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Different Types of Alcoholic Drinks by Alcohol Content

Before anything else, here’s a fun fact about alcohol! There are three classifications of alcohol, but only one is safe for human consumption–ethanol. The other two, methanol and isopropanol, are used for different purposes such as cleaning and manufacturing.

What are the Two Categories of Alcoholic Beverages?

Moving on, this may be a surprising thing to some people, but alcoholic beverages fall into two categories: distilled and undistilled. Why does this matter? You can know a lot about an alcoholic beverage by the way it is produced.


This process begins when fermented fruits or vegetables are heated in extreme temperatures. From there, the steam itself will be gathered and put in a bottle. This type of alcoholic drink has a higher alcohol percentage and higher strength.


On the other hand, undistilled alcoholic beverages use fermented sugar and plant matter combined with yeast, water, and heat. From there, ethanol is made. Compared to the distilled version, this one has a lower alcohol percentage because it is less pure.

What are Distilled Alcoholic Drinks?

If you are someone who loves to party and drink hard liquor, the type of alcoholic drinks for you are those that are distilled. Distilled alcoholic drinks vary by alcohol percentage, fermentation process, and ingredients. Here is a list of distilled alcoholic drinks that you may have tried already.


This one is produced from fermented grain. It ranges from 40% to 50% alcohol by volume. Whiskey is commonly put inside casks or oak barrels to start the aging process.


This one is made from fermented molasses or sugarcane juice. The common alcohol by volume of rum is 40%. However, there is rum that is “overproof”, and reaches 57.5% alcohol by volume. There’s more, some others reach a much higher ABV of 75.5%.


Gin is made out of juniper berries. This alcoholic drink is the main ingredient in martinis. Its ABV normally ranges from 35% to 55%.


Tequila is made from the Mexican agave plant which naturally has a lot of sugar. Because of that, you don’t have to worry about any additional sugar. Its alcohol by volume is normally about 40%.

What are Undistilled Alcoholic Drinks?

Some people don’t have a high tolerance for alcoholic drinks and will opt for something with a lower alcohol percentage. Undistilled alcoholic drinks are the perfect choice for them.


Have you ever wondered, “What is the typical alcohol content of wine?” Your go-to wine bottle may have a standard alcohol by volume of 14%. It is typically made from fermented grapes and other fruits. Types of wine include sparkling, red, and white.


Beer is the go-to drink for many people, but do you know your favorite beer’s alcohol content? The alcohol by volume of “light” beer is typically around 2% to 4%. On the other hand, “malt liquors” have between 6% to 8% alcohol by volume, and some craft beers even boast an ABV of 10% or higher!

Hard Cider

Hard cider is typically made of fruits, specifically apples. Its alcohol by volume is 5%.


If you have a love for Japan, your favorite drink might be saké. This one has an alcohol by volume of 16%. It is produced from fermented rice.

If you are looking for a Vail, Colorado liquor store, you can head over to Village Warehouse Wine and Spirits in Avon, CO. This is where you will find the finest liquor selection ever. We are excited to serve your favorites. See us soon!