DRINKS GLOSSARY

VERMOUTH Though the product is mostly an Italian/French undertaking, the word comes to us from the German Vermutwein, meaning wormwood wine. While wormwood is indeed one of the many botanicals that goes into its manufacture, vermouth has escaped the stigma that has followed absinthe. Actually, vermouth is a highly sophisticated product of a great many botanical flavorings such as cloves, nutmeg, seeds, marjoram, angelica root, gentian, nutmeg, linden, elder flower, iris root, citrus peels, and over a hundred others. The French (dry)make it by selecting and combining their botanicals, then pouring mixture of fortified wine and mistelles over them. The brew is allowed to steep for a few weeks; the wine is then drawn off and the process repeated until all the flavor has been extracted from the botanicals. A selection of these flavored wines are blended together and then mixed with unflavored wines, Brandy is added to raise the alcohol level, and the vermouth is chilled almost to the freezing point to eliminate any sediment. The Italian (sweet) vermouth is red, richer in flavor and more syrupy.

VODKA By United States law, vodka must be colorless, odorless, and tasteless, a combination that has made it the great universal mixer of our time and the most popular selling spirit today with 18% of the market. Vodka was unknown in the U.S. 40 years ago and yet it has been around since the 14th century in Russia when at one time there were 4000 brands available. That and the fact that it is less likely to induce a hangover or show up on ones breath than other varities of alcoholic drinks have combined to make it the most popular spirit in the United States. A popular myth about vodka is that it is made from potatoes. Though it was made that way in the past and could still be made that way, it is usually made from grain-wheat, corn, or rye. The grain is crushed and mixed with water to produce the mash, which is then infused with yeast. Once fermentation takes place, it is then put through a continous still to obtain the purest possible grain-nuetral spirit. Water is added to reduce its alcoholic content to 40 or 50% (80 or 100 proof). There is no aging.

WHISKEY The Irish invented it and in Gaelic, it means "the water of life". In the Unites States and Ireland, the word is spelled with an e, the British, Scots, and the Canadians usually drop the e. All basic whiskeys, whatever the type, are made from one type of grain or another Straight whiskeys are bottled from the casks in which they are aged, with water added to reduce their proof. Blended whiskeys are of two types: Blended straight whiskeys are a blend or combination of different straight whiskeys of the same general type. Many Scotches and bourbons fit this description. However, "blended whiskeys" as the term is used in the United States, refers to whiskeys in which a straight whiskey has been blended with grain nuetral spirits. The basic varieties of whiskey are blended, bourbon, Canadian, corn, rye, Scotch and Tennessee. The grains used to make whiskey are corn, rye, wheat and barley.


YUKON JACK A Canadian whiskey based liqueur, flavored with citrus and herbs.
spices such as cinnamon, cloves, etc

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