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Posted at 18/10/2016 08:32 By

Five Tips for Enjoying Rum


Rum is one of the most popular beverages in the entire world, and it is certainly not just something that was enjoyed by pirates out at sea, either. This sugarcane spirit is enjoyed all over the globe, and has been for many centuries now, and it is quickly becoming one of the most fashionable spirits of the 21st century, and rightfully so in our opinion. Distilled either from the juice from pure sugar canes, or from the molasses by-products that are left behind via the sugarcanes, rum can be aged in casks/barrels, made from all kinds of different materials. In actual fact, the material used to distil and age the rum is considered to be the deciding factor in regards to exactly how the rum will taste when it is time to be set free and bottled up. Most commonly, rum is sourced from the Caribbean, as well as Latin America, though as it is becoming so popular, it is being brewed all over the globe, even in countries such as the UK. One of the main reasons why rum is so popular, is because it is so versatile. Rum can be sipped neat, it can be spiced, it can be mixed, it can be used in cooking, and it can be used in desserts. If you’re a rum lover, or if you’re fairly new to this wonderful spirit, here are five tips to help you really get the most out of your rum.


Know your rums – If you are new to rum, it is important that you get to know the different types of rum out there, as truthfully, simply calling the spirit rum is extremely broad. There are many different brands of rum out there, and there are many different styles of rum. For example, there are spiced rums which are laced with various spices to create pungent and slightly fiery aromas, that, whilst being harsh to sip on, mix incredibly well with other mixers. Then there are Demerara rums that are a great deal sweeter, which are great for mixing and sipping on. There are dark rums, light rums, golden rums, coconut rums, spiced rums, flavoured rums, and much more besides, so if you are new to rum, take the time to get to know the tastes, profiles, and characteristics of each type of rum, as you’ll be amazed by how different each one is.


Always try to mix with full sugar beverages – We all know that popular mixers contain copious amounts of sugar, which, whilst being unhealthy, do give them a great taste. Of course you shouldn’t drink them every day, but a little treat every now and then will do you a world of good, especially when it comes to drinking rum. Rum and coke, for example, is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and for good reason. If you enjoy a rum and coke, unless you cannot drink full sugar beverages for medical reasons, you should always opt for the full sugar version. This is because the sugarcane-based rum, will work incredibly well with its sugary counterpart in the form of a mixer. The difference between a rum and coke, and a rum and diet coke is instantly recognisable, and unfortunately, sugar-free mixers just don’t seem to cut it.


Try mixers other than cola and lemonade – When people think of mixers, more often than not, it is cola and lemonade that instantly spring to mind. Whilst those two mixers are versatile and very tasty when mixed with rum, there are many, many other options to explore. Rum, especially spiced rum, works incredibly well with fiery ginger beer, and in actual fact, a popular cocktail known as a ‘dark and stormy’ is simply spiced rum, ginger beer, ice, and a wedge of lime. Rums, especially sweeter rums, also work well with fruit juices, especially tropical juices such as pineapple or mango. Once you try a sweet rum and pineapple, chances are you will be absolutely hooked.


Purchase a rum roller – There is nothing finer than winding down in an evening whilst reading a good book, or watching your favourite TV show, whilst sipping on your favourite rum. However, to really get the most out of your rum drinking experience, you should ideally purchase a rum roller. Rum rollers, such as the ‘Final Touch Rum Roller Glass’ are designed to: help your rum to breathe, they aerate the rum, and they gently swirl it. The final touch rum roller glass comes with chilling balls, which you basically place into the freezer, and then into the glass before you pour your rum. These balls then chill your rum, without diluting the taste as would happen with ice cubes when the ice melts. By gently swirling the rum with the ice balls, all of the aromas will be released and you will be amazed by just how amazing it will taste when it is allowed to breathe.


Breathe gently – Before drinking any fine rum, you should gently swirl it around in the glass the release its natural aromas, which will help provide you with the overall taste profile. When you inhale for the first time however, breathe in very gently, otherwise the harshness of the alcohol will instantly hit your nasal passage and you won’t get the true aromas of the rum. Sniff gently, swirl, sniff again, swirl, and sniff for a third time. You’ll find that by the third time you sniff, you will pick up notes of fruits, spices, and other taste profiles that you simply wouldn’t pick up if you’d simply inhaled for one time only. 

Posted at 18/10/2016 08:24 By

Four Unique Ways to Enjoy Port


Port is a beverage that instantly screams class and sophistication as it is a beverage that has been enjoyed by nobility and the upper classes for centuries upon centuries. However, that was then, and this is now, and although it is indeed still a very classy, luxurious, and sophisticated beverage, it is no longer exclusive to nobility and the upper classes. Of course you needn’t be pretentious when it comes to wines, but if you do intend on being pretentious in regards to your alcoholic beverages, make sure it is in regards to fortified wines, also known as ports. Produced exclusively in Portugal, in the Douro Valley, port is a fortified wine that is created when a form of brandy is added to red wine. The reason for this is to increase the alcohol content slightly, without becoming too harsh, as well as to preserve more natural fructose sugars from the grapes. The end result is a much sweeter, and far less harsh-tasting beverage, that is far less vinegary and acidic than regular red wines. It is also aged in a barrel where it can take on qualities of the wood, and of the previous contents of the barrel as well. Now that you know a little more about this beverage, let’s now take a look at a few simple ways to enjoy port and to get the most out of it.


Decant – If you take a look in various stores, as well as antique fairs and auction houses, you will see some truly beautiful glass wine decanters that look absolutely fantastic, and would work an absolute treat with most ports. The idea behind a decanter is not simply to enhance the appearance of the port however, it is to serve another purpose. You see, many vintage ports are will mature and age in the bottle naturally, where you will get what is known as a ‘crusted port’. With this process, natural sediment will form, which will need removing. When you decant the port, you leave the sediment behind in the bottle, which enhances the appearance and allows the tastes and aromas to develop. Some ports however, do not need to be decanted, especially late bottle vintage ports, or tawny ports, because these mature in barrels. This means that the sediment will be left behind in the barrel when the port is bottled.


Enjoy with port sippers – Port is a beverage that really and truly needs to be savoured, so to get the most out of your port, invest in some good quality port sippers. Hand blown sipping liqueur glass sets, for example, are perfect, because they look great, and they let the port breathe. The sippers have a thin glass tube attached to them, which can be used like a straw to sip the port, whilst preventing oxidisation, so you get a more intense and truer flavour. Less oxygen reaches the port via the thin glass tube, so the port is preserved for longer. The sippers not only enhance the flavour, they also look stunning as well, and work very well with modern and stylish glass decanters.


Take a look at our range of port sipper and decanter sets


Enjoy in stews – Port is very much a beverage that should be enjoyed in the colder months of the year, so for the ultimate winter warmer, why not make beef stew with your favourite (reasonably priced) port? Rather than using water to make the liquid gravy, adding a bottle, or even half a bottle, of a good quality port will create the ultimate rich and slightly fruity beef stew, that works an absolute treat with beef. The alcohol will quickly burn off, but the sweet and fruity richness of the port will remain, which makes for a truly wonderful gravy. Obviously you don’t need to spend a fortune on your port in this instance, but if you can find a reasonably priced port, go ahead and treat yourself, as it will make a real difference.


Enjoy with cheese and biscuits – If you really want to impress your friends and family members this holiday season, why not throw a port and wine party? Port was made to be enjoyed with cheese, biscuits, and chutneys, and when you taste to the two together, you’ll know why that is. Port goes particularly well with stilton, brie, and creamy cheeses. Sip on a glass of ruby or tawny port in between mouthfuls of cheese, biscuits, and chutney, and you’ll never enjoy cheese and biscuits without port again. 

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