Only Drinks

Drinks and Cocktails guides and resources

A cocktail party is meant to be short and sweet.  Inviting your friends over for cocktails should be a two hour chance to catch up and unwind. You and your guests can get together for just a short time; reconnect and then still have most of the evening to yourself.  And when you consider a shorter cocktail party to celebrate instead of a big party with drinks, dinner and dessert, you might be looking at saving a little money, too.  Consider some of these cocktail party ideas for your next birthday, graduation or next big event.  Pick the perfect urbane cocktail party invitation and you’re well on your way to a suave, grown up party.

The Classic Cocktail Party

When you think of cocktails, the Martini is generally the first libation that comes to mind.  Celebrate the Martini and its sophistication with a charming Martini invitation.  Your guests will be feeling debonair right from the start.  Treat your guests to an updated ‘Martini Bar’ with gourmet stuffed olives and garnishes.  You might need to break out the bartending book to find some other great cocktails that need a revival.  Consider putting a new twist on the Manhattan, the Side Car and the Brandy Alexander for a cocktail restoration.   

Custom Cocktail Party

If swank is not your style, but you still love the idea of a cocktail party you’ve got a few other options.  Get your guests involved by making and naming custom cocktails for your guests.  If your friend Jack likes vanilla vodka and chocolate, combine the two for a ‘Jack-hattan.’  When inviting guests ask them RSVP with some of their favorite flavors.  Stock your bar accordingly and you’ll be mixing up custom creations in no time. Keep some fun non-alcoholic juices and sodas on hand, too. 

Summer Cocktail Party

Once the weather turns hot, you’ll need some cool beverages for your cocktail party.  Margaritas are the perfect summer cocktail.  Mix up the flavors with peach, mango, strawberry or whatever fruity concoction you can think of.  Another cool favorite on a hot, summer day is the mojito.  And don’t forget a chilled fruity punch for added kick.  Add some finger foods or skewers from the grill you’ve got a red-hot summer cocktail party. 

Cold Weather Cocktail Party

Winter doesn’t have to put a damper on your cocktail party.  Add a little heat to your next cold weather cocktail party with spiked apple cider, egg nog or peppermint hot chocolate.  Sipping cocktails by the fire is a wonderful way to celebrate the cocktail and the spirit of the cocktail party.  It won’t matter if the weather outside is ‘frightful’ you’ll have a hip winter cocktail party to keep you and your guests warm.

Whatever event you’re celebrating, a cocktail party just might be an inexpensive and low-key way to enjoy the occasion.  A few cocktails and some finger foods are all you need to celebrate the cocktail and the company of friends.  And don’t forget – just about any cocktail can be made into a ‘mocktail’ for your guests who want to join the fun, but don’t drink alcohol.

Check out our cocktail party invitations.  MyExpression.com also has great resources for your next cocktail party.

Amy Carter is a former wedding and event planner with lots of great tips, tricks and advice to make your next event spectacular. Check out MyExpression.com they have plenty of cocktail party invitations and much more.

vodka
Image taken on 2006-03-04 20:26:15 by ilmungo.

I am not pretending to be an authority with 40 years knowledge of the whisky business but I do remember in my younger days enjoying from time to time a malt whisky.  I also new by choice I’d ask for a malt, though never quite sure why.

I’ll try and provide a simplistic view of what and why a malt whisky is a fine whisky and with Scotland having in the order of 140 distilleries producing one or more whiskies then I must confess I tend to think of a malt as fine Scotch whisky.

Generally speaking people mean a single malt whisky when they refer to a malt whisky and this is because the malt whiskies are distilled in distilleries which usually only produce one whisky.  It is possible to have more than one brand of whisky from a distillery and this can be attributable to a number of factors.  For example a distillery may have a single malt whisky which is a mere 10 years old and then another brand name which is matured for a full 20 years.  Similarly the unique flavour of a fine whisky is as much about how the whisky is matured and stored and specifically the history of the casks that are used.  The Benriach distillery, for example, produces several brands and they are a mix of age and the casks that have been used.  Benriach specifically refer to whisky being matured in originally American oak casks and then finished either in casks having been used for storing sherry, port or dark rum.  In all these cases the actual distillation process may have been the same but how the fine whisky is stored and for how long are the key factors to the product which is eventually consumed and enjoyed.

The ingredients of a fine malt whisky.

Almost all malt whiskies and made by malting barley gain (though rye grain can be used).  The barley, yeast and water are the only ingredients used in the production of single malt whisky.

In the first instance the barley used is malted, which means, it is soaked in water for a few days. This malting or soaking process is the start of the germination process which leads to the natural starch being converted to a fermentable sugar.  This process is then stopped and the malted barley is dried.  Eventually the dried and germinated malted barley can now be ground or milled to produce something which the industry calls a grist.  From here the grist is combined with hot water to remove the sugary liquid which is called a wort.  This wort will now have the yeast added.  This where the first alcohol is produced and anyone familiar with brewing beer will recognise this process as both are very similar until this stage.

The next stage is where beer making (brewing) and whisky making (distilling) differ because the wort liquid is then distilled which means it is heated to boiling point such that the alcohol boils away but is captured on the cooler condensing surfaces and the alcohol is collected.  This distillation initial process produces a relatively low alcohol strength liquid so the process is repeated (and sometimes a third time) until such time as a liquid is produced which is typically two thirds alcohol by volume.

These are the initial processes of making a scotch single malt whisky.  Note it is not a scotch whisky for another year or two yet!

Fine Scotch Whisky or from the original translations the “Water of Life” has been enjoyed and consumed by millions over many years.


How to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. Wanna see more fun? Check out www.fokblog.nl


Unreleased? song by Lauryn Hill featuring Ras Baraka. He is the narrator on her Grammy winning mised of Lauryn Hill CD.

I recently purchased a vineyard in southern France.

I possess no knowledge of the measurement of time taken to grow, harvest the grapes and conseuquently wine.

If someone could educate me on the process i would be very much obliged.

beverage
Image taken on 1970-00-01 00:00:00 by State Library and Archives of Florida.

drinks
Image taken on 2005-05-08 18:52:31 by cobalt123.

Whiskycircle.com can be called a complete whisky guide. It can be called a one-stop shop on all that you want to know and share about whisky. It is an online community for whisky-lovers, wherein they can blog, upload images, videos and can even chat with other members about a rare whisky blend.

The viewers of this site can get the most updated information about the history of whisky, how it is prepared, process of whisky tasting, how many different varieties of whisky are available, the latest whisky news and how to enjoy this particular drink at the most. The art of making perfectly amalgamated whisky dates back to the ages of the monks in the 15th century. The delicate whiff of the blended whisky has never been explained clearly even today.

Water is needed in all stages of the production of whisky. It is mixed with the barley to promote germination, it is added to ground barley grist to create a mash and it is required for diluting most whisky before maturation and once again before bottling. Barley, water and yeast are the exclusive ingredients required in the production of single malt Scotch.

The delicate blend of whisky gives it a perfect flavor to enjoy at its best. Whisky falls under the broad category of alcoholic beverages. Malting and mashing at the first stage is required to make whisky and then the fermented mashes is distilled and are kept in wooden casks to preserve its actual tang. Some of the main kinds of whisky are:

Irish whisky:

Irish whiskies are distilled three times and should be kept in casket for at least 3 years. The common types of whiskies in Ireland are single malt, single grain, pure pot still and blended whisky.

Japanese whisky:

Japanese whiskies have also originated from the scotch tradition. These whiskies are made in scotch style but not produced in Scotland.

Canadian whisky:

Canadian whiskies are generally multi-grained whiskies, which are much smoother and lighter than any other whisky style. These types of whiskies are termed as “rye whisky” in Canada.

American whisky:

There are two different types American whisky mainly, straight and blend. These whiskies are kept in the oak casks for at least 2 years. The most common types of American whiskies are bourbon, Rye and com. Bourbon has 51% of maize content

maize in it.

Indian whiskies:

Indian whiskies are the only whisky that is distilled from fermented molasses. But other than Indian sub-continent it will be considered as rum. India has begun to distill whisky from malts and grains.

Whisky circle was created by a small group of whisky aficionados. It started out as a Whisky club where lovers of single malts got together and made small talk over a malt. For further information about whisky please visit www.whiskycircle.com.

Sparkling wine is called sparkling because of those sweet, delightful little effervescence bubbles which are created by trapping carbon dioxide. Sparkling wine is usually the preferred one for special occasions and celebrations. This is probably attributed to the fact that those tiny little bubbles appear to be having their own fun dancing merrily around in your fluted glass. It is difficult to describe the flavor and texture to someone who has never had the pleasure of tasting and feeling it as it is a complete and delightful amazing mystery to most.

When you first open a bottle, the carbon dioxide aroma instantly fills the air is an experience that you have to both smell and see to believe. Sparkling wine is a true feast for all of your senses, and can instantly make any occasion a special celebration. Drinking it is pleasurable which brings several different nutty flavors to your taste buds. Similar to the beauty and elegance of the finest diamonds, it emits a truly splendid aura and romance that makes it immediately distinguishable.

Champagne is indeed a sparkling wine made from the highest quality of grapes, using the highest quality of processing method created hundreds of years ago. Sparkling wines that are labeled champagne can only come from Champagne a small region in northern France. There is a definite and distinct difference between many sparkling wines and champagne because of both the quality and the processing method used to make champagne is extremely complicated. Today there are many wonderful and nice tasting sparkling wines made by several different reputable wineries from quality grapes using the traditional, champagne-like method.

However, there are some also a wide variety of sparkling wines that are made from poor quality grapes and fermented though quick, bulk processing methods and distributed around the world for quick profits. They tend to be sweeter with additional sugars added in to offset the poor quality in grapes and processing. They are pretty easy to spot as they usually are sold at a much lesser price. They do not reflect the original quality because they are not made using the classic champagne-making process. Some people have commented that champagne gives them headaches; but this could be caused by drinking a cheap bottle of sparkling wine that has been made with poor processing standards.

Sparkling wine was first discovered in France by Dom Perignon, who was a monk in the Champagne region. There are many variations of this story, but it appears true that he actually stumbled upon champagne while performing his duties in the Benedictine Abbey. Initially Dom Perignon’s sparkling wine wasn’t popular at first, but it grew to become very popular over the years and today has grown into a multi-billion dollar business. Dom eventually became the chief wine-maker at the abbey and over the many years, perfected the champagne fermenting process until his death in 1715. Once the French people and others tried this amazing sparkling wine, they became immediate and lasting fans. From then on, it didn’t take long for Dom Perignon to become an important legend to come from the rich and cherished wine-making history of France.

The formula and techniques that Dom used to produce sparkling wine eventually become known as the traditional way of making Champagne, called (Methode Champenoise) which includes a second in-bottle fermentation process. The process is still used throughout the world today, producing some of the best sparkling wines. Even though they may be made in various locations, many are in agreement that the best place remains the Champagne region of France, the original birthplace and the first beginning and introduction to the world. There are many, fabulous sparkling wines that come from this region at surprisingly affordable prices. If you have never tasted a sparkling wine or have never experienced one that you enjoy, try a higher quality or even sample the original Dom Perignon. Buy to a higher standard at a price that you can afford, as the quality varies greatly.

These days, bubbly wine is an essential ingredient for celebrations and events. With most celebrations it is the only one of choice for special occasions. There are many wineries that can manufacture high quality sparkling wines, although many prefer the original and still the best, Dom Perignon. No matter what the future of wine will be sparkling wines will always be a popular choice. It remains the wine that marks celebrations, and helps memorable events come to life. From its truly unique and breathtaking taste to its amazing look and splendid aroma, sparkling wine has the appeal and the flavor to keep people celebrating and enjoying life today and for future generations.

The Backyard Wine Enthusiast is a lover of sparkling wines, tasting great wines from around the world. Visit The Wine of the Month.Com to get a wide variety of sparkling wines including the original Dom Perignon and everything else you need to have a great wine party and celebrate life?s special occasions.