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Vodka, one of the world's most popular liquors, is composed solely of water and ethyl alcohol with possible traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made from any one of these fermented substances: grain, rye, wheat, potatoes, or sugar beet molasses.
Vodka’s alcoholic content usually ranges between 35 to 50 percent by volume; the standard Russian, Lithuanian, and Polish vodkas are 40 percent alcohol by volume (80 proof).
Historically, this alcoholic-proof standard derives from the Russian vodka quality standards established by Tsar Alexander III in 1894.
The Muscovite Vodka Museum reports that chemist Dmitri Mendeleev determined the ideal alcohol content as 38 percent; however, because in that time distilled spirits were taxed per their alcoholic strength, that percentage was rounded upwards to 40 percent for simplified taxation calculations.
For such a liquor to be denominated “vodka,” governments establish a minimal alcoholic proof; the European Union established 37.5 percent alcohol by volume as the minimal proof for European vodka.
Vodka is traditionally drunk neat in the vodka belt — Eastern Europe and Nordic countries — and elsewhere. It is also commonly used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as the bloody Mary, the screwdriver, the White Russian, the vodka tonic, and the vodka martini.
The word liqueur comes from the Latin liquifacere ("to liquefy").
A distinction can be made between liqueurs and the kind of cordials that are made with fruit juice. In some parts of the world, people use the words "cordial" and "liqueur" interchangeably.
Liqueurs date back centuries and are historical descendants of herbal medicines, often those prepared by monks, as Chartreuse or Bénédictine. Liqueurs were made in Italy as early as the 13th century and their consumption was later required at all treaty signings during the Middle Ages.
Nowadays, liqueurs are made worldwide and are served in many ways: by themselves, poured over ice, with coffee, mixed with cream or other mixers to create cocktails, etc. They are often served with or after a dessert. Liqueurs are also used in cooking.
Some liqueurs are prepared by infusing certain woods, fruits, or flowers, in either water or alcohol, and adding sugar or other items. Others are distilled from aromatic or flavoring agents. The distinction between liqueur and spirits (sometimes liquors) is not simple, especially since many spirits are available in a flavored form today. Flavored spirits, however, are not prepared by infusion. Alcohol content is not a distinctive feature. At 15-30%, most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content than spirits, but some liqueurs have an alcohol content as high as 55%. Dessert wine, on the other hand, may taste like a liqueur, but contains no additional flavoring.
Anise liqueurs have the interesting property of turning from transparent to cloudy when added to water: the oil of anise remains in solution in the presence of a high concentration of alcohol, but crystallizes when the alcohol concentration is reduced.
Layered drinks are made by floating different-coloured liqueurs in separate layers. Each liqueur is poured slowly into a glass over the back of a spoon or down a glass rod, so that the liquids of different densities remain unmixed, creating a striped effect.
- Peach schnapps is carefully created with flavours from fresh fruit sourced from around the world to deliver you the taste of ripe juicy peaches.
- Crystal clear, light spirit, bursting with the taste of tree-ripe peaches. A perfect liqueur to mix anytime. Also straight on ice over desserts. Peachtree is the exclusive white peach spirit, which offers the bartender many unique and exciting mixing opportunities. Crystal clear, light spirit, busting with the taste of tree-ripe peaches.
- An exotic mix with fresh rum, pineapple and coconut.
- Why bother making Pisang if you have Crème de Bananes? Good question, here’s why. Pisang is made from green bananas and tropical fruits, where the crème uses only overripe bananas. Crème is bananas period, Pisang offers the taste of a complete tropical forest. This liqueur is a tribute to the old narrated Indonesian recipe, at least it’s our interpretation of it. And we made it a little special.
- Distilling raspberries is a fine art. The fruit is so fragile en delicate that it almost falls apart the moment you pick it. Like blackberries raspberries are a composite of many miniberries. But different to its black uncle, a picked raspberry has no core. It’s meat fly only. In this liqueur we bottled the fruity essence of fresh raspberries. Enriching neutral spirits with nature’s finest fruit.
- Raspberry Pucker is a sweet and sour mixing sensation. It starts off with the flavour of ripe and juicy raspberries and ends with a fruity tang. Drink on-the-rocks, in a martini cocktail or as a longdrink with plenty of ice and a splash of lemonade.
- He might not be as popular as his blue brother, but our Red Curaçao finishes first in its own class. A blend of oranges, lemons and bitter Curaçao aroma, this liqueur is vibrant to its core. We’ve spiced up the delicate balance of citrus aromas with distillates of orange oil and lemon oil, making this floral cordial passionately tropical. The finesse is in a little, surprising touch of cardamom.
- Less is more, especially when it comes to distilling liqueur. Sure, we like our complex, multi-layered creations, but this one stands out in all its simplicity. In our Red Orange we’ve limited ourselves to two citrus fruits only: lemons and oranges. We found the two really made for each other, with the sweetness of the oranges rounding off the sour lemon taste. Sweet and bitter, who needs more?
- The mother of all sour apples is without a doubt the Granny Smith. So in making a sour apple liqueur, we took this particular pome as our starting point. And to balance the sour we shopped around a bit more, adding fine apple distillates en concentrates. The result is this perfectly balanced, bright green cordial. An alcoholic apple juice so pure that it’s like pouring an orchard in a glass.
- Sour Apple Pucker is a sweet and sour sensation. A burst of sweet flavor followed by a mouth puckering sour. Get ready to Pucker-up!