Gin is a spirit distilled from cereals like maize, rye or barley and flavored with flavoring agents like juniper berries, orange peel, lime, coriander seeds. The alcoholic strength of gin may range between 40-50% by volume.
Gin originated from Holland over 3000 years ago, when a doctor successfully combined juniper berries and alcohol to produce a cheap remedy for kidney complaints. The word ‘Gin’ is derived from French word ‘Genievere’. It is also referred to as ‘Dutch Courage” by Englishmen. The flavorings put in gin are called “Botanicals”. Apart from juniper berries, other botanicals used are coriander seeds, orange and lemon peel, etc.
Gin is obtained from the distillation of the fermented mash of grains. The grain formula consists of 75% corn malt and 25% other grains. Gin is a spirit initially distilled by patent still to remove all of the impurities and flavored with botanicals by stepping in pure spirit and redistilling by pot still method.
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Brandy is a spirit distilled from grapes (wine). Flavored brandies are named after the fruit used to flavor it; like cherry brandy, apricot brandy, peach brandy, etc. It is stored between 15- 18°C. It is best served at room temperature. Cognac is the famous brandy which if from France. Cognac is the area lying north of one of the most famous wines producing area called Bordeaux and is considered one of the prime brandies producing area, followed by Armagnac.
The longer the brandy matures in the casks before bottling, the finer is the quality ad is higher in its price. The letters on a label indicate the number of years it has been matured. Different grading used in the bottle of cognac is as follows:
One Star (2 yrs old)
Two Star (4 yrs old)
Three Stars (3-6 yrs old)
V.S. - Very Superior (4-8 years)
V.O. – Very Old (10-12 years)
V.O.P. – Very Old Pale (12-16 years old)
V.S.O.P. – Very Superior Old Pale (16-25 years old)
X.O. – Extra Old (above 25 years old)
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Whisky is a spirit obtained by the distillation of a fermented mash of grains like maize, rice or barley and is aged in wood. The drink gets its amber color during fermentation. The alcoholic strength of whiskey is between 37-44% by volume.
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Tequila is originated from Mexico. It is a spirit distilled from the fermented juice of Agave Tequilana Weber ( a type of cactus plant). Agave Tequilana commonly called blue agave or tequila agave. It is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico. It is suitable for preparation of alcoholic beverages. Until recently, tequila was known outside Mexico. The success of tequila cold is attributed to tequila based cocktails such as Tequila sunrise, margarita and silk stockings.
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Rum is a spirit distilled from molasses or sugar cane juice (Molasses- which is a byproduct of sugarcane). It is basically produced in countries where sugarcane naturally grows. Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad, and Tobago are the countries which produce maximum quantity of rum.
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Vodka is a spirit distilled from fermented mash of grains like barley, corn, rice including potatoes. It is a clear drink which is tasteless, odorless. It has 40-43% alcoholic content in it by volume.
Vodka is originated from Russia. The term ‘vodka’ is derived from the Slavic word ‘vodka’ (water). It is a national drink of Russia and Spain. Vodka is normally mixed with orange juice.
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Joshi, Basant Prasad et.al., Fundamentals of Hotel Management-XII, Sukunda Pustak Bhandar, Kathmandu
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