Pimm’s Cup

Good morning and happy thirsty Thursday everyone! Today’s featured drink has been dubbed by Liquor.com as, “The quintessential British Summertime drink….” So although we have a while until Summer, it doesn’t mean we can’t get into the mood with this refreshing British Beverage.

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Pimm’s cup, is made with liquor produced by the Pimm’s company. Let’s look back at the history to fully understand where this great drink comes from. First produced in 1823 by James Pimm, the most popular product then and still today is the Pimm’s No. 1. Throughout it’s history there have been Pimm’s Nos. 1-6. But, we’ll get into that in a minute. The Pimm family owned an Oyster bar in, that would later become franchised, in London. Here a drink of tonic, gin and various herbs and other liqueurs was served to aid digestion, much like a digestiv or after dinner drink of today. The drink was served in a cup similar to a German stein known as a No. 1 cup, hence the name.

Pimm’s No. 1 Cup began distribution commercially in 1859. Over the years Pimm’s Nos. 2-6 were introduced using various other liquors. The company was sold to dominate beer distributor Guinness in the 80s and finally to it’s current owner Diageo in 1997. Diageo is the number one British liquor, wine and beer distributor. They own other huge brand names such as: Crown Royal, Tanqueray, Seagrams and much much more.

Throughout its almost 200 year history Pimm’s has gone through a variety of changes. The most through their different No. Cups. The most recent addition to the Pimm’s brand has been a transformation of their Pimms No. 3 Cup. Although Pimm’s No. 3 is out of production, there has been a new spin on it called Pimm’s Winter Cup. It is available seasonally and contains Brandy ¬†with a variety of spies and orange peels. Here is a list of the other Cups that have been part of the legacy of Pimms.
No. 1: Made with Gin, available as a mixable liquor as well as pre-mixed with lemonade
No. 2: Scotch Whiskey based (not currently in production)
No. 3: Brandy based (available now as Pimm’s Winter Cup, seasonally available)
No. 4: rum based (not currently in production)
No. 5: Rye Whiskey (not currently in production)
No. 6: Vodka based (currently being produced, but in limited quantities)

Interested in trying the famous Pimm’s No. 1 Cup cocktail? This is what you need: Pimm’s No. 1 (this is the gin based one), sprite or ginger ale, cucumber slices, muddled strawberries, lemon slices and mint. Mix all together for a deliciously refreshing summer drink!

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Excuse my French

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Whether you live the fabulous life or just want to add a little class to your next cocktail party, this fancy drink will be right up your alley. The Kir Royale is a French cocktail that will make you feel like you are sipping your bubbly at Versailles even if you’re just in your living room. And the best part, it only calls for two ingredients. Someone famous somewhere¬†said, “There is beauty in simplicity,” and I honestly believe they must have been talking about the Kir Royale. So here is what you will need: Champagne and Creme de Cassis. And for those of you who have never heard of the second ingredient, no worries, it’s actually fairly common and you should be able to find it at any large liquor stores.

lejay-bottle.jpgSo lets learn a little more about this simply fantastic drink. A Kir Royale is actually a spin on another French cocktail just known as a Kir. Kir’s are made with Creme de Cassis and a white wine. So the only difference is the champagne, but lets be honest champagne makes everything more fun. For those of you wondering what Cassis is, it’s a dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants. Blackcurrants are berries native to central and northern Europe and as far as I can tell are similar to blackberries and are also used in jellies and jams. One of the most common brands of Creme de Cassis is known as Lejay. And if this drink wasn’t already fancy enough, the same cassis buds used for Lejay Creme de Cassis are also used in the high end perfume Chanel No. 5. But don’t worry the Liqueur is much cheaper per ounce than the perfume.

So now that I have inspired your thirsty Thursday drink of choice it is time to get out there and sample this fancy beverage. I plan on making them this weekend for my husband’s birthday, make sure to check out our Instagram for pictures!

For more information or if you would like to sip this fancy beverage in it’s country of origin please call Ambassador Travel at 920.236.7777 or visit ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment.

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

 

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