Pop the Cork: La vie en Róse

By

Lu YaWen

Life is all good when you look through Róse-tinted glasses.

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Search for the hashtag #rosé on Instagram and you’ll notice a pattern in the results: images of glasses filled with a pink hued liquid set against an exotic backdrop or sunset, mostly posted by women. The clear pageant winner of wines, rosé has largely been marketed as a ladies’ drink but should it be time men embrace the beauty of pink too?

For the most part, rosé is easier to drink; it has less tannins than a glass of red and is sweeter than a white. It’s made the same way all wines are except that the skins from the red grapes are left to ferment with the must (the mixture of pulp, seeds and stems) for only a short period of time. The few days or weeks of maceration allow a transfer of colour, just enough to give the liquid a stain of pale red.

Rosé has less tannins than a glass of red, and is sweeter than a white.

If you’ve had a sweet sparkling rosé and think you’ve seen it all, well, you’ve only skimmed the surface. Just going by the different shades you can find, there are kinds stained a deep pink to pale peach and everything in between. Every winery has its own unique method and grape variety, which fortunately gives us a myriad of flavours such as grapefruit, strawberry and watermelon in a dry, sweet or sparkling wine.

Sounds refreshing? When summer season rolls around and the weather gets hotter, it’s not surprising that people opt for this fruity, light wine chilled. Its friendly flavour profile also makes it great for pairing with most cuisines. The ancient Greeks and Romans were perhaps the first to figure this out when they were imbibing this clear pink beverage (any shade darker would have been considered unfit for consumption, ironically). Nowadays, you’ll also see rosé in slushie form, called a frosé, perfect for sunny day picnics or outdoor brunches.

Beyond the drink’s versatility, it has the superpower to inject festivity or romanticism into any activity. Bring out a bottle of rosé at a regular dinner and you’ll get confused table mates asking if there’s a special occasion. It’s a wine that demands a celebration even with leftovers. Hollywood celebrities such as Drew Barrymore and Sophia Coppola have also recognised the unique allure of rosé, and produce their own to sell. It’s high time both men and women enjoy the spoils of winemaking our predecessors indulged in since 4000BC.

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Pop The Cork: The deets on Non-Proven Alcoholic Remedies

Way back when guzzling down gallons of cola was a legit reason to treat fatigue and headaches; what might have been the golden age for kids with addiction to this black fizzy concoction, alcohol too, was used to treat a variety of ailments.

Despite knowing that it’s a ridiculous (but perfect) excuse to get intoxicated, here are some Friday night drinks that you never thought were ‘beneficial’ for treating your ills. So in all seriousness, let’s drink to our health!

 

 

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Pop the Cork: Not Your Average Protein Shakes

From the early days of scavenging cavemen to today’s wandering hipsters looking for cafés to brunch at, mankind’s love affair with eggs continue to grow. WATT Global Media recorded a 12-year high of 263.3 eggs consumed per American in 2014, which we’re pretty sure doesn’t include those in your cocktails.

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Our ‘once upon a time’ starts in the 16th century with the posset – a thick, spiced and tart beverage made from milk, lemon juice, cream, sugar and a splash of wine or ale. Tasty as it sounds, it was drunk mostly for people then to keep the cold or flu at bay. If you’re a literature student and wondering why your Shakespearean senses are tingling, you’ve probably read about it in Lady Macbeth. The eggs, however, weren’t consumed raw as the drink was warmed over the stove but this set the precedent for good ol’ eggnog you drown in bourbon, rum and brandy to tide you over one too many family gatherings.

The posset birthed another drink called the Flip, a frothy concoction of beer, rum and sugar. It’s a fun foamy way to get inebriated; a red iron was used to heat the mixture till it bubbled, similar to baristas foaming a cup of milk. Jerry Thomas, also known as the father of American mixology, christened it a cocktail in his legendary list of recipes in the Bar-Tender’s Guide published in 1862.

It’s no coincidence the late 19th century was saw bartenders transition from grumpy guy at the counter to suave masters of mixology. Another discovery that has completely changed the way we enjoy our spirits: adding egg whites (albumen) to recreate the same full-bodied taste cream or milk gives without altering a drink’s flavour. In fact, the whites work exceptionally well with acidic tipples as the acid stabilises the egg protein and prevents the molecules from binding with each other. This is why cocktails such as the Pisco sour have such impeccable foam. The more sour a drink is, the smaller the bubbles and nicer looking foam.

There’s more to a gorgeous head of white than a chemical reaction. The key – shake it hard. Just as how sugar and egg whites turn into meringue after an energetic whipping, the same goes for cocktails. A stellar (or notorious) example to illustrate the enthusiasm for shaking one’s cocktail is the Ramos gin fizz. Henry C. Ramos of the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans invented this creamy thirst quencher in 1888 that got lots of attention for its 12-minute mixing time. Fortunately for bartenders of today, the legendary preparation is nothing more than a good story to tell.

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