Spirits is a broad term used to describe alcohol in general, excluding wine and beer. The base of alcohol is made by fermenting sugary brew into ethanol and carbon dioxide. To encourage more ethanol production, the alcohol is stored in vats which allows only the carbon dioxide to escape.
The original “Ceylon Spirits” – Arrack and Toddy first appeared in written historical records during 5th century AD. However, the process of tapping for toddy and distilling arrack is known to be around from time immemorial.
The term brandy is derived from the Dutch word ‘brandewijn’ meaning ‘burned Wine’. Brandy is a distilled spirit made from ferment grape juice. Although, other fruits can also be used to make brandy which is classified as flavored brandies. Although brandy can be enjoyed straight or on the rocks, it is more famous for cocktail bases.
Gin must always have a predominant flavor of Juniper, otherwise it cannot be classified as Gin. Gin is made from a base of wheat or barley, which then goes though fermentation and is distilled. Juniper berries are added with water until desired alcohol and flavor levels are met.
Liqueur is a sweet alcoholic beverage made from flowers, nuts, spices, herbs and of course, alcohol. While flavored alcohol usually does not contain added sugar, it is not the same with liqueur. Although Liqueur can be consumed as a stand-alone drink, it is often used in cocktails.
Rum is made by fermenting and then distilling the byproducts of sugarcane – juice, syrup or molasses. Sugarcane molasses are typically used to make rum.
Tequila can only be originated from a delimited region of Mexico. The spirit is made of the cooked and fermented juice of Agave, a succulent plant found mostly in the country. Traditionally, the plant takes 5 to 12 years to mature but technology has found a way to speed up the process.
The name derives from the Russian word ‘Voda’, meaning water. It is made by fermenting any starch or sugar foods and then distilling the mixture to the desired alcohol level. Vodka is known as a perfect base for cocktails, as it highlights complex flavor of the drink.
Whiskey (or whisky) is a distilled spirit made from fermentation of grain and maturing it in wooden containers for a period of time. To properly drink whiskey, one must sniff it, take a few sips to assess the flavor and enjoy it.
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