Tag: alcoholic drinks

Classification of alcoholic beverages

wine spirits drinks

There are so many types of alcoholic beverages and it begs the question: how should we classify alcoholic beverages?

We can classify them by origin or by alcohol content. But the most general classification of alcoholic beverages is the one that refers to the production method.

Thus, there are 4 types of alcoholic beverages: Fermented beverages, distilled beverages or spirits, fortified beverages or liquor wines, and liqueurs and creams.

Fermented beverages

As indicated by its name, we can obtain fermented drinks through a fermentation process. The sugar of the fruit or grain used in the process (grapes, apples, wheat, barley etc.) is turned into alcohol. This chemical reaction is possible when there is a necessary presence of yeasts. The most common yeasts in wine and beer are of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Furthermore, the adequate conditions must be present, meaning, the lack of oxygen.

The fermentation process also varies depending on the drink. During the production of wine, the yeasts that are responsible for the fermentation are microscopic fungi. The fungi are naturally found in the skins of the grapes. The fungi will trigger a reaction that lasts about ten days. Nowadays it is produced in stainless steel tanks. This process is called spontaneous or tumultuous fermentation.

Wine, champagne, cava, and beer are the most popular fermented beverages. Cider, vermouth, sato, sake, pulque and tepache, among others, are other drinks that also fall into this category

Distilled beverages or spirits

Distilled beverages or spirits, also called Eau de vie, are obtained from the distillation of a previously fermented beverage (whether it be fruit, grains, herbs, roots or sugary plants.) But how is the distillation process carried out for these alcoholic beverages? You bring the liquid you want to distil to the boiling point to separate the alcohol from the rest of the liquid. Once cold, the alcohol condenses again, and you obtain a drink with greater alcohol content.

You can obtain a very extensive range of beverages from this thousand-year-old technique. The secret lies in knowing how to add the right ingredients, and in the right measures, to get a drink with an alcohol concentration that is also pleasant on the palate. Starches and other seasonings of vegetable origin can be used for this purpose.

Among the main varieties of distilled beverages are whisky (obtained from the fermentation of grain must), vodka (grain), tequila (agave), rum (sugar cane), gin (grain), pisco, marc (wine), brandy and cognac (wine), among others.

Fortified beverages or liquor wines

The fortified beverages or liquor wines have been fermented and are fortified by the addition of wine alcohol. This is done in order to increase its alcohol content and achieve a balance in its flavour. Thus, the alcohol present in this type of drink has a double origin: the one that arises from the natural process of fermentation, and the one that comes from a distillation process with the objective of going from the initial 15% to the desired 17%-25%.

In this group of alcoholic beverages, we find fortified wines such as Porto, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Manzanilla, and French banyuls. Most of the time they are fortified with brandy.

Liqueurs and creams

Liqueurs and creams are beverages that are made by mixing fruits, aromatic spices and sugars with spirits or cream of milk. The process can vary a lot, but the results are similar. In fact, this classification is the broadest as the diversity of liqueurs and creams is almost as wide as geography: every region or area of the world has some distinct, local liqueur or cream! The most popular beverages are usually those made with fruit and herbs. Some beverages have medicinal purposes. The degree of alcohol is usually varied, as well as the drink itself. With this type of drink, there are no restrictions or rules.

Some liqueurs are obtained through the infusion process. This involves pouring very hot water (at about 90º) over the desired mixture of herbs, fruits, spices, nuts or other ingredients.

Other liqueurs are obtained through maceration. This means that the flavour is extracted from solid substances through an extraction liquid that – in the case of liqueurs – consists of water and alcohol. This process is carried out cold and particularly consists of covering the solid part of the recipe (fruits, herbs, etc.) with the mixture of water and alcohol. After a few days (depending on the ingredients) this mixture is filtered, a syrup is added, and the drink is bottled.

Finally, you can also make liqueurs by mixing the ingredients. The famous Baileys Irish cream is made from the optimal combination of dairy cream and Irish whiskey. This is a formula that other makers of liquor creams also follow.

If you want to know more

Now that you know about the types of alcoholic beverages, we encourage you to learn more about alcoholic beverages, winemaking, myths about beer and the best-known brands of wines and spirits through the following related articles.

Finally, we suggest two liqueurs with a lot of history that will surely be to your liking!

 TAGS:Dows Finest Reserva Port

Dows Finest Reserva Port

A fortified wine based on port and comes with an alcohol content of 20%.

 TAGS:Vodka Finlandia

Vodka Finlandia

Vodka Finlandia has become one of the most consumed vodkas worlwide

Mai Tai, the favorite among cocktails with rum

 TAGS:Considered the most popular among the drinks made with rum, the Mai Tai is a cocktail of high alcohol content which also contains curaçao and lime juice. It was invented in the United States, but is closely linked to the Tiki or Polynesian culture because of its exotic taste and fresh appearance.

The story goes that this cocktail was created in the Trader Vic bar in California by the barman Victor J. Begeron in 1944, who entertained some friends who were visiting him from Tahiti. Testing it, one would have exclaimed ?maitai roa? (“very good”) and it owes its name to that famous speech. 

This drink, made with rum as main ingredient, was popularized in America in the late 50’s and especially in the 60’s, when the singer Elvis Presley appeared in the film Blue Hawaii drinking it. 

Until today, the original recipe from Trader Vic is regarded by purists as ?the? only way to prepare it, but if you want to experiment, there are at least a dozen ways to make a Mai Tai. 

The Mai Tai recipe comprises the following ingredients:

  • 4 parts old rum.
  • 1 part orange curaçao, either triple sec or Cointreau 
  • 1 part natural lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup or caramel syrup 
  • 1 part almond syrup or amaretto 
  • 1 fresh mint sprig 
  • Crushed ice

After mixing these elements, stir it in a shaker and serve in a tall glass or Collins glass.

As we can see, this cocktail has a high alcoholic strength because of the spirits used in its preparation.

For example, rum is an alcoholic beverage obtained by fermentation of sugar cane, it is aged in oak barrels and can reach up to 80 degrees of alcohol, but to reduce this percentage it is added distilled water.

Meanwhile, curaçao or curacao is a liqueur produced by maceration in alcohol of the bitter bark of a variety of orange native to the island of the same name located in the Caribbean. Its alcohol strength ranges between 20 to 40 degrees.

There are several varieties of curacao, being the most common and known the triple sec or white curacao, a colorless liquor with over 40 degrees made by triple distillation from orange peels. It was invented in 1875 by Edouard Cointreau, who registered on his name in the village of Saint-Barthélemy d’Anjou (near Angers), in the Loire region in France.

Both lime juice and spoonfuls of sugar and almond syrup are added to the Mai Tai fulfill the function of sweetening the drink and give it a milder flavor. We do not recommend drinking it on an empty stomach since it is more like a digestif.

Given the fame achieved by this alcoholic beverage, there were other people who claimed themselves as the inventors of it. One is the barman Ernest Raymond Beaumont, also known asDon the Beachcomber, who told anyone who would listen to that he created the Mai Tai in 1933.

The recipe by Don the Beachcomber consists of:

  • 1 part dark rum 
  • 1 and 1/2 parts gold or white rum 
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice 
  • 1 part grapefruit juice 
  • 1 part sugar syrup 
  • 1/2 part Cointreau or triple sec 
  • 1/2 tablespoon of falernum or grenadine syrup (most used option) 
  • 2 or 3 drops of Angostura 
  • 1 dash of Pernod 
  • Ice 
  • 1 fresh mint sprig 
  • 1 pineapple wedge

The preparation of this version of the Mai Tai, apart from mixing dark and white rum, consists of adding the white rum after the other ingredients have been mixed and served in a tall glass.

The idea is that white rum remains at the surface, not mixed with other ingredients and stays with a more ?tropical? and bitter taste.

So, what version do you prefer? We recommend a couple of rums to make the best Mai Tai:

Ron Barceló Imperial

Ron Barceló Imperial is a warm and soft rum, perfect for mixing.

Captain Morgan Rum

Captain Morgan is a spiced rum, with the typical taste of British rum, perfect for cocktails as varied as this.

 TAGS:Ron BarcelóRon Barceló Imperial

Ron Barceló Imperial is a warm and soft rum, perfect for mixing.

 TAGS:Buy Ron Barceló 23,50?

 TAGS:Captain Morgan RumCaptain Morgan Rum

Captain Morgan is a spiced rum, with the typical taste of British rum, perfect for cocktails as varied as this.

Buy Captain Morgan Rum 11,92?