Various Presentations - The Drinks

Various Presentations - The Drinks
The word ‘Beverage’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘bever’ meaning rest from work. After work one tends to feel thirsty due to fluid loss through perspiration and one is inclined to drink water or other potable beverages. Beverages are potable drinks which have thirst-quenching, refreshing, stimulating and nourishing qualities. By refreshing one means the replenishment of fluid loss from the body due to perspiration. Stimulation results in increase of the heart beat and blood pressure. This is due to the intake of spirits or tea and coffee. Nourishment is provided by the nutrients in the beverages.

Most of the beverages supply energy in the form of sugar or alcohol. They also provide other nutrients like mineral salts and vitamins. For example, milk gives calcium and citrus fruits give vitamin C. Certain beverages like tea, coffee and alcohol stimulate the heart and kidneys, because tea and coffee contain caffeine and alcohol provides as much as 7 calories per 1 ml. Alcoholic beverages affect the central nervous system and tranquilise it, thus reducing tension and worries. Initially alcohol acts as a stimulant, being a concentrated source of energy.

Later on, however, it acts as a depressant. Alcohol being a concentrated source of energy, it is absorbed directy by the bloodstream from the stomach and therefore provides instant energy to the body and increases the blood pressure for a short while. As mentioned above, alcohol is a depressant, because it relieves the blood vessels of the body from tension. Effects of alcohol remain in the body for about 24 hours.

Major Definitions

1. Alcoholic Beverage : Any beverage containing 1/2% of alcohol by volume to 76% alcohol by volume is considered to be an alcoholic beverage. Those with higher than 76% alcohol are known as medicines, such as anaesthetics. 

2. Alcohol : These are hydroxides of organic radicals. Ethyl alcohol is the only alcohol which is consumable. All other alcohols are poison.

3. Wine : According to the ‘Wines and Spirits Association of Great Britain’— “Wine is an alcoholic beverage obtained by the fermentation of freshly gathered grape juice, the fermentation of which has been carried out in the district of its origin, according to the local traditions and practices. Nothing artificial is added to it.” 

4. Brandy : Brandy is obtained by the distillation of fermented grape juice and is suitably matured in oakwood casks for a minimum of 3 years. Brandies are never coloured because they obtain a beautiful amber colour from the black oakwood casks. Brandies can be matured upto a period of 70 years (usually used for blending purposes).

5. Distillation : Distillation is a process of simultaneous evaporation and condensation of a liquid or a mixture of liquids to purify them.

6. Liquor : Liquor is used for all alcoholic beverages in general, but it has a special meaning in the brewery, namely, it is water used for brewing after the removal of unwanted minerals and salts (like calcium carbonate, which forms a precipitate on boiling and spoils the beverage) and addition of required minerals and salts in the manufacture of beer.

7. Liqueurs : Liqueurs are sweetened, coloured and flavoured spirits with a base of Cognac, Brandy, Scotch Whisky or sometimes Rum. The colour is obtained from herbs, spices, vegetables or fruit-coloured pigments, either by distillation or infusion. Sweetening is added as and when required.

8. Whisky : Whisky is obtained by the distillation of grains, particularly barley malt, and is aged in oakwood casks for a minimum of 3 years for Scotch Whisky, a minimum of 7 years for Irish whisky. Regular Scotch Whiskies are matured for 3-12 years, Premium Scotch or Deluxe Premium Scotch are matured for 12-20 years and the Finest Old ‘Blue label’ for a minimum of 20 years. Whiskies are coloured by the addition of desired colour caramel. It is distilled either, by the Pot Still method (which gives body) or the Patent Still method (which gives volume).

9. Rum : Rum is obtained by the distillation of fermented molasses or sugarcane juice and is matured in oakwood casks for a minimum of 3 years. Rum is coloured by the addition of dark caramel.

10. Gin : Gin is a rectified spirit obtained by the distillation of the fermented mash of cereals and grains in a definite ratio. Gin has a typical flavour of juniper berries, coriander seeds and orange peel. It has in all 108 botanicals. Gin is a colourless drink matured in oakwood casks for a minimum of 3 years.

11. Vodka : Vodka is the national drink of Russia and goes well with caviar. It is a strong alcoholic beverage obtained by rectifying spirit made from potato and sweet potato starch and is passed through layers of sand, vegetable charcoal, coal and quarts to make it colourless, tasteless and odourless. Vodka is not matured.

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