Happy 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
Welcome 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.
For 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.
When 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.
Sometimes 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 !