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Sugar cane

8 Food & Drink pairings for Rum

8 FOOD & DRINK PAIRINGS FOR RUM

Rum is a type of alcohol distilled from sugar cane. It has been consumed for centuries because it’s an alcoholic drink that can be obtained cheaply and in bulk, making it historically appealing to produce on small islands with few resources.

While it’s true that a rum’s source material must derive from sugar cane, other limitations do not necessarily apply: standards are only set by the product’s country of origin. Because the category lacks the same restrictions as a Bourbon or whiskey, it’s no surprise that rum has evolved to be one of the most versatile spirits in the world.

This liquor typically contains about 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof), but strengths vary at different stages as they are refined until the final product reaches its desired state (such as dark rum containing over 50% ABV).

Let’s discuss how to have the best experience when drinking rum, including what types of food and drink pair well with it.

PAIRINGS FOR RUM

1.    Steak + Aged Rum

When discussing rum and meat dishes, steak always comes most readily to mind. Steak and aged rum are a culinary match made in heaven as the grilled flavors of the meat enhance the unique woody and caramelized nuances of the aged spirit.

2.    Club Soda + Dark or Spiced Rum

For a refreshing summer drink, squeeze some lemons and fill up the glass with your favorite dark or spiced rum. Top it off liberally with club soda for an added zing of minerality—perfect for bringing out that nutty undertone in any aged or spiced rum!

3.    Cheese + Silver or Black Rum

Silver and black rums alike go great with what many people consider to be an acquired taste for cheese. Creamy cheeses like brie, blue, and aged gouda respond well to the varied profiles of either classification, while a handful of cheeses like parmesan are equally complementary for their salty tang and mild hints of pepper.

4.    Tonic Water + Dark Rum

Adding tonic water to a drink is like adding salt and pepper to a dish—it helps bring out the flavor of other key elements. Just as it unveils floral notes from gin, tonic water can show off the woody flavors of a dark rum. You can also try mixing 50 percent soda water with 50 percent tonic water for a more subtle effect.

5.    Ceviche + White Rum

Ceviche is a refreshing, citrus-forward dish that pairs well with the bright flavors characteristic of many white rums. It’s made from fresh raw fish (such as Cod) and cured in lemon or lime juice mixed with tomatoes, onions, chiles, and spices.

6.    Pineapple Juice + White or Dark Rum

A list of rum pairings would not be complete without pineapple juice. After all, pineapple juice is one of the main ingredients in a piña colada and makes for an incredibly refreshing Daiquiri! The tanginess of pineapple juice has the same balancing effect on various types of rum as citrus. Just be sure to squeeze it fresh.

7.    Flavored Seltzer + Spiced Rum

Flavored seltzers offer a wide range of enjoyment for every palate with flavors like coconut, mixed berries, and apple. Similar to tonic water, flavored seltzer can help enhance the existing flavors of a great rum while adding a delicate twist.

8.    Ginger Beer + White or Dark Rum

Ginger beer is the perfect companion for most rums because it’s a little spicy and not too sweet. Mixing it up with your favorite white or dark rum will give you an enjoyable new drink that packs a bold, flavorful punch.

For your next rum project, contact us.

Can

What is Hard Seltzer?

Whether it’s television and YouTube commercials or social media posts, it’s hard to escape the latest alcoholic beverage craze: hard seltzer. 

In 2019, hard seltzer sales were at $4.4 billion and those figures are expected to climb more than 16% from 2020 to 2027. But what is hard seltzer, exactly? And is it true that it’s a healthier option than high-calorie, high-sugar booze? 

What Is Hard Seltzer?

Also known as spiked seltzer, alcoholic seltzer, or hard sparkling water, hard seltzer is carbonated water combined with alcohol and fruit flavoring. Depending on the hard seltzer brand, these fruit flavors can come from real fruit juice or artificial flavoring.

Some of the most common flavors include a variety of citrus, berries, and tropical fruits, such as:

  • Black Cherry
  • Blood Orange
  • Cranberry
  • Guava
  • Hibiscus
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon Lime
  • Mango
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Ruby Grapefruit
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

Pro tip: To make sure you’re getting a seltzer that hasn’t been spiked with chemical additives or added sugars, always check the ingredients label. 

How Is Hard Seltzer Made?

As with any alcoholic beverage, the key to its boozy nature lies in the fermentation process. That’s when yeast consumes any sugars that are present and converts them into alcohol. For hard seltzer, it typically comes from straight-up fermented cane sugar or cereals. So basically most Companies are using GNS (Grain Neutral Spirit at 96% alc), Neutral Spirit from Cane Sugar at 96% alc, but it can also be neutral spirit from fruits : Apple or grape mostly.

The alcohol content of most spiked seltzers falls in the range of 4-6% alcohol by volume (ABV) — about the same as light beer — although some can be as high as 12% ABV.

Lower alcohol also means fewer calories. The amount of sugar varies from brand to brand, but you’ll usually find the most popular hard seltzer brands touting their low-sugar content, which tends to be no more than 3 grams of sugar per serving.

Is Hard Seltzer a Healthy Drink?

While it would be uncorrect to say that spiked seltzer is a healthy drink that should be part of your daily wellness routine, it could be consican-5317959_1920 copydered a healthier option to traditionally sugary drinks such as soda, wine coolers, and fruity cocktails.

Part of the reason why spiked seltzer is so popular is that it checks off a lot of the boxes for health-conscious consumers. You know the boxes we’re talking about: gluten-free, low-calorie, low-sugar, low-carb, and low-alcohol.

It’s Easy to Like Hard Seltzer … Just Be Smart About It

What is hard seltzer? Now that you know the answer to that question (carbonated water mixed with alcohol and fruit flavoring!), you might be asking yourself if it’s worth the hype. 

Hard seltzer seems like an appealing option when you look at all the healthy qualities it offers — fewer calories and carbs, lower alcohol, gluten-free ingredients, and low sugar content — but you have to look deeper. Not all sugars are created equal and not all hard seltzer brands are transparent about how they source their ingredients. Once you get more details, then you can make the right decision for your lifestyle.

And if you do need Neutral Spirits (GNS, Apple Spirit, Grape Spirit, Cane sugar, etc) for your hard seltzer recipes, contact us. We will be happy at Crafted Spirits to speak about your future requirements.

Agave

Mezcal vs Tequila

MEZCAL vs Tequila

Tequila is a type of mezcal.

Many people assume its the other way around, but that’s not so. The word “mezcal” literally means “roasted agave”.  So, tequila is a type of mezcal since any spirit made from agave is classified as such.

What is the difference between tequila and mezcal?

1. They’re produced in different regions.

Just like real champagne can only come from Champagne, France, and legit scotch is only made in Scotland, tequila and mezcal have regional distinctions. Oaxaca makes more than 90 percent of the world’s mezcal supply. Durango is also famous for its mezcal production.

Jalisco is the epicenter of tequila production. “The tequila region, when they understood, they were like let’s make our own little thing here,”

2. They’re made from different varieties of agave.

There are nearly 200 types of the plant, and mezcal can be made from more than 40 of them. As such, it can be a blend of two different varieties of agave plants, too—similar to a blend of different wine grapes. Tequila can only come from Blue Agave.

3. They’re distilled differently.

The agave for tequila is steamed in ovens that are above ground. Mezcal producers use in-ground fire pits filled with wood and charcoal.

Mezcal doesn’t have to taste like smoke.

Some bartenders feel the descriptor undercuts the spirit: Mezcal can taste a little charred because of the way it’s produced, but you might also try some with floral, fruity, or earthy notes. A lot of it comes down to the specific agave plant—where it is, what variety it is, and when and how it was harvested.

Espadin mezcals are for beginners; then, graduate to tobalà.

Espadin agave is one of the most prevalent species of the plant, making it the most popular source of mezcal. Since it’s so widespread, the taste can vary wildly from bottle to bottle. Tobalà is referred to as “the king of mezcals” because the agave plant is more scarce and harder to harvest. Read: That sh*t’s expensive.

Mezcal is having a moment.

You can’t buy flavored mezcal.

The spirit isn’t like vodka: It’s not bottled to taste like pumpkin pie or strawberries. If you want it to taste differently, you’ll need to mix it into a cocktail. (Or go to a mezcal bar, and have someone do it for you.)

You can not buy Mezcal in bulk, Mezcal needs to be bottled in Mexico.

For any further question, feel free to contact us

Gin

What is a Gin?

In essence, gin is pretty much a flavoured vodka. The only real difference between the two categories is the predominant flavour and aroma of the juniper. In both, you start with a neutral spirit at 96% alcohol by volume (ABV) that has been derived from an agricultural source like grain. With the gin, you then rectify or compound this spirit with a series of flavours (botanicals), in such a way that the predominant flavour present is the juniper. Gin must, by law, then be bottled at a minimum ABV of 37.5%.

If we look at the definitions from the EU regulation 110/2008, there are 3 types of Gin :

20. Gin

(a) Gin is a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced by flavouring organoleptically suitable ethyl alcohol of

agricultural origin with juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.).

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of gin shall be 37,5 %.

(c) Only natural and/or nature-identical flavouring substances as defined in Article 1(2)(b)(i) and (ii) of Directive 88/388/EEC and/or flavouring preparations as defined in Article 1(2)(c) of that Directive shall be used for the production of gin so that the taste is predominantly that of juniper.

21. Distilled gin

(a) Distilled gin is :

(i) a juniper-flavoured spirit drink produced exclusively by redistilling organoleptically suitable ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin of an appropriate quality with an initial alcoholic strength of at least 96 % vol. in stills traditionally used for gin, in the presence of juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.) and of other natural botanicals provided that the juniper taste is predominant, or

(ii) the mixture of the product of such distillation and ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with the same composition, purity and alcoholic strength; natural and/or nature-identical flavouring substances and/or flavouring preparations as specified in category 20(c) may also be used to flavour distilled gin.

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of distilled gin shall be 37,5 %.

(c) Gin obtained simply by adding essences or flavourings to ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is not distilled gin.

22. London gin

(a) London gin is a type of distilled gin:

(i) obtained exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin, with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol, whose flavour is introduced exclusively through the re- distillation in traditional stills of ethyl alcohol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used,

(ii) the resultant distillate of which contains at least 70 % alcohol by vol.,

(iii) where any further ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is added it must be consistent with the characteristics listed in Annex I(1), but with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100 % vol. alcohol,

(iv) which does not contain added sweetening exceeding 0,1 gram of sugars per litre of the final product nor colorants,

(v) which does not contain any other added ingredients other than water.

(b) The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of London gin shall be 37,5 %.

(c) The term London gin may be supplemented by the term ‘dry’.

So, you can have a “Gin”,  a “Distilled Gin” and  a “London Gin”. It may not sound like a big difference between each quality, but there is a huge difference between the first category “Gin” and the 2 others (“Distilled Gin” and “London Gin”). The first category is simply a flavoured vodka (ethyl alcohol, water and flavours), the 2 others are more sophisticated and expensive to make. We, at Crafted Spirits, will not sale the first category, which we do not consider it as a Gin. From a consumer’s point of view, we feel that it is very confusing, and only “Distilled Gin” or “London Gin” should be labeled “Gin”.

History

Gin has a huge amount of very interesting history surrounding its development and climb to such a widely consumed and loved spirit. Gin originates from the Dutch spirit ‘genever’, which literally translates as ‘juniper’. This was a distilled malt wine that had been flavoured with juniper, amongst other herbs and spices. First references of the spirit date back to the 13th Century, with the first major contact for the British with genever being during the 80-year war. British troops fought alongside the Dutch, who were all drinking genever before battle, thus giving rise to the term ‘Dutch Courage’!

Although ‘gin’ is said to have been invented around 1650 by Dr Franciscus Sylvius in the Netherlands, this still would have been classed as genever, and not gin as we know it. The date that genever was re-written and gin came to be is a little hazy, but the first written reference of the actual word ‘gin’ was in 1714 in ‘The Fable of the Bees’, by Bernard Mandeville. In the book, it appears that the ‘Gin Shops’ were already rife, and that gin had become a part of the fabric of culture at the time. During the 18th Century, the Brits were consuming so much gin that it had led to widespread abuse and hardship, which William Hogarth condemned in his infamous ‘Gin Lane’ etching above, and resulted in the 1751 Gin Act which aimed to curb the nation’s consumption.

Over two hundred years later, gin has now become incredibly popular, and this is in part thanks to the humble G&T. The origins of this drink date back to around 1870 when British troops were stationed in India. The quinine in tonic water was derived from the bark of the cinchona tree and was believed to have anti-malarial properties. The tonic was extremely bitter and rather foul-tasting, so sugar was added to sweeten it and gin was added to make it more palatable. The citrus addition followed further down the line, but the G&T was here to stay!

Crafted Spirits supplies high quality “Distilled Gin” or “London Gin”, available from 220 litres to a full ISOTANK of 26 000 litres.

For more information, contact us

Eggnog

What are we drinking for Christmas around the World?

Though it can often be stressful, the holiday season boils down to one great big celebration of food and drink. A festive selection of dishes, desserts, and snacks are always within an arm’s reach. You may be familiar with a handful of Christmas food traditions around the world, but did you know that several countries also have a signature holiday drink? Cinnamon, spice, and everything nice helpo these traditional Christams drinks deliver a hearty dose of holiday cheer.

Bottoms up, because these boozy beverages just may inspire you to travel for a taste, or maybe even try your hand at whipping one up at home.

Germany : Feuerzangenbowle

In Germany, Feuerzangenbowle is a showy holiday drink that requires you set a rum-soaked cone of sugar on fire so it can drip into a flame-warmed bowl of spiced red wine waiting below. Traditionnaly, the sugarloaf was held in place by two tongs, giving the drink its name, “fire tong punch”. However, these days, it’s much more common to use a fondue-like contraption that is specially designed to prepare the drink.

Ecuador : Canelazo

Starting from early November’s Fiestas de Quito through Christmas, it’s canelazo time in Ecuador. This hot cinnamon drink is a festive favorite, and you’ll find it sweet and spiced scent wafting from holiday street vendor stalls and hone kitchens alike. Made with a mix of passionfruit juice, lemon, and water boiled with cinnamon sticks, the drink is served hot with a boozy floater of Ecuador’s strong, sugarcane-based spirit aguardiente.

Lithuania : Poppy seed milk

Lthuania’s Poppy seed milk is a bit of an outlier, as it doesn’t use the typical warm spices like cinnamon or clove that dominate most other holiday beverages. Instead, this drink keeps it simple with just three ingredients : poppy seeds, water and honey. However, crafting this cocktail takes patience as the poppy seeds need to soak overnight in hot water being crushed (“milked”). Cooled water is added to this milk concentrate, along with a dab of honey to sweeten. Add a splash of Viryta (a spiced Lithuanian honey liquor) to spike and Sveikinimai! – you’ve got a Christmastime cocktail worth the wait.

USA & Canada : Eggnog

In its simplest form, eggnog is made by mixing raw eggs, cream, milk, sugar and a dash of cinnamon with whatever hard (usually dark) liquor on hand : Rum, Whiskey, Bourbon, Cognac…go  for it. In other words, it’s basically a boozed-up liquid custard that never made it into the oven that  manages to polarize partygoers at every party. Haters can hate, but eggnog’s frothy rich goodness has been weighing down warm mugs for hundred of years, and it remains one of the most popular festive drinks in both the USA and Canada.

Jamaica : Sorrel Punch

With temperature clinging to 28s C during the Holiday season, it’s no surprise that Jamaica’s christmastime cockail is bright, refreshing, and served over ice. Sorrel Punch is basically hibiscus (known in Jamaica as sorrel) tea brewed with spicy, fresh-grated ginger and warming spices like pimento (similar to all spice) and cinnamon. Red wine and white Jamaican rum give it that extra festive kick, while the combination of island ingredients help give drinkers of this tart dark red punch a taste of Jamaica in a cup.

Chile : Cola de Mono

While many popular holiday cocktails are backed by longtime festive tradition, Chile’s cola de Mono, literally “Monkey’s Tail”, is said to have originated in the early 1900s. According to its origin story, this boozy coffee frink is a mixture of what was left at a party after all the wine had been drunk. A quick thinker threw together sugar, instant coffee, milk, cloves and a potent clear spirit similar to grappa, known as aguardiente to create this milky cocktail. It’s now a favorite at Chilean Christmas parties.

Scandinavia : Glögg 

Go to Scandinavia during winter timeand you’ll be hard-pressed to walk a block without encountering hygge-inducing mulled wine. Known in Sweden as Glögg and in Norway & Denmark as gløgg, this winter drink is a key player during Christmas. Though it almost always ia made by warming red wine with sugar, ginger, cinnamon, clove and Cardamom, each Country has its own take on this holiday classic. Swedes serves theirs with a spoon so you can scoop out all the alcohol-soaked dried fruits and nuts, while Norwegians often spike it further with a heavy pour of Aquavit. In Denmark, Port wine is a frequent addition.

Cuba : Crema de Vie

This “Cream of Life” cocktail is a specialty drink from Cuba resembling eggnog and seems even more beloved than its North American counterpart. Named in both Spanish and French, Crema de Vie has become a staple holiday drink fro both Cubans and Cuban-Americans. Recipes vary, but typically include rich, sweet ingredients like condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, sugar, egg yolks, and white Rum. Like eggnog, this drink is often served with a sprinkle or stick of cinnamon.

Belgium : Christmas Beer

It’s not surprising that a country known for its beers makes hundreds of limited specialty brews just for the Christmas season. Think beer with a spiced twist, featuring flavors of orange peel, cinnamon, clove and vanilla. Many of these beers are brewed near Antwerp in a town called Essen and are hard to find outside the area.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Sugar cane

Types of Rum

Rum is produced in more than 80 countries, using many divergent methods, with copious variations of fermentation, different types of distillation, myriad blending styles and a plethora of aging techniques, BUT :

All Rums have a common raw material : Sugarcane molasses and/or Sugarcane juice and the process stages are : 

1. Dehydration of sugarcane juice by way of condensation, followed by centrifugal separation of molasses. 

2. Fermentation of molasses or sugarcane juice.

3. Fractional distillation of the fermented molasses or sugarcane juice. 

Most rums can be classified in one or more of a few distinct categories. Let’s learn more about the most popular types of rum.

White Or Clear Rum

White rum is clear, usually has milder flavor and lighter body than gold or dark rums. These light types of rum are most often used to create cocktails that do not have a need for bold rum flavor.

In the U.S., most white rums are sold at 80 proof, or 40% alcohol by volume. White rums are cheaper to make and less expensive to purchase that more mature rums.

In Europe, the minimum % of alcohol must be 37.5 (75 proof).

White rums are popular in most common drinks, such as Cuba Libre (rum, Coke and lime), Daiquiri, Mojito and Piña Colada.

Gold Or Pale Rum

As rum mellows in barrels over time, it takes on amber or golden hues. These golden types of rum usually present a more flavorful profile than the white or clear rums. Gold rums are used to make cocktails in which a stronger flavor is desired.

Gold rums are often aged several years or more and some coloring may be added to provide consistency. Subtle flavors of vanilla, almond, citrus, caramel or coconut may be present from the type of barrels used in the aging process.

Gold rums are often enjoyed on the rocks or neat, in addition to being used in cocktail recipes. They are popular in recipes for baking and making desserts as well.

These medium bodied rums are often quite affordable compared to older aged rums that have allowed to mature for many years.

Dark Rum

The term Dark Rum is essentially meaningless.

Many aged rums are referred to as dark, only to distinguish them from light. The label of dark rum is often assigned to a range of rums that are not clear, from light golden amber to black, as well as rums that are well aged.

Dark types of rum are often aged in oak barrels for extended periods.

When used in cocktail recipes, the robust rums offer a contrast of more flavorful profiles compared to white rums, overproof rums, flavored and spiced rums.

Black Rum

The darkest, richest, heavy bodied rums are often referred to as black rums, offering bold tropical essence to libation and recipes. Black types of rum are popular ingredients used to balance the flavors of drinks against gold, white and spiced rums.

Most black rum is made from molasses, a thick, dark sweet liquid left over in the process of manufacturing crystallized sugar. The black rums retain much of this rich molasses and caramel flavoring and are sometimes colored with burnt caramel to achieve consistently dark hues.

Black rums are essential to many uses in the baking and candy-making industries, imparting bold sweet spicy flavors to cakes, candies, desserts and sauces.

The barrels used to mature black rums are often charred or fired heavily, imparting much of the wood’s strong flavors to the liquid. They may also have remaining molasses in them.

Black rums are popular in British territories such as Bermuda, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands and Guyana.

Navy Rum

Navy rum refers to the traditional dark, full-bodied rums associated with the British Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy was famed for its custom of providing a daily ration of rum to sailors, as far back as 1655 when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. Rum traveled aboard ships far better that French brandy. As a matter of fact, where grape-based spirits of wine and brandy eventually went bad in the heat of the tropics, rum seemed to improve as it aged in the barrels aboard ship.

Around 1740, the practice of watering down the rum and supplementing it with lime to prevent scurvy became popular. This change is often credited to Admiral Edward Vernon, who was known to wear an old grogham coat and his potion was nicknamed grog, or later, tot. The tradition of providing British sailors with a daily ration of rum continued until July 31, 1970, known as black tot day.

To ensure the viability of the economies of its territories, recipes for navy rum included blends of spirit from British territories, including Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.

One of the first official purveyors of rum to the Navy was Mr. Lehman Hart, starting in the early 1800s. A few decades later, Alfred Lamb began aging his dark rum in cool cellars beneath the river Thames, earning his product the nickname of London dock rum. The Lemon Hart brand was registered in 1888 and remains to this day a popular staple of naval-style rums. United Rum Merchants was created as a merger of several leading rum concerns.

Unique to the rums of Guyana is their legacy 200 year old wooden pot still that produces an uncommonly rich and full bodied spirit. This Demerara rum is an essential ingredient in many navy rums.

The final supply of old British Royal Navy Imperial Rum, representing the spirit of international adventure, honor and bravery on the high seas, have recently been re-bottled and are available for the most serious rum collectors.

Premium Aged Rum

Many fine rums are aged in oak barrels for years to achieve a superior flavor profile. The interaction of spirit and wood has a positive effect on the smoothness, the richness and the subtle flavors of the rum.

Aged rums often represent the finest examples of mature rums from a distillery, often blended to achieve complexity and distinctive flavor profiles. The cost of storage and the loss of some rum from the barrels through evaporation adds to the cost of producing aged rums.

These older, more mature rums, often labeled as anejo in Spanish territories, are often enjoyed neat or on the rocks like a fine cognac or single malt scotch. In addition, many cocktail recipes call for the inclusion of these flavorful and rich types of rum.

Aged rums generally take on darker and richer colors due to the time spent in barrels. Charred oak barrels can impart dark tones. Cognac and sherry barrels can produce a reddish tint.

Rums labeled premium or ultra-premium often contain age statements. In the U.S. and some other territories, the age statement refers to the youngest rum in the blend. For example, Appleton Estate 21 from Jamaica is comprised of aged rums at least 21 years old. Other territories have differing standards. For example, Zacapa Centenario 23 from Guatemala is a blend of rums aged 6 to 23 years old.

Vintage Rum

While most rums sold are blended from multiple sources before bottling, some unique rums are bottled from specific vintage years of production.

Vintage rums are most often seen from the French islands, where the growing and processing season is short. In some cases, private label rum brands purchase a large bulk of rum from a single production year, age the product and bottle it when maturity is peaking.

Boutique rum brands are bringing more vintage rums to the market every year. These types of rum tend to be limited editions that are valuable to collectors and serious rum enthusiasts.

Like in the production of fine wines, in some years the harvest is bountiful, while others are not as abundant. The amount of sugar contained in the raw cane might vary each year due to changes in rainfall and other environmental factors. The resulting differences are noted by the master distiller and the maturing process is monitored to achieve the ideal flavor profile for that vintage year.

Vintage rums are labeled with the year they were distilled and the location of their origin.

Overproof Rum

Most rums available for sale  are 80 to 100 proof(40% to 50% alcohol by volume). Types of rum which contain higher concentrations of alcohol are often labeled as overproof.

Rums produced for popular consumption are distilled to remove non-alcohol components. The modern distillation process produces a spirit that is generally 160 to 190 proof alcohol (80% alc to 95% alc). After aging and blending, most rums are diluted with water to reach 80 proof standard (40% alc).

Some rums, such as Sunset Very Strong Rum from St. Vincent are not diluted. Sunset VSR is bottled at the full cask strength of 169 proof.

U.S. regulations prevent rums over 155 proof (77.5% alc) from entering the U.S. under most circumstances, so many manufacturers produce rums in the 150 proof range, such as Bacardi 151, Cruzan 151, El Dorado 151 High Strength Rum, Bruddah Kimio’s Da Bomb 155, Gosling’s 151 and Matusalem 151 Red Flame.

One of the most popular overproof rums is Jamaica’s Wray And Nephew White Overproof at 126 proof (63% alc.). This potent spirit is the most popular rum sold in Jamaica.

Overproof rums tend to be more popular in the Caribbean Islands where locals prefer a stronger drink. They’re also used in cooking recipes that call for rum to be ignited in flame (flambé) or drinks that blend a very strong rum into their recipe.

Classic rum punches are often made with high-proof rum mixed with tropical juices (and sometimes flavored rums and liqueurs) to deliver a “punch” to those that enjoy them.

Rhum Agricole

Rhum Agricole is a specific category of rhum made principally in the French territories of the Caribbean, especially Martinique, but similar styles are also produced in Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante and St. Barths. Reunion Island (a French Overseas Territory, like Martinique) and it’s neighboring Island Nation of Maritius in the southwest Indian Ocean also produce Agricole style rums. Rhums made in Haiti from cane juice may also be considered agricole by some rum experts.

Martinique is the only geographic region in the world to have an AOC mark in the rum industry. Similar to the AOC marks for champagne and cognac, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for Martinique rhum agricole is a standard of production, aging and labeling.

Rhum Agricole is fermented and distilled from pure, fresh cane juice. The spirit is distilled to about 70 percent alcohol, a lesser degree than most molasses-based rums, allowing the rhum to retain more of the original flavor of the full cane juice.

The lighter rhums agricole are rested for up to six months before being bottled as rhum blanc. They’re often used in the popular cocktail known as petit punch (‘ti punch) mixed with lime and cane syrup.

Other more mature rhums have been aged in oak barrels for years, taking on richer hues and flavors. After three years of maturing, the rhums are labeled rhum vieux (old rum). Some of these exceptional spirits are bottled as vintages, such as wines from France. For example, the Rhum J.M. 1997 vintage spent ten years in oak before being bottled in 2007.

Cachaça

The Brazilian sugar cane spirit known as cachaça (kah-SHA-sah) is one of the most popular categories of cane spirit in the world. Made from fresh sugar cane juice, cachaça is often bottled with little or no aging in barrels, presenting a full-flavored profile spirit most popularly enjoyed in cocktails, such as the caipirinha (kai-pee-REEN-yah), the national drink of Brazil.

Some premium products, referred to as artisanal cachaças, are often made in small quantities and aged in woods indigenous to Brazil. The region of Minas Gerais in Brazil is well know for producing artisanal cachaça. Using natural yeast in the environment, these spirits are distilled in copper pots in small batches. Maturing in wood develops special aroma components and softens the finish.

Large manufacturers of cachaça use tall column stills of stainless steel to produce vast volumes of spirit in a continuous process, most of which is enjoyed without maturing in barrels.

Flavored and Spiced Rum

The myriad types of flavors and spices infused into rums offer a wide range of interesting and multifarious variations of spirits, both full proof and limited potency liqueurs and creams. Spiced and flavored types of rum offer unique flavors to cocktails, rum cakes, holiday libations and many other uses, bringing decidedly tropical flavors to the palate.

Spices are generally derived from the seeds, dried fruit, root, leaf or bark of edible flora. These aromatic and pungent vegetal substances often provide excitement and zest to sweeter liquids. Many popular spiced concoctions were originally devised and distilled as medicinal cures and treatments for a laundry list of ailments known to plague modern society in the post-industrial generations. Many popular drink ingredients in the category of bitters evolved from such intendedly curative mixtures.

Roots of ginger, seeds of vanilla and allspice, bark of cinnamon or cassia and buds of clove are commonly used as flavoring agents for spiced rums. Fruit extracts of citrus, cherry, mint, black currant, coconut, mango, pineapple, banana and other tropical plants and trees bring luscious tones to flavored rum varieties.

Rum creams combine rum flavor with rich and decadent dairy textures to create dessert-like mixtures suitable for after-dinner libations or as a creamy base to other spirited drinks.

U.S. laws require products labeled as rum to contain at least 40% alcohol by volume. Some distilled spirits that do not meet this requirement are labeled as flavored rum, whether or not they contain discernible or dominant flavor agents.

How to Start a Vodka Brand

Cómo empezar una marca de vodka

Cómo empezar una marca de vodka

Cuando intentamos decidir el coste de producir un vodka de etiqueta privada existen varios factores a considerar, siendo el presupuesto el primero de estos. 

El EMPAQUE

El líquido en si no es la parte más cara del producto final, lo es el empaquetado.

Por empaque nos referimos a todos los elementos secos: Botella, etiqueta, corcho, cápsula y caja exterior. Existen diversas técnicas para su diseño: etiquetas autoadhesivas tradicionales, impresión en seda, glaseado, grabado, etc. Cada técnica requiere un coste diferente y tiene un mínimo de unidades. El diseño que se elija determinará el precio final, es muy importante tomar esto en consideración porque a veces esto puede repercutir negativamente en el coste final, dificultando su venta. 

BOTELLA

Aconsejamos elegir una botella estándar. Una botella personalizada requeriría crear un molde, lo cual es muy costoso (El molde se paga sólo una vez, sin embargo se requiere un molde para cada tamaño) y una cantidad mínima de botellas a producir, incrementando significativamente los costes. Cuando elija su botella, es importante verificar que venga en varios tamaños. Elija una que por lo menos tenga formatos de 700ml y 750ml. (750ml para América y 700ml para el resto del mundo) El precio de las botellas varía mucho. Podemos encontrar botellas de 0,3€ por unidad hasta botellas de 2€ por unidad. Una vez elegida la botella y verificado que el proveedor tenga stock suficiente, empezaremos con el diseño. 

DISEÑO

El diseño puede variar en forma y técnica y esto tener repercusiones importantes en sus costes. Aconsejamos no utilizar demasiados colores en su diseño para de esta manera reucir costes. La cantidad mínima suele ser de 1000 unidades, sin embargo, algunas imrentas permiten tiradas de 20 o 30 etiquetas para testear tus productos en el mercado. 

Puedes también imprimir tu diseño directamente en la botella, como lo hace Grey Goose. Ésta es la técnica más cara. Grey Goose utiliza una técnica de glaseado. Antes de hacer una producción grande, recomendamos hacer una prueba con algunas botellas, lo cual costará alrededor de 900€. Es importante ver el producto final real y no sólo en un ordenador porque la percepción es muy diferente. 

CIERRE

El último elemento a considerar es el cierre. Nuevamente, nos encontramos con varias opciones y diversos costes. Podemos elegir entre  tapón de rosca (usualmente encontrado en botellas baratas) corcho en T, cápsula de estaño, aluminio y cierre GPI, entre otras. Al igual que con la botella, un cierre personalizado es mucho más caro que uno estándar y el pedido mínimo serían unas 10.000 unidades, en cambio se pueden hacer pedidos muy reducidos de tapones estándar.  

Producto final

El coste de producir una botella de vodka puede variar entre 1 y 7 euros lo cual determinará el precio final de su producto y cuanto esta el usuario final dispuesto a gastar. Considerando que el precio medio de una botella de Grey Goose es de 55€, establecer un PVP igual a este o más alto sería muy complicado a nivel de venta. 

Ethanol distillation

Qué es el Etanol y graduaciones disponibles

Además de estar presente en nuestras bebidas favoritas almacenadas en el bar, el alcohol es también un componente principal en muchos de los productos cotidianos que utilizamos: limpiacristales, desinfectante de manos y perfumes. El etanol para bebidas no alcohólicas y para usos industriales es un tema muy amplio y difícil de organizar en distintas categorías, lo que puede resultar complicado cuando se busca comprar etanol.

Para ayudarle, explicaremos los diferentes grados de etanol y para qué se utilizan.

El etanol, también conocido como alcohol etílico, alcohol puro, alcohol de grano o alcohol para beber, a menudo se abrevia como EtOH. EtOH y es un alcohol ligero y un líquido volátil, incoloro e inflamable con un olor característico. EtOH arde con una llama casi invisible y es biodegradable.

Sin las condiciones adecuadas, el EtOH atrae el agua mientras se almacena. Otra característica importante del EtOH es la formación de una mezcla azeotrópica con agua.

PROCESO DE PRODUCCIÓN

El EtOH es un producto químico naturalmente extendido, producido por frutas maduras y por levaduras o bacterias silvestres a través de la fermentación. El etanol a partir de biomasa se puede producir a partir de cualquier materia prima que contenga cantidades apreciables de azúcar o materiales que se puedan convertir en azúcar. La fermentación (biotecnología) es la vía predominante para la producción de EtOH. La biomasa también se puede convertir en EtOH a través de vías biotecnológicas y termoquímicas.

VÍAS BIOQUÍMICAS

Las materias primas más comunes son la caña de azúcar y el maíz, y en climas templados también la remolacha azucarera, el trigo o la patata. El proceso de fermentación general a partir de la glucosa es:

C6H12O62 C2H5OH + 2 CO2

Naturalmente, los procesos bioquímicos subyacentes son mucho más complicados. Se utilizan levaduras adaptadas, por ejemplo Saccharomyces cerevisiae y la fermentación se puede realizar con o sin presencia de oxígeno. Con oxígeno, algunas levaduras son propensas a la respiración, la conversión de azúcares en dióxido de carbono y agua. Como el EtOH es una toxina, existe un límite a la concentración máxima en la infusión producida por las levaduras. Esto da como resultado una alta demanda de energía para la purificación de EtOH por destilación.

En los procesos industriales se puede alcanzar una eficiencia de aproximadamente el 90 al 95% de los rendimientos teóricos. Pero la levadura sin modificar solo convertirá azúcares con 6 átomos de carbono. Como los azúcares con 6 átomos de carbono son solo una parte de la biomasa, la eficiencia de conversión general es mucho menor. Para permitir el uso de una gama más amplia de componentes de biomasa, se están desarrollando procesos que también convierten azúcares con 5 átomos de carbono. Los compuestos más grandes en la biomasa (celulosa y hemicelulosa) primero deben descomponerse en azúcares fermentables y lignina, que actualmente no es una materia prima candidata para EtOH.

OTROS CAMINOS

Se han desarrollado métodos no biotecnológicos para la producción de EtOH. El EtOH de las rutas de conversión química se llama etanol sintético. El proceso químico más común para la producción de EtOH es la hidratación del etileno catalizada por ácido:

C2H4 + H20 C2H5OH

El etileno se obtiene a partir de materias primas petroquímicas. El ácido fosfórico se utiliza principalmente como catalizador.

El EtOH también se puede producir a partir de gas de síntesis mediante síntesis química. Además, ciertos microorganismos pueden digerir el gas de síntesis para producir etanol.

El etanol es un ingrediente valioso en la producción de:

  • Bebidas alcohólicas: licores y alcoholes (por ejemplo, vodka y ginebra). El alcohol neutro se mezcla con agua, aromas y saborizantes para producir el producto final.
  • Alimentos y bebidas no alcohólicas: Sabores y aromas. El etanol se utiliza como producto natural para extraer y concentrar sabores y aromas, que luego son utilizados por la industria de alimentos y bebidas. Los productos finales no contienen alcohol.
  • Productos químicos: pinturas y termómetros. El etanol se usa ampliamente como solvente y puede encontrarlo en muchos productos domésticos, como el anticongelante que usa para limpiar el parabrisas de su automóvil. El etanol se utiliza cada vez más como una alternativa renovable a los productos químicos de origen fósil para crear una amplia gama de productos, como los bioplásticos.
  • Cosmética: El etanol se encuentra en perfumes, desodorantes y otros cosméticos.
  • Farmacéutico: El etanol también tiene muchos usos médicos y se puede encontrar en productos como medicamentos, toallitas médicas y como antiséptico en la mayoría de los geles desinfectantes de manos antibacterianos.

Grados de etanol

1) 95% (95,6%) de etanol

Esta es la concentración más alta de etanol que puede obtener por destilación, porque el etanol al 95,6% es un azeótropo, lo que significa que el estado de vapor tiene la misma proporción de etanol y agua que el estado líquido.

2) Etanol absoluto (99-100%)

Algunos procedimientos que son sensibles a la presencia de agua requieren etanol absoluto. Un método común para producir etanol con una concentración superior al 95% es utilizar aditivos que alteren la composición azeotrópica y permitan una mayor destilación. Por esta razón, el etanol absoluto a veces contiene trazas de estos aditivos (como benceno). El etanol absoluto es higroscópico (atrae el agua), así que no espere que siga siendo etanol al “100%” por mucho tiempo si no se tapa.

3) Etanol desnaturalizado

El etanol desnaturalizado (95% o absoluto) contiene aditivos (como metanol e isopropanol) que lo hacen inseguro para beber y, por lo tanto, están exentos de ciertos impuestos sobre bebidas. Esto lo hace más barato que el etanol puro.

Si desea más aclaraciones o consejos sobre qué tipo de etanol es el más adecuado para su propósito, contactecnos. 

Brandy distillation

Brandy Vs Coñac

Brandy o Coñac

Víctor Hugo llamó al Cognac el “licor de los dioses“. Mundialmente reconocido como un símbolo del lujo francés y el mejor brandy que se puede comprar (efectivamente, el coñac es un brandy).

Lo que no todos saben es que el coñac es un tipo de brandy, pero para poder llamarse coñac tiene que elaborarse en cierta parte de Francia y de cierta manera. Es un recordatorio importante para la gran mayoría que aún segmenta los dos licores, a menudo colocando el coñac en un pedestal en comparación con la categoría de brandy en general. La separación clave entre los dos contingentes es que el coñac está estrictamente regulado por la Denominación de Origen Contrôlée (AOC), que determina la región de producción del licor, las variedades de uva, los procesos de destilación, maduración y mezcla. Armagnac, otra subcategoría de brandy, enfrenta restricciones similares, con producción contenida en la región francesa de Armagnac.

Por el contrario, los productores de brandy fuera de estas regiones tienen mayores libertades creativas. Sin embargo, si bien los productores de EE.UU, India, Sudáfrica e incluso Australia pueden experimentar más libremente con ingredientes base, sabores adicionales y acabados en barril, ¿la falta de regulación del brandy también ha obstaculizado su posición entre los consumidores? ¿Sería aceptada una regulación de esta categoría más amplia, o incluso posible?

Según el Reglamento de la UE número 110/2008:

BRANDY O WEINBRAND:

Brandy o Weinbrand es una bebida espirituosa:

  1. Elaborada a partir de aguardiente de vino, con o sin destilado de vino, destilado a menos del 94,8% vol., siempre y cuando el destilado no supere como máximo el 50% del contenido alcohólico del producto acabado.
  2. Madurado durante al menos un año en recipientes de roble o durante al menos seis meses en toneles de roble con una capacidad inferior a 1000 litros.
  3. Que contenga una cantidad de sustancias volátiles igual o superior a 125 gramos por hectolitro de 100% vol. alcohol, y derivado exclusivamente de la destilación o redestilación de las materias primas utilizadas.
  4. Que tenga un contenido máximo de metanol de 200 gramos por hectolitro de 100% vol. alcohol.

a) El grado alcohólico volumétrico mínimo de Brandy o Weinbrand será del 36%.

b) No se realizará ninguna adición de alcohol según se define en el anexo 5, diluido o no.

c) El Brandy o Weinbrand no se aromatiza. Esto no excluirá los métodos de producción tradicionales.

d) El Brandy o Weinbrand solo puede contener caramelo añadido como medio para adaptar el color.

El coñac, por su parte, debe elaborarse con uvas blancas de uno de los seis terruños diferentes; la variedad de uva Ugni Blanc es su ingrediente principal. Solo las bebidas espirituosas elaboradas con uvas recolectadas y fermentadas dentro del área delimitada de Cognac, que se enumera a continuación, pueden reclamar legalmente las denominaciones de origen registradas “Cognac”, “Eau-de-vie de Cognac” , o “Eau-de-vie des Charentes”:

  • Casi todo el departamento de Charente-Maritime;
  • Gran parte del departamento de Charente;
  • Algunos pueblos de los departamentos de Dordoña y Deux-Sèvres.

¿De dónde vienen?

El coñac debe provenir de la región de Cognac en el suroeste de Francia, que es conocida por su terroir superior (el suelo, el clima y la topografía que contribuyen a las condiciones de cultivo de la uva).

El brandy puede provenir de cualquier parte del mundo.

¿Qué pasa con la mezcla y el envejecimiento?

Tras la destilación, el líquido se mezcla y envejece, que es lo que realmente hace que el coñac sea especial. En Hennessy, por ejemplo, un comité de degustación de 7 personas se reúne de 11 a 13 h. para degustar alrededor de 40 muestras diferentes de “eaux de vie,”(aguardiente de vida), como se conoce a las bebidas espirituosas destiladas individuales antes de mezclarlos. Se necesitan 10 años de capacitación antes de que uno pueda unirse al comité, según palabras del embajador de la marca, Jordan Bushell.

El Coñac tiene varias clasificaciones por calidad y edad:

VS significa “Muy Especial” (Very Special)

Alternativamente, ✯✯✯ (tres estrellas), significa exactamente lo mismo que VS. Entonces, si usted ve una botella con tres estrellas, sabe que es un coñac VS. Una mezcla es calificada como Coñac VS si consiste de eaux-de-vie envejecido en barricas de roble durante un mínimo de dos años.

VSOP significa “Muy Superior Viejo y Pálido” (Very Superior Old Pale)

Oficialmente, según el BNIC, V.S.O.P. son las siglas de Very Superior Old Pale. Sin embargo, a menudo se lo conoce como Very Special Old Pale. Un coñac VSOP es donde el brandy más joven de la mezcla es envejecido durante al menos cuatro años en barrica. Sin embargo, la edad promedio de los coñacs en la categoría VSOP suele ser más antigua. Es el eaux-de-vie más joven de la mezcla que determina la calidad real del coñac. Lo que significa que en el momento en que se incorpora un aguardiente de cuatro años a la mezcla, se convierte automáticamente en un coñac V.S.O.P, incluso si todos los demás componentes son mucho más antiguos.

El origen de la expresión V.S.O.P. se remonta a una orden emitida por la Corte Real Británica en 1817. Exigían lo que entonces se denominaba “Cognac Pale”. En otras palabras, un Cognac que no esté endulzado ni coloreado con azúcar ni caramelo. En ese momento era muy común aprovechar el uso de tales aditivos. Así nació el término.

Otras designaciones de VSOP son “Reserva” o simplemente “Antiguo”. Curiosamente, cuando la cultura Cognac se hizo popular por primera vez, y antes de que surgiera la terminología que usamos hoy en día, la bebida se denominaba simplemente Cognac o Cognac Eau de Vie.

XO significa “Extra Viejo” (Extra Old)

XO significa Extra Old, y describe un coñac hecho de eaux-de-vie envejecidos en barricas de roble durante un mínimo de 10 años. Sin embargo, los XO a menudo tienen una edad promedio mucho mayor, y muchos coñacs XO tienen 20 años o más.

El coñac es un brandy, pero es el mejor

Es evidente que las reglas para un Coñac son muy estrictas y están muy controladas por el BNIC. Para un Brandy, en Europa, se rige por el reglamento de la UE número 110/2008, que es una buena base pero es muy ligero en términos de envejecimiento y lo que una etiqueta debe decir o no. ¿Qué significa Brandy VSOP o Napoleón? No mucho.

¿Qué significa “brandy francés”? Bueno, pues tampoco mucho. La mayor parte del “brandy francés” en realidad proviene de España y se mezcla rápidamente en Francia para tener la etiqueta “brandy francés”, pero no hay un texto normativo que defina claramente qué debe ser un “brandy francés”.

Nos enorgullece estar asociados con destiladores y viticultores franceses, principalmente del sur de Francia, lo que nos permite decir que nuestro “brandy francés” se produce, destila y envejece en Francia. Las uvas son francesas, es fermentado y destilado en Francia, e incluso nuestro roble es francés.

Así que contáctenos para más información y disfrute responsablemente.

Contáctenos

 

Laboratory

Alcohol desnaturalizado Vs. Alcohol isopropílico

El alcohol isopropílico y el alcohol desnaturalizado tienen muchas similitudes. Sin embargo, sus estructuras químicas, medios de producción y toxicidad varían. En la ciencia, el término alcohol se refiere a una amplia gama de compuestos orgánicos que contienen uno o más grupos hidroxil – hidrógeno y oxígeno -. Han sido utilizados como limpiadores y desinfectantes por muchos años, aunque la joya de la corona se encuentra principalmente en licorerías y bares: el alcohol etílico, o alcohol de grano, es utilizada como bebida o droga recreativa. Sin embargo, el consumo humano de alcohol isopropílico y el alcohol desnaturalizado no es seguro. 

Métodos de producción de alcohol

El alcohol se produce fermentando frutas o granos, cualquier cosa con un alto contenido de almidón. Muy a menudo, el alcohol creado  para convertirse en alcohol desnaturalizado proviene de la caña de azúcar, la remolacha o el maíz. Tras la producción de alcohol altamente concentrado, se agrega una variedad de sustancias para evitar el consumo humano debido a su naturaleza venenosa o su sabor extremadamente amargo: benceno, formaldehído y yodo, por ejemplo.

Si bien el alcohol etílico no es particularmente dañino para los humanos antes del proceso de desnaturalización, la ingestión de alcohol isopropílico puede causar vómitos, hemorragia intestinal y, en casos graves, la muerte. El  alcohol isopropílico se produce mediante una reacción de propileno, un subproducto del petróleo y ácido sulfúrico. Después se agrega agua.

Los dos tipos de alcohol tienen una fórmula química diferente: etanol (C2H6O) e isopropanol (C3H8O). El alcohol isopropílico se puede encontrar como agente amargo en el alcohol desnaturalizado.

Usos de los diferentes alcoholes

Tras agregar agentes amargos, el alcohol desnaturalizado se vuelve más tóxico que el alcohol isopropílico. Además, algunos de los aditivos químicos pueden dañar la piel de una persona. Como tal, rara vez encuentra uso en entornos médicos.

El alcohol isopropílico, por otro lado, se puede encontrar en la mayoría de los hospitales y botiquines. Su efecto relativamente leve en la piel humana también significa que los fabricantes de cosméticos lo agregan a productos como lociones para manos. De manera similar, el alcohol isopropílico se puede usar de manera segura para limpiar componentes electrónicos, a diferencia del alcohol desnaturalizado.

Cuando el alcohol desnaturalizado se evapora, deja un residuo que puede afectar las partes sensibles de un ordenador. De manera similar, algunos de los otros productos químicos en el alcohol desnaturalizado pueden ser corrosivos para los plásticos. El alcohol desnaturalizado también se puede encontrar en cosméticos, pero la mayoría de las veces se utiliza como químico industrial. El alcohol desnaturalizado se puede utilizar como estufas o lámparas de combustible. Ambos tipos de alcohol se pueden utilizar como disolventes y, en algunos casos, desinfectantes.

Si desea conocer más información, no dude en contactarnos.