CLASSIFICATION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGESCLASSIFICATION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into two general classes:
Under the heading of fermented alcoholic beverages comes the following:
3. Other fermented alcoholic beverages
Beer is one of the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverages, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of starches which are mainly derived from cereal grains — most commonly malted barley although wheat, maize (corn), and rice are also used. All beer are always flavoured with hops.
The two main types of beer are lager and ale. Ale is further classified into varieties such as pale ale, stout, and brown ale. Lager are bottom fermenting beer and ale are top fermenting beer.
The alcoholic strength of beer is usually 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), but it may be less than 2% or greater than 25%. Beers having an ABV of 60% (120 proof) have been produced by freezing brewed beer and removing water in the form of ice, a process referred to as “ice distilling”.
The basics of brewing beer are shared across national and cultural boundaries. The beer-brewing industry is global in scope, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and thousands of smaller producers, which range from regional breweries to microbreweries.
Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented fruit juice, usually that of grapes. Wines made from other fruits are usually named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine or elderberry wine) and are generically called fruit wine.
The term “wine” can also refer to the higher alcohol content of starch-fermented or fortified beverages such as barley wine, sake, and ginger wine.
Classification of wine
The classification of wine can be done according to various methods including, but not limited to, place of origin or appellation, vinification methods and style, colour, body of wine, sweetness and vintage, or grape variety used. Practices vary in different countries and regions of origin, and many practices have varied over time. Some classifications enjoy official protection by being part of the wine law in their country of origin, while other have been created by, for example, grower’s organizations without such protection.
Regulations govern the classification and sale of wine in many regions of the world. European wines tend to be classified by region (e.g. Bordeaux and Chianti), while non-European wines are most often classified by grape varietals (e.g.Pinot noir and Merlot). More and more, however, market recognition of particular regions is leading to their increased prominence on non-European wine labels. Examples of recognized locales include: Napa Valley in California, Barossa Valley in Australia, Willamette valley in Oregon, Marlborough in New Zealand, and Douro in Portugal.
Classification of wines
By appellation (generic styles true to tradition of region of origin)
Historically, wines have been known by names reflecting their origin, and sometimes style: Bordeaux, Rioja , Mosel and Chianti are all legally defined names reflecting the traditional wines produced in the named region. These naming conventions or “appellation” (as they are known in France) dictate not only where the grapes in a wine were grown but also which grapes went into the wine and how they were vinified. The appellation system is strongest in the European Union, but a related system, American Viticultural Area( AVA) restricts the use of certain regional levels in America, such as Napa Valley, Santa Barbara and Willamette valley. (However, the AVA designations do not restrict the type of grape used.)
France has an appellation system based on the concept of terroir, with classifications which range from Vin de Table (“table wine”) at the bottom, through Vin de Pays and Vin Delimite de Qualite Superieure (VDQS) up to Appellation de Origine Controlee (AOC). Portugal has something similar and, in fact, pioneered this technique back in 1756 with a royal charter which created the “Demarcated Douro Region” and regulated wine production and trade. Germany did likewise in 2002, although their system has not yet achieved the authority of those of the other countries’. Spain and Italy have classifications which are based on a dual system of region of origin and quality of product.
Outside of Europe
New World Wine—wines from outside of the traditional wine growing regions of Europe, for e.g. wines from South Africa, California, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, India, etc—tend to be classified by grape varietals rather than by terroir or region of origin, although there have been non-official attempts to classify them by quality.
A varietal wine is wine made from a dominant grape such as a Chardonnay or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine may not be entirely of that one grape and varietal labeling laws differ. In the United States a wine needs to be composed of at least 75% of a particular grape to be labeled as a varietal wine. In the European Union, a minimum of 85% is required if the name of a single varietal is diplayed, and if two or more varietals are mentioned, these varietals combined must make up 100% and they must be listed in descending order. E.g., a mixture of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Viognier must be called Chardonnay-Viognier rather than Viognier-Chardonnay.
Some blended wine names are marketing terms, and the use of these names is governed by trade mark or copyright law rather than by specific wine laws. For example, Meritage is generally a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and may also include Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Commercial use of the term “Meritage” is allowed only via licensing agreements with a California based organization called the “Meritage Association”, now called the Meritage Alliance
Classification By colour
The color of wine is not determined by the juice of the grape, which is almost always clear, but rather by the presence or absence of the grape skin during fermentation. Red wine is made from red (or black) grapes, but its red color is bestowed by a process called maceration, whereby the skin is left in contact with the juice during fermentation. The skins of these grapes contain the pigment called “anthocyanin” which contributes colour to red and rose wines. White wine can be made from any colour of grape as the skin is separated from the juice during fermentation. A form of rosé is called Blanc de Noirs where the juice of red grapes is allowed contact with the skins for a few hours. Some producers of rosé wine merely blend red and white wines to produce the desired pink hue. However this method is discouraged in most wine regions except for Champagne. The term “blush” is generally restricted to certain rosé wines sold in North America, although it is sometimes used in Australia.
Body is a tasting term describing the weight and fullness of a wine that can be sensed while drinking or tasting. A wine may be light-, medium-, or full-bodied. Wines rich in concentration, extract, alcohol, tannin and glycerol may be described as full-bodied. During a meal a wine may be chosen based on its compatibility with the texture, taste and flavor of the dish. For e.g, a light-bodied wine may complement a delicate texture like white fish while a full-bodied (red) wine would do better justice to the firmness of a steak.
By vinification methods
Table wines may have an alcohol content that is no higher than 14% in the U.S. In Europe, they tend to be within 8.5% and 14% alcohol by volume. As such, unless a wine has more than 14% alcohol, or it is carbonated, it is a table wine. As mentioned earlier, table wines are usually classified as “white,” “red,” or “rosé,” depending on their colour.
However in Europe another interpretation of the term “Table wine” exists. In Europe ‘vins de table’ (in French), ‘vino da tavola’ (in Italian), ‘Tafelwein’ (in German) or ‘vino de mesa’ (in Spanish), which translate to ‘table wine’ in English, are cheaper wines that often do not include the information on the grape variety used or the region of origin on the bottle label.
-Sparkling and still wines
Sparkling wines contain carbon dioxide which is produced naturally from fermentation or force-injected later. To have this effect, the wine is fermented twice, once in an open container to allow the carbon dioxide to escape into the air, and a second time in a sealed container, where the gas is caught and remains in the wine. Sparkling wines that gain their carbonation from the traditional method of bottle fermentation are called ‘Bottle Fermented’, ‘Méthode Traditionelle’, or ‘Méthode Champenoise. The latter designation is considered wrong by those who hold that Champagne refers to the origin as well as the method of production. Other international denominations of sparkling wine include Sekt or Schaumwein (Germany), Cava (Spain), and Spumante (Italy). ‘Semi Sparkling wines’ are Sparkling Wines that contain less than 2.5 atmospheres of carbon dioxide at sea level and 20 °C. Examples of Semi-Sparkling wines are Frizzante in Italy, Vino de Aguja in Spain, and Petillant in France. In most countries except the United States, champagne is legally defined as sparkling wine originating from a region (Champagne, Towns “Reims, Épernay”) in France. Still wines are wines that have not gone through the sparkling wine methods and have no effervescence.
-Dry and Sweet/Dessert wine
The sweetness of wine is determined by the amount of residual sugar in the wine after fermentation, relative to the acidity present in the wine. Depending on how much sugar is retained following fermentation, the result will be a dry, medium dry or a sweet wine. If fermentation leaves behind no residual sugar at all the result is a dry wine. Most red and rose wines tend to dry or medium dry. White wines may have a varied range in sweetness level.
Dessert wines are mostly based on certain white grape varieties. They range from slightly sweet (with less than 50 g/L of sugar) to incredibly sweet wines (with over 400 g/L of sugar). Late harvest wines such as Spätlese are made from grapes harvested well after they have reached maximum ripeness. Dried grape wines, such as Recioto and Vin Santo from Italy as well as Vinsanto from Santorini Greece, are made from grapes that have been partially raisined after harvesting. Botrytized wines are made from grapes infected by the mold Botrytis cinerea or noble rot. These include Sauternes from Bordeaux, numerous wines from Loire such as Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume, Tokaji Aszú from Hungary and Tokaj from Slovakia, and Beerenauslese from Germany and Austria. Eiswein is made from grapes that are harvested while they are frozen, and are commonly from the Niagara and Okanagan regions in Canada, Germany, and Austria.
Fortified wines are often sweeter, and generally more alcoholic wines that have had their fermentation process stopped by the addition of a spirit, such as brandy, or have had additional spirit added after fermentation. Examples include Port, Madeira and Banyuls. Sherry is an example of a white fortified wine from Spain which is traditionally dry and drunk as an aperitif although sweet Sherries are also made.
These proprietary wines are fortified and flavoured with herbs. They are usually drunk by themselves as aperitifs or are incorporated in cocktails. The best known examples are vermouth and Dubonnet.
Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with aromatic herbs and spices using closely-guarded recipes. Vermouth may be sweet or dry, albeit, with a bitter taste. Cinzano and Martini & Rossi are popular Italian brands while Noilly Prat is French.
A vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all, or primarily, grown in a single specified year, and are accordingly dated as such. Consequently, it is not uncommon for wine enthusiasts and traders to save bottles of an especially good vintage wine for future consumption. However, there is some disagreement and research about the significance of vintage year to wine quality. Most countries allow a vintage wine to include a portion of wine that is not from the labeled vintage.
Organic wine is made from grapes that have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Winemaking techniques should be organic as well; little or no manipulation of wines by reverse osmosis, excessive filtration, or flavor additives (such as oak chips). Many organic winemakers also prefer wild yeasts for fermentation.
Biodynamic wines are made using the principles of biodynamic agriculture. In most cases, one speaks of wine made from biodynamic grapes. Increasingly these biodynamic wines are becoming known as BD wines.
The practice of biodynamics in viticulture (grape growing) has become popular in recent years in several growing regions, including France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Canada, and the United States.
Like biodynamic agriculture in general, biodynamic grape-growing stems from the ideas and suggestions of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925).
OTHER FERMENTED ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Cider (beverage is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% ABV to 8.5% ABV or more in traditional English ciders.
Although cider can be made from any variety of apples, certain cultivars are known as cider apples. Cider is popular in the United Kingdom, especially in South West England. The United Kingdom has the highest per capita consumption of cider, as well as the largest cider-producing companies in the world including H. P. Bulmer, the largest. As of 2006, the UK produces 600 million litres of cider each year.
Both sparkling and still ciders are made; the sparkling variety is the more common.
Perry is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears. Perry has been common for centuries in Britain, particularly in the Three Counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and in parts of south Wales; and France, especially Normandy and Anjou.
In more recent years, commercial perry has also been referred to as “pear cider”, though some organisations (such as CAMRA) do not accept this as a name for the traditional drink.[
As with apples specifically grown to make cider, special pear cultivars are used: in the UK the most commonly used variety of perry pear is the Blakeney Red. They produce fruit that is not of eating quality, but that produces superior perry.
The majority of perry pear varieties in the UK originate from the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire in the west of England.
Also called honey wine is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution of honey and water. It may also be produced by fermenting a solution of water and honey with grain mash; the mash is strained off immediately after fermentation. Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be flavored with spices, fruit, or hops (which produce a bitter, beer-like flavor). The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV] to 18%. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
A mead that also contains spices (such as cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg), or herbs (such as oregano, hops, or even lavender or chamomile, is called a metheglin.
Mead that contains fruit (such as raspberry, blackberry or strawberry) is called a melomel,
Mead that is fermented with grape juice is called a pyment.
Sake is a rice-based alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin. It is sometimes spelled sake‘ to show the pronunciation more clearly.
This beverage is called sake in English, but in Japanese, sake or o-sake refers to alcoholic drinks in general.
The Japanese term for this specific beverage is Nihonshu, meaning “Japanese sake”.
In Japan sake is served chilled, at room temperature, or heated, depending on the preference of the drinker, the quality of the sake, and the season. Typically, hot sake is a winter drink, and high-grade sake is not drunk hot, because the flavors and aromas will be lost. This masking of flavor is the reason that low-quality sake is often served hot.
Sake is usually drunk from small cups called choko, and poured into the choko from ceramic flasks called tokkuri. Saucer-like cups called sakazuki are also used, most commonly at weddings and other ceremonial occasions. Recently, footed glasses made specifically for premium sake have also come into use.
Another traditional cup is the masu, a box usually made of hinoki or sugi, which was originally used for measuring rice. In some Japanese restaurants, as a show of generosity, the server may put a glass inside the masu or put the masu on a saucer and pour until sake overflows and fills both containers.
In general, it is best to keep sake refrigerated in a cool or dark room, as prolonged exposure to heat or direct light will lead to spoilage. Sake stored at room temperature is best consumed within a few months after purchase.
Palm wine also called Palm Toddy also called “Kallu” in Malayalam and Tamil or simply Toddy is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the Palmyra, and coconut palms.
This drink is common in various parts of Asia and Africa,
The sap is extracted and collected by a tapper. Typically the sap is collected from the cut flower of the palm tree. A container is fastened to the flower stump to collect the sap. The white liquid that initially collects tends to be very sweet and non-alcoholic before it is fermented.
In parts of India, the unfermented sap is called “Neera” and is refrigerated, stored and distributed by semi-government agencies.
A little lime is added to the sap to prevent it from fermenting. Neera is said to contain many nutrients including potash.
Palm sap begins fermenting immediately after collection, due to natural yeasts in the air (often spurred by residual yeast left in the collecting container). Within two hours, fermentation yields an aromatic wine of up to 4% alcohol content, mildly intoxicating and sweet. The wine may be allowed to ferment longer, up to a day, to yield a stronger, more sour and acidic taste, which some people prefer.
Pulque– Pulque, or octli, native beverage of is a milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, and is a traditional Mexico.
Plum jerkum is a type of fruit wine produced from plums, similar in the manner to which cider (from apples) and perry (from pears) are made. The drink is native to areas of central England such as Warwickshire and the Cotswolds.
A distilled beverage, spirit, or liquor is an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol that is produced by distilling (i.e., concentrating by distillation) ethanol produced by means of fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables.
The term hard liquor is used in North America to distinguish distilled beverages from undistilled ones (implicitly weaker).
The broad categories of distilled alcoholic beverages are divided into the following:
2. Other spirits
The term spirit refers to a distilled beverage that contains no added sugar and has at least 20% alcohol by volume (ABV). Popular spirits include brandy, fruit brandy (also known as eau-de-vie or schnapps), gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whisky.
Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, made generally of charred white oak.
Whisky is a strictly regulated spirit worldwide with many classes and types. The typical unifying characteristics of the different classes and types are the fermentation of grains, distillation, and aging in wooden barrels.
The word whisky (or whiskey) is an anglicisation of the Gaelic word uisce|uisge meaning water. Distilled alcohol was known to the medieval Latins as aqua vitae = “lively water”; and as aqua fortis = “strong water”. This was translated to Gaelic as Irish: uisce beatha and Scottish Gaelic: uisge beatha = “lively water” or “water of life”. Early forms of the word in English included uskebeaghe (1581), usquebaugh (1610), usquebath (1621), and usquebae (1715).
Basic types of whiskey/whisky:
Scotch Whisky Regulations require anything bearing the label “Scotch” to be distilled in Scotland and matured for a minimum of three years in oak casks, among other, more specific criteria. All Scotch whisky was originally made from malt barley. Commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye in the late eighteenth century.
Most Irish whiskeys are normally distilled three times, Cooley Distillery being the exception as they also double distill. Though traditionally distilled using pot stills, column still are now used to produce grain whiskey for blends. By law, Irish whiskey must be produced in Ireland and aged in wooden casks for a period of no less than three years,
American whiskey is a distilled beverage produced in the United States from a fermented mash of cereal grain.
The production and labeling of American whiskey are governed by Title 27 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.
Canadian whisky is a type of whisky produced in Canada. Most Canadian whiskies are blended multi-grain liquors containing a large percentage of corn spirits, and are typically lighter and smoother than other whisky styles Because rye was once a standard ingredient in Canadian whisky, the terms “rye whisky” and “Canadian whisky” are often used interchangeably in Canada.
Brandy (from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn—”burnt wine”)is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks, while some are simply coloured with caramel colouring to imitate the effect of such aging (and some brandies are produced using a combination of both aging and colouring).
There are three main types of brandy. The term “brandy” denotes grape brandy if the type is not otherwise specified.
Cognac comes from the Cognac region in France, and is double distilled using pot stills. It is considered to be the best brandy produced in the world.
Armagnac is made from grapes of the Armagnac region in Southwest of France. It is single-continuous distilled in a copper still and aged in oak casks from Gascony or Limousin. Armagnac was the first distilled spirit in France.
Fruit brandies are distilled from fruits other than grapes. Apples, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, elderberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are the most commonly used fruits. Fruit brandy usually contains 40% to 45% ABV. It is often colourless.
Applejack: Applejack is an American apple brandy, made from the distillation of hard cider. It was once made by fractional freezing, which would disqualify it as a proper brandy.
Calvados: Calvados is an apple brandy from the French region of Lower Normandy.[ It is double distilled from fermented apples.
Pomace brandy (also called marc in both English and French) is produced by fermentation and distillation of the grape skins, seeds, and stems that remain after grapes have been pressed to extract their juice (which is then used to make wine). Most pomace brandies are neither aged nor coloured.
Examples of pomace brandy are:
Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels.
Light bodied rums are commonly used in cocktails, whereas “golden” and “dark” rums were typically consumed individually (i.e. “straight” or “neat”) or for cooking, but are now commonly consumed with mixers. Premium rums are also available, made to be consumed either straight or iced.
Heavy bodies rums are generally consumed neat or straight.
Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). From its earliest beginnings in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved over the course of a millennium from an herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Today, the gin category is one of the most popular and widely distributed range of spirits, and is represented by products of various origins, styles, and flavor profiles that all revolve around juniper as a common ingredient.
Although several different styles of gin have evolved, it is legally differentiated into four categories in the European Union, with two of those four (Distilled Gin and Compound Gin) being officially recognised in the United States
The official European Union classifications are as follows:
Juniper-Flavoured Spirit Drinks
Vodka is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits and/or sugar.
Traditionally prepared vodkas had an alcoholic content of 40% by volume.,
The European Union has established a minimum of 37.5% ABV for any “European vodka” to be named as such.
Products sold as vodka in the United States must have an alcoholic content of 40% or more.
Tequila is a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 kilometres (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.
Schnapps is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage. The English word schnapps is derived from the German Schnaps (plural, Schnäpse), which can refer to any strong alcoholic drink but particularly those containing at least 32% ABV (64 proof).
Aquavit: Akvavit or aquavit also akevitt in Norwegian) is a traditional flavoured spirit that is principally produced in Scandinavia, where it has been produced since the 15th century.
Akvavit gets its distinctive flavor from spices and herbs, and the main spice should (according to the European Union) be caraway or dill. It typically contains 40% alcohol by volume.
Mezcal, or mescal, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant (a form of agave, Agave americana) native to Mexico. The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl metl and ixcalli which mean ‘oven cooked agave.
A bitters is an alcoholic beverage flavored with herbal essences and has a bitter or bittersweet flavor. Numerous brands of bitters were formerly marketed as patent medicines, but are now considered to be digestifs, rather than medicines. They commonly have an alcoholic strength of 45% ABV and are used as aperitifs although some of them are also served as digestifs and also as flavoring in cocktails.
Common ingredients in bitters include cascarilla, cassia, gentian, orange peel, and quinine from cinchona bark (grown in Peru and Indonesia). The flavor of Angostura bitters, Suze and Peychaud’s Bitters derives primarily from gentian, a bitter herb. Bitters are prepared by infusion or distillation, using aromatic herbs, bark, roots, and/or fruit for their flavor and medicinal properties.
A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from distilled alcohol that has been flavored with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry. Liqueurs are normally served as digestifs.
In parts of the United States, liqueurs may also be called cordials or schnapps, while in large parts of the British Commonwealth, cordial means a concentrated non-alcoholic fruit syrup that is diluted to taste and consumed as a non-carbonated soft drink, and in Germany and Scandinavia, schnapps means a form of brandy or aquavit.
Most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content (15%-30% ABV) than spirits, but some contain as much as 55% ABV.
Examples of liqueurs are:
Kahlua, Tia Maria, Cointreau, Triple sec, Crème de menthe, Crème de cacao, Curacao etc.
A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink that contains two or more ingredients—at least one of the ingredients must be a spirit.
Cocktails were originally a mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. It now means almost any mixed drink that contains alcohol A cocktail today usually contains one or more kinds of spirit and one or more mixers, such as soda or fruit juice. Additional ingredients may be sugar, honey, milk, cream, and various herbs.
On the basis of methods of making, the cocktails can be divided into the following types:
Pousse café is an example of built cocktail which is served in the same glass in which it is built.
Martini is an example of stirred cocktail which can be stirred in ajar and poured into the cocktail glass.
Bloody Mary is an example of a shaken cocktail in which all the ingredients are shaken in a shaker for them to thoroughly mix.
Pina Colada is an example of a blended cocktail where the ingredients are to be blended in an electric or manual blender for the ingredients to mix properly.