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Know the Difference Between Vodka and Gin

Vodka and Gin | www.drinks.ng

Vodka vs Gin Comparison

Vodka and gin are two of the world’s most popular spirit drinks, most notable for their clarity of the liquor in the bottle as opposed to whisky and brandy.

Many alcohol lovers do not give a care about what each of these spirit drinks are made of, least of all the artistic excellence put into distilling these drinks.

Although all of these drinks, whether it is vodka, rum, tequila, gin, bourbon, whiskey or cognac, have a unique history, there is a striking difference between them. The difference notwithstanding, there is still some form of similarity between them, especially in terms of production.

The major difference between spirits is in the raw materials used in the production. However, no matter the basis of the liquid, all spirit drinks must go through a distillation, and later aging process to arrive at the finished product.

The same thing goes for vodka and gin, two spirit drinks that form the basis for most cocktail mixes in the world.

While you may not be a liquor connoisseur, it is important to know the difference between the two distilled spirits.

What is Vodka?

Linked with roots to 14th century Russia, vodka is a neutral spirit traditionally lacking a distinctive character, aroma, taste or colour. However, with recent evolving trends, most vodka brands now have products with fruits flavour and aroma.

Derived from Voda, the Russian word for water, vodka in Russian means ‘little stream’. It has the characteristics of a colorless liquid, clear and smooth. It is a pure spirit with a neutral taste. It is generally distilled from the mixtures of potatoes or grains. It can also be made from corn, wheat or even more unconventional items such as grapes.

This is one of the heaviest drink which has 40% of alcohol content. In the European Union, the standard is set to 37.5% but in Nigeria, the limit remains 40% and sometimes higher.

What is Gin?

Gin is flavoured spirit that is produced by re-distillation of a high proof neutral spirit with juniper berries and other flavouring agents. Its origin is traced back to 17th century Holland.

The history of gin dates back to the 11th century, where monks were known to flavor crude distilled drinks with juniper berries and it was also unsuccessfully used as remedy for the black plague. However, the origin of the drink is credited to Franciscus de la Boe (known as Doctor Sylvius); a seventeenth century physician and professor of medicine at the University of Leyden.

It was first named Genièvre by Boe in relation to the French word for Juniper berry, but English distillers shortened it to Gin in the late 17th century.

Gin gets its flavour from the whatever product it is re-distilled from, and is produced mostly in United Kingdom, Holland and the United States. The four distinct varieties of gin include London Dry, Old Tom, Plymouth and Dutch.

The Difference between Vodka and Gin

The major difference between vodka and gin lies in the raw materials used in the production of both spirits, aside from the countries of origin.

While vodka is made from by distillation of potatoes, rye or wheat, gin is made with the help of distillation of malt or grain and then mixed with the flavor of juniper berries. The main constituent of Vodka is water and ethanol while the central part of Gin is Juniper berries.

Taste

Evidently, both vodka and gin are clear, colorless spirits, but when it comes to taste, both drinks carry a huge difference. Vodka is virtually neutral and tasteless, while gin often has distinctive, herbal notes. What marks this distinct flavour between the two spirits is that while vodka is a water-based alcohol which lends itself to more of an unfettered, clean finish, gin comes with eight botanicals used to realise its unique, juniper-laden flavour.

How it is served

Vodka is best served chilled while gin can be served without ice or refrigeration. Drinking chilled vodka gives a better mouthfeel as the drink is viscous at ice-cold temperatures. Gin, on the other hand, is already comes with aromatic flavours that compensate for when it is not served chilled.

Cocktail and Mixes

While both drinks are specially good for making cocktails, vodka is the preferred choice for most mixologists. Vodka plays a main ingredient in many cocktails including Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Sex on the Beach, Moscow Mule, White Russian, Black Russian, etc. It can also be consumed with soft drinks.

For gin, its complexity comes alive when mixed with straight flavours just as in gin and tonic cocktail the effervescence of the tonic, the hit of sweet quinine and a twist of citrus (lemon or lime) makes a deceptively basic drink come to life.Other cocktails popularly made with gin include Ramos Gin Fizz, Martinez, Gin Rickey, Red Snapper, Tom Collins, White Lady, Hanky Panky, Clover Club, etc.

Classification

While gin maybe classified as a flavoured vodka in many instances, vodka can never be seen as a gin. This is because gin can be re-distilled from vodka, only with added spice and herbal extracts.

Types of Gin

Juniper-Flavoured Spirit Drinks

They are the earliest class of gins distilled in pot stills from fermented grain mash, before being re-distilled with aromatic compounds. They are approximately 68% ABV in strength.

Gin

Also juniper flavoured, however the juniper or aromatic compounds are added later on.

Distilled gin

Distilled gin is made by exclusively the re-distillation of ethanol of agricultural origin and has an initial strength of 95% ABV. It is also added with additional juniper berries and other natural botanicals.

London gin

London gin comes exclusively from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin along with a maximum methanol content of 5 grams per hectolitre of 100% ABV equivalent.

The flavour is added by  re-distilling in traditional stills of ethyl alcohol in the presence of all the natural plant materials used, resulting in a spirit of 70% ABV. London gin is sometimes referred to as ‘Dry’.

Popular Vodka and Gins in Nigeria and their Prices

Some of the popular vodka in Nigeria and prices

Product Size Amount in Carton

Unit Price (NGN)

Carton Price (NGN)
Absolut Original or Absolut Blue

1 Litre

 

12

3,870

 

41,055

 

Absolut Raspberri 1 Litre

12

4,095

 

43,500

 

Absolut Citron 1 Litre

12

4,095

 

43,500

 

Absolut Mango 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Vanilla 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Mandrin 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Pear 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Kurant 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Apeach 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Ruby Red 1 Litre

12

4,095

43,500

 

Absolut Elyx 1 Litre

12

10,920

58,000

 

Skyy Vodka

1 Litre

12

3,220

37,435

Skyy Vodka Infusions Citrus 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Skyy Vodka Infusions Raspberry 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Skyy Vodka Infusions Passion Fruit 1 Litre

6

3,620

19,210

Ciroc

1 Litre

12

16,494

163,013

Ciroc 6 Litres

1

148,922

148,922

Ciroc Red Berry 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Apple 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Peach 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Coconut 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Ciroc Pineapple 1 Litre

12

16,494

175,088

Smirnoff Blue

70cl

6

3,230

34,080

Smirnoff Apple 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Raspberry 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Citrus 70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Orange

70cl

6

3,180

33,500

Smirnoff Red 70cl

6

2,900

30,610

Smirnoff Red 20cl

48

830

34,650

Belvedere Black Raspberry 1 Litre

6

16,630

87,780

Belvedere Citrus 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Grapefruit 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Intense 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Belvedere Luminous 3 Litres

3

21,880

57,750

Belvedere Pure 1 Litre

6

14,660

77,390

Some of the popular gins in Nigeria and prices

Product Size Amount in Carton

Unit Price (NGN)

Carton Price (NGN)
Tanqueray Ten

1 Litre

 

12

3,870

 

41,055

 

Gordons 70cl

12

1,350

 

14,210

 

Beefeater 75cl

12

3,500

 

36,960

 

Bombay 70cl

6

3,310

17,470

 

Greenall’s 70cl

6

2,370

12,480

 

Gordons 20cl

48

1,130

47,360

 

Bombay Sapphire 75cl

12

4,800

50,590

 

Best 75cl

6

880

4,620

 

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Did You Know Moderate Drinking Makes You Live Longer than Exercise?

Drinking_Alcohol_and_Exercise | www.drinks.ng

Regular exercise is said to make one live to a ripe old age, but it seems to drink alcohol trumps what exercise is capable of.

A recent long-term study has found that regular moderate intake of alcohol will help you make it to your 90’s better than exercise can.

The team of scientists from the University of California led by neurologist Claudia Kawas tracked 1,700 nonagenarians enrolled in the 90+ Study that began in 2003 to explore impacts of daily habits on longevity.

According to The Independent, researchers found that subjects who drank two glasses of beer or wine a day were 18 percent less likely to die prematurely. On the other hand, participants who exercised 15 to 45 minutes a day, cut the same risk by 11 percent.

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas stated over the weekend at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Austin, Texas.

Asides the modest drinking, other factors found to boost longevity included weight. Participants who were slightly overweight — but not obese — cut their odds of an early death by 3 percent.

“It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old,” Kawas noted in her address.

More so, participants who kept busy with a daily hobby two hours a day were 21 percent less likely to suffer an early death, while those who drank two cups of coffee a day reduced the risk by 10 percent.

Further study is needed to determine how habits impact longevity beyond people’s genetic makeups.

 

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Does Alcohol Make You More Attractive to Others?

does-alcohol-make-you-attractive | www.drinks.ng

Alcohol is capable of many things including the ability to make us immediately appear more attractive to others than normal.

Don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely nothing attractive about a man or woman staggering back home after a rough night. So to get the best out of this magical ability of alcohol, as in all other benefits, moderate drinking is encouraged.

As a matter of fact, it goes both ways – alcohol can affect the way we see and are seen, by people. This just proves that the beer goggles theory is as real as we can imagine.

There is scientific proof

Just in case you have more doubts lingering on your mind, several scientific studies have proven the ability of moderate drinking making you appear immediately attractive.

At the University of Bristol in the UK, 40 students were supplied with wine but were asked to take photos of each other sober before the drinking commenced. They also took a photo of each participant after one drink, then after a second.

The photos taken after just one drink has been consumed were judged as more attractive than the sober photos. However, the photos taken after students drank more than one glass, were rated as less attractive than when they were sober.

“It suggests that, if it’s true, people are rated as more attractive once they’ve consumed a small amount of alcohol,” said the study’s senior researcher, Marcus Munafò, a professor of biological psychology at the University. “But if they go on to consume more alcohol, they’re no longer rated as more attractive.”

The study suggested that a single alcoholic drink could make people seem more attractive because it caused facial muscles to relax, pupils to dilate and cheeks to flush.

“Rosiness is attractive because it characterizes good physical health characteristics,” said Professor Munafò.

This gives us a confidence boost to have a glass of wine or a tot of whiskey before walking up to your crush to drop that cool pick up line.

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5 Truths You Never Knew About Alcohol

Truths_About_Alcohol | www.drinks.ng

Like every other aspect of human activity, drinking alcohol comes with its own myths which people have come to believe as truths.

There are some who believe that eating before drinking will reduce the level of intoxication. There are also others who feel that brown spirits cause more severe hangovers than their clear counterparts. Don’t cling too much to these myths as alcohol is alcohol and will knock you off anyways if you take beyond your limit.

We are all about responsible drinking, and while you are at it, here are some truths about alcohol we thought you should have at your fingertips.

5 Truths About Alcohol

Coffee Does Not Sober You Up

Don’t go with the myth that drinking coffee will help knock away your hangover. To sober up, the alcohol has to metabolize in your system. You will have to wait a few hours for that to happen. What caffeine actually does is to heighten your senses, causing you to appear more sober while still intoxicated.

Beer Belly Comes from too Much Beer

This myth is older than most of us started drinking, that does not make it true though. Generally drinking too much of alcohol will lead to more calories which results in weight gain. This means that adding a few more pounds around your midriff is not entirely down to the beer you have been drinking. It can be the glass of wine from Adeolu’s birthday party, or shots of tequila you had at Angela’s engagement party last night. In any case, there is no need to single out beer as the sole cause of a “beer belly.” Calories can come from any beverage, even non-alcoholic ones.

Adding Energy Drinks to Alcohol Will Reduce Intoxication

Hell no! Energy drinks work contain caffeine, and the effect of it will only give you a hyper feeling. It does not reduce the alcohol volume in your liquor or slow down your intoxication process by any means. Adding energy drinks to alcohol, in fact, leads to what is called “wide awake drunkenness.” The stimulants in the energy drink gives you a sobering effect while the alcohol takes its course. Medical experts advise that energy drink and alcohol mixed together is no good for the human system.

Alcohol Destroys Brain Cells

The extremely smart ones are scared by this myth. Thus, they choose to shy away from alcohol rather than indulge. This myth is completely untrue as alcohol does not kill off the entire brain cells. It only disrupts the flow of communication between neurons, alters their structure, and causes some of the impairment we experience when drunk. Now you know your brain cell is safe, it is no reason for you to drink irresponsibly.

Dark Spirits Cause More Hangover Than Lighter-Coloured Ones

Alcohol is alcohol, and once you take too much, be set for a severe hangover in the morning. This means that choosing vodka or gin over brandy or whiskey will not help you avoid hangover. It is true that congeners, which are by-products of alcohol fermentation and a leading cause of hangover, are much more present in dark liquors than clear ones. However, the secret to not being hungover is drinking responsibly, not avoiding one liquor for the other.

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5 of the Best Gin Cocktails with Recipes

5 Best Gin Cocktails with Recipes | www.drinks.ng

5 Best Gin Cocktails

Gin has a centuries-long history filled with interesting quips and tidbits with the first use of the spirit traced back to the 17th century. Common use of the phrase “gin-soaked” in describing people who over-imbibe is enough proof of gin’s rich history. Gin is perfect for mixing into cocktails mostly because it’s smooth liquor. It’s more popular than ever today, so it wouldn’t hurt to learn some simple serving options. Luckily, you don’t fancy equipment for most cocktails. All that matters is the love you put into making these.

Before you try making any of these gin cocktails, remember:

  • The key to making drinks is the balance between sweet and sour or bitter. It’s about not letting one element overpower the other.
  • Taste your drinks before you serve to make sure they’re good.
  • If you’re serving over ice, fill the glass to the top with it.
  • Make sure the garnish is fresh and stacked close to the straws.
  • Keep in mind that we all drink in three steps. With our eyes first, then with our nose and finally with our mouth.

These gin cocktails are the best not just because they taste great when mixed properly but because they’re come of the easiest to pull off.

1. Martini

A martini is one of the most popular alcohol beverages in the world. H.L. Mencken referred to it as “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet”.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth

How to make Martini

All you need here is gin, dry vermouth, lemon and olives. Pour your gin and vermouth into a mixing glass filled ice cubes and stir well. Do not shake, stir. Pour this mix in a martini cocktail glass and squeeze oil from your lemon peel into it, after which you garnish with olive.

2. Gin and Tonic

This very well-known gin cocktail is such a phenomenon because its taste is quite different from the taste of its constituent liquids which tend to be bitter. The reason for this is the chemical structures of both ingredients are of a similar molecular shape and attract each other, shielding the bitter taste.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz tonic water
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 wedge of lime

How to make Gin and Tonic

Fill your glass with ice and add your gin and tonic. Garnish the mix with your lime wedge.

3. Gin Rickey

Created in Washington D.C. during an especially brutal heat wave in the 1980s before air-conditioning existed, the gin rickey is a refreshingly bubbly and pleasantly bitter cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz dry gin
  • 2 oz club soda
  • Lime
  • Splash of lime syrup

How to make Gin Rickey

Squeeze as much lime juice as you can into a Collins glass filled with ice. Add your dry gin and club soda, then your splash of lime syrup.

4. Gin Fizz

The gin fizz is the most popular in the fizz family. Its defining features are an acidic juice like lemon or lime with carbonated water.

Ingredients

  • 3 oz soda
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz sloe gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice

How to make Gin Fizz

Shake the sloe gin, lemon juice and simple syrup vigorously with ice in a mixing glass. Pour into an ice-filled Collins glass, and top with a club soda or seltzer.

5. Negroni

Negroni is said to have originated from 1919 Florence, Italy when Count Camillo Negroni asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to strengthen his favourite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. Scarselli also added an orange garnish instead of the typical lemon garnish used in mixing the Americano.

Ingredients

How to make Negroni

Pour all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir and garnish with an orange peel.

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10 Amazing Champagne Cocktails

Champagne Cocktails | www.drinks.ng

Everyone enjoys a nice glass of bubbly. Here are cocktail ideas for you to experiment with and enjoy!

1. Champagne Dream

champagne dream cocktail | www.drinks.ng

INGREDIENTS

HOW TO MIX

  • add ice to the shaker
  • add pomegranate juice, orange juice and Cointreau to the shaker
  • shake well
  • pour champagne into the shaker
  • strain into the champagne glass
  • garnish with orange peel

2. Champagne Cocktailchampagne cocktail | www.drinks.ng

INGREDIENTS

HOW TO MIX

  • drop the sugar cube into the champagne glass
  • Soak the sugar cube with a few drops of Angostura bitters.
  • add cognac to the glass
  • fill up the glass with champagne
  • garnish with orange wheel cocktail cherry

3. Raspberry Champagneraspberry champagne | www.drinks.ng

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 part black raspberry liqueur
  • 5 parts champagne

HOW TO MIX

  • pour champagne, and black raspberry liqueur into the champagne glass
  • stir together
  • garnish with berries

4. RossiniRossini Cocktail | www.drinks.ng

INGREDIENTS

  • strawberry
  • 4 parts champagne

HOW TO MIX

  • crush strawberry with muddler
  • add strawberry to the champagne glass
  • fill up the glass with champagne
  • stir together
  • garnish with strawberries

5. Night and Daynight and day cocktail | www.drinks.ng

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dash angostura
  • ½ parts Cointreau
  • ¾ parts brandy
  • 3 parts champagne
  • crushed ice

HOW TO MIX

  • fill up the sour glass with crushed ice
  • pour brandy, cointreau and angostura into the glass
  • fill up the glass with champagne

6. Kir Royalekir royale cocktail | www.drinks.ng

 

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ parts blackcurrant liqueur
  • 4½ parts champagne

HOW TO MIX

  • pour blackcurrant liqueur into the champagne glass
  • fill up the glass with champagne

7. MimosaMimosa Cocktail | www.drinks.ng

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 parts orange juice
  • 4 parts champagne

HOW TO MIX

  • pour orange juice into the champagne glass
  • add champagne to the glass
  • stir together
  • garnish with orange wedge

8. Happy Youthhappy youth cocktail | www.drinks.ng

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sugar cube
  • ½ parts brandy
  • ½ parts cherry brandy
  • 4 parts champagne

HOW TO MIX

  • add sugar cube to the champagne glass
  • pour cherry brandy into the glass
  • fill up the glass with champagne

9. Diamond Fizzdiamond fizz cocktail | www.drinks.ng

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 part gin
  • 1 dash sugar syrup
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 4 parts champagne

HOW TO MIX

  • pour lemon juice, sugar syrup, and gin into the champagne glass
  • fill up the glass with champagne

10. Midnight Millionairemidnight millionaire cocktail | www.drinks.ng

INGREDIENTS

HOW TO MIX

  • pour champagne and vodka into the champagne glass
  • stir together
  • garnish with raspberry

Source – Cocktailflow.com

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THE DIRTY MARTINI COCKTAIL

Dirty Martini Cocktail | www.drinks.ng

dirty martini

A dash of olive brine brings a salty, savory note to the all-time classic, the Dirty Martini Cocktail.

INGREDIENTS IN THE DIRTY MARTINI COCKTAIL

2.5 oz
.5 oz
.5 oz
Olive brine
Garnish:
Glass:

HOW TO MAKE THE DIRTY MARTINI COCKTAIL

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice.

Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with 2 olives.

SPIRITS USED IN THE DIRTY MARTINI COCKTAIL

source : liquor.com