Tag Archives: adulting

Why Did Big Wine & Brandy Made Rum Illegal in France?

Businesses spend resources to not only promote their product, and also to defend their marketshare against encroachers. Keeping a rival at bay is sometimes more important than advertising.

In 18th century France the wine & brandy industry saw a potential rival in Rum. Known throughout the Caribbean as Kill-Devil, this liquor made from molasses began sky-rocketting in popularity in the mid 1600s.

Rum cost a tiny fraction the price of wine & brandy. Furthermore, where it takes years to age a good red wine, each batch of rum can be made in less than 2 weeks.

This is why the French wine & brandy industry successfully lobbied the crown to make it illegal to import rum or molasses.

 

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Star Anise Can Be Used to Fight Off the Flu

Tamiflu has been show to speed recovery from influenza A and B by up to 18 hours. If my Wikipdedia-ing is correct, it works by making it hard for the flu virus to jump from cell to cell.

The active agent in Tamiflu is made available from shikimic acid found in Star Anise, and up to 90% of the world’s supply of Star Anise has been used to make this medicine.

Mind you, I am a bartender and not a doctor, so I am not recommending booze to fight a viral infection, but I do think I’ll add Star Anise to my next Hot Toddy…

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Here’s Why Vanilla Smells So Good

Vanilla commonly comes from Hawaii, Mexico, Tahiti, Madagascar, & Indonesia; and just like with coffee each of these locations produces a bean with a slightly different taste & aroma.

Now, let’s get just a little science-y, just for a moment. A Volatile Organic Compound is an aggressive-sounding name for simply a naturally occurring chemical that evaporates easily. Often, this means that we actually notice them as scents/aromas.

Vanilla has been found to contain more than 100 different volatile organic compounds. Perhaps this incredibly complex blend of aromas explains its widespread appeal to humans.

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Triassic Gin

Traditionally, Gin gets its flavor from the pine cones of the Juniper tree—which can live for 200 years.

This is pretty rare in the world of drinkable-horticulture, but Juniper is native to North America, Europe, and Asia. Juniper evolved 250 million years ago during the Triassic period. At this time all of Earth’s landmass was concentrated in 1 enormous continent: Pangea.

In essence, gin is the ultimate multi-cultural spirit.

 

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Can You Brew Beer with Gorilla-Food?

Animals in captivity require different diets than their counterparts in the wild. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult for zoos to house new animals, since they may not initially know of their dietary and medicinal needs.

An African spice described as tasting of ginger, cardamom, and pepper has been found to prevent a heart condition in gorillas in zoos.

Sam Adams incorporates this same spice—known as Grains of Paradise—in their annual Summer Ale.

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Caribbean Angels are Greedy!

Barrels for aging spirits are not airtight, and they actually loose a small amount of their liquid over time: this is known as the Angel’s Share. In Kentucky, 2% of the volume inside the barrel evaporates each year.

In warmer climates like the Caribbean, the Angel’s Share is 7.8%. In parts of India this figure reaches 12%, annually. This means that for each year a Caribbean rum ages 7.8% of it disappears.

El Dorado has an absolutely delicious 12 year-aged rum!

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The Moscow Mule is Older than You Think…

Have you ever had an idea that you were sure would pan out? Well Russian citizen Sophie Berezinski thought in 1941 that cute little mugs made out of copper would be a hit, so she used her father’s copper factory to get 2,000 of them fabricated.

When nobody in all of Russia wanted a stupid copper cup, Sophie emigrated to America to try and sell her 2,000 mugs. Apparently, Los Angeles did not have much interest in copper drinking vessels, either.

After passing the point of despair in hoping to ever find a profitable home for her copper mugs, fate caught up with Sophie at the Cock ‘n’ Bull pub. There she met two other failing entrepreneurs. John Martin’s Smirnoff distillery was floundering, and the Cock ‘n’ Bull’s proprietary ginger beer was also not selling.

Thus, as the three of them sat down and made a cocktail combining products from their 3 near-bust businesses, the Moscow Mule was invented in 1941, and the damn copper mug served no purpose but a marketing ploy.

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