What are “spirits?” No, they’re not goblins, at least as far as the alcoholic beverage industry is concerned. They’re a certain type of beverage classification. Let’s take a look.
An alcoholic beverage is one that contains at least one half of one percent alcohol by volume that is suitable for human consumption. A fermentation process creates every alcoholic beverage. During the process, yeast turns sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide evaporates and the alcohol remans. There are three types of alcoholic beverages:
- Fermented Beverages: producers use fermented fruits and grains to make these alcoholic drinks. Wines, hard ciders, and beers are fermented beverages.
- Distilled Beverages: distillers take fermented beverages and use stills to increase the alcoholic content. Stills further heat the beverage and separate out impurities. Distilled beverages are also called spirits.
- Compound Brews: producers blend flavors with distilled or fermented beverages. Anisette, crème De menthe, Triple Sec are compound brews.
Various Types of Spirits
There are six basic types of spirits:
- Whisky (Bourbon and Scotch): whiskey uses a grain mash for fermentation. Cocktails include Whiskey Sour, Mint Julep, Manhattan Cocktail, Old-Fashioned, and Irish Coffee.
- Vodka: vodka is grain fermented. Cocktails include: Screwdriver, Vodka Martini, Cosmopolitan, Bloody Mary, and Moscow Mule.
- Rum: distillers use molasses or sugarcane in the fermenting process. Cocktails include: Pina Colada, Dark and Stormy, Daiquiri, Hurricane, and Mojito.
- Tequila: distillers use the agave plant for fermentation. Cocktails include: Tequila Sunrise, Margarita, Tequini, and Paloma.
- Brandy: brandy is fruit fermented. Distillers mostly use peaches, grapes, apples, cherries, and apricots for the process. Cocktails include: French 75, Metropolitan, Brandy Alexander, and Sidecar.
- Gin: gin is grain fermented. Distillers add juniper berries and other botanicals. Cocktails include: Gin and Tonic, Gin Fizz, Gin Martini, and Tom Collins.
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