Alcohol is categorized into wines, beers, and spirits. Today we will focus on spirits. Spirits are also known as liquors. Note that there is a difference between liquors and liqueurs. While liquors mean spirits, liqueurs mean flavored spirits. What are spirits? These are types of alcohol that undergo the distillation process and often have higher alcohol percentages ranging between 20% ABV and 80% or 90% ABV. Wines and beers don’t undergo distillation. The following are the types of spirits in Kenya.
Spirits are further classified as dark spirits and clear spirits. There is a clear distinction between the two types. Clear spirits are the spirits that you can see through. Their clear color is because they are not aged after distillation. However, when you age or flavor the clear spirits, they also change their color. Dark spirits have warm amber to deep brown color. They get their color from aging them in the wood barrels. In this article, we will take a deeper look at the four clear spirits in Kenya. How they are produced, common brands in Kenya, and all other factors surrounding clear spirits.
Clear Spirits In Kenya
Dark Spirits In Kenya
Gin are clear distilled spirits made from grains. The process of producing gin is as follows. The grains are first crushed to a powder called gilt and then hot water is added to release its sugars. This causes the mixture to froth and bubble. The process takes around 4 hours. When the process is complete, the mixture is around to cool, and then yeast is introduced to initiate fermentation. This is the process that converts the sugars to alcohol. The end result is a beer-like liquid that has a low alcohol percentage. It is this liquid that undergoes distillation to create a clear spirit that is called low alcohol. The distillation of gin uses fractional distillation that produces around 96% ABV. This is because using two pot still distillation results in the first distillation producing spirit of around 21 % ABV while subsequent pot still distillation produces a spirit of about 70% ABV. Producing gin with a spirit of about 70% ABV would result in very rough gin because of the 30% of the impurities and that why the distillers result in fractional distillation. To produce gin, this low alcohol is re-distilled juniper berries and other botanicals. The re-distillation with botanicals is meant to extract the special oil and also to add flavors to the drink. Different distilleries use different methods to extract these flavors from the botanicals. The following are the two common methods;
Some distillers combine the two methods to come up with a better gin. The following are other methods used to re-distill spirit with botanical though they are not common.
Among these styles of gin, London Dry Gin is the most common gin in Kenya. Old Tom Gins are sweet while Aged Gins are aged in casks that previously aged bourbon whiskey, scotch whisky or vermouth fortified wines. Using these barrels gives the Aged Gin a dark color and also flavors of the wood and the spirits aged previously. Buy gin online in Kenya from Nairobi Drinks and enjoy reliable gin delivery in Nairobi at the best gin prices in Kenya. We stock all types of gins and all gin styles that will leave your throat more than satisfied.
Rum falls under the category of clear spirits and they are commonly distilled from molasses, sugar juice, or sugar syrup. Nairobi Drinks stock all types of rum and offer the best online liquor delivery services when it comes to rum delivery Nairobi. Order rum online to enjoy the best rum drinks in Kenya. The following is the process of producing rum.
Sugarcane plantation is burnt to remove sugarcane leaves and other insects and then they are cut down using a machete. Sugarcane must be cut closest to the ground because the lower stem contains the highest concentration of sugar. They are then transported to the industry.
The sugarcane is crushed to produce fresh sugarcane juice. There are three ways to make rum from fresh sugarcane juice.
Any of the three sugarcane derivatives (fresh sugarcane juice, molasses, or sugar syrup) are either left in the open air in vats where fermentation occurs naturally or yeast is added to initiate fermentation. This process may take hours to complete or several weeks. The time used depends on the type of yeast used and also the type of rum being produced. Fermentation is where the yeast converts sugars into alcohol.
Distillation of rum is carried out either through pot stills or continuous stills/column stills. Unlike other types of spirits where you are only required to collect the spirit, in rum you are supposed to collect the spirit and also the flavors. Some of the chemicals that are thought to be undesirable for rum are collected and sold to artificial flavor industries. The distillation through pot stills or column stills is the same as the other whiskies. However, pot stills are known for the production of heavy rum while column stills are known for the production of light rum.
The distilled rum is aged for a minimum of 1 year in American oak casks that have been previously used to age bourbon whisky. Remember bourbon whiskies use new white oak barrels that have been charred. The regulation of bourbon whisky states that the oak casks are supposed to be used once and then they are sold to other distilleries to age other spirits. The charred surface of the oak barrels increases the surface area that caramelizes the sugar and leads to an increase in vanillins. The oak barrels can be scraped clean before aging rum or/ and be re-charred. The quality of the casks used in aging rum depends on what they contained previously if the barrels are being used for the first time or how many times they have been used to age rum and their treatment. Rum distillates are normally clear after distillation and that why they are categorized as clear spirits. The color in the rum is a result of aging in oak wood barrels or coloring flavors such as caramel. Note, it is not a must for rum to be aged. You can dilute sugar distillate to the required bottling strength to make white rum. To increase the surface area in the wood barrels and also to reduce the aging time while at the same time achieving the desired qualities, some distillers insert oak into the casks or charred oak chips. This is seen as a shortcut to the aging period though it gives more flavors.
Rum can charcoal filtered before or after aging. The filtration is meant to remove the harsh flavors and also smoothen the rum. This is because charcoal filters the unwanted components that are undesirable. Charcoal filtration can also remove the color in aged rum making a rum aged for about 3 years look crystal clear.
Rum is blended to maintain consistency in flavors and taste. Blending is mostly done to light rum and dark rum that is aged differently. Rum made from the column still takes the highest percentage with the ones made from the pot still take only a small percentage. The rum made from the pot still is meant to enhance flavors and taste. Other additives that are used to enhance flavors and character are sugar, prune wine, spices, chaptalized fruit juice, and flavorings. The number of years marked on the bottle of rum has a different meaning; some mean the age of the youngest rum in the blend, some mean the average years of the rums in the blend and others are just meaningless ( they are marketing propaganda).
Before bottling, the blended rum is left to mix well in large tanks so that the flavors and tastes of the different rums in the blend can fuse together into one great rum. Also, pure water is added to the rum to reduce it to the bottling strength of 40% ABV. However, some rum is bottled at a higher alcohol percentage. It is common in rum to add caramel that gives the rum a dark color. At the same time, it is also common for old rum to be filtered over the charcoal to remove the color making them crystal clear. This means that rum should not be looked at with the same angle of whisky where we say the darker the whisky, the older it is. Therefore, a dark rum could be genuinely old or it could be caramel to fool you. The opposite is true, a clear rum could be young or it could be old. Basically, what you see in rum is not what you get.
The following are the factors that affect the quality of rum in terms of taste, flavors, and color.
Tequila is a clear type of spirit that is produced from a succulent plant called blue agave that is found in Mexico. Only certain cities and municipalities in Mexico are allowed to produce tequila. Any agave-based spirit can be produced anywhere in the world but not tequila. For any brand of tequila to be sold using the title tequila, all the standards set by Tequila Regulatory Council must be upheld. Are you a fan of tequila? Nairobi Drinks stocks a wide variety of tequila to conquer your thirst. Visit our online tequila shop and enjoy the best tequila prices in Kenya.
There are around 166 species of agave plants of which 125 species are found in Mexico. However, only one species is allowed to produce tequila. This species was found by a botanist called Weber and he named it Agave Tequilana Weber Azul but in simple terms is called blue agave due to its blue hue on its green foliage. This plant takes around 5 to 12 years to mature and grows to a height of around 6 feet. Blue agave flourished well in the volcanic soil of Jalisco and the surrounding Mexican states. This plant has bluish-green, silvery, spike leaves (pencas) with ends as sharp, brown thorns. Blue agave grows to a diameter of around 12 feet. The pina looks like a huge pineapple. The following is the process of producing tequila. Just like champagne and cognac, only 5 states in Mexico are allowed to produce tequila. These cities are; Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Guanajuato, Michoacan and Nayarit. Jalisco state is where tequila was first produced. The whole state is permitted to grow blue agave and also produce tequila hence it leads to tequila production and setting the standards of tequila production at the same time. In the other four states, the growing blue agave plants are only permitted in small defined regions. The following are the steps of producing tequila.
The blue agave is harvested manually and the harvester is called Jimador. He uses a special tool called Coa to trim the spiky leaves that protect the heart of the blue agave called the pina. The whole pina is extracted from the ground. It is this pina that is used to make tequila. The older the blue agave, the bigger the pina which consequently means the more fermentable sugar it can produce. A mature agave plant has a huge pina which has an average weight of 32kg. Some pina could weigh as low as 10kg or as high as 180kg. However, only 7kg of pina is required to make a liter bottle of 100% tequila. The harvesting is done when the pina swells and ripens which means it is ready to be harvested. Mature pinas have reddy-brown spots on the surface. 4 or 5 spots signify peak maturity while 7 and above spots give a warning that pina might start to decay. When the agaves reach peak maturity, they should be harvested within one year or they will start decomposing. Some distilleries use over-ripe agave while others use under-ripe agave. The extent of the ripeness of the agave affects the tequila produced. The under-ripe agave produces tequila with vegetal notes while the over-ripe tequila produces full-flavored tequilas that are sweet.
The cooking is done in stainless still autocaves or traditional bricks ovens where steam is injected. To facilitate cooking uniformly, the pinas are cut into two or four pieces depending on their sizes. Cooking is aimed to soften the pina for easier extraction of sugars. The baked pina now contains sweet juices that can be extracted as fermentable sugars. Steam baking activates the conversion of starch sap into fermentable sugars. The cooking process could take several hours after which the steam is turned off. The pinas are left to cook for several more hours at the desired temperatures after which the cooling process is speeded up by either opening the oven door or by using fans in the ovens. Different distilleries operate their oven at different temperatures and different cooking periods. Modern autoclaves are made of stainless steel tubes and have a sealable door at one end and can speed up cooking to around 7 hours. This autocaves act like pressure cooker due to the stainless walls that dissipates heat faster than traditional bricks. This results in a reduction of cooking time but at the same time if not keen enough you might burn the sugars leading to bitter caramel. Slow cooking produces sweet tequilas with a fruitier taste. Besides cooking the
This is done by crushing the cooked pinas to extract their sugary juice called agumiel. This is the juice used in fermentation and distillation. There are several methods of crushing the baked pinas and extracting the sugars.
This is where the agumiel is converted into alcohol with the help of yeast. The yeast could be natural or cultivated wild yeast. The Natural yeast is the one that grows on the leaves of the blue agave plant. Before fermentation, the agumiel is first analyzed to measure the content of fermentable sugar is within the tolerance levels of the yeast used. Fermentation can be done in open air or closed vats of wood or stainless steel and takes between 7 days and 12 days to be complete. The end product is called wash and looks like beer. The sugary juice is aerated to make yeast multiply. The aeration is then stopped so that fermentation can start. In large distilleries, they have a cooling system in their stainless steel vats that helps to maintain temperatures at 40°C where the yeast works optimally. Above these temperatures, the fermentation might stop. Distilleries that use traditional Tahoma to crush the pina put fibers gotten from the sugary juice extraction on top of the fermentation vats so as to trap aromatics. These fibers form a seal on the top of the vats.
Distillation is carried out through a combination of column distillation and pot still or through the pot still only. The pot still could be made of copper or stainless steel. Should the pot be made of stainless steel, you are supposed to ensure that the steam comes into contact with copper. This could be done by having a condenser made of copper. To get high-quality tequila, the distillation must be distilled at least twice. After the second distillation, the resulting tequila is called tequila Blanco or tequila silver. Some distilleries do the third distillation. The first distillation produces tequila with 20% ABV while the second distillation produces tequila with 55% ABV. There is no rule as to what strength should be tequila be distilled to. Therefore, using the column still, you could distill neutral tequila. Just like the other distillation process, when using the pot still, the distillate is divided into three cuts but only the middle cut called the heart is used in the second distillation while the head cut and the tail cut are re-distilled with the next most. Using only the heart in the second distillation is meant to maintain consistency in the flavors and taste of the tequila.
Maturation / Aging
Aging in tequila is optional. For example, Silver / Blanco tequila could be bottled right after the second distillation. However, silver tequila can be rested in oak barrels for a maximum of 60 days. That is the main reason silver tequilas are clear as water. On the other hand, other types of tequila like Anejo and Reposado must be aged in French or American white oak wood barrels that were previously used to age bourbon whiskeys. This increase in the number of tannins that give color to the tequila softens it and also gives it a mellow taste. The mellow taste is a result of the barrels being charred. Other factors that affect the taste and the flavor in tequila are the type of wood, the number of re-fills of the cask, the previous re-fill, the humidity, and temperature during aging. Tequila is aged in casks but the law of production of tequila states that they should remain closed always during the aging time until assessed by a compliance agency which removes the paper seals.
Blending & Additives
Aged tequila-like Anejo and Reposado are added flavorings and aromatizers to influence their taste and aromas. Caramel coloring is added to influence their taste. The flavors used must be permitted by the ministry of health in Mexico. There is also a rule that prohibits the addition of flavors in Blanco tequila. To improve the quality of tequila, young tequilas are blended with older tequilas.
Dilute & Filtration
Tequila should be bottled at a strength between 35% ABV and 55% ABV. To achieve this, the tequila is neutralized with pure water that has been distilled. Some distilleries carry out filtration to remove harsh flavorings making tequila to be smooth. The filtration is carried out before bottling and is done through cellulose or charcoal at regulated temperatures.
The 100% agave tequilas must be bottled in designated Mexican regions while the non-100% agave tequila (mixto) can be bottled anywhere in the world. The mixto is actually exported in tanks at high alcohol concentration to be diluted and bottled in the country where it to be sold. Different countries sell the same brand of tequila at different strengths unlike in whisky where alcohol percentage is standard.
Vodka is a Slavic word meaning water. It is claimed that vodka was first produced in Poland while Russian also claims to be the first one to produce it. This unique spirit is made from various ingredients with every distillery trying to be unique to have a great vodka by doing funny things like four distillation, double filtration or even using a different base from the traditional vodka base. Some vodkas like Ciroc are made unique because of using a special base. Instead of being produced from vegetables or grains, Ciroc is produced from grapes by distilling the wine five times. The following are ingredients required in the production of vodka; vegetables or/ and grains, water, yeast, and flavorings. Flavorings are optional. Many people claim that all vodka tastes the same or vodka is flavorless but that is not true. Nairobi Drinks stocks all types of vodka from all corners of the world. Buy vodka online in Kenya to enjoy the best vodka brands in Kenya and reliable vodka delivery in Nairobi. Let’s take a better look at how vodka is made.
Selection of Raw Ingredients
The most common raw ingredients used in the production of vodka are corn, potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, and rye. Though as said earlier, there are some cases where you could special raw ingredients like cow milk or grapes. The raw ingredients must be chosen wisely because they will have a huge influence on the final taste of the vodka. The raw ingredients chosen must have a lot of starch. The grains or vegetables are soaked to fool them to germinate but they are then dried and coarsely grounded into a meal.
Fermentation depends on the raw ingredients used. If the ingredients have straight sugars, fermentation can by itself. This is the case with molasses and grapes. For grains like corn, wheat, rye, and barley are first heated to form a mash. Enzymes like introduced to break the starch into simple fermentable sugars like glucose and maltose. In the case of potatoes, the skin must be peeled off first because it is fiber and cannot ferment. They are then chopped into small pieces that are heated with steam mashing them. This creates a larger surface for enzymes to work on. The mash must be cooled to 60ºC which is optimum for the enzymes introduced to convert starch into sugars. They are then cooled to 30ºC before the introduction of yeast for fermentation. The fermentation process is left to occur naturally or yeast is added to initiate fermentation. Yeast converts sugars into alcohol during the fermentation process. Depending on the ingredients used, the process can take between one day to 14 days to complete. The end product of fermentation is a beer-like product called wash. The wash has an alcohol percentage between 7% to 15%.
Distillation can be carried out through the column still or copper pot still. However, column stills are the most common in the production of vodka. The column still uses fractional distillation of those separate elements according to their boiling points. Most distilleries carry out the distillation process three times to achieve high-quality vodka.
This is done to remove unwanted minerals and odors in the spirit. Filtration can be done in two ways. Either by repeating distillation several times or by pumping the spirit through charcoal. Filtration is optional and if the distilleries are not keen enough, they might strip the spirit of their good flavors and unique characteristics. Filtration can be done before distillation or after distillation. If done after distillation, it helps in removing impurities which ensures the production of a pure spirit. Some points worth noting are that distillation and filtration are just marketing strategies. It doesn’t mean that distilling or filtering vodka several times will lead to high-quality vodka. Actually, the more the filtration and distillation times, the lower the quality because the natural flavors and character of the base ingredients are stripped off. However, there are some exemptions in that rule because some vodka like Ciroc needs five distillations to achieve great quality. The exemption arises because the base ingredient of Ciroc is grapes which are really different from the base ingredients of those other vodkas.
Dilution & Flavours
Flavored vodkas have become popular of late. Flavors are added after distillation and filtration so that they impact the taste, aroma, and characters of the vodka. It is common to see a particular brand of vodka like Smirnoff being produced in ten different flavors. Types of flavors added to vodka could be herbs, fruits essence, grass, and spices.
Unlike other types of spirits, vodkas are not aged, and that why they always have a clear color. After distillation, filtration, and adding flavors, vodkas are dilute to the required bottling strength by use of pure water. This is water that doesn't have minerals which could affect the taste and flavors of the vodka. Most vodkas are bottled between 30% ABV to 40% ABV.
Points To Note About Vodka
Vodka started production in the 8th century in Poland and 9th century in Russia but it becomes popular in Russia where it is produced in bulk. Russian soldiers were the ones used to transport vodka during Napoleonic wars but after the Russian revolution, one of the vodka distillers relocated to Paris France and started a distillery that produces one of the world's most popular vodka; Smirnoff. He named the brand after himself.
Vodka is categorized into two; Flavoured vodka and Non-flavoured vodka. It is common to find a particular vodka brand with both types of vodka. Flavored vodka is enjoyed straight or on the rocks while non-flavored vodkas are most used in vodka cocktails or enjoyed with the help of chasers. Nairobi Drinks stocks a wide range of vodkas apart from offering great vodka prices in Kenya.
Clear spirits are among the popular alcohol in Kenya. They could be enjoyed straight, on the rocks, or in cocktails. They are mostly known for making cocktails because of being colorless which means they don’t insert themselves. This makes them more suitable for making any type of cocktail. Nairobi Drinks is an online liquor store located in Nairobi CBD. We offer free and fast alcohol delivery in Nairobi making buying drinks online in Kenya more enjoyable and convenient at the same time. Some of the reasons you should order drinks online are the huge variety, reliable liquor delivery services, and the convenience to dial a drink from the comfort of your house. Are you holding a house party, office party, graduation, wedding party, company closing ceremony, or any other event? Don’t struggle to find all the drinks when you can just make one call and have all the drinks finding their way to your event. Let us handle the stress for you. Enjoy wines and spirits wholesale prices in Kenya and the guarantee of original drinks sourced only from licensed regional suppliers.
Drinks Delivery Kenya is becoming common in Nairobi city because many people have tight schedules to spare time to rush to the nearest liquor store to check for their favorite drink. The unfortunate thing in Nairobi is the unending traffic jam that could waste your precious time. How about the lack of parking space in your favorite joint and you are forced to pack at a distant car park? That is not all, remember the weather could be a challenge too mostly when it is raining. After overcoming all these struggles, the tragedy will be failing to find your favorite drink in your target wines and spirits shop and you are forced to settle for alternative drinks. These among many other factors are the reason why people are choosing to dial a delivery and wait for a knock at their front door in minutes. Nairobi Drinks uses a fleet of motorbikes that have huge riding experience and understand the routes of the city well enough to ensure that you get your delivery within the minimum time possible. To make it even better, we offer the most discounted alcohol prices in Kenya. This ensures you save money or you drink more for less. With such a harsh economy, anywhere you can save a coin should not be taken lightly.
Imagine your party runs dry in the middle of the night when the fun is far from ending? We must agree is too risky to move around the city in late hours and also many liquor shop closes very early. However, you should not fret because Nairobi Drinks has extended its operational hours due to the high demand for late-night alcohol delivery services. We are now operating up to midnight on weekdays and 3 AM on weekends and public holidays. To make it more awesome, we are planning to start offering 24-hour alcohol delivery in Nairobi in the near future.
Apart from clear spirits, our other popular drink delivery services are whisky delivery Nairobi and wine delivery Nairobi. The reason why these drinks contribute to the highest percentage of alcohol delivery in Kenya is that wine is used as part of the meal hence they are drunk daily during meals. On the other hand, whiskeys are seen as the clear definition of real gentlemen. Actually, whisky is mostly drunk by men though there still women who enjoy this strong drink that is made of fermenting and distilling grains and then aging in wood barrels.
In conclusion, let’s agree that drink delivery in Nairobi has more benefits than buying alcohol from local alcohol shops. Buy Drinks online in Kenya today and enjoy the fact that you are living in the 21st century where everything can be bought online and have them delivered to your house. let’s vow to never stay thirsty when we can dial a drink Kenya and have our drinks delivered in minutes. #KeepItNairobiDrinks Cheers!