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TENNESSEE WHISKEY

Tennessee whiskey is made in the same way as a sour-mash bourbon whiskey except that the tennessee whiskey is filtered through charcoal from hard Tennessee maple trees.

TEQUILA

Tequila is a product of the mezcal plant. (specifically the blue agave) One misconception is that mezcal and mescaline are related; only the words mezcal and mescal are alike. All tequilas are mezcals, but the very finest of the mezcals. True tequila is produced in a very small region of Mexico, around the town of Tequila in the state of Jalisco. Tequila must be distilled at least twice, and quality gold tequilas are aged in wood three years. Jose Cuervo, a high quality tequila is widely available in the United States and is usually drunk straight. Harsher, white tequilas are often treated with the "three pals" or los tres cuates treatment, in which the participant takes a good lick of salt from the back of his hand, knocks back a slug of tequila, and then quickly sucks on a lemon or lime slice. The tequila's that have met the Mexican standard of quality are stamped DGN on the label. Mezcals are not regulated like tequila is and often harsher tasting, plus there's the worm in the bottom.

TIA MARIA

A coffee flavored liqueur from Jamaica. Dryer than Kahlua, Tia Maria is Jamaican rum based and flavored with spices.

TODDY

Originally a hot drink made with spirits, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, etc and a lemon peel mixed with hot water and served in a tall glass. Toddy's can also be cold.

TONIC WATER

Another term for quinine water, and a great mixer.

TRIPLE SEC

A highly popular sweetener and flavoring agent in many drinks, triple-sec is the best known form of curaçao, a liquer made from the skins of the curaçao orange. Cointreau is a high quality brand of triple sec.

TUACA

Italian brandy based liqueur flavored with vanilla, citrus, almond, coconut, orange and cocoa.

VANDERMINT

A liquid after dinner chocolate mint is the best way to describe this liqueur from the netherlands.

VERMOUTH

Though the product is mostly an Italian/French undertaking, the word comes to us from the German Vermutwein, meaning wormwood wine. While wormwood is indeed one of the many botanicals that goes into its manufacture, vermouth has escaped the stigma that has followed absinthe. Actually, vermouth is a highly sophisticated product of a great many botanical flavorings such as cloves, nutmeg, seeds, marjoram, angelica root, gentian, nutmeg, linden, elder flower, iris root, citrus peels, and over a hundred others. The French (dry)make it by selecting and combining their botanicals, then pouring mixture of fortified wine and mistelles over them. The brew is allowed to steep for a few weeks; the wine is then drawn off and the process repeated until all the flavor has been extracted from the botanicals. A selection of these flavored wines are blended together and then mixed with unflavored wines, Brandy is added to raise the alcohol level, and the vermouth is chilled almost to the freezing point to eliminate any sediment. The Italian (sweet) vermouth is red, richer in flavor and more syrupy.

VODKA

By United States law, vodka must be colorless, odorless, and tasteless, a combination that has made it the great universal mixer of our time and the most popular selling spirit today with 18% of the market. Vodka was unknown in the U.S. 40 years ago and yet it has been around since the 14th century in Russia when at one time there were 4000 brands available. That and the fact that it is less likely to induce a hangover or show up on ones breath than other varities of alcoholic drinks have combined to make it the most popular spirit in the United States. A popular myth about vodka is that it is made from potatoes. Though it was made that way in the past and could still be made that way, it is usually made from grain-wheat, corn, or rye. The grain is crushed and mixed with water to produce the mash, which is then infused with yeast. Once fermentation takes place, it is then put through a continous still to obtain the purest possible grain-nuetral spirit. Water is added to reduce its alcoholic content to 40 or 50% (80 or 100 proof). There is no aging.

WHISKEY

The Irish invented it and in Gaelic, it means "the water of life". In the Unites States and Ireland, the word is spelled with an e, the British, Scots, and the Canadians usually drop the e. All basic whiskeys, whatever the type, are made from one type of grain or another Straight whiskeys are bottled from the casks in which they are aged, with water added to reduce their proof. Blended whiskeys are of two types: Blended straight whiskeys are a blend or combination of different straight whiskeys of the same general type. Many Scotches and bourbons fit this description. However, "blended whiskeys" as the term is used in the United States, refers to whiskeys in which a straight whiskey has been blended with grain nuetral spirits. The basic varieties of whiskey are blended, bourbon, Canadian, corn, rye, Scotch and Tennessee. The grains used to make whiskey are corn, rye, wheat and barley.

YUKON JACK

A Canadian whiskey based liqueur, flavored with citrus and herbs.

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