Showing posts with label Tequila. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tequila. Show all posts

Dec 4, 2015

Apple Brandy vs. Calvados

Fall is the time when apple harvesting is at its peak. Along with that comes fresh apple cider (and usually fresh warm doughnuts). Apple cider is a drink made from crushed apples, and sometimes fermented (hard cider).

B
randy is distilled from fruit, but if it is made from anything other than grapes, it is specified so, like apple brandy. US guidelines say this drink must be made from at least twenty percent apple brandy that has been stored in oak for no less than two years. To create a lighter profile, apple brandy is blended with a neutral spirit.

Like tequila and champagne, the French have Calvados, a legally protected appellation, which means that it must come from a specific geographic location, this is the Lower Normandy region of France. It also must be aged in oak casks for at least two years. Calvados tends to taste 'oakier' and slightly less apple than its American counterpart.

Sep 13, 2013

Mexican Independence

Most Americans think of Cinco de Mayo as a celebration of Mexican independence, along the same lines as the 4th of July, with many participating in the festivities merely for an excuse to drink margaritas. However, Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates a victory in battle against French occupying forces. In the spring of 1861, A powerful French battalion swept across the countryside until they were stopped in The Battle of Puebla at the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe by a much smaller Mexican group on May 5th. Unfortunately, the following year, the French returned with thirty thousand troops, took over Mexico, and installed Maximilian I as Emperor.

While it is an important celebration in Puebla, in other areas of Mexico it is somewhat less popular. Mexican Independence Day, a completely separate holiday, is celebrated on September 16th.

Tequila is the national drink of Mexico, a potent spirit made from the blue agave. Like champagne, which can only legally be produced in the Champagne region of France, tequila must be derived from agave grown only in very specific parts of Mexico. As the drink’s popularity has continued to rise throughout the world, Mexico has tried to maintain its control, claiming tequila is a “geographically indicated product” under intellectual property rights law. It seems other countries may soon be producing tequila, particularly China, which has areas that mimic Mexico’s very specific climate and soil.

A common misconception about tequila is that the bottle should feature a worm. This actually holds true only for mezcal, a similar drink made from agave. The worm is actually the larva of a moth called the Hypopta agavis that routinely infests agave. While there are some who make the claim that the worm somehow improves the flavor, it is more likely just a marketing ploy.

Nov 28, 2012

Tequila

The clear white liquor with the unique taste that people either love or hate, tequila is thought to have been first produced around the second half of the 16th century in Mexico. It is made from the blue agave plant that grows so abundantly around the city of Tequila in the state of Jalisco. Tequila is said to have been a result of the Spaniards running out of their own brandy. Upon hearing the Aztecs had once used the blue agave plant to produce an alcoholic drink (known as octli or pulque), the conquistadors set about distilling the plant to produce a drink they could use to replace their beloved brandy.

Mexican law dictates that tequila can only be produced in this and a few other very select areas if it is to carry the name of tequila. Over 300 million agave plants are harvested each year for the production of tequila.

It is distilled after fermentation and the end product is usually 38% to 40% alcohol. That brings it in at 76% to 80% proof.