Distinguish types of liquor and spirits
Liquor is defined as any non-brewed alcohol – distilled spirits. On the other hand, spirits are specific liquors that are created to have special flavors. The term “spirit” refers to a certain distilled beverage that had no added sugar and that has at least 20% alcohol by volume, or ABV.
Grain and malt are raw materials to ferment whisky. It needs to be distilled and aged in oak barrel to become whisky.
Common brands for Whisky are: The Macallan, Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker.
Sugar cane juice are raw materials for Rum, which are then fermented, distilled and aged to form the final product.
Common Brands for Rum are: Bacardi, Myers’s Rum, Malibu
Potato, corn, barley and rye as raw materials for Vodka. It is cooked to saccharify starch and distilled in order to produce alcoholicity of liquor. Before bottling, it has to be diluted with distilled water to reach 40%-50% alcoholicity.
Common Brands for Vodka are: Absolut, Smirnoff, Belvedere
Blue Agave’s bulb is a raw material for Tequila. After fermentation, it has to be distilled and aged.
Common Brands for Tequila are: Tortilla Silver
Juniper berry and plants are the raw materials of Gin. It is using a method of steep and boil which steeps the raw materials and the diluted alcohol. After this process, it can be boil and distilled.
Common brands for Gin are: Monkey 47, Hendrick’s Gin, Bombay Sapphire
Brandy can be made by any fruits, grape is the major kind among all the fruits as raw material. It has to go through fermentation, distillation and aging. Same with whisky, is has to age in oak barrel which gives out colour and oak flavor.
What is Cognac
Cognac is a kind of Brandy. As regulated in France, Brandy produced in the regulated location in Cognac, France, can be called as Cognac. It is same with Brandy, using fruit as raw material. It usually take less fructose and high acidity grapes such as Ugni-Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard. Not same as Brandy, Cognac has to be twice distilled by using copper made distilling apparatus and aged at least 2 years in oak barrel.
Standard for aging years:
V.S (Very Special) -> Above 3 years
V.S.O.P ( Very Superior Old Pale) -> Above 4 years
Napoleon -> Above 6 years
X.O (Extra Old) -> Above 10 years
Extra -> Above 15 years
Common brands for Cognac are : Hennessy, Remy Martin, Martell