There are a few things. In the last couple of years there’s been a big rise in brown spirits, particularly whisky. There’s been a big leap towards bourbon and Irish whiskey.
Irish whiskey is certainly making a comeback. It’s been the fastest growing spirit in the world in the last two years. That’s probably because it’s a bit lighter than most Scotches. It’s a bit easier, more approachable and a bit less intimidating for younger drinkers.
Pernod Ricard - the owners of Jameson - has been pushing it very hard in the States and it has seen market share shoot up. There are also a number of distilleries opening in Ireland. If you go back four years ago there were only three operating distilleries in Ireland. By 2020, there’s going to be 25 to 30. It’s going through a huge renaissance at the moment, very much supported by the Irish government.In the past, Irish whiskey, certainly in the UK, suffered from something of an image problem. In a very similar way to gin did before its recent resurgence. It was seen as a fusty, old spirit and very much the poor relation when compared to Scotch.
"Irish whiskey has stepped into that convivial social space. Scotch doesn’t really have that allure - you generally think of Scotch as being a solitary drink"
However, Irish whiskey has stepped into that convivial social space. Scotch doesn’t really have that allure - you generally think of Scotch as being a solitary drink. Sat by the fire on your own in a leather armchair - now that’s not always the case of course, but it’s the perception. Irish whiskey, because it’s lighter and mixes well, it’s more of a pub drink.
"Mezcal tends to be a bit more artisanal and a bit stronger. It has more intense flavours than tequila does"
Elsewhere, Mezcal is making its way its way from hipster bars into the mainstream. It’s a close relative of tequila - it’s also made from agave plants, although tequila is only made from the blue agave plant. Mezcal tends to be a bit more artisanal and a bit stronger. It has more intense flavours than tequila does. It’s more of a sipping spirit and the alcohol content is much stronger - over 45% ABV. It has a lot of intense flavours going on - quite smoky, in the same manner that some whiskies are smoky.
It became quite cool in hipster enclaves in East London a few years ago and it’s started to get some traction in the mainstream now. I don’t know how huge it will become, but I think you can expect to see it in the spirit offering of pubs, whereas that wouldn’t have been the case before. Irish whiskey, however, is definitely one for the mainstream.
No. It’s a myth. Nobody gets drunk faster than anyone else. However, Japanese and Chinese people, rather than Asian people do possess a gene that means that they have more difficulty breaking down alcohol than Westerners. What happens is they get a flushing reaction, and if they continue to drink they will become unwell.
The drug Antabuse, which is sometimes used in alcohol treatment, works on the same principle. If you drink after taking this drug you will be sick and nauseous – the drug stops the body from breaking down the alcohol. The gene that Japanese and Chinese people possess has a similar effect. So when they drink they become unwell quicker. They’re not drunk, or they don’t become drunk quicker, but they become unwell quicker. So typically they become sick quicker than you or I would.
"The gene that Japanese and Chinese people possess has a similar effect. So when they drink they become unwell quicker. They’re not drunk, or they don’t become drunk quicker, but they become unwell quicker."
Some Japanese and Chinese people can carry on drinking like that, but it does make a lot of people reluctant to drink. In the sense that part of being drunk is getting ill than yes, they might appear to be intoxicated faster but that’s because they’re becoming unwell. They’re not becoming intoxicated as such, just unwell. The idea that some people get drunk quicker than others is a fallacy.
Everyone gets drunk at the same rate. There’s no significant change across races. Of course alcohol is one of the substances that the body and brain adapts to as an individual consumes more of it. This is called developing tolerance. Another way of considering this is that body resists alcohol and is one of the reasons why people who do not drink alcohol become drunk quicker than those who do. However this is not the sole explanation. The concept of expectancy and the context in which the drinking takes place are as important if not more so.
This is because the two named coffee products are completely different in their qualities.
'Real' coffee is prepared relatively easy: coffee beans are roasted, sorted and ground. All the chemical constituents are safely stored in coffee cells and not released until brewed.
Instant coffee is made differently. The coffee beans are roasted and ground (same as 'real' coffee). Then, water is added to the powder and the mixture is heated under high pressure to about 175 °C. The mixture is then filtered and solubles concentration is then increased using evaporation. The resulting liquid, which is, in fact, is a very concentrated coffee drink, is dried and the instant coffee powder is produced.
So the difference is that ground coffee is actually a coarse powder from coffee beans and instant coffee - dried crystals from the liquid. When wet, instant coffee crystals reform highly concentrated coffee drink. Ground coffee particles absorb water, which enters the cells and they increase in size, acting like a sponge. You may want to make a litre of coffee from using you normal coffee maker and then boil most of the water in a saucepan. The resulting liquid will be as sticky as instant coffee (and probably have a horrible flavour) :)
Let’s look at the definition of what a cocktail is... According to an article in the 1806 Balance and Columbian Repository a cocktail should be: ‘cock tail, then in a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling’.
Does this mean that the cocktail is only 210 years old? Most definitely not. This was the first time someone actually coined the word cocktail and defined the word. The cocktail has been around for centuries. Even the ancient Egyptians were mixing wines and herbs to create something they would think was more palatable than the ingredients apart.
In India, they were already experimenting with alcohol and herbs in what they called ‘panch’ or ‘punch’ in the early 17th century. Usually this consisted of sugar, citrus, herbs, alcohol and water. In sanskrit the word ‘panch’ means five; in this case five ingredients.
In this day and age there are so many stories, myths and lore about the cocktail - where it originated, how it became so popular. Pick a story that you like. One of our favourite stories to tell is of Betsy Flanagan, an innkeeper in the young USA, who was famous for her rooster dish. She would pluck the feathers of the cock and cook it. Then when she would serve the food she would accompany the dish with a mixed drink that was garnished with the tail feathers of the cock. The story goes that a group of French soldiers were enjoying that meal and when they proposed a toast they shouted; 'Vive le cock-tail!'
If you go back to the 1960s, if you wanted to make a machine do anything, you had to go to an air conditioned room, learn the machine’s language and encode it in very specific, very manual ways to perform a limited task.
Contrast that with now, if I say the word “Alexa”, then my Echo on the other side of the room is going to wonder what I want. One time in two it will actually play the song I want if I shout at it. But you can absolutely see the direction of travel.
It’s an important milestone in that journey from manual introduction of instructions, to point and click, to touch and swipe, to voice and gesture to actually no interface at all.
We already have some devices that do this in a limited way – the Nest smart thermostat in some ways is a smart city device. It uses sensors to learn your patterns and behaviour and sets your heating accordingly. Once you’ve done the basic set up, there’s literally no interface – it’s autonomous. It’s learning and responding not to manual input from a human being, but to a rudimentary understanding of human being behaviour and what human beings want. It knows when you’re in and out, it senses from your mobile when you’re getting close to home so it turns the heating on so it’s nice and warm when you walk in the door. That’s kind of where we’re going with the human interface to the smart city.
Because nine times out of 10, we don’t want an interface at all. We just want things to respond to our needs without even speaking them. And that’s really where for the most part, the smart city should be.
There’s a corollary to that – you don’t want things happening on your behalf with no way of discovering why. If you’re going to remove the interface and make things just happen because the city thinks they should, you have to be absolutely transparent about why they happened. Everyone will need to see the ‘working out’. That’s going to an interesting step for cities to get to grips with, given that cities are this weird conglomeration of public and private.
When people talk about smart cities, they have this idea of a council or government-owned infrastructure operating everything. But a truly smart city cannot be that – it’s much more like a garden. You’ve got a garden with a bunch of different organisms living in it that may be fitting into some sort of common plan that a designer laid out. But over time they grow, they expand and they behave differently, they respond differently to different conditions and there’s going to be a constant process of tending and weeding in order to maintain a level of harmony and consistency with the original design.
Bear in mind, 99% of people will never look under the hood. Transparency is important in principle, but a very small number of people are ever going to even look at it, let alone use that information to build new things. And again, the smart city is not going to be this deeply centralised, government-controlled, ordered structure of people with clipboards. It’s going to be a much more collaborative effort. It’s going to have to be where one group, the government, council, whoever, defines a set of spaces that everyone has to correspond to and defines a set of data that may or may not be shared, and services that you will have access to. How those things are all applied is going to be much more for communities and corporations to define.
There are probably three principles that are going to be the most important.
The first one is if at all possible, have no interface at all. You don’t want to have to have an interface with a pavement, a bus or a street light. At the moment, we have this horrible habit of building apps for everything – I don’t really want an app to force me to turn on the street lights as I walk down the street. I just want them to come on.
Second principle is, show your working out. There should be complete transparency of what algorithms are doing and what sensing activities are happening behind the scenes in order to make those things happen so that people can understand them.
The third principle is hackability. People should be able to change the way the city behaves towards them, within reason. That reason you could probably define as Asimov’s Robot Laws. You don’t want people hacking the city to harm others. But they should be able to create services that changes the way the city behaves towards others, either as a commercial or a community service.
Глобальных трендов не так чтобы много. Постепенно сходит на нет тренд на тяжелые, алкогольные, дубовые вина в пользу более легких, всё большую долю рынка забирают розовые. Цветет и пахнет тренд на био и биодинамические вина. Растет интерес к редким и забытым лозам, сменяется мода на сорта и регионы - пить пино гриджио больше не круто (хотя все пьют), берите альбариньо.