Types of Alcohol
There are three main types of alcohol.
Beer is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented malt flavored with hops. It can also be made from rice, wheat, corn and rye. There are 2 main types of beer:
- Ales — beer brewed with top-fermenting yeast in temperatures of 60-75° F. The result is usually full-bodied, fruitier or spicier flavors. Examples are porters, stouts, pale ale and amber ale.
- Lagers — beer brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast in temperatures from 33-55° F. The yeast is less pronounced, so lagers are described as crisper, with cleaner taste of malt and hops coming through. Examples are pilsners, bocks (German) and dunkels (German).
Wine is predominantly fermented grape juice. The different flavor profiles are gained from the type of grapes plus the processes used to ferment and age the wine. Wine can also be made from other fruits; however, grapes seem to have the magic combination of sugars and other ingredients to result in the best final product. Rice wine is a staple in Asia.
There are 5 main types of wines:
- White wine — commonly derived from white grapes. However, red grapes can also be used if only the juice (and not the skin) is fermented. Examples are pinot grigio and chardonnay.
- Red wine — both the juice and skins of red grapes are used to provide this red color and the corresponding flavors. Examples are merlot and syrah.
- Rosé or blush — this is done with red grapes, however, the color is not allowed to fully steep from the skins, leaving a pink or blushed wine.
- Sparkling wines — sparkling wine is red, white or rosé wine fermented in closed vats to maintain the bubbles that form during fermentation. Examples are prosecco and champagne.
- Fortified wines — these are wines to which a high proof spirit is added to boost its overall strength. Examples are port and sherry. Vermouth is fortified wine infused with fragrant aromatizing ingredients like herbs, spices, roots, barks, flowers or seeds.
Distilled spirits are alcoholic beverages that contain ethanol from the distillation process. The list of these is broad, however, the major distilled spirits categories are vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey, and brandy. Proximo Spirits produces a wide range of distilled spirits that are made in Mexico, Ireland, England, Canada and America.
Did You Know?
Fermentation is the one common process in the making of all alcohol. The three key ingredients in alcohol production are sugar, yeast and water. All three can be manipulated to make different types of spirits and different flavor profiles.