Vesper Martini: How to Prepare a Real James Bond Cocktail

The Vesper Martini is famously known as the ”James Bond Cocktail”. The drink appeared for the first (and only) time in Ian Fleming’s novel Casino Royale. It was published in 1953, and it marked the beginning of the first adventures of the famous spy with the codename 007. It is a powerful drink and should be enjoyed slowly, but not slow enough for it to get warm. The attractiveness and sobriety of this cocktail may be due to the translucent appearance and the curly lemon peel that adorns the cocktail glass. The cocktail differs from the classic Dry Martini. Not only does the lemon peel replace the olive, but it also contains both gin and vodka. On top of that, the vermouth has been replaced with Lillet Blanc.

cocktail, distillates, spirits, gin, lillet blanc, recipes, Vodka

How to Prepare a Vesper Martini

45 ml of gin

15 ml of vodka

15 ml of Lillet Blanc

A large thin slice of lemon peel

Ice

Preparation

  1. Fill a cocktail glass with ice to cool while preparing the cocktail
  2. Pour the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc in a shaker and fill with ice.
  3. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds
  4. Remove the ice from the cocktail glass
  5. Pour the filtered drink from the shaker (without the ice)
  6. Finally, garnish with the curly lemon peel

History

As mentioned, the Vesper Martini was born in the novel Casino Royale, but it only appears once in the entire series. James Bond named it Vesper in homage to the female main character of the novel, Vesper Lynd. In the following novels, James Bond used to order a Dry Martini (”shaken, not stirred”, of course). The cocktail was invented by a friend of the author, Ian Fleming. He incorporated it into the story because the cocktail was different and explosive.

The original cocktail is made with Kina Lillet which was a more bitter version of the Lillet Blanc sold today. The Kina Lillet no longer exists because Lillet’s formula changed in 1980 and this removed some of the original bitterness. If you want your Vesper Martini to resemble the original as much as possible there is a way to tweak the recipe. You can get close to the original flavour by adding a bit of Angostura bitter to the other ingredients in the shaker. However, this twist is not one that we would recommend.

It is important to use Lillet Blanc and not just any white vermouth. The flavours are vastly different. You might want to consider using Stolichnaya vodka that has a high alcohol content and resembles the drink from the 50s.

 

How to Prepare a Black Russian

Coca Cola, Cocktail, Coffee Liqueur, Vodka

The cocktail Black Russian was invented in Brussels, Belgium. The name of the cocktail is owed to its colour and its main ingredient, Russian vodka. However, other versions of the story indicate that the word Black may stem from the period during the Cold War. The cocktail was created in 1949 by Gustave Tops who managed the bar at Hotel Metropole in Brussels.

Tops created the first Black Russian cocktail in honour of the US ambassador to Luxembourg, Perle Mesta. Since its creation this cocktail has continued to gain new fans, and it is considered one of the most attractive vodka cocktails for both men and women. Perhaps the popularity can be ascribed to the absence of fruits. Instead the strength and personality of the coffee liqueur shines through in every sip.

Ingredients

4 cl Vodka

2 cl Coffee Liqueur

Cola to top up

Preparation

This cocktail is a no-nonsense kind of drink which does not need to be mixed. Simply fill your glass with ice, pour the vodka and liqueur into your glass, and stir gently. Use the cola to top up if you prefer a longer drink.

At the beginning this drink was served in an Old Fashioned glass but over time it has become popular to serve it in a Collins glass which is taller and narrower. Many people drink the cocktail as a digestif.

The DO Ribera del Duero Approves Production of White Wine

Albillo Mayor, Designation of Origin, Ribera del Duero, White Wine

A few months ago, the white wines with Ribera del Duero as their Designation of Origin were officially presented at the Gastronomika festival. This was a historic milestone for this 37-year-old DO. Getting to this point has involved several years of important study work.

The setting of the show called ”La Ribera Blanca” was presented by Pepe Ribagorda. It included speeches by the President of the DO, Enrique Pascal, general manager Miguel Sanz, and the technical director Augustín Alonso. But the absolute protagonist of the show was the Albillo Mayor grape.

The new white wines from Ribera del Duero must contain at least 75% of the Albillo Mayor variety. The Albillo Mayor is a complex grape and difficult to grow. But the hard work pays off due to its exceptional qualities that will develop into complex, elegant, and unique wines. The Albillo Mayor grape is native to the region and is the most distinctive feature of ”La Ribera Blanca”.

In the words of Augustín Alonso: ” It is not an easy variety; I dare say that it is the most complex of all the white varieties we know. It must be harvested at the right time, neither before nor after, necessitating obsessive surveillance. It is versatile, elegant, and born for longevity. It is risky to work with, it is pure sacrifice, but the result is worth it.”

”We want to preserve the Albillo Mayor, take care of it, take it into the future. We have been working on this modification of our regulations for a long time. The process has taken years and has required rigorous studies, reports and external audits that have finally allowed us to announce that in the next few weeks, the Ribera del Duero back labels can be delivered to those white wines made with Albillo Mayor that meet the requirements set forth in the regulation. It’s already very close”, said Enrique Pascual, President of the D.O. Ribera del Duero.

Albillo Mayor, Designation of Origin, Ribera del Duero, White Wine

Ribera del Duero white wine has been around for a long time. There are at least 30 wineries that work with this variety. However, since they could not carry the denomination, they were sold as Vino de la Tierra de Castilla. From now on all the wineries that want to market their wines with the DO must pass the relevant controls and, if they are successful, they will receive their back labels in the coming weeks.

The presentation at the festival also introduced a selection of white wines that will be the first to be included in the DO Ribera del Duero. Most of these are still in the production stages and are not yet for sale. It will be interesting to follow these in the future:

  • Lagar de Isilla Albillo 2018
  • Unanimous Tres Piedras 2018
  • López Cristóbal Albillo 2018
  • Caballero Zifar Blanco 2018
  • Dominio del Pidio Albillo 2018
  • Luthier Blanco 2018
  • Viadero Blanco de Albillo 2018
  • Valduero Albillo Reserva 2017
  • Valduero Albillo Gran Reserva 2015
  • Dominio del Águila 2014 and 2012
  • El Lebrero de Félix Callejo 2018

You can find more information on the official website of DO Ribera del Duero.

 TAGS:Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble 2017

Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble 2017

It is a great young Ribera wine that combines power, structure and an excellent acidity.

The Beauty of Vodka Bottles

bottles, design, style, marketing, fashion, trends, Vodka

Wine producers are not the only ones who have understood that a great label helps attract consumers. Many distillate brands, especially vodka brands, often embellish their bottles to impress the public.

The next time you go to a bar or a restaurant, take a look at the wall behind the bar. You will likely discover that vodka bottles have become decorative objects. Unfortunately, in some cases, the impressive bottles are more focused on appearance than the taste of the vodka itself.

Creating a Visual Memory

Today, you’ll find vodka bottles that have taken the strangest forms imaginable. Crystal Head Vodka, a brand founded by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, is sold in a skull-shaped bottle. This idea is based on the legend of the 13 crystal skulls. AnestasiA Vodka asked Canadian designer Karim Rashid to design a bottle that resembles their logo. The bottle represents the rock from which they get the water for the production and the volcanic stone which is used to filter the distillate. Frozen Ghost focuses on the feeling of anguish, with the silhouette of a man trapped in the bottle. Cîroc is an ultra-premium vodka that has its headquarters in Cognac. The brand presents its important origins by brandishing an elegant frosted glass bottle. Absolut Vodka, on the other hand, is inspired by the bottles of medicines used in the eighteenth century. In those times vodka was sold in Swedish pharmacies as a remedy for virtually any condition.

Many consumers consider vodka quite a neutral spirit and find it hard to capture all the nuances that differentiate one brand from another. Therefore, many consumers are inclined to choose the most beautiful bottle which will also look great in their homes.

bottles, design, style, marketing, fashion, trends, Vodka

The Importance of Colours

According to neuromarketing experts, the more people can imagine the taste of a product just by looking at it, the better. Therefore, predefined codes are used when decorating a bottle. The colours are a great tool as they already give an idea of ​​the flavour of flavoured vodkas: green for apple, orange for peach, red for strawberry, yellow for lemon, etc. Absolut is an example of a brand which is mastering the colour coding strategy.

A Matter of Fashion

The makers of vodka know that their products are mainly consumed on social occasions. Many brands rely on the image of a ”luxury product”, which can be proudly displayed in nightclubs or during a private event. Many brands have therefore entered into collaborations with the world of fashion. Victoria’s Secret, Moschino, Gareth Pugh, and Roberto Cavalli are some of the brands who can be associated with specific vodka brands. Collaborations like these turn the bottles into true accessories.

Vodka Limited Edition

Of course, we must also mention the numerous limit edition vodka series. These bottles become objects of worship, sometimes even true works of art. Over the years, these bottles have become the object of desire for many enthusiasts and collectors.

Several of the limited editions have become very famous, mainly thanks to the big names that signed the bottles. Andy Warhol decorated a legendary bottle of Absolut Vodka. Anyone who has seen this in a magazine, on posters, or at a friend’s house will understand the hype well.

Vodka brands have created bottles dedicated to specific events or situations, always based on the concepts of uniqueness and current issues. The vodka Absolut World is signed by the Swedish illustrator Kari Modén and can only be purchased at airports. The Absolut brand explains that it is a vodka dedicated exclusively to travellers. Absolut has also created another unforgettable classic: The legendary Colors, inspired by the LGBT flag.

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Do you know Amarula liqueur?

Amarula is in fashion. It is a cream liqueur from South Africa that is especially popular among fans of the traditional Baileys. The liqueurs are similar when it comes to the sweet and creamy taste. It makes it easy to associate the two although they are two very different drinks.

Amarula, Marula, Elephant, Liqueur, South Africa

Amarula cream liqueur is made from the cream of milk and the fruit of the Marula tree. This tree only exists in the sub-equatorial plains of Africa. The mystery of this liqueur comes from its fruit. The fruit has a citrusy and creamy flavour and fibrous white flesh under its hard skin. It contains four times more vitamin C than an orange.

The Marula tree is protected in South Africa and it only grows in the wild. Humans have not been able to cultivate it so the gatherers must adapt to the whims of their roots. The tree only produces fruit once a year which makes the harvest even more difficult.

The Marula tree is also known as ”the tree of the elephants” because they love their fruit. Elephants can travel hundreds of kilometres when they detect the sweet smell of this delicacy. Perhaps that is why the Amarula liqueur is associated with these majestic giants. In fact, the brand supports elephant conservation efforts and co-founded an elephant research programme.

Amarula, Marula, Elephant, Liqueur, South Africa

Many other animals also enjoy eating the fruit. At times, when the fruit is very ripe, it will ferment on the ground in the heat of the sun. The fruit may then obtain an alcohol content of up to 38%. It goes without saying that animals eating the fruit from the ground may experience a bit of a buzz.

It is not a joke…

The production of Amarula is very basic. The fruit is fermented much like wine. It is then distilled twice and aged in French oak barrels for two years. At the end of the process, the liquor is mixed with the cream of milk to create the final product, the Amarula liqueur.

Amarula liqueur was created in 1989 which makes it a relatively new drink. Yet it is already distributed in 100 countries. It has won many awards, among others two awards for Best Liqueur in the World (2006 and 2008). It is steadily gaining new followers who like to drink it neat, with ice, mixed into cocktails, or they may even use it as an ingredient in cooking recipes.

We are also big fans… How about you? Have you tried it yet?

 

 TAGS:Amarula

Amarula

Amarula is a sweet cream liqueur from South Africa with 17% alcohol

 

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Untouched by Light is the First Sparkling Wine Made in Total Darkness

champenoise, chardonnay, sparkling wine, news, vintage at night

Untouched by Light is a new sparkling wine produced by the Slovenian winery Radgonske Gorice. The name of the wine is unusual; however, it is inspired by the production process. It is the first sparkling wine which is developed in absolute darkness; from harvest to bottling in opaque black glass bottles. Until now, no one has ever produced a wine like this.

The idea of creating this sparkling wine in the dark arises from an old study from 1989. It was done by the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (you can read it here). The study concluded that light rays could damage the aroma and the taste of the wines. This happens because ultraviolet rays break down the riboflavin of the wine and cause photo-oxidation, the formation of methanethiol, methyl sulphide and hydrogen sulphide.

champenoise, chardonnay, sparkling wine, news, vintage at night

Therefore, the Radgonske Gorice winery came up with a solution on how to make a wine that never sees the light of day. To achieve this the harvest is done on moonless nights with the help of night vision goggles. The subsequent handling, bottle rotation, packaging, etc. are also carried out in the dark. The winery uses the Traditional method (Champenoise) to carry out the second fermentation in the bottle. At the end of the process, the wine is rebottled in black bottles before a final maturation of three years.

The winery will only produce 2000 bottles of Untouched by Light made with Chardonnay grapes which will be ready in 2020. The wine is presented in a black aluminium bag to further ensure the “untouched by light” guarantee. However, for now, we are still left to wonder whether this is a marketing ploy or if this peculiar elaboration will really shine at the tasting.

If this wine has caught your interest, you can reserve your Untouched by Light on the official website.

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How to start the year in a healthy way (gastronomically speaking)

We all surely had too much food during this Christmas holidays, and that is why we propose some tips to start the year in a healthy way, with small actions, food and others. Take good note.

Hydrate: water

We need maximum hydration to eliminate toxins and reduce the Christmas excesses that we see in our body. For this, nothing better than drinking water. It is recommended to drink about 2 to 3 litres a day at any time. When we are dehydrated we can eat too much when we really do not need it. With water we improve digestion and purify the body. But we should not drink water only during the first days of the year but throughout the year. Our body will thank us.

healthy tips

Healthy fats

When we talk about fat in food, not all are bad. There are healthy fats, especially the mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that we find in many foods and that we must incorporate in our diet if you have not already done so. Avocados, spinach, nuts, eggs, seeds (sunflower, linseed), bluefish… are some of the best foods with good fats.

Do not skip breakfast

Many people reach fainting to lunchtime, thinking that they ingest much less a day. And the reality is not like that. If we skip breakfast, one of the most important meals of the day, we are increasing our appetite and we will eat in an exaggerated way. A good breakfast, strong and abundant, will give us energy and allow us to be healthier during the day.

Natural wines

No additives, no sulphites and totally natural. That is the way the wines with no chemical products added are. According to the Association of Producers of Natural Wines (PVN), natural wine refers to wine made in small quantities, by small vine growers, using manual processes, with minimal handling and without using any type of additive.

Natural wines

The crop is respectful with the environment and natural cycles are respected, following ancestral methods or some type of ecological or biodynamic agriculture, and of course, the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides is not allowed… since it is natural it will always be beneficial to our body.

A glass of wine a day

Although we do not know for sure if this statement is correct – it is better to hear a doctor, according to our personal circumstances- the Mediterranean diet states that we can have a glass of red wine a day. It offers many benefits by bringing resveratrol, a component of wine that is heart-healthy, and it has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.

Plan our meals

Finally, a tip that, although may seem basic, many people still do not follow. In this case, it is about planning our meals (and purchases) in order to have what is strictly necessary and not buy too many products, because then we can directly to the processed ones, sugars and fats, not good for our body.

 TAGS:Ramón Bilbao Crianza 2016

Ramón Bilbao Crianza 2016

A rennovated classic, versatile, fruity and balanced, Ramón Bilbao Crianza 2016 is an essential wine in our tables.

New Year’s Eve Cocktail Inspiration

 TAGS:undefinedIn a few days, we will celebrate the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Of course, you probably already have a menu planned for the day but did you consider the drinks? Indeed, the last evening of the year has to be celebrated with elegance and class. That is why we compiled several ideas to inspire you!

4 Delicious Cocktails for your holidays

The holiday season is a long period with many celebrations. Make sure to always have an innovative cocktail idea at hand with those four cocktails! They manage to embody both the Winter spirit and the celebratory atmosphere.

4 Original and Infallible Cocktails to revive the Christmas spirit

What is better to enjoy this time than with luscious and original cocktails? Find the recipes to make a warm vodka-based Winter Sun; a whiskey-based Rothes Original, a Pomegranate Champagne and sweet Mount Christ with orange liqueur.

3 Unbeatable Cocktails With Champagne For Your New Year’s Eve Aperitif

Champagnes are the main protagonists of New Year’s Eve drinks. How about adding a little bit of originality to them? Find delicious cocktail recipes with Champagne and toast in a different way.

7 Alcohol-free Cocktails for Everyone

Tough cocktails are often associated with alcohol, there exists a wide variety of them which are completely lacking alcohol. These alcohol-free cocktails are ideal when celebrating with the whole family as they enable each to toast!

Cocktails Galore – Choose your alcohol

Another way to decide what cocktail to make for your New Year’s Eve is to first look at the type of spirits you prefer (or the one you still have at home from last year). The most common types of cocktails are vodka-based (I) (II) (III), though rum and whiskey remain two serious contenders.

 TAGS:Jack Daniel's Winter JackJack Daniel’s Winter Jack

Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack,  a whisky produced by Jack Daniel’s Distillery from the United States with an alcoholic content of 15%.

 

 TAGS:Smirnoff GoldSmirnoff Gold

Smirnoff Gold, s produced by The Smirnoff Company from Russia with an alcohol content of 37.5%.

 

Christmas dinners in Europe

Soup, seafood, nougat and cava will be present in many Spanish tables this Christmas, but what usually eat and drink during the Christmas dinners in the rest of Europe? Let’s do a review of some of them. Take note if you want to incorporate some dishes into your menus!

Christmas dinners in England

As you already know, in Anglo-Saxon countries there are plenty of sweets and desserts, therefore, at Christmas puddings of different flavours with seasonal fruits are common, in addition to ginger cookies that can be decorated with Christmas designs and cakes as the Yule log. But before, the English eat roast turkey accompanied by side dishes such as potatoes. To drink, as is often quite cold, Mulled Wine is a tradition, being a hot wine with sugar and other spices.

Christmas dinners in Belgium

Turkey is repeated to eat at Christmas dinner, and sweets run through the holidays. During the dinner is usually eaten a dessert made with cream, in addition to the special and differently flavoured Belgian chocolates. Champagne and wine from France or Italy are the preferred drinks for Belgians.

Christmas dinners in Italy

Christmas dinner in Italy mix capon and turkey with different types of fish. The dessert is known worldwide: panettone and pandoro. Besides Italian D.O. wines to drink, it is also frequent the mulled wine and fruits.

Christmas dinners in Sweden

In the countries of northern Europe drinks also must be hot, so the Swedes drink julmust, with malt and hops, in addition to delicious fish, ham, chocolate candy and gingerbread cookies.

Christmas dinners in Germany

The combination of dishes is rich, so we can find lamb, duck and fish. As in other countries, it’s usually a family dinner, in which each member receives dishes with fruits and varied sweets. And mulled wine, which in this case is a mixture of red wine, lemon, cinnamon, cloves or other spices, and sugar. Besides champagne, also not lacking in the German Christmas tables.

Christmas dinners in Spain

Seafood, fish, soups, Iberic ham have always a highlighted place in Christmas dinners, and so have sweets. The so-called “turrones”, also known as Nougat (a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts, whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit) are equally important in Christmas dinners, as much as wine and sparkling wines.

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial:  a sparkling wine from Champagne DO of the best of pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes and 12,5º of alcohol strength.

 

 

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger Brut Réserve: a wine sparkling with DO Champagne a based on pinot noir and pinot meunier and 12.5º of alcohol. 

 

 

Christmas DIY with Wine Bottles

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The holiday season is approaching and, with it, the pretext to enjoy a drink with your loved ones. Instead of recycling empty wine bottles, why don’t you seize the opportunity to start a DIY activity and dive into the Christmas spirit. Indeed, the holiday season is probably one of the best periods to boost your creativity. Here are a few ideas:

Glitter Holiday Message Bottles

These lettered wine bottles can express your winter felicity for the coming holidays. All you need is to paint the bottles in any colour of your choice and, then, to write your message This probably is the loveliest way to share your Christmas spirit with the whole family.

Christmas Wine Bottle Lamps

After cleaning up your bottles, place bright Christmas lights inside them and watch how they turn into perfect holiday lamps which warmly illuminate any room. You’d better drill a small hole in the bottom of the bottle to let the cable an easy-way-out.

Twined and Painted Bottles

Use some bottles with twine at the tops and give them a casual look. First, paint them white and then add red decorations or lettering in order to write a heart-warming holiday wish. To finish off the look, add red berries, tiny pine cones and some holly leaves.

Candlestick Bottles

If you can draw properly, paint white bottles to look like Santa or any other usual Christmas character. After that, you can display them on tall candlesticks and put them wherever you prefer in your living room. This is an elegant and alternative way to cheer up your home!

Santa Face Bottles

Santa Claus is the most important Christmas character. So you can pick up a few red bottles and draw the white of Santa’s beard, don’t hesitate to go one step further and stick cotton balls to make it a bit more lifelike. If full, the bottle becomes an original gift for your friends while, if it is empty, the fabrication will entertain the youngsters.

 TAGS:Casal Garcia Vinho Verde

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde

Good quality does not always have to be expensive! Casal Garcia Vinho Verde is the proof.

 TAGS:Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé

Casal Garcia is the product of a train journey mixed with the perfect levels of admiration, passion, and opportunity.