the writer-director of films such as Bobby and The Way of his Pinot Noir-planted garden in a New York Times article. “I’d [prune] a row and then go back inside to write and then [head] back outside,” he says. “It was a wonderful exchange.” What’s applaud-worthy is that Estevez, as Casa Dumetz’s assistant winemaker (Magdevski is the designated winemaker), doesn’t seem to trade on his fame to market his handcrafted blends. No where on the brand’s website is there even an “Estevez” mentioned; only one instance of a rather ambiguous “Emilio” in Magdevski’s foreword.

There is, of course, a difference between interest and passion, business and pleasure.
In the case of Brangelina, it has emerged that they do partake in back-breaking grape-picking, but leave the actual winemaking to their partners, the Perrin family, owners of the famed Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, who have been enlisted to produce and market Miraval’s three wines — a white, rosé and red. Miraval’s connection to the arts and celebrities is a long one. Its previous owner was well-known jazz pianist and composer Jacques Loussier who outfitted the chateau with a recording studio where the likes of Pink Floyd, Sade, The Cranberries, The Gypsy Kings and Sting came to record music. Sting and his wife Trudie, incidentally, are owners of Il Palagio, a 351-hectare Italian estate overlooking the Tuscan hills which produces olive oil and honey in addition to wine.

“What draws celebrities to the wine business is that wine is a great brand and an easy way to slap their name on something and sell it, a la perfume,” WineLibrary.com’s Gary Vaynerchuk told the Daily Beast. While he wasn’t specific in his critique, one might imagine he refers to the likes of Mariah Carey, whose bubbly Angel Hint of Pink by MC is made by progressive champagne brand Angel, which sells unique bottles at up to US$250,000.

At the opposite end of the wine divide stands Sam Neill of The Tudors and Jurassic Park fame, who both Goodwin and Singapore-based oenologist and wine educator Edwin Soon single out for his abundant passion. Soon further declares Neill’s Two Paddock wines from New Zealand’s picturesque Central Otago region as “very good”. So good, in fact, that actor Liam Neeson buys them by the cases.

Like Estevez, Neill’s wine pursuits seem to have transcended from mere hobby to soul-enriching endeavour. “At the end of the day, I wanted to do something entirely different from what I normally do and this is as different from acting as I can think of,” says Neill during a recent stopover (on his way back from his Irish film set to New Zealand for the birth of a grandchild). “I’ve always loved farming and all that stuff,” he adds.

Though a descendant of wine merchants, Neill’s love affair with the drink only blossomed when, in 1979, the great James Mason, star of iconic films 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, North by Northwest, and Julius Caesar, took him out for a meal in Montreux, Switzerland. The bottle Mason opened was a Gevrey-Chambertin, a great Burgundy Pinot Noir. “I said to James: ‘What wine is this?’” Neill regales. “And his words were as follows: ‘This, my boy, is Burgundy and don’t ever forget it.’

“I’ve never forgotten that, and that’s why I got into Pinot Noir and eventually decided to plant some,” he continues. Two Paddocks, the name he christened his wines, was a deliberate choice. “I wanted the most humble name I could think of. And what we had was two little paddocks with three sheep between them before we planted the grapes,” he says. “Now, I’m always asked why not give up film and make wine. But, one, I love my day job and have no intention of retiring. And two, there is only one person at Two Paddocks who never gets paid, and that’s me.”

“Some stars do it because of the love for wine,” Soon states. Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who has taken up residence in Russia, is another fine example, he tells us. For decades, Depardieu had made wines — first in France’s Nuits-St-Georges, then Condrieu and then at Chateau de Tigné in Anjou — without so much as thinking to put his name on a label, that is, until he paired up with wine magnate Bernard Magrez (owner of Bordeaux’s Chateaux Pape Clément and La Tour Carnet) in 2001. The two are joint owners in La Clé du Terroir, which owns estates in Argentina, Bordeaux, Italy, Algeria and Morocco.

Speaking to Decanter’s Guy Woodward in 2009, Depardieu claimed he felt more comfortable in the field than on a Hollywood film set. “I’d rather work with winemakers than film directors. They don’t talk as much,” he said.

One film director, though, whose name is as synonymous with wine as it is with The Godfather franchise is Francis Ford Coppola, whose Italian-immigrant grandparents made wine in the basement of their New York apartment building.

In 1975, while looking for a small cottage in Napa Valley to use as a weekend family retreat and to make a little homemade wine, Coppola found what turned out to be the Niebaum Mansion in Rutherford, on the famed Inglenook estate. Three years later, he made his first vintage of Rubicon wine, and in 1995 purchased the remainder of Inglenook estate and began restoring it to its historic dimensions.

Believing that wineries could double up as what he calls “a park of pleasure”, Coppola next debuted the nearby Francis Ford Coppola Winery in 2010. Designed by long-time friend and Academy Award-winning production designer Dean Tavoula (whom Coppolo met on the set of The Godfather), the new winery drew inspiration from Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens and other modern family-oriented parks, and houses tasting bars (to sample the more than 40 wines produced onsite), restaurants, a swimming pool, movie gallery, performing arts pavilion and a park with game tables and bocce courts.

“As Inglenook began to emerge more as a kind of upscale place, I felt bad about the families that used to go there,” Coppola told The Globe and Mail. “I built [the Francis Ford Coppola Winery] as a place they could go.”

Actress and new mum Drew Barrymore would agree that wine and family go together. When releasing her new Barrymore Pinot Grigio last year, she said the white, made from grapes grown in Italy’s Triveneto area, was created to honour her family. As such, the label showcases a family crest (based on the sign at her family’s estate in California) and was designed by Studio Number One, the agency famed for creating Barack Obama’s “Hope” poster in the 2008 US presidential elections.

“Wine is all about the journey, the discovery of new places and new varieties. I’m excited about sharing this Pinot Grigio with my friends and family and other wine lovers,” Barrymore, a fan of crisp, fruity white wines, says.

The Chinese equivalent of Barrymore, actress Zhao Wei (who so happens to also be a Singapore Permanent Resident), has also jumped on the wine bandwagon. An enthusiast, she created quite a stir when she snapped up the sleepy Chateau Monlot in Bordeaux in 2011, pledging to maintain yet improve the winery’s status quo. Her first coup came when she managed to coax Jean-Claude Berrouet, ex-technical director at Chateau Petrus, out of retirement to join the winery as an advisor. More recently, Zhao was initiated into the Jurade of Saint Emilion — a brotherhood of wine dating back to 1199AD — after having been invited to join by current councillors of the group.

On the slew of celebrity-backed wine, Soon sums up: “The wine has to stand on its own — in tastings, wines are always tasted blind so judges are not influenced by labels and prices. That said, the link with celebs might appeal to some wine-drinkers who would like to take a bottle to a party that has a talking point.”

It also gives those of us who are everyday drinkers an opportunity to get closer to these otherwise-distant stars. Just imagine popping a bottle of Il Palagio Sister Moon and rolling a sip of its velvety Sangiovese-Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon on your tongue, while Sting’s jazz-influenced Sister Moon plays in the background. Trust us, by the end of the bottle, you’ll feel a pleasant dizziness that’ll put a smile on your face.Now let’s move on the Sting an Trudie Styler who have their own winery 45 minutes south of Florence,Italy.  They grow their grapes “biodynamic and Organic”

The 900-acre estate, known as Il Palagio, also has a 16th-century villa with swimming pool, 12 acres of vegetable gardens, around 80 bee colonies, olive groves, and several small lakes.

Their wines are also often named after Sting’s songs. The first wine they made was called “Sister Moon,” and they also have a wine called “When We Dance.”

In addition to wine, Il Palagio also produces honey and organic olive oil.

 

“The Godfather” director is a true oenophile and has produced over 40 wines from his resort in the heart of Alexander Valley, California.

The winery is named the, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and is located in Sonoma County. The estate has a wine tasting bar, two restaurants, swimming pools, a movie gallery, a performing arts pavilion, and a park area with game tables and bocce courts.

The winery also produces a rosé called Sofia in honor of his daughter Sofia Coppola.

Now if you feel you like to take home a drop of Sting, some Francis Ford Coppola and even Mariah Carey be sure to go our website to purchase them. http://www.melandrose.com

 

Cuban’s favorite drink ” CUBA LIBRE”

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Cuba Libre with Bacardi Rum

 

Even if you are not an expert in making drinks, it doesn’t get any simpler than rum and coke.

Here are the ingredients in this amazing cocktail.

1 oz  Bacardi Gold Rum

3 oz Coca-Cola

Garnish: Lime wedge

Glass: Tall

All you need to do is add all of the ingredients to a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and say Cheers!

Grapefruit ina Coupe – A twist on the classic Gin & Tonic

The “Grapefruit in a Coupe” is a refreshing reprisal of the Gin and Tonic classic, using grapefruit and a splash of fresh lemon juice, without overpowering the subtleties in flavor of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin:

2 parts BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin
1 part Grapefruit Infused Vermouth Syrup*
0.75 part Fresh Lemon Juice
1 part Egg White
Garnish with a twist of Grapefruit

*Grapefruit Infused Vermouth Syrup
1 part Dolin Dry Vermouth
0.5 part Sugar
4 twists Grapefruit
4 twists Lime

Mix Grapefruit Infused Vermouth Syrup ingredients together over low heat until flavors combine and sugar is dissolved. Strain mixture and let cool before using. Add Bombay Sapphire Gin, Grapefruit Infused Vermouth Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Egg White to mixing glass. Shake vigorously until mixture is frothy. Pour into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with grapefruit twist.Image

Wild Turkey Sparkling Tea

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An ideal summer punch for your next backyard barbecue.

Ingredients in the Wild Turkey Sparkling Tea Cocktail

  • 4 cups Water
  • 8 Red herbal tea bags (lemon zinger or hibiscus)
  • 2 cups Wild Turkey American Honey
  • Splash of club soda
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Garnish: Cherries

Glass: Tall

How to make the Wild Turkey Sparkling Tea Cocktail

In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups of the water. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes and then discard the tea bags. Add the remaining 2 cups of water. Stir in the Wild Turkey American Honey, transfer to a pitcher and chill. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and club soda. Pour the drink into tall glasses filled with ice. Garnish each glass with a couple cherries.

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Create a Tasteful, fun Bar Cart for your guests!

It’s not hard to create a Tasteful   Mobil cart in your apartment or house.  Now is the time to recharge to full energy and check off all the boxes that you’ve wanted to do for some time now.  It’s the time of year to really get motivated to start new exhilarating projects and actually finish them.

After much entertaining and being entertained in 2012, I’ve noticed that nothing makes more of a statement at an intimate gathering than the hosts ‘bar’.  This is because it’s not just a place to make a cocktail or pour a glass of wine, but yet it’s a time when you are interacting with other guests and can ‘make a drink’ and even a friend at the bar.  How many times have you said,  “Want to make another drink”?  I’m sure plenty.   Your bar is your chance to show your guests your personal style and since it is the center focus of your party, wouldn’t you want it to be a masterpiece?

As we  have entered  into 2013 it is time.  Time to clean up your ‘bar’, get rid of the clutter and start with a clean slate filled with fabulous wines going into 2013. So wipe off the lingering champagne drops from your  previous party, get ride of those half full bottles and start fresh with a stylish yet tidy bar (get rid of clutter!).

 Here is some great   interior décor,  few ideas on prepping your bar for another  amazing year!

Essentials for creating a ‘Tasteful’ bar!

  1. Always have Pellegrino glass bottles
  2. 2 bottles of nice champs (Veuve Cliquot, Louis Roederer, Ruinart, Moet etc.)
  3. Add fake or real limes in a nice dish
  4. A pop of color can add a nice touch to your bar. Try adding a colorful flower in a vase
  5. Incorporate some sort of interesting glassware
  6. Throw a few fab crystal wine stoppers on for decoration or slices of geode coasters in a fun color to go with flowers
  7. Come up with a theme and make sure everything complements each other. We  love working with metallics, such as gold with a bright pop of color of fuchsia or cobalt blue
  8. Keep out Clutter!!

 

Volia! What do you think?

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Do you have money to burn?

Drinking good cocktails should not break the bank, but sometimes it’s fun to read about the people who are rich enough (and crazy enough) to buy ridiculously pricey drinks. For example, Salvatore Calabrese from the UK recently claimed he set a new world record for making the most expensive cocktail in the world at roughly $8,800. What is the most expensive drink in the world made out of?

A 1778 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, a 1770 Kummel liqueur, an 1860 Dubb Orange Curacao and two dashes of Angostura bitters dating from around 1900. Hmm…seems like it might be cheaper to just build a time machine and travel back to those dates to drink… but what do we know?

Here are some other crazy expensive cocktails that people actually pay for:

 The Skyview Bar of Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates $7,439
This is the drink that Mr. Calabrese knocked out of the top spot for most expensive cocktail. It is considered an ultra-luxury version of the traditional “old fashioned.” It’s made with 55-year-old Macallan whisky, ice made from water used at their distillery, and exclusive dried fruit bitters with passion fruit scented sugar.

Ménage a Trois at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas – $3,000
Okay, this drink is just decadent. It’s made from Cristal Rose, Hennessy Ellipse and Grand Marnier Cent-cinquantenaire. It’s decorated with 23-karat gold flakes and liquid gold syrup. You drink it through a gold straw studded with a 9-point diamond that you get to keep.

Mai Tai at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast and Dublin, Ireland – $1,400
This cocktail also used to hold the world record back in the day. You’re probably thinking “why is a freaking Mai Tai over $1,000?” – because it uses 17-year-old Wray and Nephew Rum, which was used to create the original Mai Tai over 60 years ago. There are only six bottles of this rum left in the entire world and The Merchant Hotel has one of them.

If you were gonna make a cocktail and charge an arm and a leg for it, what crazy ingredients would you put in it?