Category Cultural features

How to relieve a hangover at home

After a stormy feast, a heavy gloomy morning comes. The head hurts, the stomach refuses to work, there is a dry mouth and complete powerlessness. The day after drinking, these symptoms indicate a severe hangover (alcohol intoxication). I advise those who suffer from a hangover to learn how to get rid of a hangover at home. But there are no quick remedies, for a full recovery it takes at least 12-14 hours.

First, let’s find out what NOT to do with a hangover:

1. Drink alcoholic beverages. We like to knock out a wedge with a wedge. If alcohol is the cause of the terrible condition, then another portion is needed. Indeed, after a bottle of beer or 100 g of vodka it becomes easier, but you risk closing the circle. The treatment of a hangover with alcoholic drinks gradually turns into a new feast, and the next day the head hurts again. This is how the binge begins with all the ensuing consequences.

2. Take a bath or go to the bathhouse. Alcohol intoxication makes the heart work with increased stress. High temperature creates additional problems for the cardiovascular system.

3. Drink coffee and hot tea. Coffee increases heart rate and dry mouth. In turn, tea causes fermentation in the stomach, increasing intoxication. If you have a hangover, it is better to refuse these drinks.

How CAN a hangover be treated:

1. Sleep well. Sleep is the best hangover cure. You need to sleep until the feeling of sleepiness leaves you. Only in a dream does the body actively fight alcohol intoxication.

2. Drink plenty of mineral water, compotes and natural juices. These drinks prevent dehydration and restore the vitamin and mineral balance of the body. A cucumber pickle rich in minerals and salts is also suitable.

3. Take a light shower. Summer-temperature water washes away toxins from the skin, which are released along with sweat drops. The skin becomes clearer and better absorbs oxygen, allowing the person to recover from the hangover faster.

4. Drink a few tablets of activated charcoal. With a hangover, activated charcoal should always be drunk. It neutralizes the effects of toxic substances, preventing further poisoning of the body.

5. Take an aspirin tablet. It is recommended if the head hurts from a hangover and there are no stomach problems.

6. Eat borsch, soup or scrambled eggs. Soups and borscht are rich in vitamins, and scrambled eggs are rich in protein and amino acids. All these substances are necessary for the normal functioning of the liver – the natural filter of our body.

7. Get some fresh air. At least open the window. Better yet, go for a walk in the park. Ventilation of the lungs helps to improve metabolic processes and removes the unpleasant smell of alcohol from the mouth. But if you want to sleep, then it’s better to stay at home.

All of these methods only stimulate the normal functioning of the body, but none of them will help you quickly get out of a hangover, as it takes time. At your own peril and risk, you can use the widely advertised medical products, the manufacturers of which assure of their lightning-fast effect. But the safety of these pills is questioned by many experts.

Attention! Self-medication can be dangerous, consult your doctor.


The most famous brands of cognacs – top 8 brands

There are thousands of cognac producers in the world, but only a few of them managed to become famous and respected. We take a look at 8 of the best brands to follow. These are recognizable brands that have written down the name of their creators in history and brought substantial fortunes to their descendants.

1. Hennessy (Hennessy) – the most famous cognac house in the world. It is part of the Louis Vuitton luxury goods holding – Moët Hennessy. With a production volume of 50 million bottles per year, it ranks first in the world in the sale of cognacs.

The company was founded by an Irish officer Richard Hennessy. After retiring in 1745, he settled in the city of Cognac, where he began his own production. At first, his cognacs were liked by the nobles at the court of Louis XVI, and after several decades the Hennessy brand was known throughout Europe.

2. Rémy Martin (Remy Martin) – the second largest cognac house in France, founded in 1695 by a young winemaker Remy Martin. The brand is currently owned by the Rémy Cointreau Group.

3. Augier – the oldest cognac house in the world, founded in 1643. The products are characterized by stable production technology. In Ogier, craftsmen use only ancient recipes.

4. Bisquit (Bisquit) – this cognac house was founded in 1819 by the twenty-year-old Alexander Bisquit. Products are supplied to the United States, Great Britain, Germany and other countries. In 1965, the brand and vineyard plantations were bought by the Pernod-Ricard company. Since then, Bisquit cognac harmoniously combines the traditions of aging and modern production technology.

5. Camus (Camus) – the brand has existed since 1863, it still belongs to the descendants of the founder Jean Baptiste. This cognac house has 125 hectares of vineyards throughout France. Previously, Camus cognacs were supplied to the royal courts of Europe, now they are considered elite and are sold only in expensive specialized stores.

6. Courvoisier (Courvoisier) – cognac house, founded by Emmanuel Courvoisier. It was the cognacs of this brand that Napoleon Bonaparte drank. After the defeat of the emperor at Waterloo, British officers tried Napoleon’s favorite cognac for the first time. Since then, Emmanuel Courvoisier has also supplied his cognacs to England.

This cognac house has its own production technology, which does not involve distillation. Alcohol is extracted not from grapes, but from finished wine. In the cellars of the Courvoisier cognac house there are over 3 thousand bottles aged over 200 years.

7. Davidoff (Davidoff) – the company began its history with the sale of its own cigarettes. In 1964, it was founded by the son of Kiev emigrants, Zino Davidoff, whose family worked all their lives in a tobacco factory.

Very soon Davidoff cigarettes and cigars became a symbol of sophistication and refined taste. Cognac Davidoff appeared as an addition to cigars. It comes in exclusive bottles and is made from Hennessy spirits. This drink is for very wealthy gentlemen, it can be purchased only in elite stores.

8. Delamain – in 1824 this cognac house was founded by James Delamain – an English nobleman who owned his own estate in France. First of all, Delamain brandies are known for their light color and unsurpassed fruit taste. These are drinks for true connoisseurs.

Experts consider the most famous brands of domestic cognac (grape brandy): Moskovsky, Kutuzov, Shustov, Ararat, Bagration, Noy and Bely Aist. But they are still far from well-known French manufacturers.


The best vodka in the world – brand rating

Until recently, no one made a rating of the best vodkas in the world. Only in 2011, a company engaged in the supply of vodka to the United States held a similar competition. Thanks to her efforts, we can name the best vodka in the world according to American consumers and experts. There are many Russian manufacturers on the list, but the French brand took the lead.

The experts in this competition were representatives of the wine industry, professional tasters and ordinary consumers. Each brand was evaluated by 30-40 people. The balls were exhibited according to the following criteria: taste, aroma, clarity, mouthfeel and appearance of the bottle. The results of the competition will seem strange to many Russians, but do not forget that the rating was compiled by American experts and consumers, and their taste preferences differ in many respects from ours.

15 of the best vodkas in the world:

1. Gray Goose (France) – the winning vodka is made from selected grains of the French province of Cognac and water from the famous Gente spring. The drink goes through a natural process of cleaning with limestone and distillation in small batches five times. Experts believe that due to its high quality, the Gray Goose brand will become the world’s best-selling vodka in a few years.

2. Crystall (Russia) – fine vodka taste is achieved thanks to special additives. The production uses only “Lux” class alcohol and a specially developed carbohydrate module “Alcosoft”. The acidity regulator is malic acid.

3. Krolewska (Poland) – the best grains and water in Poland put the Krolewska brand in third place. This vodka amazed the experts with the exquisite design of its bottle.

4. Youri Dolgoruki (Russia) – prepared according to the classic vodka recipe. It contains only the best ingredients and special additives to improve and soften the taste.

5. Finlandia (Finland) is a quality Finnish vodka with a balanced taste that has long conquered the American market.

6. Jewel of Russia (Russia) – is made from alcohol of wheat rusks, also contains microscopic pieces of gold foil, fructose and lactose. The unconventional production technology was highly appreciated by experts.

7. Vincent (Holland) – this vodka is made only in small batches from wheat and barley. It goes through two stages of distillation, which softens the taste of alcohol.

8. Rain (USA) – made from corn. For filtration, diamond dust and coal are used. This vodka has practically no taste.

9. Ketel One (Holland) – traditional Dutch vodka.

10. 3 Olives (England) – the top 10 best vodkas are closed by the English brand, which has shown good results.

11. Russian Standard (Russia) – selected grain and water from lakes allowed the Russian Standard brand to take a high place in the rating.

12. Vox (Holland) – high quality vodka based on the best alcohols.

13. Stolichnaya (Russia) – almost all our compatriots know about this brand of vodka, it does not need a separate introduction.

14. Vermont Spirits White (USA) – the experts put this brand only in 14th place. It is not yet included in the top ten vodka producers.

15. Absolut (Sweden) – a well-known Swedish brand, which unexpectedly found itself in a low position for itself, closes the list of winners. The shape of her bottle resembles a medical bottle.

Based on the presented rating, Crystall is the best vodka in Russia, and 4 more brands are in the top 15. But this is the opinion of the Americans, we have not yet held such authoritative contests. Polls for 2013-2014 show that in Russia the leading brands are Stolichnaya, Finlandia and Graf Ledoff, but it is impossible to verify the completeness and veracity of these data.


Classification of cognac by aging

It can be difficult for an untrained person to correctly determine the age of cognac – the time of its aging in oak barrels. The “stars” familiar to us are found only on ordinary cognacs (grape brandies) produced in the former USSR. Real French cognacs have a different classification based on symbolic meanings. We will consider both labeling options so that you don’t have any problems with a drink from any manufacturer.

Exposure of cognac is considered until the moment it is bottled, after which the drink stops “aging”. The time it is in the bottle is not critical, since the quality does not change.

French classification

The standards are set and controlled by the National Interprofessional Bureau of Cognacs. Age is determined by the aging of the youngest alcohol contained in the drink. For example, if alcohols of 3, 5 and 6 years are mixed, then the aging of the resulting cognac is 3 years.

Consumers learn about the aging of the drink thanks to special markings on the label:

  • VS (Very Special), Trois Etoiles, de Luxe, Selection – at least 2 years;
  • Superior – at least 3 years of aging;
  • VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale), Vieux, Reserve or VO (Very Old) – at least 4 years old;
  • VVSOP (Very Very Superior Old Pale) and Grande Reserve – at least 5 years old;
  • XO (Extra Old), Vieille Reserve, Tres Vieux, Extra, Royal or Napoleon – at least 6 years old.

French legislation prohibits labeling cognacs older than six and a half years, since it is almost impossible to control their blend and quality.

Domestic labeling of cognacs

The classification used by producers from the former Soviet Union (mainly Armenian brandy houses) is much simpler. It distinguishes ordinary, vintage and collection cognacs.

Ordinary cognacs are marked with asterisks. Each such asterisk indicates the year of aging in oak barrels. For example, if you see 5 stars on a bottle, then this is a five-year-old brandy. It should be noted that there are no domestic cognacs aged less than 3 years (theoretically), GOST prohibits the use of such young cognac spirits.

Categories of cognac

There are letter designations on vintage cognacs, they are as follows:

  • KV (Aged Cognac) – at least 6 years of aging;
  • KVVK (Aged Cognac of the Highest Quality) – at least 8 years;
  • KS (Old Cognac) – at least 10 years;
  • OS (Very Old) – the drink is at least 12 years old.

Cognacs that have been aged for more than 23 years are considered collectible. These are very expensive drinks bought by wealthy connoisseurs for private collections.


With what they drink cognac – the rule of three “C”

The correct selection of accompanying drinks and dishes better reveals the taste of any alcohol. Cognac is no exception. In the case of him, I recommend adhering to one specific rule that few know about. This is especially important if you have purchased an expensive vintage cognac and do not know what to drink with.

The rule of three C’s (Cafe, Cognac, Cigare) is universal for any cognac. According to it, only cigars and coffee are served with cognac. First, a cup of coffee is drunk, then the cognac tasting begins. It is drunk from special glasses in small sips, trying to catch the notes of taste. After 30-50 g of cognac, gentlemen smoke a cigar. The sequence of actions is repeated the desired number of times, accompanied by a friendly conversation.

But other principles still reign in Russian alcoholic culture. We drink cognac like vodka from glasses, eating everything that is on the table. This is due to the low quality of most domestically produced beverages, which do not have a unique taste and aromatic bouquet.

Ordinary (cheap) cognacs can be placed on the table as an aperitif (alcoholic beverages before meals), they are combined with many hearty dishes. At youth parties, cheap cognac is mixed with martini and ice. They make good cocktails, but they have nothing to do with cognac culture.

For dessert, ordinary cognac is served with cream, ice cream, milk, syrup, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Europeans do not mix coffee with cognac in one cup, they only drink them separately.

Many Russians are used to drinking brandy with orange or lemon juice. This is a suitable option if you want to reduce its strength, but at the same time, the taste of the drink is completely lost. It is the worst of all to wash down cognac with carbonated drinks, as it causes rapid intoxication.

Vintage (expensive) cognacs are generally not accepted to drink or eat. It is in handling these noble drinks that it is important to observe the “rule of three Cs”. But many connoisseurs refuse it too, preferring not to interrupt the pure taste with something else.

Vintage cognacs are suitable for quiet friendly meetings, they are drunk in unhurried sips from special glasses – “snifters”. In fact, tasting such drinks is already a reason to get ready. Cognac is in the spotlight of those present throughout the evening.


The culture of drinking pomegranate wines

Even 20-30 years ago, few people knew about the existence of pomegranate wine. Although pomegranate fruits have been known to mankind for thousands of years and are considered symbols of fertility, they were not used in winemaking. The first attempts to make pomegranate wine failed.

The fact is that the fruit of the pomegranate tree does not contain enough sugar to maintain natural fermentation. There are only a few varieties in the world that have sufficient juiciness and sugar content for winemaking.

The Israelites were the first to learn how to make pomegranate wines. From the fruits grown in the Upper Galilee, they produce dry wines (with a minimum sugar content). It turns out a natural and environmentally friendly product. At the moment, the most famous Israeli brand of pomegranate wines is “Rimon”.

Among the countries of the former USSR, only Armenia can grow pomegranates suitable for winemaking. Therefore, Armenian pomegranate wines are popular not only in the neighboring countries, but all over the world. Moreover, in this country, both dry and semi-sweet (with a small addition of sugar) species are produced.

The technology for making pomegranate wine is not much different from traditional winemaking. First, the harvested fruits are partially peeled and placed in fermentation tanks. When the alcohol content in the wort reaches 6-7%, fermentation is stopped.

Further, pomegranate wine is made in accordance with the classic technology of dessert wines. Some manufacturers keep their drink for up to 10 years in special French oak barrels. The final strength of pomegranate wine is 13-16 degrees (at most producers).

How to drink pomegranate wine

Before drinking, pomegranate wines are cooled to 12-14 ° C. They taste sweet and tart, but not sugary. Their distinctive feature is a long nutty aftertaste with notes of tobacco and cherry. It is very easy to drink pomegranate wines, many connoisseurs enjoy them without a snack.

But still, most experts classify pomegranate wines as dessert alcoholic beverages. They are recommended to be eaten with fruits or sweet dishes. These drinks are dark amber in color with hints of dark gold and ripe pomegranate peel. In consistency, they differ from their grape counterparts in greater density and density.

According to scientists, pomegranate wine has a higher antioxidant activity than red grape wine. This means that it prevents the aging of the body. Linolenic acid, found in pomegranate seeds, inhibits the activity of carcinogens that cause cancer. The benefits of pomegranate wine are undeniable, but only if consumed in moderation.

So far, pomegranate wines are not considered as competitors to traditional grape wines, but the number of their admirers is constantly growing. There are already many points of sale in Russia, where everyone can buy and taste this still new drink, and form their own opinion about it.


10 most expensive wines in the world

The place of each drink in the ranking is determined by the maximum cost of one sold bottle. These wines are equated to objects of art and are not intended for consumption, they are bought by wealthy collectors and connoisseurs.


1. Shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne is the most expensive wine in the world. It was intended for the Russian Emperor Nicholas II. But during transportation in 1917, the ship was sunk by a German submarine. Only in 1998 the surviving bottles were raised from the bottom of the Gulf of Finland. Now they are selling for $ 275,000 apiece.

2. Chateau Lafite of 1787 – this wine has already deteriorated, but it is still very expensive ($ 160,000 per bottle) and prestigious. It’s all about the initials “Th.J.” belonging to Thomas Jefferson. The fighter for US independence acquired Chateau Lafite during a trip to France, where his initials were applied to the labels.

3. Château Mouton-Rothschild 1945 – the cost of one bottle – $ 114 614. The high price is explained by the preparation in the most successful vintage (the year of grapes ripening) of the XX century, which fell in 1941. It is this wine that is accepted as the standard, it can be called the most delicious in the world.

4. Screaming Eagle 1992 – Price $ 80,000 per bottle. Wine from the California Napa Valley is famous for its rich fruity taste, rich texture and long aftertaste.

5. A bottle of 1775 Massandra sherry – the legendary wine of the Russian Empire was sold at Sotheby’s for $ 43,500 per bottle. The imperial seal is applied on the labels. This is the oldest wine preserved to this day.

6. Penfolds Grange Hermitage 1951 – the wine was released by the Australian winemaker Max Schubert. There are only 160 bottles in the world, selling for $ 38,000. The drink was created as a competitor to Bordeaux wines.

7. Cheval Blanc 1947 – for the first time the general public learned about this wine from the cartoon “Ratatouille”. Experts call it the most festive drink of the 20th century. One bottle costs $ 33,781.

8. Montrachet Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1978 – the most expensive French wine. Seven of his bottles sold for $ 23,929 apiece.

9. 1934 Burgundy DRC Romanée Conti – This $ 20,145 wine impressed the tasters with its aromatic bouquet. It is considered the best wine for romantic get-togethers.

10. The 1941 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley red wine is one of the most prestigious California wines that made the Napa Valley famous. Now collectors are ready to buy it at $ 24,675 a bottle.


The number of bottles in a box of vodka

On the eve of a big celebration, when the presence of many guests is planned, vodka is usually bought not in bottles, but in boxes. When drawing up a procurement plan, it is important to know how many bottles of vodka are in one box and the approximate weight of such a box. Simple alcoholic arithmetic allows you to quickly calculate these values.


One standard box can hold 20 bottles of vodka with a capacity of 0.5 liters each. Now let’s determine the weight of this box, we need not only buy vodka, but also deliver the drink to the table.

A standard plastic vodka box weighs 1.7 kg and one empty bottle weighs 0.4 kg. Twenty bottles contain 10 liters of vodka, which is about 10 kg.

The total gross weight of a box of vodka is calculated as follows: 1.7 + (0.4 x 20) + 10 = 19.7 kg.

Conclusions: a standard box of vodka contains 20 bottles of 0.5 liters each. The weight of one box is 19.7 kg.


Classification and types of wines

To understand a wide range of wines will help the classification according to different criteria (wine material, method of preparation, sugar and alcohol content, color). After reading this material, you will no longer be confused by the names found on bottle labels. Many types of wines can be combined into several groups that are easy to remember.

According to the juice used, wines are divided into grape, fruit, berry, vegetable, raisin and multi-sorts.

  • Grape – prepared only from grape juice, during their production it is forbidden to use any other materials except sugar and aging in oak barrels
  • Fruit – made from pear or apple juice.
  • Berry – in the production process, garden and forest berries, cherries, apricots, plums and peaches are used.
  • Vegetable – for their preparation, they use the sap of trees (maple, birch), melons, watermelons, other garden plants (rhubarb, parsnips) and rose petals.
  • Raisins – raisins are used as a wine material
  • Multi-sorts – obtained by mixing different grape varieties. Among the multi-sorts of wines, there are blended and sepage wines. Blending – ready-made wine materials are mixed (fermentation of different varieties takes place separately), seed – the joint processing of several varieties of grapes.

According to some experts, real wine can only be made from grapes, and drinks made from berries, fruit juices or plants are not wine.

Further, it is advisable to distinguish the types of wines by color. Depending on the time of fermentation (fermentation) and the grape variety, they are: red, white and pink.

Red – pre-crushed red grapes are used in the production technology. With long aging, these wines gradually lose their dark color.

Red wines include such famous brands as Bordeaux (a classic wine of Western France, served with roast), Cabernet Sauvignon (has a thick complex aroma, goes well with chicken and pasta), Chianti (a famous Italian aromatic wine, ideal combined with steaks and burgers), “Beaujolais” (a variety of young light wine), “Merlot” (an aromatic and thick drink for simple food) and “Pinot Noir” (thick tart wine served with any dish).

White – in most cases made from the juice of white grape varieties. If red grape varieties are used, then the skin containing dyes is first removed from the berries.

White wines include Sauvignon Blanc (has a herbal aroma and is served with fish), Chardonnay (brewed in oak barrels, perfect for light food), Chenon Blanc (has a spicy sweet taste, it is served with vegetables and chicken ), “Gewuztraminer” (an invigorating drink served with spicy dishes and fish), “Riesling” (its taste resembles honey, combined with oriental dishes and veal), and Sauternes (sweet thick dessert wine).

Pink – to obtain a pink color, the skins of the grapes are removed immediately after the start of the fermentation process. These wines are made from a mixture of red and white grapes, using the technology of making white wines.

Classification of wines by sugar and alcohol content implies their division into table, fortified and sparkling.

Table wines are dry (sugar up to 0.3%, alcohol – 9-14%), semi-dry (sugar – 0.5-3%, alcohol – 9-12%) and semi-sweet (sugar – 3-8%, alcohol – 9-12%,).

Fortified wines are divided into the following types: strong (sugar – 1-14%, alcohol – 17-20%), semi-sweet dessert (sugar – 5-12%, alcohol – 14-16%), sweet (sugar – 14-20% , alcohol – 15-17%), liqueur (sugar – 21-35%, alcohol – 12-17%), flavored (sugar – 6-16%, alcohol – 16-18%). Fortified wines include such varieties as “Madera”, “Jerez” and “Port”.

Sparkling wines – can have different sugar and alcohol content; in the process of secondary fermentation, they are additionally saturated with carbon dioxide. The most famous sparkling wine in the world is champagne.

According to the method of production, the following types of wines are distinguished: sweetened, diluted, alcoholic, effervescent and natural.

  • Sweetened – sugar or honey is added to enhance the taste; these are dessert, liqueur and honey wines.
  • Diluted – fruit juice is diluted with water, these are petio, berry and grape half-wines.
  • Alcoholic – contain pure wine alcohol, which increases the strength of the drink.
  • Effervescent – carbon dioxide is added to the composition (cider and champagne).
  • Natural – made from juice, the use of third-party substances is not allowed.

High quality wines should be considered separately. They are produced only in good ripening years from special high-quality varieties typical of certain geographic regions. Depending on the aging period, high-quality wines are divided into aged, vintage and collection.

  • Aged – before spilling, they must be kept in stationary containers for at least 6 months, starting from January 1 of the next year.
  • Vintage wines are high quality wines that are aged before bottling for at least 1.5 years for table varieties, and at least 2 years for dessert and strong varieties.
  • Collectible – these wines, after aging in metal containers or oak barrels, are bottled and additionally kept in enotek (wine storage) conditions for at least three years.