Tag Archive for 'spirits'

The Renaissance of Spirits – Absinthe

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Getting back to our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at absinthe, an anise-flavored spirit derived from botanicals, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green color and is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the green fairy).

Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It became quite popular as an alcoholic drink in the late 1800s and early 1900s in France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Owing in part to its association with bohemian culture, the consumption of absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists.

Often portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen, due to the chemical compound thujone, there is only a trace amount in the spirit. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria-Hungary. A revival of absinthe began in the 1990s, following the adoption of modern European Union food and beverage laws that removed longstanding barriers to its production and sale.

Join us as we talk with Ted Breaux about absinthe, and his successful effort to bring back a drink from La Belle Époque.

For more info:

The Jade Liqueurs: Jade Liqueurs.com

The Wormwood Society: Wormwood Society.org

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #424
(55:35 min 53.4 MB)

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Spirits of France – with Cognac Lhéraud

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As the saying goes, all Cognac is brandy – but not all brandy is Cognac. Cognac is distilled wine, or brandy, and often referred to as eau de vie. Of course, in order to be called Cognac, the brandy must come from the Cognac region in France, and it must be made according to strictly-defined regulations. Located about a hundred miles north of Bordeaux, this twenty-mile region is called the “golden circle,” encompassing Cognac and the second distilling town of Jarnac.

Since 1680, generations of the Lhéraud family have lived in the same 10th-century house in the small village of Lasdoux in the heart of the Petite Champagne region. The family’s first cognac was made in 1802. Guy, Andrée and Laurent Lhéraud are heirs to the their precious eaux-de-vie, where aging is an art and maturity is to be treasured.

Join us as we talk with Export Manager François Rebel about Cognac Lhéraud’s history, its cognacs, and its double distillation. If you thought you knew everything you needed to know about Cognac, listen up.

For more info:

Cognac Lhéraud: www.cognac-lheraud.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #385
(42:28 min 40.8 MB)

The Renaissance of Spirits – Gin

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Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at gin, a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). With origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved from an herbal medicine to point of major of commerce in the spirits industry. While the Dutch get credit for the invention of gin, it was Britain where it became a staple in both the military and with its citizenry – unfortunately, leading to a period of time in the early 1700s referred to as the Gin Craze.

Today’s gins now have various origins, styles, and flavor profiles, each revolving around juniper as the common ingredient, yet many also include myriad other botanicals as well. The list of classic cocktails that are made with gin is legion, including the: martini, gibson, gimlet, tom collins, south side, last word, and of course the ubiquitous gin & tonic.

Join us as we talk with Brady Caverly, owner of the Flintridge Proper (with over 220 gins) in La Cañada-Flintridge, and John Peet, bar tender at the Proper, about the origins and historical significance of gin. With Mr. Peet in the studio, we were quite fortunate to have our own personal bartender making many of the timeless cocktails for us to sip during our conversation about this classic spirit. If you thought you already knew everything about gin, get ready to be surprised! We’ve included some delicious cocktail photos as well.

For more info:

The Flintridge Proper: theproper.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #355
(1:03:77 min 60.6 MB)

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The Renaissance of Spirits – Rum

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Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at rum. Arguably the oldest of distilled spirits, rum is a bit unique in that it is made from a byproduct of other salable products (sugar cane and molasses), and actually may have more variety in its styles than other distilled spirits.

Rum appears to have its geographical origins in Southeast Asia, where the indigenous populations seemingly stumbled upon the conversion of sugar cane by-products to alcohol. Unlike other spirits where grain or berries may be involved, rum requires a specific climate type for its sugar cane “starter” – humidity! Which, in part, accounts for the abundance of rums emanating from the Caribbean.

Join us as we talk with Matt Robold, blogger, bar tender, educator and self-taught know-it-all about all things rum. Matt can be found behind the bar at 320 Main in Seal Beach, or heading the monthly meetings of Rum Society at Caña Rum Bar in Downtown Los Angeles or the Bartender’s Cabinet in Orange County, California. If you thought you already knew everything about rum, get ready to be schooled!

For more info:

The Rum Dood: rumdood.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #352
(1:03:77 min 60.6 MB)


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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

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