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Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage made with malt fermentation and its distillation. The grain of barley is moistened in water so that it starts to germinate and thus starts to produce sugar that ferments into alcohol. The peculiarity with whiskey is that once it is germinated, it is dried with smoke coming from specially made ovens. Fermentation is completed giving as a result a frothy liquid similar to that of beer. This liquid is distilled -twice or three times according to the country, in Ireland and Scotland three times.

Once distilled, it only needs aging so that it can be called whiskey. The longer the aging, the better the quality of the product. The amber look in whiskey is not only due to its aging, but, to the quantity of added caramel. However, added caramel does not alter the beverage’s flavor; it only dyes it.

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There are two types of whiskey, though they are not the only ones -malt whiskey and blended. The former it is made with malt fermentation exclusively whereas the latter it is made by mixing malt whiskey with other grain whiskey, such as wheat and corn. Blended whiskey is considered as art. Experts in blending combine from 15 to 50 whiskies to achieve one exclusive flavor. All whiskies that are blended must be over three year.

Another variety of whiskey is whiskey liquor. This liquor is a dense, sweet preparation that must be tasted and not quickly drunk. Herbs, flowers, fruits and seeds are the ingredients that are added as an infusion, redistillation or maceration to give it that particular flavor. Some blenders gave whiskey this name —whiskey liquor—to their blends to give them a refinement proper of this liquor. However, that custom it is not longer used.

These are the drinks made with whiskey:

• Manhattan:

50 cc (1.7 oz) of whiskey (preferably rye), 30 cc (1 oz) of Red Vermouth, 1 dash of bitter Angostura and 1 Red Marraschino. All ingredients are mixed —except marraschino— and shaken with ice, they are strained and they are decorated with the previously separated ingredient.

• Old Fashioned:

Two measures of whiskey, some bitter Angostura and sugar. Sugar is dissolved in bitter Angostura, ice is added and then whiskey. A slice of lemon is put as decoration.

• Wild Irish Rose:

One measure of whiskey, grenadine, half lemon and gasified water. All ingredients are blended —except water—, ice added and stirred. Finally, gasified water is added.

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