Saturday, December 6, 2008
Eggnog is a popular drink throughout the Americas, and is usually associated with winter celebrations such as Christmas and New Year. Eggnog has long been believed to be an excellent source of magnesium. Eggnog is also very popular in Central Europe, but only its cognac version, that can be bought almost everywhere, mostly in Christmas-markets, during November and December. Commercially, non-alcoholic eggnog is available around Christmas time and during the winter.
Squash or cordial is a highly-sweetened (and often fruit-based) concentrate, which is mixed with a liquid, most commonly water, before drinking. It is also the name of the resulting drink.
Squashes and cordials are common in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia, South Africa, Kenya, Australia and New Zealand, and have a large market share in competition with fruit juices and soft drinks.
Typically, squash is created by mixing one part concentrate with four or five parts water (depending on concentration and personal taste) directly into a glass or mug or into a jug. The most common flavours are orange, apple and blackcurrant, lemon, peppermint, mixed fruit, summer fruits, and lemon-lime. Other flavours include peach, strawberry, and kiwi fruit.
Tea refers to the agricultural product of the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of Camellia sinensis, prepared and cured by various methods. "Tea" also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from such cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water and the colloquial name for the Camellia sinensis plant itself.
Tea is the most widely-consumed beverage after water. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour.
The five types of tea most commonly found on the market are black tea, oolong tea, green tea, white tea, and pu-erh tea.
The term "herbal tea" usually refers to an infusion or tisane of fruit or herbs that contains no Camellia sinensis. The term "red tea" refers to an infusion made from the rooibos plant, also containing no Camellia sinensis.
Coffee is a widely-consumed stimulant beverage prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant. Coffee was first consumed in the 9th century, when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia. From there, it spread to Egypt and Yemen, and by the 15th century had reached Azerbaijan, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, Indonesia and the Americas.Today, coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide.
Coffee berries, which contain the coffee bean, are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown species are Coffea canephora (also known as Coffea robusta) and Coffea arabica. These are cultivated in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted, undergoing several physical and chemical changes. They are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. They are then ground and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways.
Coffee has played an important role in many societies throughout modern history. In Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. It was banned in Ottoman Turkey in the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.
Coffee is an important export commodity. In 2004, coffee was the top agricultural export for 12 countries, and in 2005, it was the world's seventh largest legal agricultural export by value.
Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment. Many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain medical conditions; whether the effects of coffee are positive or negative is still disputed.
Cocoa is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree from which chocolate is made. "Cocoa" can often also refer to the drink commonly known as hot chocolate; cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the dark, bitter cocoa solids; or it may refer to the combination of both cocoa powder and cocoa butter together.
A cacao pod has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp called 'baba de cacao' in South America, enclosing 30 to 50 large almond-like seeds (beans) that are fairly soft and pinkish or purplish in color.
Cocoa should not be confused with the coca plant which can be used to create cocaine.
Cocktails are made with gin, whiskey, rum, tequila, brandy, or vodka. Many cocktails traditionally made with gin, such as the gimlet, or the martini, or Tom Collins are now commonly made with vodka
While any variety of apple, and even other pome fruits such as pear or quince, may be used, certain cultivars are preferred in some regions, and may be known as cider apples. The drink varies in alcohol content from less than 3% ABV in French cidre doux to 8.5% ABV or above in traditional English ciders.
Cider is very popular in the United Kingdom, especially in South West England, in comparison to other countries. The UK has the highest per capita consumption as well as the largest cider producing companies in the world, including H. P. Bulmer, the largest. Overall, the UK produces 500 million litres (110 million imperial gallons) of cider per year.
The drink is also popular and traditional in Brittany (chistr) and Normandy (France) (cidre), Ireland and Asturias (sidra) and the Basque Country (sagardoa) of Spain and France. Pear cider is popular in Sweden and in Basse-Normandie (France) (poiré). The drink is making a resurgence in both Europe and the United States.