Gin for the Win

UnknownHappy thirsty Thursday everyone! So because I am feeling rather saucy today, or rather I would like to get a little saucy, I decided to feature my all time favorite cocktail as our drink of the week. Now you may be thinking, what would Amber’s favorite cocktail be, obviously something fancy, a little sassy and all around elegant, and you would be right. For those of you who don’t know me, the answer is Gin and Tonic. No I am not a 60-year-old man smoking a pipe in a tweed jacket with suede elbow patches, but I do enjoy this delicious drink, that actually comes with a fascinating history.

Gin and Tonics were first introduced by the British East India Company in India. Here many of the locals and soldiers were being plagued with Malaria, especially in the tropical regions, when they discovered that quinine (tonic) was a great preventative as well as treatment for the disease. Quinine at the time did not taste good, so in the 19th century British officers added a combination of sugar, water, lime and gin to make it taste better. Soldiers were given a ration of gin by the British Government so the drink only made sense.

Today there is much less quinine in tonic so it is not a suitable treatment for Malaria, just incase some of you are hoping to forgo your Malaria shots for your next trip in hopes of just drinking the mosquitos away, its not a good option. Today’s tonic is much sweeter and like I mentioned above contains much less quinine than in the 1800s.

Gin and tonics, for those of you who have not had them are made more to taste than with an actual recipe. Suggested options I found were 1:1 1:2 or 2:3. Personally I love the taste of Gin (shocking, I know) so I would say a 1:1 is about right or maybe even 2:1. But hey, that’s just me.

For those of you still hoping to fight off Malaria on your next trip with an outrageous amount of G and T’s please give us a call at 920.236.7777. Or visit our website ambassadortravelltd.com to schedule an appointment.

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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

 

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 summer is almost over, it doesn’t mean we can’t savor it a bit longer 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!