Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking at Vodka Cocktails

Vodka is one of the most popular liquors out there, especially when it comes to mixed drinks and various cocktails.  One of the major reasons for this is that the liquor has very little extra sharpness that many other hard liquors have, which makes this clean and clear tasting alcohol ideal for mixed drinks and cocktails since the flavors will come through as opposed to the sharpness of any alcohol.  This is what makes many vodka drinks so popular.

There are many different types of vodka cocktails, so many in fact that it is all but impossible to list them all since new ones are being made all the time.  This is especially true now that there are many flavored vodkas which add even more of a twist to various mixtures and concoctions which can result in entirely new mixed drinks.

Vodka cocktails vary widely in taste, appearance, and set up because there is so much that can be done with such a clean liquor.  For example, the "White Russian," which is also commonly referred to as a "Caucasian" by the same movie that made the drink a cult classic among college students in the first place (The Big Lebowski), has a very coffee and cream taste due to other ingredients, while a Bloody Mary tastes like strong vegetable juice, and a screwdriver either tastes like orange juice or it tastes like orange juice with a sharp kick.  All of these are extremely different tastes and designs, so it's not hard to see how there can be so much information on various mixed drinks and so many different opinions on different vodka cocktails to try.

Popular Vodka Cocktails:
  • White Russians
  • Bloody Mary
  • Vodka Martini
  • Appletini
  • Choclotini
  • Screwdriver
  • Mudslide
  • Harvey Wallbanger
  • Lime Rickey
  • Vodka Sunrise
There also are many more cocktails that have vodka as a main ingredient or part of a mixture, but which vodka couldn't be considered the main liquor: such as a Long Island Iced Tea or an Adios M-Fer!  I hope you found this blog post informative, and the links also lead to some great resources all about Vodka Drinks and their many forms.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Learning to Speak the Japanese Language

Learning to speak another language is a very important part of education for many people.  In addition to being an invaluable skill, learning how to speak more than one language opens up parts of your brain that are usually dormant or semi-dormant and helps your overall ability to think, analyze, and expand your intelligence. While Japanese might not be the first language that leaps into your mind when you think of picking up a new language, if you're going to do business in the Orient, you will want to learn to speak business Japanese fast.  It makes a big difference when it's time to make a deal.

Doing business in Japan is far different than doing business in many other parts of the world, and while learning the language isn't a requirement by any stretch, it is an extremely smart business move.  English is a common second language in Japan, and translators will normally be present to make sure everything is clearly understood.

However, you will quickly find that you get more done and more good deals if you take the effort to learn business Japanese.  In Japanese culture, a company can be judged by the character of the individuals who go to represent it.  This applies to other areas of life, as well.  I once had a professor from England who was pitching an exchange program with Tokyo for London over a UCLA program.  He thought the interview went badly, as they kept mentioning what UCLA could offer, but in the end he explained what they were about, what they're program could do, admitted why they couldn't provide some of the same experiences as UCLA but why their program was good anyway.  The Japanese University chose the exchange program with England because they were very impressed with the professor as an individual.

So who do you think will impress a Japanese business person more: a slick 80's cookie cutter business person, or someone who actually shows up with respect for the culture and can speak even the basic phrases of the language?  Even learning basic business Japanese can go a long way towards making a very positive impression as a respectful and capable person who understands the importance of character and honor - two attributes that are critically important in Japan but which are not often seen as a major deal in the United States (unfortunately).

Because of this, while an initial investment in an expensive language learning course might seem a little prohibitive, it will pay off after the very first business dealing in Japan when your character is judged excellent and your new business partners reward your character and respect by awarding you a larger contract, or perhaps you even win a contract that your company wasn't even in the running for prior to learning the language.  This is one of the largest advantages of learning to speak Japanese, and a reason that this should be on the top list of things to do among young business people who want to have the skills and ability to quickly ascend in the corporate world due to their success.

While Rosetta Stone programs may be a little out of the price range for the average individual, another excellent option is going with the online tutorials offered by Japanese Rocket Language Learning courses, which is an online 31 part course using video and audio to make learning much easier, as well as an assistance forum and even an entire section that is devoted solely to learning business related Japanese.  So take a look at it and you'll be in much better position in the future when negotiating business with any Japanese clients.