Liquor is a generic term used to describe any alcoholic spirit distilled from vegetables, fruits or fermented grain. It is an alcoholic drink produced from pure distillation rather than sugar fermentation. The process separates the mixture to produce pure vapor which condenses to form liquor with more alcohol content. Below is a list of all of the different types of liquor in the world:
Absinthe – This is French liquor distilled from botanicals such as leaves and flowers of grand wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) blended with some culinary and medicinal herbs. The alcohol content is high with 45%-74% of arise-flavored spirit.
Arrack – Arrack or Arak is a type of liquor produced in South and Southeast Asia. It is a distillate of fermented sugarcane, sap of coconut flowers, fruits and red rice.
Baijiu – Baijiu is white liquor from China. It is a clear distilled beverage distilled from sorghum to an alcohol content of 40%-60%. There are also some varieties of this type of liquor which are made from millet, barley, wheat and glutinous rice.
Brandy – Brandy has over the years been known as the “fire wine.” It is liquor distilled from mashed fruits mainly grapes. It can also be made from a variety of fruits including plums, pears as well as apples. After the distillation it is then aged in oak casks to give it a rich color. Traditionally brandy lovers used it as a nightcap consumed after dinner. However in the modern world brandies such as Courvoisiers and Hennessy are very popular in parties. In addition cooks also use this type of liquor in pan sauces and desserts to reduce the syrupy sweet essence.
Borovička – This is Slovak liquor flavored with juniper berries. It is also called juniper brandy and is characterized by its golden or white color with a dry taste similar to gin. Most people who consume this liquor hail from Czech Republic, Poland and Slovak. Commercially the drink has an alcohol content of 40%.
Cachaça – With names such as caninha, pinga and aguardente, this is the most popular liquor in Brazil. The drink is a distillate of molasses with the alcohol content being maintained at 38%-40% level.
Gin – Gin is commonly used in many classical cocktails including martinis, Singapore Slings, Tonics, Gins and Negronis. It is a dry spirit produced from distillation of grains and gets its flavor mainly from the juniper berries. Most of gin drinks are clear in color though there are some which appear yellowish as a result of aging in the barrels. For many years, this drink has won the title of cocktail drinks until recently when it was surpassed by Vodka. However it still maintains the name, “drinker’s drink.”
Horilka – Horilka is Ukrainian liquor typically meaning a local type of whiskey. The drink is distilled from grain, sugar beets, honey and potatoes. Traditionally the alcohol content was kept at 20% but today industries have raised that to 40%.
Kaoliang – Kaoliang is a sorghum distilled alcoholic beverage which is produced in China and distributed to Korea, Taiwan and the islands of Matsu and Kinmen.
Maotai – This is an alcoholic drink produced in the town of Maotai in Southwest China. Like most liquor in China, it is distilled from sorghum and it is characterized with its mellowish soy sauce-like fragrance which lingers in the mouth after consumption.
Metaxa – This is a type of liquor distilled in Greek. It is a mixture of wine, spices and brandy to form smooth dry liquor. Though in some more expensive editions wine is usually excluded to come up with a drier taste.
Mezcal – This is an alcoholic distillate from a plant known as maguey which is grown in Mexico. The liquor is liked for its dryness and acts as the best alternative for margaritas.
Ogogoro – This is African liquor from Nigeria where it is a popular drink. It is a distillate of Raffia juice from palm trees to form pure ethanol with an alcohol content of 30%-60%.
Pisco – This is a common alcoholic drink in Peru and Chile. It is a typically a distillate of grapes to form a colorless amber-to-yellowish colored brandy.
Rum – Rum is known as the favorite liquor for navy sailors and pirates. They are popularly known to mix sugar-water, lime juice and rum to make a pickling drink. Rum is a type of liquor beverage made from the distillation of molasses or sugar juice. Traditionally it was a common drink in Caribbean islands but it has since then widely spread to the South American countries. There are three main categories of rum namely spiced, dark and light. Each is used for straight drinking, cooking and mixing respectively though most of the time the uses overlap. The drinks include pina caladas, mojitos and rum-and-colas.
Shochu – This is an alcoholic drink from Japan which is distilled from rice, sweet potatoes or barley. It has an alcohol content of 25% which is preferred to the high content in whiskey and vodka.
Tequila – Tequila is officially produced from a plant grown in some parts of Mexico called the blue agave. As a result tequila with 100% of the blue agave is considered pure and goes at a higher price than other liquors.Drinkers of tequila usually take a shot of tequila followed with a spicy tomato juice or a slice of citrus fruit. The most consumed types of tequila are the sunrise tequila and margaritas which are paired with fruit juice to drink.
Ţuică – This is liquor officially prepared from plums and in some cases from a cereal grain called rachie. It is a traditional Romanian Spirit with an alcohol content of 45%-60%. Depending on the geographical location, Ţuică is sometimes spelled as tzuica, tsuica, tsuika, tzuika or tuica.
Vodka – Vodka is one of the purest spirits in the world hailing from Russia and Eastern Europe. It is odorless, tasteless and clear liquor from the distillation of potatoes, grains and in some times molasses. Makers of vodka distill the potatoes, sugar beets or grain to create virtually pure ethanol. It is the added water to dissolve the concentration to drinkable liquor. Consumption of this liquor differs according to geographical regions. In Eastern Europe, people usually drink vodka straight and dry while in Western Europe and Americas they usually use it as cocktail.
Whiskey – Whisky is a type of liquor which is distilled from a range of grains. The most common grains used are corn, rye and barley. This type of liquor is first distilled two to three times, and then it is aged in large oak barrels to improve its flavor.Some of the renowned whisky beverages include the Scotch Single-malts such as Laphroaig, Irish blends like Jameson and the American bourbons like Jack Daniels.
In a nutshell the above are main types of liquor in the world. They serve as the basis of all liquor beverages together with their different variations and as a result no bar is complete without some of these core drinks. If I’ve forgotten anything on the list, please let me know.