If there’s one constant in human civilization, it’s our liking of alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic beverages have been a staple for centuries, with many types and styles available to suit many preferences. A distinguishing factor among alcoholic drinks is their alcohol content, ranging from mild to strong depending on the drink. Understanding the differences between alcoholic beverages based on their alcohol content can help you select the right one for you.
In this blog, we’ll explore the different types of alcoholic drinks based on their alcohol content, ranging from the mildest to the strongest. We’ll cover well-known drinks like vodka and wine and some lesser-known types of alcoholic beverages.
Whether you’re a casual drinker or a connoisseur, knowing the types of alcoholic beverages will expand your appreciation of the world of drinks. It will also allow you to enjoy your drinking experiences better and help you make responsible decisions regarding consumption.
Alcoholic Drinks Categories
Before we learn about the different types of alcoholic drinks, let’s first discuss their two categories: distilled and undistilled.
Distilled Alcoholic Drinks
Distilled alcoholic drinks are made by heating fermented ingredients, such as grains or fruits, to create a vapor. The vapor is then collected and condensed into a liquid, producing a higher alcohol percentage than the original fermented mixture.
The production process for distilled drinks also allows for greater control over the alcohol percentage and flavor profile. Distillers can manipulate the distillation process to create specific characteristics in their drinks, such as the smoothness of a whiskey or the botanical flavors in a gin.
Undistilled Alcoholic Drinks
Undistilled alcoholic drinks are known for their unique flavors and aromas that are created during the fermentation process. Their tastes vary widely depending on the ingredients used, the fermentation process, and other factors.
Making undistilled drinks involves allowing natural yeasts to break down sugars in the ingredients and convert them into alcohol. The fermentation length depends on the types of alcoholic beverages and desired alcohol percentage.
Common Distilled Alcoholic Drinks
Many people prefer distilled alcoholic drinks due to their high alcohol content and several flavors. Here are some examples of the most common types of distilled alcoholic drinks.
Whiskey is a popular distilled alcoholic drink among the different types of liquor made from fermented grains such as barley or wheat. It’s aged in wooden barrels, which give it its distinctive amber color and complex flavor profile.
Its alcohol content can range from 40% to 50%. The taste of whisky varies widely depending on the type of grains used, the aging process, and the production location.
While it originated in Russia, Vodka is now produced in many other countries. It is made by distilling fermented grains or potatoes and filtering the resulting liquid through charcoal. The final product is a clear and colorless liquid with a neutral taste and aroma, making it a versatile base for cocktails.
Vodka’s alcohol content typically ranges from 35% to 50%, with some premium brands having higher alcohol percentages. Its flavor profile is largely determined by the water used in its production. Some vodkas have a smooth, subtle flavor profile, while others are more robust and have a distinct taste of grains or potatoes.
In the world of different hard liquors, gin is a unique and flavorful option that offers various tastes and aromas. Gin is made from grains and flavored with botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander, and citrus peel. Its alcohol content ranges from 35% to 50%, depending on the brand and type.
Gin’s flavor profile depends on the types and amounts of botanicals used and the production process. Some gins are floral and light, while others are more herbal and spicy. Its versatile flavor makes it a popular ingredient in many other mixed drinks.
Rum is a distilled alcoholic drink made from fermented sugarcane juice or molasses. Its flavor profile can range from light and fruity to rich and complex, depending on the aging process and any added flavorings. Rums aged in wooden barrels often have a smooth and mellow flavor, while unaged rums can be harsher and fiery.
Its alcohol content varies, ranging from 35% to 60%. Rum is a common ingredient in many tropical cocktails, and you can also enjoy it neat or on the rocks.
Common Undistilled Alcoholic Drinks
Not all types of liquor undergo the distillation process. Some alcoholic drinks are produced via a simpler process that doesn’t involve distillation. Here are some examples of the most common types of undistilled alcoholic drinks.
While distilled alcoholic drinks are well-liked, some people prefer the distinctive flavors of undistilled alcoholic drinks. A famous example is beer, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from grains such as barley, wheat, or rye.
Beer has a lower alcohol content than distilled liquors, ranging from 4% to 8%. Its flavor profile is conditional to the type of grains and hops used and the brewing process. Some beers are light and refreshing, while others are dark and full-bodied.
Different types of alcoholic drinks are created through various fermentation processes. Wine is made from fermenting grapes or other fruits, with its alcohol content ranging from 5% to 20%. Making wine involves converting the fruits’ sugar into alcohol through yeast fermentation.
Its flavor profile also relies on the grape type, the production region, and the fermentation process. Some wines are light and fruity, while others are full-bodied and complex. Red wine, made from dark-colored grapes, typically has a more robust and tannic flavor. Conversely, white wine is from lighter-colored grapes and is usually crisper and more acidic.
Native to Japan, sake is made by fermenting rice with a special mold called koji. It has a lower alcohol content than other alcoholic beverages, ranging from 15% to 20%.
Different types of sake are available, each with its unique flavor profile. Sake is traditionally served at room temperature or warmed, depending on its type and quality. It is often consumed as a standalone drink, but you can pair it with certain dishes.
Cider is a widely popular undistilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented apple juice. Its flavor profile can vary from dry and tart to sweet and fruity, depending on the type of apple used and the brewing process. Some ciders are also flavored with other fruits or spices, such as cinnamon or ginger, to create a distinct taste.
As for its alcohol content, it’s typically between 4% and 8%. Ciders labeled as “hard cider” have a higher alcohol content than those labeled as “soft cider.”
There are various types of alcoholic beverages, distilled and undistilled, with one-of-a-kind characteristics and flavor profiles. From the light taste of beer to the complex flavors of high-quality sake, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, whether you prefer a glass of wine or a pint of cider, the world of alcoholic beverages has diverse options to suit any taste.
Expand your knowledge of alcoholic beverages with Village Warehouse Wine and Spirits.
Dive into the fascinating world of alcoholic drinks by visiting Village Warehouse Wine and Spirits. Our Vail liquor store has different types of alcoholic drinks that will satisfy any taste or preference. We’re always ready to assist you in choosing the perfect beverage, whether you’re looking for a special gift or just trying to expand your palate. Stop by our store today!