A good liquor, taken without excesses, but with all the intention of celebrating, is one of the best companions on these days of the end of the year.

Excluding some alcoholic beverages such as Baileys and creams, it can be said that all the others are spirits, and that these are divided into two types: fermented and distilled. In English, distillation or pure alcohol is called spirit, hence the word spirit. whiskey, gin, anise, rum, vodka, among many others, are considered of this type.

During these days of the end of the year, celebrating a toast surrounded by friends and family, goes beyond the clash of two glasses or a formal ceremony. Toasting is an occasion to celebrate and, above all, to savor.

Worked and processed with care, the current liqueurs preserve the spirit born from the fermentation of cereals and fruits with which they were conceived hundreds of years ago, in combinations and formulas that remain intact until today, and that are possible to obtain in the national market.

Diners consulted the suggestions of some lovers of the liquor culture to know what to drink at the end of the year.

The drink? It depends on what you want and the time it is done. If you want to refresh yourself in the morning, you can have a Gin Tonic. If you prefer to relax or fight the night cold, you can have a whiskey or a brandy.

A lunch or dinner can start with appetizers like champagne or light white wine. To accompany the main course, it is appropriate to switch to a more full-bodied wine, continue with a smooth red wine, and continue with a more full-bodied red. At the end of the dish, it is recommended to serve a cognac, a whiskey, a poussecafé or a sweet liqueur wine, depending on the type of food.

At the time of dessert it is good to take into account the class of this. If it is very sweet it is better to continue with the last drink with which the food is being accompanied, because if it is taken with a sweet drink it can become a cloying combination. If it is a type of dessert based on puff pastry, dry pasta or cheese such as a cheesecake, it can be accompanied with sweet wines, although generally those of this genre are ideal with pâté or caviar. The best drink to accompany desserts is dry brut champagne or a Spanish sparkling wine such as cava.

Gin

It is a vodka in its first phase, which is produced from grains and a final touch of dry flavor provided by juniper. It was born in Holland in the 16th century, where its use was strictly medicinal as healing qualities were attributed to it to prevent gout, kidney problems and other ills.

It is definitely a liquor to serve mixed, due to its high alcohol content (more than 47 degrees). The cocktails that have immortalized it are the Tom Collins -perhaps the purest way to drink it- and the Dry Martini: both the gin and the Vermouth must be very cold, mixed in equal quantities or, depending on the taste, a little more gin , and an olive.

If your idea is to cool off, try a Gin Tonic: fairly cold gin with tonic water and a slice of orange or lemon.

Tequila

From the Mexican lands comes this drink that is born from a plant known as the blue agave, sister of the fique. There are several types of tequila that can be purchased.

The white, which is stabilized by letting it rest in white oak barrels for a minimum of five months before being bottled. The añejo, which has a maturation period of three years onwards, and the young doomed, with additives for color. The Mexican custom is to take it with sangrita, a Mexican sauce with a lot of spice and seasoning, or pure with lemon and salt. But there are cocktails that have become famous like the margarita: tequila, Triple Sec, lemon and salt.

Cognac

In the first instance it is a wine that is distilled to obtain brandy. The difference between brandy and cognac is that it takes its name from the French region where it is made. Its purity lies in the fact that to make one liter of cognac it is necessary to distill nine liters of wine.

The best way to serve this drink is in a wide glass, which fits in the palm of the hand. Cognac is not always taken neat; in Eastern countries it is customary to mix it with water. In hot weather try to drink it in the form of a Floater in a tulip-type glass: have very cold soda and over it pour the brandy very slowly with the help of a spoon.

Champagne

There are three types of champagne: soft ones, which work as aperitifs; those with extra years of aging made mostly from black grapes, and the Prestige Cuvée, the finest.

Before drinking champagne, make sure it has been well stored. Keep in mind that it is a drink very susceptible to heat and light, so it is recommended to store the bottle at a temperature of eleven degrees Celsius and in a dark place.

When serving it, keep it in a bucket of ice to be able to enjoy it at the ideal temperature (between six and eight degrees Celsius but never leave it in the freezer. The appropriate glass to taste it is the flute type. If you do not like it pure, In places like the Mediterranean, they blend a peach and add it to champagne, obtaining a cocktail known as bellini or just orange juice to obtain the famous mimosa.

Vodka

The origin of this traditional liquor is disputed by Russia, the Nordic countries and Poland. The truth is that vodka is the ideal companion to combat the rigors of winter, which is why tradition indicates that it should be taken pure and frozen so that it becomes oily and thus makes it easy to ingest. Vodka is nothing more than pure alcohol with water, very simple to make.

The virtue of this drink is that it can be mixed with juices, without altering its flavor, of which the most advisable are those of citrus fruits. It is an appropriate drink to accompany fish. It is suggested to drink it ice cream “in one fell swoop”, as is customary in its countries of origin, in a long, thin glass previously frozen, to achieve a magical effect on the eye and a pleasant freshness on the palate.

It is important that the bottle is also previously frozen and that it is kept upright in the freezer.

Whisky

Born in Scotland, it is obtained from grain or malt. The best known and commercialized are the so-called blended (Black and White, Chivas Regal, Old Parr Usher’s, Buchanan’s, Johnny Walker and Something Special, among others) that are the result of a secret blend of 15 to 45 grain and malt whiskeys.

In the countries of origin, this drink has been taken pure and at room temperature. However, it can be combined with a very small amount of water and ice. In Spain it is usual to take it with Coca-Cola (although this alters the taste of the liquor or Ginger Ale, it is a very pleasant mix because it leaves the flavors intact.

The older this drink is, the purer it should be taken. But remember that storing bottles for years does not age liquors: once bottled and sealed, their flavor, color and aroma do not change or improve. If you are one of those people who think that this liquor is very strong, try it by making a cocktail with sugar, drops of orange or lemon and ice.

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