|What is distilled liquor|
Distilled spirits are alcoholic beverages that are distilled from grains, fruits, or other fermentable ingredients. Distilled spirits are much stronger than beer and wine, including brandy, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, vodka, and liqueurs of various flavors. These are the main ingredients used in cocktails, and most mixed drink recipes require at least one type of alcohol. Whether you call it alcohol, spirits, or simple spirits, these bottles are indispensable in bars.
|How distilled spirits are made|
Although the definition of distilled spirits distinguishes it as "distillation rather than fermentation", each distilled spirit starts with the fermentation of the basic ingredients. This initial process is similar to making beer and wine: yeast is added to wort (a mixture of water and mash containing fermentable organic matter). When yeast performs its magic, the basic ingredient sugar is converted into alcohol.
The main ingredients define the type of wine produced
Molasses are fermented to make rum, and pure sugar cane juice is the basis for making cachaça.A single grain or a combination of grains, such as corn, wheat, or rye, is used in spirits such as whiskey, vodka, and gin.
Tequila and Mezcal start with the extract of the agave plant.
Like wine, brandy is made from fermented juice.
The most common is grapes, but apples, apricots, cherries and other fruits can also be used.
Some vodka is distilled from fermented potatoes.
After fermentation, the liquid is distilled through a column distiller or a tank distiller. The boiling point of alcohol is lower than that of water, so the heat of the distiller will force the alcohol in the fermentation broth to evaporate. The water is left behind and the alcohol vapor is forced into the next stage of the distiller. Depending on the setting, this may be a series of coils or another pot. When the steam cools, it will condense and produce a concentrated alcoholic liquid. Known as "distillate", the alcohol directly extracted from the distiller is very strong and cannot be drunk.
After distillation, the distillate can be filtered, aged or flavored (or any or all of the three). It is also diluted with water to bottling strength-the volume or proof of alcohol on the label. The exact process depends on the type of wine being made—for example, gin is flavored with botanicals in the distiller—and each distiller’s preferred method for any distillation step.
|6 base wines|
Of all the alcohols available today, six styles form the basis of most mixed drinks and cocktails. The "base wine" is brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey. Each has its own unique characteristics and includes multiple styles. Categories such as London dry gin, cognac and reposado tequila are further defined by specific production methods, regions and flavor characteristics. Whiskey is one of the most complex, divided into bourbon, Irish whiskey, rye whiskey, Scotch whiskey and so on.
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