facts about alcohol

7 Amazing Facts About Alcohol That You Don't Know

Hopefully these facts about alcohol are all new to you...

It only takes 6 minutes to feel the effects of alcohol

Facts about alcohol

You know on some days when you have your first beer and it hits you right away? It happens from time to time. Well we all run the risk of being called a lightweight at this point, all your friends are fine but your not. Well they aren't either! Stop worrying. it has been scientifically proven that it only takes 6 minutes for alcohol to effect your brain, so one drink really does go straight to your head.

Scientists have found that 6 minutes after drinking an amount of alcohol equivalent to three beers, or two glasses of wine, changes have already taken place in the brain cells.

#didyouknow? It only takes 6 minutes for alcohol to effect your brain Click To Tweet

 

If you have blue eyes, you can drink more... yep it's true

facts about alcohol

Now we don't don't know if this harks back to the Vikings but genetics certainly has something to do with it. Scientists have proven that people with lighter eyes and more specifically blue eyes have a higher tolerance to alcohol. They first tested 10,860 Caucasian men, while the second sample set was made up of 1.862 Caucasian women.

The results were that blue eyed people can last longer, drink harder and react better to higher levels of alcohol. On a side note, i have blue eyes. This explains a lot.

I have blue eyes and i can drink more than you #dealwithit Click To Tweet

 

Alcohol doesn't make you forget anything

facts about alcohol

Right okay bare with us here. It's not that alcohol makes you forget - what it does is it actually makes it impossible for your brain to make memories. This is when you are 'Blackout Drunk'. Let me explain a little more; but firstly, its not like what the Men In Black use.

Blackouts are caused by a neurophysiological chemical disruption in the brain’s memory formation centre – the hippocampus. In simpler terms this means that your brain loses the ability to make a memory. It doesn't mean that you are so drunk you are on the floor. You could be the funniest person in the bar but not remember it the next day. It is almost like your brain is so drunk it forgets to hit record and has fun instead.

But for clarification, You don't forget anything. It's just that your brain couldn't record what you were doing.

Next time you ask yourself what happened last night? check this out Click To Tweet

 

The Russians didn't consider beer to be an alcoholic beverage until 2013

facts about alcohol

It is unclear as to why, It could be to due to the water content in beer or that it's strength is so far below the national drink of vodka. But one thing is for certain, beer was not sold as a recognised alcoholic beverage until New Years Day 2013.

Since this shift in policy towards beer many Russians feel that it has been counterproductive with lots of people moving over to the stronger harder vodka.

Beer wasn't legally an alcohol until 2013 #ifidofbeenbroughtupthere Click To Tweet

 

The strongest beer in the world has an ABV of 67.5%

facts about alcohol

Okay, so a show of hands, who's had this? The holy grail of bucket list beers.

It's name is 'Snake Venom'. It started life as a beer called 'Armageddon' and customers complained that it wasn't strong enough... well it was only 65% after all.

It is the creation of Brew Meister a company from Scotland who have made this beer a world record holding beer. Well done guys!

‘Snake Venom’ is now the world’s most potent beer and boasts of a dizzying 67.5% alcohol content. It comes with a warning and you’d be foolish not to pay heed to it. Drinking more than 35 ml, in one sitting, is not advisable.

#didyouknow? That the strongest beer in the world is 67.5% Click To Tweet

 

In professional shooting alcohol is a performance enhancing drug...

facts about alcohol

Alcohol slows your heart rate and relaxes your body. These are desirable traits for a professional shooter. But use of it is banned by the World Anti Doping Agency

Which sport would #alcohol enhance your performance in? Click To Tweet

 

There is such a thing as hangover free beer

facts about alcohol

That's it. It's official. We now live in the future!

We need to thank the Aussie scientists who have created a beer which hydrates you and so stops a hangover from happening.

They put electrolytes in the beer and found that it was three times more hydrating. What a great day.

I've just found out about hangover free #beer! Click To Tweet

 

So there we have it, 7 facts about alcohol that i hope you didn't already know. If you have more you want to share with us then leave a comment below. Now i've got to go, I've got some beer to drink.

Take a look at more of our posts below.

 

 


Daiquiri

The Perfect Daiquiri

 

At best bet i would say that there is only a handful of real bartenders left in the world.Now what i mean by that is a bartender who understands the concepts that are involved in making a simple drink well. It's an art form and is forgotten by many early on. One of those skills is making the perfect Daiquiri.

I read an article today by one of the chief drinks writers at esquire magazine, in which the guy in question as taken to having the recipe to a simple Daiquiri printed on the back to give to bartenders to get it the way he wants. All because he believes, as i do, that simple is better. so next time you are in a bar and ask for a Daiquiri and the bartender replies by asking whether or not you want that frozen or not and how much raspberry do you want in it, you have my permission to look them straight in the eye insult their mother and walk away before it becomes too much for you.

Remember young bartender...

Simple is better. Learn this unwritten rule right now and it will help you ten-fold when you progress.  

 

First we will have a look at the origin of the Daiquiri because it would be rude not to respect it.

Please note that many people have laid claim to inventing the Daiquiri from Cuban bar men to  American miners, but as always its the ingredients that deserve the praise. Rum and Citrus as had a long standing pairing since well before pesky settlers inhabited the foreign lands.

 

Cuba has a very complex past. Most of us only know of it as a Cold War foe of the United States, a very foreign country only a hundred miles away. It has been that way since Castro took power in the late 1950’s. First discovered by Christopher Columbus and claimed for Spain, this small island has been coveted by other countries for its entire history. It has a temperate climate, making it great for growing crops, and a location that was excellent for a stopping point after several months at sea. Spain was the primary owner of the island through most of its history, but it was not without a fight. The rich land attracted pirates and privateers from Britain and France to steal what treasures they could from Spanish ships. Once Spain allowed some flexibility in the colony’s trade, the floodgates opened and money came pouring into the coffers. They were filled primarily by two different crops; tobacco and sugar. Tobacco was very easy to process. Sugar was not. There was a complex system used to create sugar crystals, and the leftover molasses was a sticky mess to discard. This sets the backdrop for the creation of one of the finest cocktails in modern history: the Daiquiri.

During the turbulent struggle for naval supremacy, Spain and England traded blows around the edges of South America, the Caribbean, and anywhere there was water and unclaimed territory. Both sides used whatever means possible, including pirates and privateers, to gain an advantage in the resource rich Americas. The British were struggling to expand their foothold in the Americas; Spain was struggling to maintain the land they had, and the resources it was providing the ailing empire. The British were also struggling to stay sober on the seas. The sailors were provided a gallon of beer a day through a law passed in the 17th century. Due to the massive amount of beer they had to supply to a military force 4,500 miles away, a pint of rum was considered a fair substitute. It was easier to get, but far more potent. It was not until 1740 that someone was able to sober up the navy. Admiral Edward “Old Grog” Vernon ordered that the rum ration be mixed with water and citrus juice (usually limes) to dilute the potent spirit. This gave the English the edge of fighting a little more sober, and healthier. It also is one of the earliest known instances of the combination of lime juice, water, and rum, the base of what would become a Daiquiri.

Spain survived the encounters with Britain and held on to many of its American acquisitions for over a century, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other islands a little too close to home for us. It did not sit well with a United States eager to enforce the Monroe Doctrine, asking European powers to kindly stay on their own side of the world. The biggest of the conflicts caused by this was the Spanish-American War, and Cuba had a starring role to play. They were seeking independence from Spain, and Colonel Theodore Roosevelt advocated helping them achieve it. The U.S. landed troops on a beach named Daiquiri, just a short distance away from an iron mine in Santiago. This “splendid little war” allowed the United States to occupy Cuba and do what Spain had done for centuries before; profit from the vast resources of the island.

One of the people making a healthy profit was Jennings Cox. He was one of the first iron miners on the island once it was safe, and generally credited with creating the original Daiquiri. The story goes that while he was entertaining guests one night, he ran out of the gin everyone was enjoying. He went out and purchased the easiest liquor he could find, which was rum. Adding lemons, sugar, mineral water, and ice to the rum, he turned it into a punch for his guests. They loved it, and wanted to know what the name of it was. He did not have a name for it; it should have been called a rum sour according to the conventions of the day. Cox did not feel that was good enough for such a fine drink, so he named it for the nearby beach and called it Daiquiri.

 

So Daiquiri was a mistake i can hear you shouting. No not a mistake, the drink already existed its just this fat cat stumbled upon it by mistake. Nevertheless, we can credit Mr Jennings Cox for bringing it to the rich palate.

 

The Recipe - Taken from Difford's Guide (the best i have ever tasted) 

Daiquiri black back ground

75 ml of a  good quality white rum. 

22 ml of freshly squeezed lime juice - see tip below

15 ml Sugar syrup

15 ml chilled water (omit if wet ice) 

2 slice of lime peel

 

The bitterness of the lime zests are the key in this drink. so peel the lime before squeezing to get your juice then take from the whole peel two slices of the lime zest and add it to a Boston glass with all the ingredients and shake. Fine strain into a chilled martini glass. and there you are, the best, the boldest and the more importantly the simplest.

Read, Drink and Be Inspired


Flair

The Need For Speed

 

Two of the most frequently asked questions that I am asked as a bar trainer is What makes a good bartender? And how can I become a better bartender? Suggestions for the first have included personality, confidence and sense of humour - all well and good but I can't see managers holding a personality training session can you? In fact there are four basic skills groups a bartender must practice and master. Firstly knowledge of products, recipes and the tools needed; secondly the ability to make good drinks at speed; thirdly to make the drinks with a defined style; and finally to be aware of the etiquette of drinks, drinking and service. The answer to the second question above lies in the answer to the first... identify your weak skills and work on them!!. Lets help you to become better bartenders, lets look at how we can make you guys faster!

 

THE NEED FOR SPEED
As we are all aware customers have a different sense of time to real people. One minute in real time feels like five minutes of customer time. So an unacknowledged customer or one who waits whilst the bartender leisurely makes drinks is an unhappy customer which makes unhappy managers which leads to unemployed bartenders. This is not good.
Of course a good bartender will always acknowledge a guest (if you remember that shops have customers and bars have guests and treat them accordingly you are already on the way to bartender heaven) to make them feel welcome and important. This is common sense. But the tricks of the trade about making drinks quickly are less obvious for the novice and in many cases the old pros. Put at their basic level the 10 commandments of quick drink making are:
1. use both hands. God gave you two so use them both. Freepour simultaneously, add a straw whilst filling up with a mixer, start ringing the order  into the till whilst pouring.
2. Freepour or die. No system in the world is quicker than the freepour, as long as it is done accurately ( and if not accurately then not at all).

3. The Set-up. Everything in the bar has its place and it should always be there. The secret to devastating speed is not having to look for anything because you know where it is (blindfold bartending anyone?)

4. Clean and prep as you go. You may think it is quicker to just bang drinks out and wait to clean shakers, get more change etc ... big mistake. A good bartender knows that they should be as close to perfect set-up all the time and will try to keep it like that.

5. Consolidate orders. Ask two or three customers for their orders to allow you to make drinks simultaneously. If you consolidate then you do the same actions less times which equals more speed.

6. Consider the 'working order'. Drinks which take the longest should be started first (blended ones especially) and the ones which take the least time should be done last.

7. Keep busy. Steady beats Busy's arse every time. If you work quickly and steadily all night rather than 'turn it on' when you have to then you'll do better... after all you don't go from first gear to fifth straight away in a car do you? work smart not hard, you need to have time to have fun.

8. Remember that it is efficiency of movement rather than speed of movement that matters... teamwork when it comes to moving in a busy bar is important or multi-tasking and only making one journey instead of many... the multi bottle pickup from the speedwell is a good example.

9. Always be practicing your speed... look at every order as a challenge.

10. Know your prices, your recipes and your customers...people respect a hardworking bartender who doesn't have to go to the till, doesn't have to look in a book and remembers what they had last time.

 

Speed is one of the most obvious skills needed for a bartender... a drink will always taste better if it doesn't take a long time to arrive and if one follows the basic rules and, most importantly, practice, then you can make great tasting drinks in half the time, make more money for your bar and/or you and in fact keep guests entertained... everyone likes watching a slick hard working bar team and despises a bar filled with sauntering dickheads who couldn't give a shit.


Cocktail History

History Of Cocktail Culture

 

 

History of Cocktail Culture

 

For as long as people have been drinking Alcohol, they have been mixing drinks. This dates back at least 10,000 years. From beer spiked with intoxicants to Wine infused with Thyme, it’s fair to say that the desire both to increase mood-altering effects of booze and to improve the taste have been with the human race for millennia and it doesn't seem to be leaving us quickly. It used to be that cocktails were for girls and rich men who bought them for girls who liked rich men.

Things have changed, for the better! A cocktail in hand is a must, lets look into how we got to be in this great cocktail age we now live in.

 

A long time ago.

The arrival of sugar opened up a new era for producing drinks. By medieval times the rich were spicing up their ales with sugars & spices from the Middle East, where sugar originates from (India). In fact they loved sugar so much that women would regularly blacken their own teeth in order to give the impression that they could afford so much sugar that their teeth were rotten. so any excuse for adding extra sugar was snapped up by these medieval hipsters in the form of drinks.

 

Fast forward...

By Shakespearean times mixing drinks was big news. Probably the most enduring cocktail produced found its origins in India –

Punch. Based on 5 ingredients, Spirit, Sugar, Water, Citrus juice & spices. Crudely similar to the cocktails of today... It made it sway into the theater culture and cocktail drinking was worn as a badge of honour when impressing socially.

 

Fast forward...

At the turn of the 19th century, just as the word cocktail was making it’s print debut, many significant developments were also made. such as by 1800 Ice became for sale in America. A big plus for the bartender.

In the middle of the 19th Century in North America the production of other spirits and liqueurs began. Among the immigrants were people from all over Europe who implemented their knowledge of distillation in their new home. The world needs immigrants.

Around the turn of the century, the American Bar was already an integral part of life in American society. The import routes from Old Europe worked, and many spirits came into the country, and with it came the American enjoyment and pleasure of experimentation with nothing standing in the way. There were countless cocktails invented, many of which died a death, but some became world famous.

in 1967 Artificial Carbonation was achieved & refrigeration arrived on the scene. These are all developments which aided the cocktail to be brought to a mass global market, and from then it’s popularity became infinitely expandable.

For me the link as always been between cocktails and the fashion of the day. James Bond drinks Martinis (Vespers to be exact) and girls wearing 'cocktail' dresses. Young desirable couples on their way to cocktail parties etc... etc...

 

Put simply. Drinking a cocktail makes you look better...

 

(this is very brief and designed to make you look at the drink in front of you and be inspired to find out more)

 

ernest hemmingway

Because everyone wants to be Ernest

 

But where does the word 'cocktail' come from? comment below with the most plausible in your head.

 

The dictionary should be able to tell us but my guess is that the monk that was doing the writing at the time was too drunk to spell it so gave up as the word Cocktail’s origins are lost according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Some possible Explanations are:

 

Cock-ale was an old English ale, spiced with a ground-up red cockerel mixed in – the word became applied to other drinks (Containing niether of these ingredients) and gained a T.

 

In a Mexican Tavern, English Sailors noticed that mixed drinks were stirred with the root of a plant known as colo de gallo, or in English ‘Cock’s Tail’. The Sailors brought the name to England and thence the US.

 

There are many more suggestions as to the origin of the word. what do you think it originates from?

 

.


Tequila

Just About Everything You Will Need To Know About Tequila

 

Tequila

What is Tequila?

Tequila is a Blue Agave-based spirit made primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.

The red volcanic soil in the surrounding region is particularly well suited to the growing of the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year.

Tequila is most often made at a 38–40% alcohol content (76–80 proof), but can be produced between 35–55% alcohol content (70–110 proof). Though most tequilas are 80 proof, many distillers will distill to 100 proof and then dilute it with water to reduce its harshness. Some of the more well respected brands distill the alcohol to 80 proof without using additional water as a diluter.

 

Brief History-

The origins of Tequila date back to 250-300 AD when Aztec Indians first fermented the juice of Agave plants to make ceremonial wines. This original wine was called ‘pulque’ and was made by fermenting the sap (aguamiel – honey water) from the heart of the Agave. The yeasts used originally were naturally found in the air and produced a wine of 8-12% abv. In 1519, the Spanish conquered Mexico and brought the technology of distillation with them, which they had learned from the Moors. Within ten years of being in Mexico, they had probably started to make the first rough Agave spirits known as Mezcal or Mescal wine. Over the following years, the techniques were improved and modernized with new laws governing the production and labeling of Tequila to protect the national spirit of Mexico.

Production-

Mescal is the name for any spirit made from the Agave plant. There are over 200 different types of Agave in Mexico. Only one specific type is allowed if it is to be called Tequila – Agave tequilana Weber azul (the Blue Agave). The Agave is a member of the lily (Amaryllis) family, although it is often mistaken for a cactus. Mezcal can use any type of Agave from wild to farmed varieties. Bacanora must use the Agave yaquiana and be made in Sonora in the north of Mexico. Sotol must use the Agave dasylirion wheeleri and is made in the northern states of Chihuahua and Durango. Tequila must be made in clearly defined and specific areas – the entire state of Jalisco and areas in the states of Guanajuanto, Michoacan, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.

Each distillery that adheres to production regulations is given a NOM number (Norma Oficial Mexicana de Calidad). The regulatory body known as ‘The Consejo Regulador del Tequila’ awards this NOM. It was established in 1978 and is made up of Agave growers, Tequila producers and representatives of federal government. All brands of 100% blue Agave Tequila will have a NOM on the label. It is not a guarantee of quality, only of authenticity.

Blue Agave is grown in orchards called potreros, campos de agave or huertas and are planted in long rows like grapevines. The Blue Agave takes between eight and twelve years to reach maturity. Between the third and sixth year of growth, shoots (mecuates or hijuleos) are removed from the ‘mother’ plant to propagate new plants. At maturity, a tall flower stalk begins to grow from the middle of the Agave. This growth is cut off, which forces the sap to remain in the heart of the plant (or the piña). This piña then swells to an un-natural size ripening ready for harvest. Most ripe piñas weigh between 70 and 200lb at the time of harvest, although some specimens have been recorded as heavy as 400lb. At harvesting (jima), the long, sharp, spiky leaves (pencas) are removed (barbeo) by the harvesters (jimadores) using long handled knives (coas). This exposes the piña, which looks a lot like a giant pineapple and one can tell it is mature and ready when red, bloodlike spots start to appear on the pina.

The harvested piñas are sliced into sections before being steam baked traditionally in a stone oven (‘horno’) or more recently in a stainless steel container (autoclave). The baking takes between 24 and 72 hours in a hornos and 8-14 hours in an autoclave.. The baking process converts the starchy sap in the piña into sugars such as fructose and glucose that can be fermented. Many believe that the real taste of the tequila is only imparted when the traditional method is used. The piñas are left to cool for 24- hours and are then crushed in a traditional stone mill called a ‘Chilean Mill’ or ‘tahona’. This mill is made from a circular stone pit with a stone wheel pulled around the pit by an ox or donkey. Modern distilleries now use industrial crushing machines to do the job, as they are quicker and more consistent.

The Agave sugary sap is then transferred with some Agave fibres (bagazo) to white oak vats or stainless steel tanks where water is added. Fermentation juice from the previous batch is mixed in to give a consistency and continuity of flavour. After mixing the previous juice, some is taken out ready for the next batch. The older methods of fermentation use natural yeasts present in the air to start the chemical processes. The modern methods use cultivated yeast strains as they, again, give a greater continuity to the product. The fermentation takes between 36 and 72 hours. At this stage of Tequila production, the liquid is known as ‘mosto’ and is roughly 5-7% alcohol.

The ‘mosto’ is then double distilled in copper pot stills. The first distillation (or destrozameinto) makes a product called ‘ordinario’ which is roughly 20% abv. Only after the second distillation can it be called Tequila. A handful of distillers distill a third time (e.g. Corralejo). The Tequila leaves the still after the second distillation at around 40-55% abv. As with most other spirits, the heads (cabeza) and tails (cola) of the distillate are cut from the heart and re-distilled with the mosto while the heart ( el corazon) is used for . It takes roughly 8kg of agave to make 1 litre of 100% tequila
Tequila is categorized according to percentage of Agave spirit and the length of time it has spent in wood.

Categories:
.
Mixto – A spirit that is a blend of no less than 51% blue Agave. The other 49% can be molasses, brown sugar or any other sugar type.

100% Agave aka Tequila – A pure blue Agave Tequila. No sugar can be added during production and no other spirit can be blended in after distillation.

Styles-

Blanco – Also known as ‘silver’, ‘plata’, ‘blanco’ or ‘white’ Tequila. It is clear but can be aged in oak for up to 60 days.

Gold – Also known as ‘oro’ or ‘joven abocado’ (‘young and corrupted’), gold Tequila is made in the same way as Blanco tequila only with the addition of caramel flavour and colour tho it can also have a blend of aged tequilas within it.. This colour is added to suggest age and add smoothness..

Reposado – This term literally means ‘rested’. A reposado Tequila is aged for between 60 days and one year in wooden barrels or larger tanks (‘pipons’)

Anejo – Mexican law states that if a Tequila bears this title, it must be aged in government (CRT) sealed oak barrels for over one year. The barrels must be no larger than 600 litres. The most popular type of barrels are old Bourbon casks.

Sangrita & Verdita

Sangrita (meaning “little blood”), whose origin dates back to the 1920s, is a customary partner to a shot of straight tequila blanco; a non-alcoholic accompaniment that highlights tequila's crisp acidity and cleanses the palate between each peppery sip. The basic conception of sangrita is to complement the flavor of 100% agave tequila, which is also peppery and citrusy in taste.

Traditionally, sangrita is served with tequila blanco, but it can also accompany tequila reposado. The tequila and sangrita are each poured into a separate shot glass (or caballito) and the two are alternately sipped, not chased. Sangrita is used in a drink known as "The Mexican Flag", where three separate double shot glasses are filled with lime juice, tequila and sangrita.

Real sangrita from the Lake Chapala region of Jalisco is made with Seville orange, lime and pomegranate juices, with chili powder or hot sauce added for heat. However, many popularized modern sangrita recipes have included a good amount of tomato juice in the mix. There is no set rule on what sangrita should contain, but it can feature a blend of orange, lime, tomato and/or pomegranate juices, or pomegranate-based grenadine with the addition of something spicy (hot sauce or fresh/dried chili), and sometimes white onion and salt

(Mezcal is also made from the blue agave plant – but it doesn’t have to have to be from a specified region.  Mezcal also has the worm in it – not tequila) a bit like how Prossecco is champagne but because it’s not from the champagne region of France it is called sparkling wine.

 

What do you guys want to see next? leave a comment and let us know!