The Different Types of Alcohol and Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic beverages have been a popular drinking medium for celebrations, parties and whatever else we can find an excuse to drink them for a long period of time in our history here on this planet. These alcoholic beverages are usually classified under two major categories.

Types of Alcoholic Beverages

1. Undistilled or fermented Alcoholic Beverages
2. Distilled Alcoholic Beverages

Both of the categories have a wide range of alcoholic beverages. These alcohol types have originated in different parts of the globe at different point of time.

Fermented Alcoholic Beverages

The different fermented and undistilled alcoholic beverages include Beer, Chicha, Cider, Icarinne Liquor, Palm Wine, Sake, Tapache, Tiswin and Wine

Types of Beer

This is one of the oldest forms of fermented alcoholic beverages. As people across the globe consumed different forms of beer, there are actually many sub types in beer.

  • Ale – This type of beer is brewed from malted barley by mixing certain amount of yeast. The yeast helps in fermenting the beer and giving a fruit flavor to the beer.
  • Fruit Beer – Fruits like cherry, raspberry and peach are commonly used in brewing this type of beer. Most of the breweries add a flavor of these fruits instead of fermenting these fruits.
  • Lager – This is another kind of beer that is brewed and stored at low temperatures. It is the most widely brewed and consumer beer in the world. It had its origins in Germany.
  • Sahti – This is a Finnish Beer and is brewed by mixing different types of malted and unmalted grains such as Barley, wheat, Oats and Rye
  • Wheat Beer – This type of beer is produced by mixing a larger proportion of wheat when compared to the malted barley content. This type of beer had its origins in Austria and Germany.

Chicha

This is a type of fermented beverage that is used more in the central and the South American Continents. There are both fermented and non fermented chicha that are made out of Maize.

Cider

Cider is a fermented alcoholic Beverage made out of Apple juice. The Alcoholic content can vary from 3% to 8%. Some people in the United States and Germany may refer to Cider as Apple Wine, though this isn’t very common.

Icariine Liquor

Icariine Liquor is consumed in Korea and has a 30% alcoholic content. Icariine is actually a substance that is extracted from plants in Korea

Palm Wine

Palm wine is a type of Alcoholic beverage consumed in Asia and Africa. This is produced from the sap of the palm tree.

Sake

This fermented Alcoholic beverage is made in Japan by fermenting rice at a particular temperature

Tepache

This is a drink that is made by mixing pineapple and brown sugar with Beer. This is mostly consumed in Mexico

Tiswin

This alcoholic beverage is prepared by brewing corn. It had its origins in the Sonoron desert of Arizona in United States and also in the Northern districts of Mexico.

Wine

This beverage is made from fermented grapes. During the fermentation process, yeast absorbs the sugar in the grape juice and converts it in to Alcohol.

Plum Wine

This beverage is popular in Japan and Korea and is made by fermenting Green Plums

Basi

This is a fermented beverage popular in Philipinnes. It is made by fermenting sugarcane

Now let’s take a look at some of the distilled alcoholic beverages.

Distilled alcoholic beverages a.k.a. liquor are nothing but concentrating the alcoholic content by distillation.

Distilled Alcoholic Beverages

  • Arrack – This distilled Alcohol is mainly produced in South Asia and South East Asia. This is produced by mixing fermented sap of coconut flower with sugarcane.
  • Awamori – This distilled Alcoholic beverage is a Japanese production and made in Okinawa in Japan. This is actually made by fermenting rice and then distilling the fermented rice.
  • Baijiu – This Chinese Alcoholic drink is also called as white liquor and its Alcoholic content is around 40% to 60%. This drink is produced by distilling Sorghum
  • Gin – This is a type of distilled spirit that is made from Juniper Berries. There are different types of gin like Damson Gin and Sloe Gin. Damson gin is hugely popular in Britain.
  • Mezcal – This distilled Alcoholic beverage had its origins in Mexico. It is prepared from a type of Agave plant like Maguey.
  • Palinka – This is a type of fruit Brandy manufactured in Hungary. This fruit spirit is distilled from a mixture of different fruits including apple, apricot and plum. The Alcohol content varies widely between 40 % and 85%.
  • Rum – Though consumed in different parts of the globe, rum is extremely popular in Caribbean region and Latin America. This is made by fermenting sugar cane juice or by fermenting molasses, one of the byproducts of sugarcane.
  • Vodka – Vodka is a distilled spirit made by distilling fermented grain like wheat or corn. It has an alcoholic content of 40%.
  • Whiskey – This distilled alcoholic beverage is made by fermenting a combination of different grains including barley, malted barley, Rye, Corn and Wheat. The fermented whisky is then allowed to age in wooden casks. Some of the specific designations for whiskey are:
    • Bourborn Whiskey – This is usually referred to as American Whiskey and is made from Corn.
    • Scotch Whisky – This type of Whisky is made by distilling fermented malt barley and had its origin in Scotland
    • Irish Whiskey
    • [For a deeper breakdown, check out the post titled Types of Whiskey]
  • Brandy – This distilled beverage is made by distilling wine. It has an alcoholic content that ranges between 30% and 60%
  • Horilka – This beverage had its origins in Ukraine and is made by distilling fermented grains
  • Cognac – This distilled alcoholic beverage is a type of brandy and is famous in France.
  • Tequila – This is a distilled beverage that is prepared from Blue Agave plant. It is named after a city in Mexico
  • Guaro – Guaro is made by distilling fermented sugar cane juice and is hugely popular in Central and South American Countries

And there you have it; the complete list of the types of alcoholic drinks. This will change as new ones are invented, though that doesn’t happen often. I probably also missed a couple, so if you see anything I’ve missed, let me know in the comments.

9 Comments

  1. I always thought vodka was distilled from fermented potatoes .

  2. It is worth mentioning Sotol in the distilled alcoholic drinks. It comes from a type of agave called Sereque. Just as mezcal did a couple of years ago, it has an unfounded reputation of being cheap or bad compared to tequila.

  3. I didn’t see licorice root on your list that a important source to make alcohol since it makes Absinth,jagermiester and sambuca.

  4. champagne

  5. Agbor Walters Effim June 15, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I DID NOT SEE THE LOCALLY MADE WISKEY(KI-KI) DISTILLED FROM PALM WINE IN CAMEROON AND NIGERIA

  6. Champagne is a type of wine

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