There are broadly 2 types of drinks ( <> notes the common cocktails):
- Fermented (Using yeast to convert sugar to ethanol (0-15%)
- Beer: Fermented Grain(Barley malt) and Hops
- Wine: Fermented Grape
- White <Bellini>: derived from skins of dark-colored grapes.Eg Prosecco
- Rose: red grapes whose skins were removed after fermentation began
- Champagne <Mimosa>: sparkling white wine made from following grape varieties from NE France:
- Pinot Noir
- Pinot Meunier
- Fortified wine ( wine to which adistilled spirit, usually brandy, is added )
- Sherry: White
- Port: Red
- Vermouth <Americano>: Aromatics
- Cider: Fermented Fruit (Eg. Apple)
- Mead: Fermented honey
- Sake: Fermented rice
- Distilled ( removal of water from alcohol using evaporation as ethanol has lower boiling point. This is needed to increase the alcohol content of spirit by volume by removing water from it) (>20% ethanol)
- Whiskey <manhattan, old fashioned, whiskey sour>: distilled beer aged in wood casks
- Scotch: From scotland and full barley
- Irish <Irish coffee>: From Ireland
- Single Malt: Only Barley
- Grain: Barley + other grains
- Blended: Single Malt + Grain mixed as single is too potent while grain is light and mild and smooth
- Bourbon <Mint julep>: at least half corn
- Rye: contains atleast half rye
- Gin <martini, tom collins, gin and tonic, Gimlet>: Double distilled beer flavored with Aromatic herbs like juniper berries
- Absinthe: Highly Distilled beer flavored with botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia
- Brandy: distilled wine
- Cognac <sidecar>: brandy distilled from white wine
- Rum <Mojito, Piña colada, Mai Tai, Daiquiri, Hurricane, Planter’s Punch>: Fermented and then distilled Sugar Cane
- Vodka <cosmopolitan, bloody mary, vodka martini, appletini, white russian, Screwdriver, Sex on the Beach> : Fermented and distilled Potato, rye or wheat
- Soju: distilled beverage containing ethanol(from potato and barley) (south korean)
- Tequila <margarita, tequila sunrise, >: Fermented and Distilled Agave
- liqueurs are Distilled beverages bottled with added sugar and added flavorings, such as Grand Marnier, Frangelico, and American schnapps
- Long Island Iced Tea is a type of alcoholic mixed drink typically made with, among other ingredients, tequila, vodka, light rum, triple sec, and gin.
- Whiskey is essentially beer without hops that’s been distilled. The ingredients can range from barley, wheat, rye, corn, millet, oats…virtually any starchy cereal grain you can think of can be made into beer and thus whiskey.
Single malt whiskey (whisky for the Scots) is purely barley and distilled at a single distillery. Blended malt whisky is a mixture of single malt whiskies from different distilleries. If a whisky is labelled “pure malt” or just “malt” it is almost certainly a blended malt whisky. This was formerly called a “vatted malt” whisky.
Bourbon is an American whiskey that has by law >51% corn in its list of ingredients…many will tell you it must be made in Kentucky, but this isn’t true, though the vast majority of Bourbon distilleries *are* in Kentucky, there a few exceptions. Time in the barrels also is a factor.
Scotch is simply short for “Scotch Whisky” (with no ‘e’ in the spelling…they like it this way) and simply refers to whisky made exclusively in Scotland and by law has to be aged 3 or more years in wood casks to be called “Scotch.”
Brandy is merely distilled wine. Specialty brandies such as Cognac and Armagnac are made in specific geographic regions and of certain wines to be called such by French Law. This is the same with “Champagne” being exclusively from the Champagne region and all others are “sparkling wine.”
Rum is made from sugar cane and it’s byproducts (molasses) and is pretty simple. Fermented cane juice or molasses or combinations of each are then distilled…sometimes multiple times. Light rum is not aged, or aged very shortly. It has the least flavor and is good for mixed drinks. Darker rum has been aged, sometimes with flavors or spices and is suited for some mixed drinks, but the older it is, the more suited for sipping it becomes…similar to fine brandies or whiskies.
Vodka isn’t exclusively from potatoes. In fact, it’s increasingly rare that it is made from potatoes in that they are more expensive as an ingredient for the whole distilling cycle. You’ll find that most vodkas are distilled from grain or sugar beet molasses…the same as whiskey, but more and more thoroughly so that there is minimal/no flavor left in the distillate. It’s also not aged or barreled and therefore remains crystal clear and colorless.
Actually all brown spirits (whiskey, brandy, rum) derive the majority of their color and flavor from the wooden casks that they are aged in. When distilled, they all…yes, *ALL* come out crystal clear and colorless. Caramel color may be added in the cheaper varieties, and dark rums will frequently have molasses added back for a richer flavor (which is not necessarily characteristic of the cheaper varieties).
Tequila is fermented agave juice which is then distilled. The different colors/grades relate to the amount of aging. Like Cognac etc. “Tequila” only comes from a certain region of Mexico, and is exclusively Blue Agave…all others are “Mezcal”
Gin is neutral spirits (like vodka) which are flavored via various methods with primarly juniper berries and also other botanicals.
Ouzo, Pernod, and Absinthe belong to a group of spirits called “Pastis” (I forget the meaning exactly). These are all primarily flavored with anise and liquorice and when water is added, the oils from the infused botanicals un-dissolve and turn the drink milky. Absinthe is unique in that it contanise wormwood as one of its botanicals. Wormwood contains thujone which is a controversial substance which renders it illegal in a majority of countries. It is said to make the drinker hallucinate…often called “seeing the green fairie” as Absinthe is colored green. The truth is that Absinthe is *extremely* alcoholic relative to other spirits (65% alcohol and up) and is traditionally drunk with water poured through a sugar cube (lighting the sugar cube on fire is optional) which reduces the strength for drinking.
- Ethanol is the only type of alcohol safe to drink.
- A distilled beverage, spirit, liquor, or hard liquor is an alcoholic beverage produced by distillation of a mixture produced fromalcoholic fermentation. This process purifies it and removes diluting components like water, for the purpose of increasing itsproportion of alcohol content (commonly known as alcohol by volume, ABV). As distilled beverages contain more alcohol they are considered “harder” – in North America, the term hard liquor is used to distinguish distilled beverages from undistilled ones, which are implicitly weaker.
- spirit refers to a distilled beverage that contains no added sugar and has at least 20% alcohol by volume (ABV).
- As examples, this does not include beverages such as beer, wine, and cider, as they are fermented but not distilled. These all have relatively low alcohol content, typically less than 15%.
- Distilled beverages bottled with added sugar and added flavorings, such as Grand Marnier, Frangelico, and American schnapps, are known instead as liqueurs. In common usage, the distinction between spirits and liqueurs is widely unknown or ignored; as a consequence, in general, all alcoholic beverages other than beer and wine are referred to as spirits.
- Absinthe (i or ; French: [apsɛ̃t]) is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV / 90–148 U.S. proof) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (“grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless.
- Beer and wine, which are not distilled beverages, are limited to a maximum alcohol content of about 20% ABV, as most yeasts cannot reproduce when the concentration of alcohol is above this level; as a consequence, fermentation ceases at that point.
- An apéritif is an alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite, and is therefore usually dry rather than sweet. Common choices for an apéritif are vermouth; champagne; pastis; gin; rakı; fino, amontillado or other styles of dry sherry (but not usually cream sherry, which is very sweet and rich); and any still, dry, light white wine.
- A digestif is an alcoholic beverage served after a meal, in theory to aid digestion. When served after a coffee course, it may be called pousse-café. Digestifs are usually taken straight. Common kinds of digestif include brandy and wine
- A liqueur coffee is a coffee drink with a shot of liqueur. It may be served in a special liqueur coffee glass, often with cream and sugar. Liqueur coffee are all variants on what is widely known as Irish coffee, hot coffee with whiskey and a layer of cream (not whipped) floated on top
- Alcoholic beverages made from the fermentation of sugars derived from non-grain sources are generally not called “beer,” despite being produced by the same yeast-based biochemical reaction. Fermented honey is called mead, fermented apple juice is called cider, fermented pear juice is called perry (sometimes, pear cider), fermented plum juice is called plum jerkum, and fermented grape juice is called wine. Chinese jiu and Japanese sake are made using much the same process as beer with one additional step in the fermentation as well as using rice instead of primarily barley malt.
- Brandy is a spirit produced by the distillation of wine, and has an ABV over 35%. Other examples of distilled beverages include vodka, gin, rum, whisky
- Bourbon whiskey is a type of American whiskey: a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn.
- American schnapps are alcoholic beverages that are produced by mixing neutral grain spirit with fruit or other flavors. This mixture is then bottled with added sugar and (usually) glycerine, producing a smooth, syrup-like drink with an alcohol content of between 15% and 50% ABV (30–100 proof).American schnapps is available in a broad variety of fruit, berry, and spice flavors. These drinks technically fall into the category of liqueurs because of their added sugar content.
- GIN – a colorless alcoholic beverage made by distilling or redistilling rye or other grain spirits and adding juniper berries or aromatics such as anise, caraway seeds, or angelica root as flavoring.
VODKA – originally distilled from fermented wheat mash but now also made from a mash of rye, corn, or potatoes.
RUM – distilled from cane juice, or from the scummings of the boiled juice, or from treacle or molasses, or from the lees of former distillations. Also, sometimes used colloquially as a generic or a collective name for intoxicating liquor.
WHISKEY – distilled from grain, potatoes, etc., especially in Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. In the United States, whisky is generally distilled from maize, rye, or wheat, but in Scotland and Ireland it is often made from malted barley.
TEQUILA – an alcoholic liquor distilled from the fermented juice of the Central American century plant Agave tequilana.
BRANDY – an alcoholic liquor distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice.
- Liqueurs are flavored spirits prepared by infusing certain woods, fruits, or flowers, in either water or alcohol, and adding sugar, etc. Others are distilled from aromatic or flavoring agents.
WINES & CHAMPAGNE
RED WINE – wine having a red color derived from skins of dark-colored grapes.
WHITE WINE – any wine of a clear, transparent color, bordering on white, as Madeira, sherry, Lisbon, etc.; — distinguished from wines of a deep red color, as port and Burgundy.
ROSE WINE – pinkish table wine from red grapes whose skins were removed after fermentation began.
CHAMPAGNE – a sparkling white wine made from a blend of grapes, especially Chardonnay and pinot, produced in Champagne.
NOTE: sparkling wine is one with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the traditional method, or artificial CO2 injection
SPARKLING WINE – any of various effervescent wines, such as champagne, produced by a process involving fermentation in the bottle.
VERMOUTH – a sweet or dry fortified wine flavored with aromatic herbs and used chiefly in mixed drinks.
Fortified wine is a wine to which a distilled spirit, usually brandy, is added. Many different styles of fortified wine have been developed, including Port,Sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Commandaria wine, and the aromatized wine Vermouth.The original reason for fortifying wine was to preserve it, since ethanol is a natural antiseptic
Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers’ yeast. Compared to lager yeasts, ale yeast ferments more quickly, and often produces a sweeter, fuller-bodied and fruitier taste. Most ales contain hops, which help preserve the beer and impart a bitter herbal flavour that balances the sweetness of the malt.
LAGER – a type of beer of German origin that contains a relatively small amount of hops and is aged from six weeks to six months to allow sedimentation.
Cider ( sy-dər), known as hard cider in North America, is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples.t