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Mead

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Mead, also known as honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage produced by mixing honey with water and letting it ferment.  It can also be made by adding grain mash to the mix, and straining it right after the fermentation.  The alcohol content varies from 8% to 18% and is produced with different ingredients depending of the area, and it also may be still, carbonated, or sparkling, dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.

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Grappa

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Grappa is an Italian spirit made from the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems (also known as pomace) of the grapes after the pressing for wine.  Grappa usually contains between 35 to 60% alcohol.

Grappa is also a protected name in the European Union.  It is produced under that name only in Italy, San Marino and Switzerland’s Italian canton.  It is mostly colorless, but it can also be faintly colored due to the grapes used.

Xtabentún

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Xtabentún is a Mexican liquor of Mayan origin.  The liquor is produced by fermenting honey made from the xtabentún flower, a flower from Yucatán, and aniseed.  It is very popular in that area of Mexico and drunk straight, with ice and honey, or simply cold.  It is also used to add some of it in the coffee.

Maotai

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Maotai is a Chinese liquor made of sorghum.  It is classified as “sauce-fragranced”, because it offers a mild soy sauce fragrance and ranges in alcohol content from 53% to 35%.

The Maotai being produced today originated in the Qing Dinasty (1644-1911) with an annual output of 170 tons.  Maotai became internationally known after the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, where it won the Gold Medal.  It was named China’s National Liquor in 1951.

Armagnac

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The Armagnac is a French brandy from the region of the same name in the Gascony.  It is distilled from wine usually made from a blend of grapes including Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Baco 22A, using column stills rather than the pot stills used in the production of Cognac. The resulting spirit is then aged in oak barrels before release.

Armagnac is the oldest brandy distilled in France, and in the past was consumed for its therapeutic benefits. In the 14th century, Prior Vital Du Four, a Cardinal, claimed it had 40 virtues.

The Armagnac region is divided into three regions: Bas-Armagnac, Armagnac-Ténarèze and Haut-Armagnac, each one with its own appellation rules.

Armagnac is traditionally distilled once, which results initially in a less polished spirit than Cognac, where double distillation usually takes place. However, long aging in oak barrels softens the taste and causes the development of more complex flavors and a brown color. Aging in the barrel removes a part of the alcohol and water by evaporation (known as part des anges—"angels’ tribute" or “angels’ share”) and allows more complex aromatic compounds to appear by oxidation, which further improves the flavor. When the alcohol reaches 40%, the Armagnac can be transferred to large glass bottles (called “Dame Jeanne”) for storage. From then on, the Armagnac does not age or develop further and can be bottled for sale from the next year on.

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Rakia

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Rakia is an alcoholic beverage from the Balkans produced by the distillation of fermented fruit.  Its alcohol content is normally 40% ABV, but home-produced rakia can be stronger (typically 50% to 60%).  There is also the double distilled Rakia, which is over 60%.

Rakia is considered to be а national drink in a number of countries, including Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Common flavours are slivovica, produced from plums, Kajsijevaca, produced from apricots and lozovaca, made from grapes.  It is supposed to be drunk from special small glasses which hold from 0.03 to 0.05 L.

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Pisco

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The Pisco, whose name comes from the Quechua “Piscu”, which means little bird, is a strong, clear brandy made in Peru and Chile.  The name also comes from the town of Pisco, in Peru, where it was first produced and marketed.

The Pisco is usually produced from Quebranta grapes (brought by the Conquistadors to make Orujo), Muscat and others.  In Chile, they add to the Muscat varieties the Pedro Jiménez and Torontel from Spain.  For the spirit to be called Pisco, it must be aged no more than three months in vessels of glass, stainless steel or any other material that doesn’t alter its properties (physical, chemical and organic).

Limoncello

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Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur produced in Southern Italy, more specifically in the region around the Gulf of Naples.  The liqueur is traditionally made of Feminelo St. Teresa lemons (also known as Sorrento Lemons) and it is traditionally served chilled after an after dinner digestivo.

PetroMarine Energy Services LTD, invites you to visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limoncello for more information.

Fenny

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Fenny or Feni is a Goan liquor made from coconut or the juice of the cashew apple.  It is classified as a ‘country liquor’, and therefore not sold outside the State of Goa in India.  The word Feni is derived from the Konkani and Sanskrit word Fen which means froth.When the liquor is shaken in a bottle or poured in a glass some froth is formed.

The preparation of the cashew Fenny is as follows.  After the cashew apples are crushed, they are formed into a cake which is tied with a string.  This is placed in a special stone basin with a stone weight on top to make the juice flow through an otlet.  The collected juice is buried in the ground and left to ferment.  Then, the fermented juice is distilled twice, the first distillation is called Urrack (which is 15% APV) and the second is the Fenny (which can reach up to 45% APV).

Fernet

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Fernet is an Italian bitter spirit, made of a variety of herbs which vary according to the brand.  The most common ones are myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe and saffron on a base of grape distilled spirits.

Fernet is very popular in Argentina, where it is considered a national beverage.  Some of its more popular combinations include cola and soda water.

For more information, PetroMarine Energy Services recommends you to visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernet_Branca

Akvavit

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The Akvavit is a Scandinavian spirit that has been in production since the 15th century.  It gets its flavor from spices and herbs, mainly caraway or dill and it contains 40% alcohol per volume.

It can be made from grains (Sweden, Denmark) or from potatoes (Norway).  After the distillation is flavored and bottled.  In Norway it is usually aged in casks.

Bourbon Whiskey

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The bourbon whiskey is an aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn.  The name comes from the ancient name of Bourbon County, Kentucky (Old Bourbon) which in turn came from the House of Bourbon, the French royal family.

Bourbon is produced with a mixture called mash bill (70% corn and the rest barley, wheat and/or rye).  This mixture is mashed and mixed with water, then yeast is added and fermented.  After fermentation, it’s distilled and the resulting liquid, which is clear, is put in charred oak barrels and aged.  After aging, it is extracted from the barrels, diluted with water to 80 proof (40% ABV) and bottled.

Kumis

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Kumis is a fermented drink from the Central Asian steppes and produced of mare’s milk (a mare is a female horse three years old or older).  It is part of the diet of Bashkirs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Yakuts, Mongols and Kalmyks.

Though Kumis is produced with mare milk, because of industrialization, cow’s milk is used, cow’s milk is richer in fat and protein but lower in lactose than the milk from a horse.  The final product contains from 0.7 to 2.5% alcohol.

Arak

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Arak is a clear, colorless, unsweetened, highly alcoholic spirit (50% - 63% alcohol volume) with anise flavor.  It is the traditional alcoholic beverage of Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Syria and is also produced and consumed in other Middle Eastern and North African countries.

The name comes from the Arab word ‘araq, which means condensation.  The process starts with quality grapes harvested in September and October.  The grapes are crushed and the juice allowed to ferment for three weeks.  Then, the fermented juice is distilled in copper alembics twice.  On the second distillation, the aniseed is added and once the second distillation is over, the spirit is aged in clay amphorae to allow the low density alcohol to evaporate. 

The Arak is drunk by mixing 1/3 Arak with 2/3 water in a vessel called Ibrik and then poured on small ice filled glasses.  That causes the spirit to become white instead of clear, due to the presence of anethole, the essential oil of the anise, which is soluble in alcohol but not in water.  It is usually served with mezze, a selection of small dishes.

Genever

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Genever is a Dutch juniper-flavored and strongly alcoholic traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved.  Believed to have been invented by a Dutch chemist and alchemist named Sylvius de Bouve, it was first sold as a medicine in the late 16th century.

Jenever was originally produced by distilling maltwine (moutwijn in Dutch) to 50% ABV. Because the resulting spirit wasn’t palatable due to the lack of refined distilling techniques (only the pot still was available), herbs were added to mask the flavor. The juniper berry (Jeneverbes in Dutch, which in turn comes from the French genievre) was chosen for its alleged medicinal effects, hence the name jenever (and the English name gin).

There are two types of jenever: “Oude” (Old) and “Jonge” (Young). This is not a matter of aging, but of distilling techniques.  People started using the term ‘Oude’ for the old-style jenever and ‘Jonge’ for the new style, which contains more grain instead of malt and can even contain plain sugar-based alcohol. In modern times, jenever distilled from grain and malt only is labeled Graanjenever. Jonge jenever can contain no more than 15% malt wine and 10 grams of sugar per litre. Oude jenever must contain at least 15% malt wine but not more than 20 g of sugar per litre.

Hasselt, Deinze and Liege, Belgium, and Schiedam and Groningen, the Netherlands, are known for their jenevers.

By: PetroMarine Energy Services LTD.