Liquor is an alcoholic beverage produced by distillation of a mixture produced from alcoholic fermentation. This process purifies it and removes diluting components like water, for the purpose of increasing its proportion of alcohol content.
As examples, this term does not include beverages such as beer, wine, and cider, as they are fermented but not distilled.
Spirits vs Liqueurs
Spirits: Any liquor produced through distillation that does not contain sugar and has more than 20% ABV(Alcohol By Volume) can usually be referred to as a spirit.
ABV refers to how much of the drink is alcohol and how much is water. The PROOF is this percent doubled(40% ABV = 80 proof).
Example spirits(6 base liquors): Brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey
Liqueur: liquor that has sugar added and/or is less than 40 proof can be referred as a liqueur. (some liqueur can reach well above this mark at 110 proof). Liqueurs act to add a little extra flavor or aroma to a drink although many are used as the main ingredients in shots or shaken drinks.
- Primarily produced from potatoes or grains.
- Poland claims to be the originator of vodka, though vodka is a Russian word for "water".
- Absolute(Citron, Mandarin, Raspberry, Vanilla)
- Grey Goose
- Ketel One
- derives its predominant pine-like flavour from juniper berries, along with their roots, bark, seeds and leaves.
- may blend with: coriander seeds, angelica root, licorice, lemon peel, orange peel, almonds, anise, caraway seeds, fennel, cinnamon bark, and cocoa.
- originally developed to ward off diseases in 17th century Holland.
- Bombay Sapphire
- distilled from the extracted juice of the sugar cane plant, or in some cases from molasses, a by-product of the refining process. It is then pressed, boiled, reduced, and then clarified.
- Light rums are traditionally produced in southern Caribbean Islands such as Puerto Rico and Trinidad. Usually they require no longer than 6 months of aging in oak casks.
- Dark rums are the result of a longer aging process, anywhere from 3 to 12 years. More aromatic and has a richer flavor than light or gold rum. Produced in tropic islands like Jamaica, Haiti, and Martinique and St Croix.
- Spiced rums obtains their flavor through addition of spices and often caramel. Most are darker in color and based on gold rums.
- Bacardi(Superior, 151, Anejo, Black, Gold)
- Captain Morgan’s(spiced)
- Mount Gay
- Parrot Bay
- the barley is dried in smokeless kilns. The barley and various grains are mixed with water, and cooked in huge tanks. Yeast is added and the mixture ferments for several days. It is then distilled and placed in oak casks for four to fifteen years, after which it is reduced in alcoholic strength and bottled.
- commonly referred to as just "Scotch"
- made in Scotland.
- The barley is dried over peat fires, which gives Scotch its smokey flavor. It is fermented with yeast and other grains in boiling water. After fermenting, the Scotch is distilled, aged in oak casks and bottled.
- Two categories: single and blended.
- single: all of the products come from a single distillery.
- blended: composed of Whiskies from two or more distilleries.
- "Malted" means it is distilled from a single type of malted grain.
- Bourbon Whiskey: at least 51% corn
- Rye Whiskey: at least 51% rye
- Corn Whiskey: at least 80% corn
- Straight Whiskey: less than 51% of any one grain
- made from rye grain, must be aged at least 3 years in wooden barrels by law.
- different from other Whiskeys in that it is aged in charred oak barrels. Must be at least 51% grain by federal law. 80% of all American Whiskey comes from Bourbon County, Kentucky. Bourbon County is known for its naturally iron-free water, due to the natural limestone spring throughout the area.
- Canadian Club
- Crown Royal
- Jameson’s Irish
- Seagram’s 7
- Jim Beam
- Jack Daniel’s
- Maker’s Mark
- Wild Turkey
- Chivas Regal
- J & B
- Johnie Walker
Single Malt Scotch
- The Maccallen
- distilled from juice extracted from the heart of the blue agave plant.
- fermented, distilled twice, and then aged.
- must be aged in oak barrels, according to Mexican law
- blanco(white) tequilas must be aged for 14-21 days
- oro(gold) tequilas are aged up to two months
- reposado(rested) tequilas are aged up to one year
- anejos(aged) are aged for at least one year.
- unlike other spirits, tequila's aging process is maximized after roughly 6-10 years.
- Jose Cuervo / Cuervo 1800
Mezcal vs Tequila:
- Mezcal: a Mexican distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave
- Tequila: made specifically from the blue agave in select regions of the country
- a brandy made in the region surrounding the town Cognac, France.
- produced by twice distilling the white wines grown in the area in copper pot stills, and then being aged for at least two years in French oak barrels.
- it is common to add a small amount of caramel in order to give it its color.
- Rémy Martin
In parts of the United States, liqueurs may also be called cordials or schnapps
A blend of passion fruit juices and cognac.
Introduced by a Prussian surgeon who served in the battle of Waterloo. Made famous by Manhattan cocktail. Also found in Old Fashions and Pink Gin.
- generic cordial invented inItaly.
- made from apricot pits and herbs. Almond flavor.
- a cordial derived from the anise seed, which tastes like licorice.
- In Italy Anisette is called Sambuca, in Greece Ouzo, and in Turkey Raki.
Bailey's Irish Cream
- made from fresh dairy cream, irish Whiskey and natural flavors.
- does not spoil due to the preservative qualities of the whiskey.
- German brand of blackberry schnapps
- an intense orange liquor made from the peels of green oranges from the island of Curacao.
- dyed blue in color.
- compare with Triple Sec for flavor.
- a type of bitters, which is an aperitif obtained from the infusion of sixty ingredients.
- combined and macerated in a blend of distilled water and alcohol.
- made from raspberries combined with honey.
- a clear brandy based liqueur and type of triple sec flavored from the peel of sour and sweet oranges.
Creme de casis
- made from black currants.
Creme de menthe
- made from mint and spearmint and come in green and clear varieties.
- proprietary liqueur of Scotland, made of Scotch and heather honey.
- Italian liqueur flavored with hazelnuts, cocoa, and vanilla
- originally distilled by Monks in 17th century.
- sweet, spicy, herbal liqueur named after an Italian war hero, Major Giuseppe Galliano
- 87 proof cinnamon schnapps liqueur
- from Switzerland
- features real flakes of 24-karat gold.
- orange flavored liqueur produced from a blend of cognac, orange peel, spices and vanilla
- a tropical fruit liqueur, made from a blend of premium French vodka, pure cognac, and natrual tropical fruit juice.
- 70 proof
- made with 56 spices and served at 5F
- made from coffee
- distilled from cane sugar
- a blend of coconut and Caribbean rum.
- a green honeydew flavor spirit originally produced in japan though now manufactured in Mexico. Midori means "green" in Japanese
- a sweet peach flavored schnapps with relatively low alcohol content.
- strong peppermint-flavored German schnapps.
- sweet, syrupy liqueur made by infusing sloe berries(wild plums) in Gin.
- proprietary liqueur from New Orleans and is often described as a peach whiskey.
- made from sweet and bitter oranges.
- a fortified wine aperitif, normally infused, macerated or distilled with herbs, spices, alcohol, and a blend of other ingredients
- 2 types: Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth.