We all know what alcohol is as most of us have at least tried it at some time in our lives. It is an acquired taste that many people do not like although there are many of us that do. Those of us that do drink, we all seem to have a favourite type of drink and from there a favourite brand.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of alcoholic beverages to choose from however they are all branded under a few main headings, a few main types if you will;
Spirits – as mentioned in several previous articles, a spirit is a distilled alcohol. Distillation comes after the fermentation of grains which is where the magic all begins. When you say spirits people automatically think of the most popular and well loved ones;
– Rum: made from the juice of sugar canes or molasses. Deliciously tasty and comes in a variety of styles – Dark, White and Amber (spiced)
– Gin: made from distilling rye grains and other such grains and then adding juniper berries and others scrummy aromatics.
– Whiskey: distilled from various grains and/or malted barley. In the UK the grains are usually malted Barley however in the states it is usually made from Maize. There are varying types such as Scotch whiskey (made in Scotland), Irish Whiskey (made in Ireland), Bourbon (made in the states. For many whiskey is like Marmite – you either love it or you hate it!
– Vodka: made from potatoes believe it or not. Can be made from varying grains though such as wheat, corn or rye.
– Brandy: a liquor made from fermented fruit juices. A nice warming tipple.
The above are what I think are the main spirits however there really are so many to choose from. Some are more, obscure would be the wrong word but perhaps more of a session/shot drink, are below;
– Absinthe: with flavours of anise, this very highly alcoholic drink has been distilled using anise and other tasty botanicals alongside the flowers and the leaves of wormwood. Known for its potency it is a drink to be supped and not drunk on a grand scale.
– Tequila: usually drank in shots, this is a spirit made from the blue agave plant. Another potent drink that is an acquired taste for many
Each and every one of these drinks would go wonderfully in your hip flask for a lovely treat when you are out and about.
Wine – a lovely alcoholic beverage made predominantly from grapes. There are 3 main types of wines;
– Red Wine: Mmmm my favourite. Has a wonderful red colour and as I am sure that you can guess is made from dark skinned red and black grapes.
There are thousands of different red wines that you can buy all depending on the country, the region in a specified country, the type off grape and any other fruits or flavourings that they put with it. Some reds that you may of heard of – Pinot Noir, Chianti, Bordeaux & Rioja just to name a few. All of which are delicious!
– White Wine: Wonderfully cooling on a nice summers day. Can you guess what grapes white wine comes from – trick question as it can come from any grape… Some types of whites that you may of heard or are – Sancerre, Riesling, Pinot Grigio & Sauvignon Blanc.
– Rose Wine: this is a wine made from red grapes however the skins were removed after the fermentation process so that they do not turn into red wines. Some Rose that you may have heard of – White Grenache, White Zinfandel, Malbec Rose & Pinot Grigio Rose.
Champagne – The drink of celebrations. A wonderful sparkling wine made from grapes that have been grown in the Champagne region of France. There are specific rules to follow to ensure that you are allowed to call your wine Champagne and so many call theirs Prosecco! A few champagnes that you have no doubt heard of and possibly tried – Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon, Cristal, Laurent-Perrier & Bollinger.
Beer – under the word beer comes several beverages, lagers and ales.
– Lager: a drink made from yeasts and hops. Can be light, dark or amber and can vary in alcoholic strengths. Usually served cold or at the very least nice and cool. Many associate larger with evening out in the pub with friends and also summer spent in the pub garden.
– Ales: A drink brewed using the warm fermentation method and commonly known as the beer without hops. Ales are wonderfully full bodied and like lagers come in light, dark or amber and in a variety of strengths. Usually served warm at room temp however I just love a nice cold ale. Very tasty!
Cider – made from the fermented juice of apples. There are many different flavours that you can get these days from pear cider to other fruits such as mango & summer fruits etc.
So, there you have many different types of alcohol. Some you can pop in your hip flask and others that you cannot. Perhaps best to stick to spirits in your spirit flasks eh….
I have listed some of the most popular but there really are thousands more and so I had to stop otherwise this would be a really long article and we would be here forever!
Please just remember, whatever your favourite tipple, please drink responsibly.