For Pete’s Sake

sake-bottles.jpgHappy thirsty Thursday everyone! We are only one short day away from the weekend, Yay! No matter what your plans are I hope they include relaxing and sitting down with a cold one, or maybe even our featured drink of the day–Sake.

Pronounced sock-ee, this Japanese beverage is a rice wine made from fermenting polished rice. If you frequent Japanese establishments like sushi or hibachi restaurants you may be familiar with the drink. Although it is a rice wine, it is actually made more like a beer than a wine. Because it is produced by brewing rather than fermenting. It is also much stronger than both beer and wine at about 18-20% alcohol by volume.

In Japanese sake can be used as a general term for alcohol where the english term sake is normally called nihonshu. If you are traveling to Japan to try this traditional drink then look for the word Seishu, as that is what sake is labeled as in Japan. Sake is the national beverage of Japan and thus served at ceremonies like weddings. It is generally warmed and served in a porcelain bottle, you sip out of a small porcelain cup. You will find this same procedure done here in the U.S. at Japanese restaurants as well.

The history of sake is unclear because the alcohol making process in Asia predates the record keeping process. The first reference to alcohol in Japan is in 3rd century writing. So we at least know that sake is thousands of years old.

Sakes come in a variety of flavors often flavored with fruit, flowers, herbs and spices. You can learn about the different profiles or make ups of different sake’s by reading the label. There are 3 indictors that will help you determine the type of sake that it is. Look for the words Nihanshu-do, San-do and aminosan-do. Nihanshu-do will tell you the sugar and alcohol content of the sake. San-do gives you the concentration of acids, and aminosan-do will tell you the sake’s savoriness.

Want to try sake in it’s native land? Then it is time to give us a call her at Ambassador Travel 920.233.7777

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I See London, I See France…

grand-side-carWelcome back to our weekly Thirsty Thursday Blog! This week we are featuring a drink that some of you may not know, but you can get it at any bar you frequent. I first discovered the drink while watching a TV show (Gilmore Girls; I know what you’re thinking) and have since ordered it at quite a few different bars and restaurants. Some have been outstanding, while others not so good. This week’s featured beverage is the Sidecar.

Like every week, I started thinking about what I was going to write about by looking up drinks to find ones with a great history and a connection to a wonderful travel location. I asked my husband what he thought I should write about, and he geniusly suggested the Sidecar.

images-1For those of you who don’t know a Sidecar consists of Cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice. There is a hefty debate, still to this day, on what ratio each plays in the drink. For the first time ever I actually lean toward more lemon juice, less alcohol. The drink is strong; it’s like a martini but with more alcohol. The original recipe calls for a 1:1:1 mix, but I prefer a 1:1:2 ratio. Some recipes even call for 2 parts Cognac and 1 part of the orange liqueur and the lemon juice. I guess you’ll have to just have a get together this week and try out the different options yourself.
Now that we know how to make the drink let’s look at its history and how that connects to travel. This potent beverage was created around the end of the First World War, and like most cocktails it’s past is debated. It was literally named after the motorcycle attachment and first began to appear in literature in the early 20th century. One claim suggests that the origin of the Sidecar comes from the Ritz Hotel in Paris. A very well-known cocktail guide called Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails cites Pat MacGarry of the Buck’s Club in London as the creator, but it later cites Harry MacElhone himself at the Ritz in Paris. So, although its past is debated even by one of the creators himself, it does lead us to two fabulous travel destinations.

imagesWhen travelling to Europe both destinations are a dream. Whether you love food, wine, art, history or endless excursion possibilities both cities are the perfect travel destination. Plus because they are rather close to each other it is possible to visit them both in one trip. I have been to both Paris and London and loved every second I spent in these world famous cities. My favorite part of Paris was the food. I have never had better meals, even street food, in my life than I had in Paris. London on the other hand was an exciting city for the history lover in me. I loved seeing the Parliament building as well as Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Overall these are great locations in which you can enjoy your new favorite drink—the Sidecar.

If you would like more information on Paris or London please give us a call at Ambassador Travel 920.236.7777 and we would be happy to set up a trip for whatever type of traveller you are. Please feel free also to visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule and appointment and learn a little bit more about our travel consultants.

Schnapps

danish-schnapps-decanter.jpgSometimes we come across beverages that mean different things depending on where we are in the world. One such case is that of the alcoholic beverage–Schnapps. Depending on if you are in Europe or the United States you could be surprised by the variety of options you have. Let’s learn a little more about schnapps on this grand Thirsty Thursday.

Schnapps are categorized as strong alcoholic beverages similar to gin that are fruit flavored. The word Schnapps comes from the German word meaning to swallow. And speaking of Germany when there, if you order Schnapps you are ordering any type of alcoholic beverage. To the German’s Schnapps literally means alcohol and is different depending on what part of the country you are in. In Southern Germany you are likely to receive some form of fruit flavored brandy, while in the North Schnapps are generally grain based like vodka.

If you are to travel to Germany, Austria, Switzerland or parts of France you will find a popular brand of Schnapps referred to as Obstler or Obstrand. Obst is the German word for fruit. These brands come in a variety of fruit flavors including apple, pear, plumb, cherry or apricot. There are very rarely other fruits used to flavor Schnapps in this part of the world.

Coming back to the U.S. we know that Schnapps does not just mean alcohol here, but a specific type of grain alcohol mixed with fruit and other flavors. It has a syrupy like texture and falls into the category of a liqueur. Not necessarily something you would just drink on it’s own, but rather mixed with other drinks to make a less syrupy drink.

If you want to try real European Schnapps then it is time to call Ambassador Travel at 920.236.7777 !

Grappa

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This week for our Thirsty Thursday blog we are hopping on a plane and landing in beautiful Italy. Here we will sample a drink known as Grappa, and learn about the history of it’s production. Let’s get right into it shall we, so much to drink, I mean learn, so much to learn.

Grappa is a grape based brandy with an alcohol content between 35-60%. It is similar to wine in the fact that depending on the grape used to make it the flavor profile changes. It is made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds and stems or the leftovers from wine making. Grappa, like many other European alcohols, is now regulated by the European Union if it is to be called Grappa. What that means is to be called Grappa it needs to be produced in Italy, the Italian part of Switzerland or San Marino. It has to be produced from pomace (the leftovers from winemaking) and the fermentation and distillation must occur on the pomace with no added water.

It’s history, like many other alcohols, is confusing and disputed. Some sources trace Grappa back to the 1st century A.D. There is a legend that Egyptians distilled it in the 2nd century in a town in Italy called Bassano del Grappa. Although historians claim the technology was not available at that time to be able to do such a process. Jumping forward a few hundred years to the 1300s and 1400s water as a coolant was created allowing for a correct distillation process. This process was actually used until about 50 years ago, when technology caught up with the distilleries and new more advanced ways were now used.

So, what this means is if you want to try this grape brandy it is time to book that trip you’ve always wanted to take to Italy. Sure you can get Grappa here, but half the experience of drinking these types of alcohols is the setting. Which means it’s time to call Ambassador Travel at 920.236.7777

 

Drinking around the World

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 11.42.54 AM.pngOk I am continuing my love of quizzes this week with one I found about testing your knowledge of drinks from around the world. Since it is thirsty Thursday I figured this would be a great addition to our normal informative blogs. I did take the quiz, like I do all the ones I shared and I got 7/10, not horrible, but some of these questions are real stumpers. One bonus though, a few of the questions that are asked you will know if you read our thirsty Thursday blog frequently! So now it’s your turn, test your knowledge and learn a little at the same time!

http://matadornetwork.com/life/how-much-do-you-know-about-drinking-around-the-world-quiz/

Now that you know so much about the different drinks from all over the world share with us the ones you want to try! I am very interested in the best selling beer! Interested in trying these drinks in their native lands? Contact us today!

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

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FLORIDITA

Now that Americans are officially allowed to travel to Cuba, the door to the mysterious world loved by so many including famed writer and drinker Ernest Hemingway, are now being opened. With this new world of opportunity brings out so much culture that generations of Americans have never had the opportunity of experiencing. Like I have said in many many posts before, culture often relies heavily on food and drink. Cuba is by no means any exception to that rule.

As I was scanning the internet for something to write about for our wonderful Thirsty Thursday post I came across an article about a man named Philip Greene who not only loved Hemingway, but wanted to scour his work in able to recreate all of his favorite drinks. One drink in particular was is his go-to while in his beloved Cuba. Now I wanted to go a step further and find out why Hemingway drank Daiquiris while in Cuba, so I did a little research. Apparently Daiquiri is the name of a beach and iron mine in Santiago, Cuba. It was invented during the Spanish-American war and centers around rum, citrus and sugar as well as other sweeteners.

Now for any of you that know anything about Ernest Hemingway, then you won’t be surprised that his Daiquiri is actually a double. Because if Hemingway was famous for his writing, then he was infamous for his drinking.

PAPA DOBLE DAIQUIRI
MAKES 1 DRINK

3 ¾ ounces white rum

2 ounces fresh lime juice

2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice

6 drops maraschino liqueur

Ice

Blend all ingredients well with ice, and serve in a large chilled goblet.

Now you know the drink to drink while in the newly opened land of beautiful beaches and drinks reminiscent of days past. If you are interested in learning more about Cuba please give us a call 920.236.7777 or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to request an appointment with one of our excellent travel consultants.

Akvavit

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Welcome to this week’s installment of our Thirsty Thursday blog. I haven’t blogged on a cultural beverage in many weeks, so I am happy to be back featuring a beverage that many of you have not heard of. This week’s featured drink comes to us from Scandinavia and is known as Akvavit. Let’s learn about this liquor and where it comes from.

Akvavit or aquavit is a flavored liquor that is produced in Scandinavia since the 15th century. It is the most popular drink in Denmark and is also drank in Germany, England and parts of the U.S. with large Scandinavian settlements. It’s distinctive flavor comes from it’s main spice caraway. It is also made with cardamom, cumin, anise, fennel, lemon and orange peel, some varieties even include dill. It is generally 40% alcohol by volume and must have at least 37.5% alcohol by volume to be called Akvavit by the rules set by the European Union.

This drink is very popular in Scandinavian culture. It is generally drank at weddings and holiday celebrations. It is an aperitif and generally sipped from a small shot glass accompanied by a dark beer. It is similar to vodka, as it is distilled from grains or potatoes. It is then flavored with the spices listed above.

The earliest reference to Akvavit in Scandinavian culture comes from 1531. In a letter from the Danish lord of Bergenshus to the Roman Catholic Archbishop the lord references the archbishops illness with suggestions on the healing powers of Akvavit. Although these so called healing powers were a bit over exaggerated by the lord, it can aid in digestion, especially of rich foods. Which is why it is most often drank at large lunch meals on Easter and Christmas.

Are you ready to try this beverage yourself? Time to call us here at Ambassador Travel today!

 

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

Don’t Ya Wanna?

Fanta0011.jpgTypically on Thirsty Thursday we feature alcoholic beverages, but I am making an exception today due to the fact that the history of this drink is pretty cool, especially to a geeky history major like me. If you’ve ever traveled to Europe or Germany specifically you may have been surprised at how much the people like Fanta, and there is a very good reason for that. Let’s crack a bottle of this orangey drink and learn about it’s interesting past.

Because of the embargo on Germany during World War Two, Germany’s Coca-Cola production went into a stand still. They were not able to receive the syrup needed to produce Coke. This lead Max Keith, Head of Coca-Cola Deutschland, to come up with a plan. He decided that his corporation needed to put out something that Germany had access to. And thus Fanta was born. The drink was so popular that 3 million cases were produced between 1940 and 1943 allowing the factory to stay open during the remainder of WWII.

After the war ended, Coca-Cola took back control of the German corporation as well as the profits and Fanta recipe. The drink was originally marketed heavily in Europe, Asia and South America, but eventually came over to the United States. If you have ever had it in Europe you know it is much less orange than it is in the United States. Obviously you can get this beverage here, but don’t you want to try this drink in it’s native country? I knew you did! So give us a call today!

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

Caipirinha (kai-pir-in-ya)

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So if you are a lover of our blog you may recognize this drink because we have featured it before, but this article is pretty cool about the history of Brazil’s Caipirinha. Shout out to Travel Planner Brittany for sending me this cool article that I can share with all of our followers. Happy thirsty Thursday everyone, check out this article and let the flavors of Brazil inspire your next destination!

Article: https://www.gadventures.com/blog/caipirinha-brief-history-brazils-famous-cocktail/#.V-qtTcBX040.facebook

Intersted in trying this beloved cocktail? Want to know more about Brazil? It’s time to call us here at Ambassador Travel Ltd.

 

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777| ambassadortravelltd.com

 

Love Libations

Cheers to Thirsty Thursday! Today we are going to look at creating a signature cocktail for your destination wedding.

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Although they are not the only resort to do it, Sandal’s WeddingMoon program allows couples to create a signature drink through the wedding package that they selected. They allow the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. to customize this drink with local flavors, colors coordinating to the color scheme of the nuptials and so much more. For more information on this call one of our Destination wedding specialists at Ambassador Travel or request an appointment here! You can also read more about signature drink ideas that Sandals offers on their WeddingMoon blog http://sandalsweddingblog.com/blog/create-your-own-signature-wedding-cocktail/

Being a soon-to-be bride myself, I think adding personal touches to a wedding is one of the best parts of planning. And although I am not doing a destination wedding, I would imagine that the personal touches are a lot less than they would be if you were planning a traditional wedding, so having options like a signature drink is a great way to bring your personality into it. Sandals, in my opinion, really does the whole destination wedding thing right. Going into it you know that they have a lot of options for couples when they have a name just for their destination program. WeddingMoon allows you to pick your flowers, cake, theme, colors and much more. Sandals basically uses an online wedding planning system to make planning your wedding simple, and completely stress free.

Now lets get back to the drink. Signature drinks have become just as common at weddings as horrible bridesmaid dress. They stand out, often come with kitschy names and really help your guests to feel a part of your big day. With my own wedding we offered a signature cocktail at our engagement party called “broken mirror beer,” obviously to an outsider they would have no idea what this had to do with. But to our close friends it was a funny reminder of the first night me and my fiance met when I broke the mirror in his bathroom on accident. Special touches on an even more special day make all the stress and planning worth it and I think doing that in anyway whether that be a signature drink, or a memory box or a million other things can help you achieved the goal of that day. A marriage is about two people, but a wedding is about celebrating with the closest people in your life and for one day making that marriage about them as well.