Tag Archives | spirits

liquor, alcohol, distilled drinks

A snifter glass with brandy

Cognac’s incredible success on export

There is a wine region in France that is really doing well at the moment. And that is Cognac. Sales increased in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year. 205 million bottles of cognac were exported. This equates to 98% of the entire production. The United States buys 94 million bottles annually and is the largest […]

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A snifter glass with brandy

XXO, new category of cognac now official

Cognac has a new category: XXO. In 2017 Hennessy launched a prestigious Cognac which they named XXO. But the authorities were not happy about it as this category of Cognac didn’t exist. Thus, the sale of this particular Cognac was suspended. But Hennessy did not give up and with the help of luxury conglomerate LVMH, […]

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Two "fruity" gin and tonics

A quick 101 on making gin-and-tonic

I imagine hardly anyone needs an instruction on how to make a Gin-and-Tonic, or G-and-T. Could it be the world’s most popular drink? But there are different ways to do it. For example, in this video, they use a blood grapefruit. Personally, I prefer a slice of lemon or lime. Some use cucumbers, blueberries and […]

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A snifter glass with a digestif

Cognac is doing well on the export markets

The French wine and spirits exports hit an all-time high in 2016. In total France exported wine and spirits at a value of 11.9 billion euros. This was an increase of 1.2% from the year before. Now this was actually not thanks to the wine but to the French spirits, more particularly Cognac. Cognac did […]

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Gin: Blue, Lark's, Monkey 42

The Renaissance of Gin, 4: Conclusions and Commentary, how the category and market may develop over the next 10 years

Although there has been a clear revival in the popularity of gin, and an explosion of new brands, we have seen that the impact has been limited to the premium-plus categories. New and existing customers have traded up, leaving the lower-value categories to continue to decline. There is little evidence to suggest that the renaissance […]

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Gin: Hendricks, Tanqueray

The Renaissance of Gin, 2: Production of Gin, how process variations result in different flavours

EU law defines three categories of gin:[1] “Gin” is the basic category. Flavourings, either natural or artificial, are mixed (cold compounded) with the base spirit and other approved colourings and sweeteners are added. A molasses-based spirit may be used (often cheaper), giving a softer feel. “Distilled Gin” is made by redistilling the mixture of diluted […]

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A glass of Ricard pastis on a zinc bar in a cafe in Paris

Time for an aperitif?

Mixed drinks, or cocktails, are becoming more and more popular to drink as an aperitif and you can hardly open a food or wine magazine today without reading about it, or getting the bartender’s best tips. What happened to all the traditional southern French aperitifs such as Byrrh, Dubonnet and pastis? Some of them were […]

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Bottle of Ricard pastis on a zinc bar in a cafe in Paris

Aperitif time, the best time of the day?

L’heure d’apéritif, the best moment of the day? Yes, at least those days when you are allowed an aperitif (which is not every day). Aperitif time is a quiet moment before dinner or mingling with guests before sitting down to dinner. But how do you choose your aperitif? You can, of course, simply have a […]

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Where do all the pressed grapes go?

On August 1, it will cease to be mandatory for winemakers in France to deliver their pressed skins to a distillery. This means that growers now have several options for what to do with the skins after pressing. They can either continue to send them to a distillery or they can use them as nutrients […]

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World’s biggest selling spirit brands in 2013

The world’s biggest selling spirits is a curious bunch of brands. Most likely you will have heard of no more than two or possibly three brands on the list. Most likely you will not be familiar with the world’s biggest selling spirit, unless you have read our spirits posts before here on BKWine Magazine. In […]

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Richard "the nose" Paterson, Dalmore

Unique “vintage” whisky with age: Dalmore Constellation Collection

Exclusive distillate at exclusive prices Among the most exclusive of whiskies is the Dalmore Constellation Collection. It is a series of vintage whiskies created by the legendary Master Blender Richard “The Nose” Paterson. The entire collection contains 21 different whiskies back to 1964, priced from about 2000 euro to some 20,000 euro. Per bottle. Richard […]

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A meeting with Vincent Boulard and with his calvados

Calvados can be a deliciously refreshing digestif, or a multi-faceted, complex post-dinner drink. Calvados is a kind of apple spirit, distilled cider, which really deserves to be appreciated more! With a fruit and freshness that few other spirits have. Calvados Boulard is one of the largest producers. Their different calvados are highly regarded in many […]

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Wild boar

Calvados & Doves

A meeting with Vincent Boulard and with his calvados Calvados can be a deliciously refreshing digestif, or a multi-faceted, complex post-dinner drink. Calvados is a kind of apple spirit, distilled cider, which really deserves to be appreciated more! With a fruit and freshness that few other spirits have. Calvados Boulard is one of the largest […]

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What happens to all the grape skins?

In Europe we like to regulate things and therefore all wine producers must hand over grape skins to a distillery after the grapes have been pressed. Which of course has many advantages. That way you use this waste product as much as you can. But all grape skins are not destined to become grappa or […]

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The world’s biggest spirits brands 2012

Do you know which the world’s biggest selling spirit is? It is probably not at all what you think! There is actually quite a lot of myths around which is the world’s biggest selling spirits brands. One reliable source for information is IWSR (International Wine and Spirits Research). They have recently published their Top 100 […]

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A fountain in Antigone, Montpellier

What will be next? No-alcohol vodka?

Actually, that is exactly what the Swedish monopolist retailer Systembolaget has launched, but of the flavoured kind, called “snaps”, or aquavit if you prefer. Basically, aquavit is just a white spirit (vodka is a good start) with some spices. The monopoly has launched a set of 0% akvavits. is there a point? We have not […]

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The world’s best selling vodka is…?

So is the world’s biggest selling vodka brand something one has heard of? Actually it is. The leading brand is Smirnoff that sells almost twice as much (24 M 9l cases) than the number two, Khilbniy Dar. And Absolut comes third with 10 M cases. Here is the top ten: Smirnoff Khilbniy Dar Absolut Zelenaya […]

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The world’s biggest selling whisky is…?

The world’s biggest selling whisky is not what one thinks. It is a “local” Indian brand called Bagpiper. The biggest “international” whisky is Johnnie Walker that comes third. Here is the top ten: Bagpiper, India Officer’s Choice, India Johnnie Walker, Scotland McDowell’s No.1, India Royal Stag, India Original Choice, India Jack Daniel’s, USA/Tennessee Old Tavern, […]

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Karlsson vodka

Midsummer – the peak of Scandinavian boozing

We only have numbers from Sweden but we suspect that the situation is similar in other Nordic countries. Midsummer is one of the most important Swedish holidays. Only Christmas can rival. Midsummer is a bank holiday in reality if not in principle. This year it was celebrated on June 24. (In reality it is the […]

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A horse in a filed in Normandy


Calvados – The apple fruit brandy from Normandy Text: David Furer Photo: Per Karlsson, BKWine Copyright David Furer & BKWine, December 2008 An abbreviated version of this appeared in the US’ Sante magazine, Autumn harvest brings its bounty not only to the winemaker and chef but also to the oft-overlooked cider and fruit distillate […]

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