what is liquor made from

Do You Know What Your Booze Is Made Of?

Every type of liquor has its own rules and ingredients that give it its unique flavor. Different liquors may appear similar at first, but as soon as their smell hits your nose, you know what type of liquor you’re about to drink. For example, vodka and gin look similar but taste entirely different. Please continue reading to discover why some liquors taste the way they do and what they’re made of.

The unique ingredients used to make each liquor drastically change the type and the flavor of the beverage. As a result, some liquors may taste fantastic, while others taste awful. 

What is Gin Made Of?

Gin is the only spirit on this list that uses juniper berries as its primary ingredient. The base liquor is neutral and then combined with juniper berries and whatever other botanical fruits the distiller sees fit. The juniper berries distinguish the gin from other clear liquors and keep it in its category.

What types of gin are there?

There are different categories of gin that reap different flavors. The types of gin are:

  • London Dry
  • Plymouth
  • Old Tom
  • Genever

Each gin category has its characteristics that make people prefer some types of gin over others. 

gin made of

When Was Gin First Made?

Gin originated from what is now the Netherlands. This liquor reared its head in the sixteenth century. This origin location may come as a shock to some because people generally associate gin with England. 

What Does Gin Taste Like?

The spirit used to create gin is neutral, but that spirit is then steeped in herbs and juniper berries to create its unique taste. Gin tastes more floral than any other type of spirit due to its distillation process and use of neutral spirit. Different types of gin may feature different characteristics, but this spirit is herby regardless of type across the board. 

What Drinks Does Gin Taste Good In?

Gin can taste fantastic in all sorts of beverages—the juniper flavors pair incredibly well in light-bodied citrusy cocktails. People frequently add gin to tonic water with a splash of citrus juice, which nicely brings together the botanical flavors. 

What Is Rum Made Of?

Rum is made from sugar cane, unlike any other spirit out there. Rum can either be clear or an amber color because of the vast array of variations out there. Fermented sugar and yeast are distilled to create rum.

rum made of

Where Was Rum First Made?

Similar beverages to rum showed signs of distillation in the early years of China. However, as we know it today, rum originates from the Caribbean. Rum has a rich history that stems beyond pillaging and piracy. Once rum distillation discoveries were made in the Caribbean, rum rapidly became a beverage enjoyed worldwide. 

What types of rum are there?

Despite rum being distilled from sugar cane, there are still several variations of this spirit. Distillers are creative and know how to maximize the flavor potential of their rum. The different types of rum are:

  • Dark rum: dark rum can either be caramel-colored or almost black. This type of rum has the flavor of a baked good due to its use of molasses. 
  • White rum: White rum is clear and has a less intense flavor than dark rum. White rum is frequently used in mixed drinks due to its mild, sweet flavor.

Several different countries also produce variations of rum. The Caribbean, Britain, and France are among a few countries that have their modern-day variations of rum. However, the rum industry remains dominated by the Caribbean. 

What does rum taste like?

Of all the spirits, rum is easily the sweetest. This liquor is the only liquor that uses cane sugar as its primary ingredient during its distillation process. While many other spirits and alcohols use sugar at some point during creation, only rum uses it as the primary source of flavor. 

What drinks does rum taste good in?

Rum is a highly versatile liquor that tastes amazing in almost any cocktail you can think of. However, due to its Caribbean origins, it is known for, rum is frequently enjoyed in tropical drinks such as Mai Tais

What is brandy made Of?

Fermented fruit mash or wine are used to give brandy its flavor. This liquor relies heavily on grapes to give it the unique flavor it is known for. Wine is distilled into liquor known as brandy. 

what is brandy made of

Where was brandy first made?

France was the first country to make brandy. This fact comes as no surprise, considering France is one of the largest wine producers in the world. When a country frequently manufactures a product, they also tend to experiment with it. This experimentation brought us brandy as we know it today. 

What does brandy taste like?

Brandy is a heavy-bodied liquor with intense grape flavors. Brandy may also have strong oak flavors present. Due to its distillation, many people consider brandy to taste like a combinate of wine and whiskey. 

What drinks does brandy taste good in?

While people occasionally mix brandy with Coke or lemonade, brandy is intended to drink straight or for use in cooking. People use brandy to make all sorts of delicious recipes. 

What is whiskey made of?

Whiskey is made of grain mash and cut with water. This combination is then aged and distilled to make whiskey. The grains used to make whiskey heavily depend on what type of whiskey you’re making. Each type of whiskey follows different rules and regulations and has vastly different flavor profiles. 

Where was whiskey first made?

The discovery of whiskey as a whole comes from Scotland. Scotland remains one of the most highly regarded whiskey distillers worldwide today. Whiskey originates from scotch, but now several countries have their own versions of whiskey that taste very different from scotch.  

What types of whiskey are there?

The main categories of whiskey are:

  • Irish whiskey
  • Scotch
  • Japanese whiskey
  • Bourbon
  • Rye
  • Canadian whiskey

However, some other countries have a few delicious whiskeys that they produce, even if they aren’t one of the world’s whiskey giants. For example, France produces a world-famous whiskey named Brenne that has intense flavors of blueberry and vanilla and is light-bodied. On the other hand, Belgium distills Gouden Carolus, finished in beer casks, and has a heavy, complex flavor profile. 

What drinks does whiskey taste good in?

Whiskey tastes good in all sorts of drinks, depending on the type of whiskey. Bourbons and ryes are commonly used to make cocktails and mixed drinks like the Old Fashioned or the Whiskey Sour. The type of whiskey has a massive impact on what it mixes well with or if it should be mixed at all. 

What is bourbon made Of?

Bourbon must include a minimum of 51% corn in its mash bill to fit the qualifications of being a bourbon. Bourbon must also be aged in brand new charred oak barrels. Distillers can get creative with their bourbon distillation, but they must follow the rules set in place if they want to call their whiskey bourbon.

best bourbon made of

Where is bourbon made?

Bourbon can only be made in the United States. There is a common misconception that bourbon must be made in Kentucky, but that is false. Bourbon can be made in any state. Kentucky just happens to be the most popular state it’s made in, followed closely by Tennessee. 

What does bourbon taste like?

Because bourbon is made from corn, the liquor is sweeter than other types of whiskey. Bourbon is typically caramel-colored and has a weight to it. Other flavors are present in bourbon and vary significantly depending on the distiller’s decisions regarding its distillation process. 

What drinks does bourbon taste good in?

Bourbon tastes fantastic in the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan. Therefore, these two cocktails are the most popular choices for mixing bourbon. 

What is scotch Whisky made Of?

Scotch Whisky is made using malted barley as its grain. The malted barley in scotch helps distinguish the liquor from other types of whiskey. Scotches can either be single malts, more popular or blended, a lesser appreciated version. 

Where is scotch made?

Scotch Whisky must be made in Scotland. No other country can legally call their whiskey a scotch. While many countries take inspiration from Scotland’s distilling methods, even if they copied the distillation to perfection, they couldn’t call their whiskey a scotch. Scotch is the oldest and most appreciated type of whiskey in the world. 

Types of scotch

There are several different categories of scotch that have distinct characteristics. The different scotches are:

  • Highlands
  • Lowlands
  • Islay
  • Speyside
  • Campbelltown

What does scotch taste like?

The taste of scotch varies greatly depending on the type of scotch you drink. For example, Highland and Islay scotches are heavy-bodied and usually peaty. On the other hand, Lowland Scotch is light and usually has floral notes. In addition, lowland scotches are not peated. 

What drinks does scotch taste good in?

Most people prefer to drink scotch either straight or diluted slightly with water. However, a few cocktails that feature scotch are popular. Those cocktails are the Penicillin and the Godfather. 

What is Japanese whiskey made Of?

Japanese whiskey, like scotch, uses malted barley in its grain mash. Japanese whiskey models most of its distillation methods after Scotland, and frequently their whiskies are in neck and neck competition with scotch. 

What Does Japanese Whiskey taste like?

Different Japanese whiskeys feature different characteristics. Some Japanese whiskies are light, fruity, and floral. On the other hand, some Japanese whiskies are heavy and peaty. Different distillers pursue different flavors when they make Japanese whiskey. 

What is Irish whiskey made Of?

Irish whiskey is made from a combination of malted and unmalted barley. Irish whiskey is frequently triple distilled; however, this is not always the case. Due to this typical distillation process and unmalted barley, Irish whiskey is typically light-bodied.

Ireland
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

What does Irish whiskey taste like?

Irish whiskey can vary depending on the distillers’ preferences and the type of Irish whiskey. The majority of Irish whiskey is light, floral, and fruity. Some Irish whiskies also have a robust and oaky flavor to them. Irish whiskies are unpeated and smooth. 

What is vodka made Of?

Vodka is made from either potato or grain. This liquor is neutral, transparent, and requires the fermentation of starch or sugar in its production. Unlike gin, this liquor starts neutral and stays neutral. 

vodka made of

Where was vodka first made?

There is some debate on the country that initially founded vodka. However, we know it was either Poland or Russia. Both of these countries have vodka that traces back to the ninth century. Both countries remain massive vodka producers, and now the liquor is famous worldwide.  

What does vodka taste like?

Vodka has a neutral flavor. Some vodka variations may have a slightly more noticeable wheat flavor, but generally, the flavor can be compared to water. Vodka tastes like water with a bite to it.

What drinks does vodka taste good in?

Vodka is neutral means that it can mix well in most cocktails. People enjoy mixing vodka with cranberry juice, soda water, etc. The options for mixing vodka are limitless. 

What is tequila made Of?

Tequila is made from agave. A few different liquors are distilled from agave, but they all are relatives of tequila. Different variations of agave give the tequila different characteristics. Agave is sweet and has a similar flavor to raw honey.

Where was tequila first made?

The first distillery to produce tequila was in Jalisco, Mexico. Mexico is the country that takes control of tequila as a whole. Just like vodka is dominated by Russia and rum is dominated by the Caribbean, agave liquor as a whole is dominated by Mexico, which includes tequila. 

What types of agave liquors are there? 

Reposado tequila, mezcal, anejo tequila, raicilla, and Blanco tequila all fall under the agave umbrella. Agave is similar to honey in flavor, but the liquors that derive from agave typically only have a light sweetness compared to rum.

agave for tequila
Photo by BRUNO EMMANUELLE on Unsplash

What does tequila taste like?

Tequila is sweet and light compared to liquors like whiskey and brandy. The flavor of your tequila will vary depending on the type of tequilas you drink. Some tequila has a harsher finish, while others remain sweet and smooth during the duration of your consumption.

What is the difference between tequila and mezcal?

Tequila and mezcal are both distilled from agave. Mezcal can utilize any type of agave plant for its distillation. However, tequila must use blue agave and cannot use every type of agave available. Typically, agave liquors labeled as a mezcal instead of a tequila taste smoky, and liquors labeled as a tequila are sweet. 

What drinks does tequila taste good in?

Tequila is frequently paired with citrus fruits or tropical fruits. People enjoy tequila in margaritas and tropical drinks. Some people enjoy adding salt to cocktails that use tequila because salt compliments the sweetness of the agave used in tequila. 

What is sake made Of?

Sake is a Japanese wine made with fermented rice. Unlike French or Spanish wine, sake is a slightly higher ABV, though only a few percent. The reason people often think that sake has a high ABV because sake is served in small cups instead of a standard western wine glass. However, this serving tradition has less to do with ABV and more to do with ritual and socialization. 

Where is sake made?

Sake is primarily made in Japan. However, now sake brewers are scattered throughout the world. Some of the countries that produce sake now include China, Southeast Asia, and South America. Japan distributes sake worldwide, and many people enjoy consuming this rice wine. 

What does sake taste like?

Sake can vary in flavor depending on the characteristics the individual brewer wants to emphasize. However, sake is often slightly sweet, fruity, and nutty. Sake is lighter bodied than Spanish or French wine, and people enjoy drinking sake hot and cold. 

What drinks does sake taste good in?

While sake tastes fantastic as a stand-alone drink, many people also enjoy including sake in their cocktails. One of the most popular sake cocktails is a Sake Bomb, where the sake shot is dropped into a pint of beer. This cocktail is fantastic for both flavor and entertainment. 

Final Thoughts on What Your Booze is Made of

Every type of liquor out there has its unique method of creation. Over the years, several spirits have risen worldwide in popularity and provide people with several options for entertainment and enjoyment. The liquors you enjoy the most will depend on your personal flavor preferences. Not every liquor will be enjoyable to everybody.

There are tons to know about every liquor and every subcategory of each liquor, which can get confusing. Each type of liquor has hundreds of years of history, and strict rules surround its brewing or distillation. This article covered the basics of everything you need to know to have a general understanding of each spirit on this list. This knowledge will give you a stronger appreciation for your booze. 

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