Alcoholic Drinks

An alcoholic drink is beverage containing ethanol. In common parlance ethanol is known as alcohol though in chemistry, alcohol includes many other compounds. There are three main classifications of alcoholic drinks: beers, wines and spirits.

Ale and lager are two main types of beer. Both have a distinct production process. Generally beer is made with an incomplete fermentation process and only a week or two of aging process. Typically, beer has 4% to 6% alcohol content by volume (ABV) and is naturally carbonated.

Wines are alcoholic beverages made from fruit juice, mainly grape juice. Wines made from other fruits like apple and berry are normally known by the name of the fruit or country wine. Various types of yeast are added to grapes (crushed) and fermented over long periods. The yeast consumes the sugar in the juice and converts it to alcohol. A typical aging process of wines ranges from months to years. The type of grapes and the yeast used determines the type of wine produced. Sugar is added to wine before bottling, which leads to a second fermentation in the bottle, to produce what we know as sparkling wine. Wines normally have an alcohol content varying from 9 to 16 percent ABV.

Spirits are unsweetened distilled alcoholic beverages produced by distilling a fermented product. The distillation leads to concentration of alcohol and also removes some of the related chemicals. Spirits have at least 20% ABV. Liqueurs fall under the category of spirits as they are made by redistilling spirits.

Liqueur is an alcoholic drink that has been flavoured by fruit, herbs, nuts, flowers or cream. In some parts of the world cordial and liqueur are used as interchangeable words but there is a slight distinction that must be understood. While both are made by redistilling spirits, cordials are normally flavoured with fruit pulp or juices; liqueur is usually flavoured with herbs. Liqueurs must be distinguished from flavoured liquors, fruit brandy and eau do vie (colourless fruit brandy with very light fruit flavour) which have no sugar content.

Liqueurs are generally classified according to the basic flavour used to prepare them. Cream liqueur is a liqueur that uses dairy cream as one of its ingredients and crème liqueurs add additional sugar to the point of syrup consistency. Some classifications of liqueurs are chocolate liqueurs, coffee liqueurs, fruit liqueurs, berry liqueurs, flower liqueurs and herbal and nut liqueurs.

Liqueurs have high alcohol and sugar content (most liqueurs have 15-70% ABV) with added flavourings. Midori (melon) liqueur, for example, has an alcoholic content of 20-21% ABV. It has a tempting green colour and a fruity flavour of melon. Rarely consumed by itself because of its extreme sweetness it is a popular ingredient in some of the award winning cocktails.

Midori liqueur was developed by Suntory though it was originally made in Japan. As it is green in colour, it got its name from the Japanese word midori, which means green. After it took USA by storm after it was launched in 1978 it was introduced in Europe and Australia and presently it is a premium international brand among young people.

This article is brought to you by Midori - Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails

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