All about Alcoholic Drinks

    What is single malt?

    Single malt is so-called because the malt comes from a single
    distillery. It is a whisky refined by a single distillery, using malted
    barley as the only grain ingredient. Each distillery has its own
    distinct taste, flavour and style and single malts bear that. Some
    world-renowned single malts are Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet,
    Glenkinchie and if you move into the rarevarieties, PortEllen, Dalmore,
    Glenfarclas, IsleofJura, Knocdhu, Lagavulin,Laphroig, Macallan,
    Oban,Taliskar, Cragganmore. Enjoying a single malt is a connoissseur's
    job and you have to learn to be one. A single grain, as distinct from a
    single malt, is a grain whisky made at one distillery, while the single
    malt is made with barley.
    What is Blended Whisky?

    Blended whisky is a mixture of single malt whisky and ethanol derived
    from grains. Developed for those who could not stomach the strong taste
    of whisky, it is a combination of malt and grain whiskies. First
    distilled and bottled by Andrew Usher in Edinburgh in the early 1860s,
    it turned out to be softer, lighter and more palatable. 
    The character of the whisky is determined not only by the proportions of
    malt and grain whisky, but also by the ages of the individual whiskies
    and the manner in which they are combined to bring out the finest
    qualities in each other. Most whisky drunk across the world is blended
    whisky. Famous Grouse, Bells, Teacher's, Whyte & Mackay and Johnnie
    Walker are a few that are well-known. 
    What is the difference between Whisky and Whiskey?

    Alcohol, malted or not, made from grain which is produced in Scotland is
    called WHISKY, while it is called WHISKEY if it is produced in USA or
    Ireland. American whiskey is called Bourbon and is made from grain.
    Bourbon is at least 51 per cent corn or maize. 
    Scotch whisky is generally double distilled, while Irish whiskey is
    generally distilled three times. Wheat whisky is the rarest whisky.. Rye
    whiskies are mostly
    popular within the US. Scotch whisky is whisky that has been distilled
    and matured in Scotland for at least three hours in oak casks.
    What is Alcohol?

    Alcohol is obtained after breaking down natural sugar of grain into C02,
    ethanol or ethyl alcohol and residual content. Yeast from grains and
    vegetables changes the sugar into alcohol. From the cheapest beer to the
    most expensive wine or after dinner liqueur, all alcohol is made with
    the same fermentation process. 
    The different colours, tastes, potencies and flavours come from the
    different fruits or vegetables used as well as the additives,
    by-products and diluting substances employed during the fermentation
    Why should you never drink on an empty stomach? 
    Experts say eating food before drinking retains alcohol in the system
    where it is absorbed slowly into the blood stream. This gives the liver
    more time to break the alcohol down. Otherwise, it is directly absorbed
    without being broken down into simpler compounds into the blood stream.
    This can be harmful for the
    liver and general health. The kick comes when the alcohol is absorbed
    into the bloodstream directly and slows down the central nervous system.
    The absorbed alcohol blocks some of the commands the brain sends to the
    body; hence the reflexes and reactions are slower. 
    Does drinking water before or between drinks help you hold your drink

    Dehydration causes your blood volume to go down and alcohol will cause
    it to go down further. So make it a habit to drink enough water before
    you go out for a hard drink. Experts say in case of alcohol consumption,
    the bigger you are the better it is. Big people have a larger quantity
    of blood, so alcohol they take in is more diluted as it mixes with the
    Women are generally smaller than men. They also have proportionately
    more fat and less water in their bodies and so the concentration of
    alcohol in their blood is higher for the same amount drunk. 
    What goes better with Whisky - Water or Soda? 

    Whisky is preferred with water more than soda as soda is carbonated
    water and it kills the taste of whisky. But real connnoisseurs of whisky
    like to have it neat or with water on side or with two cubes of ice. 
    What is Cognac? 

    The wines of Poitou, La Rochelle and Angoumois, produced from high
    quality vineyards, were shipped to Northern Europe where they were
    enjoyed by the English, Dutch and Scandinavians as early as the 13th
    century. In the 16th century, they were transformed into eau-de-vie,
    then matured in oak casks to become Cognac.. That was the start of the
    adventure for a town, which was to become the capital of a world famous
    Cognac is a living thing. During its time in the oak casks it is in
    permanent contact with the air. This allows it to extract the substances
    from the wood that give both its colour and its final bouquet. 
    Aging is indispensable if an eau-de-vie is to become Cognac. It takes
    place in casks or barrels that hold between 270 and 450 litres. The
    natural humidity of the cellars, in which the casks are stored, with its
    influence on evaporation, is one of the determining factors in the
    maturing process. With the balance between humidity and dryness, the
    spirit becomes mellow and ages harmoniously. 
    Making Cognac is the work of the Master Blender. Applying strict
    control, experience and intuition, he subtly blends eaux-de-vie of
    different ages and crus, producing a Cognac that through the years will
    not only retain its own personality, but will also keep a place in the
    heart of the consumer. 
    What is the difference between Scotch, Irish, Rye and Bourbon Whiskies? 
    Scotch Whisky is whisky, which has been distilled and matured in
    Irish Whiskey means whiskey distilled and matured in Ireland. 
    Whisky is distilled in Scotland from malted barley in Pot Stills and
    from malted and unmalted barley or other cereals in Patent Stills. The
    well-known brands of Scotch Whisky are blends of a number of Pot Still
    and Patent Still whiskies. 
    Irish Whiskey distillers tend to favour three distillations rather than
    two, as is general in Scotland in the case of Pot Still whiskies and the
    range of cereals used is wider.
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    As regards Bourbon Whiskey, the United States Regulations provide: 

    (I) that Bourbon Whiskey must be produced from a mash of not less than
    51% corn grain; 
    (ii) that the word 'Bourbon' shall not be used to describe any whiskey
    or whiskey-based distilled spirits not produced in the United States. 
    Rye Whiskey
    is produced both in the United States and Canada but the
    name has no geographical significance. In the United States, Rye Whiskey
    by definition must be produced from a grain mash of which not less than
    51% is rye grain. In Canada, there is no similar restriction. The
    relevant Canadian Regulation states: 'Canadian Whisky (Canadian Rye
    Whisky, Rye Whisky) shall be whisky distilled in Canada and shall
    possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian
    Canadian Whisky
    is in fact often referred to simply as Rye Whisky or
    What is Tequila? 

    First the history: Tequila was first distilled in the 1500-1600's in the
    state of Jalisco, Mexico. Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco and the
    city of Tequila was established in about 1656. This is where the agave
    plant grows best. The agave is not a cactus as rumoured, but belongs to
    the lily family and has long spiny leaves (pincas). The specific plant
    that is used to make tequila is the Weber blue agave. It takes 8-12
    years for the agave to reach maturity. During harvest, the leaves are
    cut off leaving the heart of the plant or pina which looks like a large
    pineapple when the jimadors are done. The harvested pina may weigh 200
    pounds or more and is chopped into smaller pieces for cooking at the
    distillery. Tequila was first imported into the United States in 1873
    when the first load was transported to El Paso, Texas. In 1973 tequila sales in the US
    topped one million cases. 
    There are two basic types of tequila, 100% blue agave (cien por ciento
    de agave) tequila and mixto. The 100% blue agave tequilas are distilled
    entirely from the fermented juice of the agave. All 100% agave tequilas
    have to be distilled and bottled in Mexico. If the bottle does not say
    100% blue agave, the tequila is mixto and may have been distilled from
    as little as 60% agave juice with other sugars. 
    Grades of Tequila: 

    * Blanco: 100% agave tequila that is un-aged and untreated with
    * Reposado: 100% agave, "rested" tequila that has been stored in oak
    between two months and one year. 
    * Anejo: 100% agave, aged tequila that has been stored in oak at least
    one year. 
    * Mixto blanco: mixto tequila that is unaged. 
    * Mixto reposado: mixto tequila that has been stored in oak between two
    months and one year. 
    * Mixto anejo: aged mixto tequila that has been stored in oak at least
    one year. 
    * Joven abocado: mixto tequila that has been treated with additives to
    achieve an effect similar to aging. 
    How many types of Beer are available to Drink? 

    Here are the different styles you may come across at our stores or your
    favourite local brew pub. 
    Ale - originally liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation,
    as opposed to beer, which was made by the same process but flavoured
    with hops. Today ale is used for all beers other than stout. 
    Alt - means "old". A top fermented ale, rich, copper-coloured and
    full-bodied, with a very firm, tannic palate, and usually well-hopped
    and dry. 
    Amber Beer - an ale with a depth of hue halfway between pale and dark. 
    Barley Wine - dark, rich, usually bittersweet, heavy ales with high
    alcohol content, made for sipping, not quaffing. 
    Bitter - the driest and one of the most heavily hopped beers served on
    draft. The nose is generally aromatic, the hue amber and the alcoholic
    content moderate. 
    Bock - a strong dark German lager, ranging from pale to dark brown in
    colour, with a minimum alcoholic content of about 6 percent. 
    Brown Ale - malty beers, dark in colour and they may be quite sweet. 
    Burton - a strong ale, dark in colour, made with a proportion of highly
    dried or roasted malts. 
    Christmas/Holiday Beer - these special season beers are amber to dark
    brown, richly flavoured with a sweetish palate. Some are flavoured with
    spices and/or herbs. 
    Dopplebock - "double bock." A stronger version of bock beer, decidedly
    malty, with an alcoholic content ranging from 8 percent to 13 percent by
    Hefe-Weizen - a wheat beer, lighter in body, flavour and alcohol
    Ice Beer - a high-alcohol beer made by cooling the beer during the
    process to below the freezing point of water (32 degrees Fahrenheit) but
    above that of alcohol (-173 degrees Fahrenheit). . When the formed ice
    is removed and discarded, the beer ends up with a higher
    alcohol-to-water ratio. 
    India Pale Ale (IPA) - a generously hopped pale ale. 
    Kolsch - West German ale, very pale (brassy gold) in hue, with a mild
    malt flavour and some lactic tartness. 
    Malt Liquor - most malt liquors are lagers that are too alcoholic to be
    labelled lagers or beers. 
    Muncheners - a malty, pale lager distinguished from the darker, heavier
    Munich Dark beers by the term "dunkel". 
    Octoberfest/ Maerzen/Vienna - a copper-coloured, malty beer brewed at
    the end of the winter brewing season in March. 
    Pale Ale - made of the highest quality malts, the driest and most highly
    hopped beer. Sold as light ale or pale ale in bottle or on draft as
    Pilsner - delicately dry and aromatic beers. 
    Porter - a darker (medium to dark reddish brown) ale style beer,
    full-bodied, a bit on the bitter side. The barley (or barley-malt) is
    well roasted, giving the brew a characteristic chocolaty, bittersweet
    Stout - beer brewed from roasted, full-flavoured malts, often with an
    addition of caramel sugar and a slightly higher proportion of hops.
    Stouts have a richer, slightly burnt flavour and are dark in colour. 
    Sweet Stout - also known as milk stout because some brewers use lactose
    (milk sugar) as an ingredient. 
    Wheat Beer - a beer in which wheat malt is substituted for barley malt.
    Usually medium-bodied, with a bit of tartness on the palate

Contributed by: swapnildavey @ gmail.com

The Art of Giving

"Rivers do not drink their own water, nor do tree eat their own fruit, nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them. The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others?
Even after accepting that giving is good and that one must learn to give, several questions need to be answered.

The first question is when should one give?  

We all know the famous incident from Mahabharat.

Yudhisthir, asks a beggar seeking alms to come the next day. On this, Bhim rejoices, that Yudhisthir his brother, has conquered death! For he is sure that he will  be around tomorrow to give. Yudhisthir gets the message.  

One does not know really whether one will be there tomorrow to give!

The time to give therefore is now.

The next question is 'how much to give?

One recalls the famous incident from history. Rana Pratap was reeling after defeat from the Moghals. He had lost his army, he had lost his wealth, and most important he had lost hope, his will to fight. At that time in his darkest hour, his erstwhile minister Bhamasha came seeking him and placed his entire fortune at the disposal of Rana Pratap. With this, Rana Pratap raised an army and lived to fight another day.

The answer to this question how much to give is
"Give as much as you can!

The next question is what to give?

It is not only money that can be given. It could be a flower or even a smile.
It is not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters. When you give a smile to a stranger that may be the only good thing received by him in days and weeks!

"You can give anything but you must give with your heart!

One also needs answer to this question whom to give?

Many times we avoid giving by finding fault with the person who is seeking. However, being judgmental and rejecting a person on the presumption that he may not be the most deserving is not justified.

"Give without being judgmental!

Next we have to answer 'How to give?

Coming to the manner of giving, one has to ensure that the receiver does not feel humiliated, nor the giver feels proud by giving.
In giving follow the advice, 'Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives? Charity without publicity and fanfare is the highest form of charity.

'Give quietly!

 While giving let not the recipient feel small or humiliated. After all what we give never really belonged to us. We come to this world with nothing and will go with nothing. The thing gifted was only with us for a temporary period. Why then take pride in giving away something which really did not belong to us? Give with grace and with a feeling of gratitude. 

What should one feel after giving?

We all know the story of Eklavya. When Dronacharya asked him for his right thumb as "Guru Dakshina?he unhesitatingly cut off the thumb and gave it to Dronacharya.
There is a little known sequel to this story. Eklavya was asked whether he ever regretted the act of giving away his thumb. He replied, and the reply has to be believed to be true, as it was asked to him when he was dying.
His reply was "Yes! I regretted this only once in my life. It was when Pandavas were coming in to kill Dronacharya who was broken hearted on the false news of death of his son Ashwathama and had stopped fighting. It was then that I regretted the loss of my thumb. If the thumb was there, no one could have dared hurt my Guru?

The message to us is clear.


Give and never regret giving!

And the last question is

'How much should we provide for our heirs?

Ask yourself 'are we taking away from them the gift of work'? - A source of happiness! The answer is given by Warren Buffett:  

"Leave your kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing!

I would conclude by saying: let us learn the Art of Giving, and quoting Sant Kabir:

"When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat, Throw them out with both hands! 

This is the wise thing to do.

Contributed by: swapnildavey @ gmail.com

Open conversations generate loyalty, sales and most of all, learning... for both sides

A guy walks into a shop that sells ties. He's opened the conversation by walking in.

Salesman says, "can I help you?"

The conversation is now closed. The prospect can politely say, "no thanks, just looking."

Consider the alternative: "That's a [insert adjective here] tie you're wearing, sir. Where did you buy it?"

Conversation is now open. Attention has been paid, a rapport can be built. They can talk about ties. And good taste.

Or consider a patron at a fancy restaurant. He was served an old piece of fish, something hardly worth the place's reputation. On the way out, he says to the chef,

"It must be hard to get great fish on Mondays. I'm afraid the filet I was served had turned."

If the chef says, "I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your meal..." then the conversation is over. The patron has been rebuffed, the feedback considered merely whining and a matter of personal perspective.

What if the chef said instead, "what kind of fish was it?" What if the chef invited the patron back into the kitchen to take a look at the process and was asked for feedback?

Open conversations generate loyalty, sales and most of all, learning... for both sides.

Contributed by: swapnildavey @ gmail.com

12 Indian Foods that Cut Fat

You don't have to acquire a taste for olive oil, seaweed or soya to maintain a low-fat, healthy diet. Indian cuisine can be healthy too, if it's cooked with oil and ingredients that take care of your heart and health.

Ayurveda suggests you include all tastes — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent — in at least one meal each day, to help balance unnatural cravings. Here are 12 foods that can help you lose weight and gain health:

Turmeric : Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, is an object of research owing to its properties that suggest they may help to turn off certain genes that cause scarring and enlargement of the heart. Regular intake may help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, increase blood circulation and prevent blood clotting, helping to prevent heart attack.

Cardamom : This is a thermogenic herb that increases metabolism and helps burn body fat. Cardamom is considered one of the best digestive aids and is believed to soothe the digestive system and help the body process other foods more efficiently.

Chillies : Foods containing chillies are said to be as foods that burn fat. Chillies contain capsaicin that helps in increasing the metabolism. Capsaicin is a thermogenic food, so it causes the body to burn calories for 20 minutes after you eat the chillies.

Curry leaves : Incorporating curry leaves into your daily diet can help you lose weight. These leaves flush out fat and toxins, reducing fat deposits that are stored in the body, as well as reducing bad cholesterol levels. If you are overweight, incorporate eight to 10 curry leaves into your diet daily. Chop them finely and mix them into a drink, or sprinkle them over a meal.

Garlic : An effective fat-burning food, garlic contains the sulphur compound allicin which has anti-bacterial effects and helps reduce cholesterol and unhealthy fats.

Mustard oil : This has low saturated fat compared to other cooking oils. It has fatty acid, oleic acid, erucic acid and linoleic acid. It contains antioxidants, essential vitamins and reduces cholesterol, which is good for the heart.

Cabbage : Raw or cooked cabbage inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Hence, it is of great value in weight reduction.

Moong dal : The bean sprouts are rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E and many minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium. It is recommended as a food replacement in many slimming programmes, as it has a very low fat content. It is a rich source of protein and fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol level. The high fiber content yields complex carbohydrates, which aid digestion, are effective in stabilising blood sugar and prevent its rapid rise after meal consumption.

Honey : It is a home remedy for obesity. It mobilises the extra fat deposits in the body allowing it to be utilized as energy for normal functions. One should start with about 10 grams or a tablespoon, taken with hot water early in the morning.

Buttermilk : It is the somewhat sour, residual fluid that is left after butter is churned. The probiotic food contains just 2.2 grams of fat and about 99 calories, as compared to whole milk that contains 8.9 grams fat and 157 calories. Regular intake provides the body with all essential nutrients and does not add fats and calories to the body. It is thus helpful in weight loss.

Millets : Fiber-rich foods such as millets - jowar, bajra, ragi, etc - absorb cholesterol and help increase the secretion of the bile that emulsifies fats.

Cinnamon and cloves: Used extensively in Indian cooking, the spices have been found to improve the function of insulin and to lower glucose, total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes.

Contributed by: verygood101 @ yahoo.com

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