Saturday, January 8, 2011

Artificial Colors & Flavors

Keeping with the common theme plaguing blogs these days, I'd like to discuss another of my new years resolutions. And no, it's not to quit drinking.....

Artificial colors & flavors are added unnecessarily to many products found in everything from our shower gels, our cereal boxes, cheeses, and sadly hidden on the shelves our liquor stores too. Often artificial is a cheaper alternative to something 'real', or derived from nature. Some artificial colors have been linked to disorders such as Hyperactivity.

My mom likes to refer to me as the bartender of the family. Possibly because I did some bartending in a restaurant I worked at several years ago. It's something that I enjoy doing; both mixing and consuming. However, the above spirits (mostly liqueurs) ALL contain artificial colors and/or flavors. There are a few more questionable bottles in the freezer, but they weren't going to be defrosted for this picture... So, no more Crown & Banana for me, no more Bailey's coffee, no more martini cocktails for the most part at all. But wait, there's still hope!

Of our massive liquor collection, it seems as though the hard stuff (and the good stuff!) remains available to me. A few liqueurs aren't off limits (however, upon closer inspection, the Hpnotiq bottle in the back does in fact have "certified color added"- whatever that means... Oh, and I'm still waiting for an email back from Finlandia, the jury's still out on that one too) . There are a handful of companies out there using real ingredients. "A natural maceration of best ginger..." in the Giffard "Ginger of the Indies" Liqueur, center (their grapefruit liqueur does have artificials -always read the label!) "... enhanced with spices for a warm and rich characteur."

There are also a few companies out there who make flavored vodka's from natural sources. Both Belvedere & Hangar One are premium vodka brands that do not use artificial colors or flavors. Like I said, the good stuff. This is an interesting article on the matter that you may wish to take a look at.

Lime cordial is something that I often add to my vodka & water to sweeten it up a bit and kill a bit of the alcohol taste, however the if the neon green is any indication, I wont be seeing the bottom of this bottle. I am however going to make an attempt at homemade lime cordial. I'll let you know how it goes!

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