All spirits stored in oak casks contain fusel oil. This is part of the aroma of brandy, whisky, dark rum, etc. Excess fusel oil intensifies a possible hangover. Spirits blended from essences contain little or no fusel oil, hence one is more likely to feel fine the next day, unless one has drunk far too much, at which point they will suffer from alcohol poisoning by upsetting their body chemistry . For making liqueur, essences are superior to using fresh fruit. All liqueurs (except coconut where the flavour is attenuated naturally with storage) made with essences can be stored indefinitely. If fresh fruit is used shelf life is limited to 3-6 months. Flavour can be better with essences, which are often made with natural raw materials selected for fine flavour, suitable for making liqueur, and subsequently concentrated. Precise amounts of vanilla and other refined ingredients are also added. It is cheaper to have essences in stock at home than finished spirits, as essences can be stored for years without problem. If one has some bottles of essences at home, most tastes can be catered for, from a cold gin and tonic to Skane akvavit for the pickled herring, and a "Hot Shot" Italiano. A "Hot Shot" with 1/2 Italiano and 1/2 Sambuca is good, and a "Hot Shot" with Hazel nut liqueur is really the tops.
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