Must see European towns this winter

From sleigh rides and skiing, to lounging in outdoor thermal pools and raging at ice festivals, Europe has some of the best and most unique places to spend winter. Here are our top picks.
Abisko, Sweden

aurora-borealis-2959663_960_720
If you love the cold, Abisko in Sweden should be your first choice. This Swedish town is known for its incredible views of the Northern Lights. Besides gazing at the Aurora Borealis, you can ski, hike, ice skate, go dog sledding, and explore the national parks. Also, visit the world’s first and most famous ice hotel, Icehotel, in nearby Kiruna.

Prague, Czech Republic

snow-1749769_960_720
Picture snow-capped spires, cobblestone alleys, and old-fashioned street lamps! Prague is truly a winter fairy tale waiting to be discovered. It is usually tourist-free in the winter. The city’s natural beauty really comes to life under a blanket of snow. Stroll through the streets, see the sights at your own pace and warm up at a local café where more than a dozen types of hot chocolate are served.

Reykjavik, Iceland

blue-lagoon-569346_960_720
Iceland is among Europe’s coldest areas and there are many reasons why its capital is a must-see winter destination. The annual Winter Lights Festival in February is one of the best European celebrations. The city also has an abundance of winter sports, museums, and restaurants making it a happening place. Reykjavik has many outdoor geothermal swimming pools, which are some of just a few in Europe. Imagine relaxing in naturally warm waters while the snow falls around you.

Bled, Slovania

bled-2582655_960_720
Bled’s incredible natural beauty combined with its peaceful surroundings make it one of the most beautiful alpine areas in Europe. Renowned for its healing climate and thermal lake water it is a small city perfect for anyone looking for a relaxing winter escape. And if you’re looking for adventure – its terrain is ideal for anyone interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, or ice skating. Also it is home to Bled Castle, a medieval fortress believed to be the oldest castle in Slovenia.

Copenhagen, Denmark

churchhill-2482602_960_720
Copenhagen is one of the most fairy tale-like cities in Europe, in the winter. Join the locals who spend their afternoons and evenings relaxing, drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying their beautiful surroundings. Top sights in Copenhagen include Tivoli Amusement Park, Christiansborg Slot, and Rosenborg Castle, which are so charming when covered in snow. Copenhagen also has a winter culture month, Wondercool, which occurs in February and includes concerts in unusual venues, art shows, and culinary events.

Wherever you decide to go this winter, do not forget to come back home and shop for European chocolates, wines and more… at our store. Pre-order at our website.

Happy Holidays!

Advertisements

The best Duty Free shopping tips

app_banner_600x333

Do you often wonder if airport duty free shops abroad are cheaper than our very own store at Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore?

Here is how you can figure it out for yourself.

1. Check prices of duty free products online before you buy them. Why buy in Singapore or Dubai when you can save $5 or so if you buy in Bangalore?

Visit our website to see our catalogue of products and all our many, wonderful monthly offers.

2. Pre-order to save time and money. After you have browsed the website and identified the lowest price, act immediately. Did you know that you can get 10% off on duty free products by pre-ordering them online from our store and pick them up on your arrival at the airport. You only pay when you pick your purchases – it is that simple.

Visit our website and after you select a product, click on the Pre-Order option.

3. Before you happily start pre-ordering to your heart’s content, check for the duty free allowances. There are limits that the government imposes on the products that you buy. Check this page on our website for details.

4. Our store is always abuzz with monthly in-store offers. So you are advised to keep your eyes open for these offers and make the most of them.

We hope these tips will make airport shopping a fun and inexpensive shopping experience for you.

Happy Shopping!

How your glass of Whisky could be in danger.

whiskey-2171646_960_720Last week, April 22 was a red letter day called Earth Day. There were numerous articles educating and reminding us about the impact of climate change on various aspects of the world that we live in – our quality of food, water, and life. Little do we know the impact of climate change on Whisky.

What goes into making Whisky and how can it be impacted?

Water: A key requirement in a distillery as it is needed to mix the yeast with the barley in the fermented liquid which eventually becomes the spirit. Distilleries in Scotland and the world over usually use river or spring water in this process. It is important to note that if we do not care for our water sources and water bodies and end up polluting them then it will only be a matter of time when this affects the quality of the final product or the price as more money might need to spent on water purification techniques.

Barley: The base product from which Whisky is made, this is usually imported from far away fields adding to the carbon footprint . It might be a smarter idea for distilleries to grow their own barley on site to control volumes and reduce carbon emissions caused by transporting barley from other locations.

barley-field-8230_960_720

Wood: The casks made from wood is eventually responsible for giving Whisky the colour, complexity, and aroma. Distilleries must ensure that they are not contributing to deforestation and should consider buying a plot of forest land to closely monitor the supply chain from planting, harvesting, use, and protection of natural resources that go into the making of Whisky.

distillery-barrels-591602_960_720

The right way to drink Whisky

Across the world, people have been consuming Whisky for hundreds of years in about 2-3 different ways –  with ice, water or neat. There have been endless debates about the right way to consume Scotch. Over the years several Whisky based cocktails were also invented all claiming to be the right way to enjoy this sought after spirit. We are not sure that is the best way to savour such a fine spirit that is such a massive labour of love.

There is only one right way to drink Scotch. Neat.

drink-alcohol-cup-whiskey-51957

This is the right way to bring out the flavours for which you have spent a great deal of money to enjoy. Diluting and mixing only take away from the true essence of this liquid gold.

If however, this unadulterated way is not your favourite way to consume Whisky then we can suggest a splash of water.

On the rocks, a popular phrase usually used when ordering a drink of Whisky is not the most ideal way to consume Single Malts because adding ice will lead to the dulling of the flavour.

In recent times, it has been concluded that the addition of a little water to your Whisky is not a bad thing. Apparently, a chemical reaction occurs between the water and the tightly-wound chains of amino acids in the Whisky. They literally unravel, releasing new flavor compounds and esters (volatile compounds that smell like flowers and fruits).

How much water? We would recommend just a small splash.

Cheers!

 

History of the Cocktail

Every time you’re at a party, sipping a cool / colourful cocktail do you ever wonder about the first cocktail ever made?

Here’s one theory about the first cocktail.

In 1586, a fleet of English ships commanded by Sir Francis Drake was stranded near Havana. The ships were full of plundered gold but the crew were too sick to sail or fight.

According to the legend, Drake took local medicines such as mint (good for stomachs) lime (to treat scurvy), bark from the chuchuhuasi tree soaked in rum (a cure for dysentery), and cane sugar (to make it all taste OK), and mixed it all together. The resulting drink, dubbed El Draque, cured his sailors.

The word ‘cocktail’ comes into it because Drake’s crew allegedly drank this concoction from a long spoon with cock tail handle. Believe that? Well, it is just a theory. There is however a striking resemblance between the El Draque and the drink now known as the Mojito.

The other theory about the first cocktail came from the Americans.

America’s first cocktail, the Sazerac, was created in New Orleans in 1838, by Antoine Peychaud. He created the drink in a French Quarter bar and named it after his favourite French Brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. In 1873, the drink was changed when American Rye Whiskey was substituted for Cognac, and a dash of Absinthe was added by bartender Leon Lamothe, and today he is regarded as the Father of the Sazerac. In 1912, Absinthe was banned, so Peychaud substituted his special bitters in its place.

sazerac_cocktail

Sazerac Recipe:

  • 1 cube sugar
  • 1½ ounces (35ml) Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • ¼ ounce Herbsaint
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Lemon peel

Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice. In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube. Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar. Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint. Empty the Whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Don’t forget to shop for your favourite drinks at our website.

Christmas Cocktail Recipes 2016

Christmas is around the corner! Chances are, you will be spending the day with friends and/or family. Here are a few classic, must-know-recipes of delicious cocktails for your Christmas celebrations!

Classic Eggnog

The perfect blend of beaten egg yolks, sugar, cream,  , Rum, and Cognac. Refrigerate up to a day. Pour the egg-yolk mixture over fluffy egg whites and stir until blended. Serve immediately, while the whites are fluffiest. Add nutmeg to finish it off.

mygourmetconnection-eggnog

mygourmetconnection

Citrus-Irish Whisky Punch        

Combine  , tea, clementine juice, lemon juice, Oleo-Saccharum, Angostura bitters, and 1½ tsp. nutmeg in a large bowl or pitcher; cover and chill 3–8 hours. Strain into a punch bowl and add several lemon and orange wheels and 4 cups ice. Serve punch in cups over ice garnished with nutmeg.

bon-appetit

bon-appetit


Classic Martini

Pour a little dry Vermouth in a chilled Martini glass and swirl to coat the inside of the glass. Dispose of excess Vermouth. Gently swirl or stir the   before straining into glass. Garnish with olives, lemon twist or cocktail onion and add rocks if you like.

martini-food-network

food-network

Cranberry Cocktail

Pour cranberry juice and Gin over ice in a tall glass. Top off with tonic water, and then add a splash of lime juice. Garnish with a wedge of lime and a few fresh cranberries.

le-creuset-cranberry-cocktail

le-creuset

Christmas Punch

Mix pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, Vodka, Cointreau, club soda, lemon juice, and simple sugar syrup in a punch bowl. Fill glasses with cranberries frozen in ice cubes, and serve. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

the-loop-christmas-punch

the-loop

Kir Royales

Pour Creme de Cassis into a champagne flute. Gently pour into 5 to 9 parts dry Champagne (depending on taste), being careful not to let it foam up too much.

pick-n-pay-classic-kir-royale

pick-n-pay

Pina Colada

Fill blender halfway with ice cubes. Add Rum, coconut cream, coconut milk and pineapple chunks. Puree and serve garnished with a slice of pineapple and maraschino cherry, if desired.

imgfave-pina-colada

imgfave

Blood Orange Champagne Cocktails

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons each of Crème de Cassis into 8 Champagne flutes or other glasses. Add three tablespoons orange juice to each glass. Fill each glass with Champagne, stir gently. Garnish cocktails with slices of blood orange, if desired.

kitchen-treaty-blood-orange

kitchen-treaty

Have a Merry Christmas!

 

Traveling Abroad (or Not) – Here’s how you can benefit with Bangalore Duty Free!

duty free offers

Register Now: http://www.bengalurudutyfree.in/Register.aspx

Follow/Like Us
http://www.facebook.com/BengaluruDutyFree
http://www.twitter.com/blrdutyfree
https://in.pinterest.com/blrdutyfree/