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Is the product of distillation, whatever the base raw material used.

Spirit for human consumption, referred to as potable or drinkable spirit. Is made by distilling a lower strength alcoholic liquid. The alcoholic liquid must have been made by the fermentation of the sugar in fruit, vegetable, or grain produce.

Generally refers to as distilled beverages that are low in sugar and containing at least 35% alcohol by volume. Gin, vodka, rum, whisky, brandy, tequila and the traditional German schnapps are examples of this.

Distilled beverages with added flavouring and colouring that are high in sugar such as Grand Marnier, which is an orange flavoured brandy base liqueur.

Meaning spirit; spirit and liqueur; and all alcohol beverages, including wine, sake and beer.

Brandy distilled from wine.

Whisky distilled from a form of ale.

The concentration of alcohol achieved by the separation of components of an alcoholic wash through the application of heat and cooling.

The distillation process was known to the ancient Chinese and Egyptians who used it to produce perfumes. Potable spirits were distilled by early Christian missionary monks who called them aqua vitaeor water of life. Their taste was crude and so it was often disguised by other flavours, such as herbs, seeds and fruit.

The title of inventor" of spirits however is easier to award. That belongs to the Arabic Scientist Jabir ibn Hayyan, aka Geber ( 721815), a citizen of Kufa. His extensive research, which touch on alchemy, chemistry, metallurgy and philosophy, included direct references to distilling wine and condensing the spirit in a serpent(worm), a coil of tubing immersed in water.

By the 18th century, distillation had reached the point where cheap spirits were readily available. As there were no controls, many of these were rough and impure. To ensure that only safe, potable spirits are sold, and to raise revenue, the government began to license distilleries.

The process of distillation takes place in a still and involves heating an alcoholic liquid until the alcohol vaporises. This vapour is then condensed to a liquid of a higher degree of alcohol. Most spirits are sold at 40% vol, although some, especially liqueurs, are sold at lower or higher strengths.

POT STILL made of copper and the neck is connected to a condenser which is surrounded by cold water. Single batch process and more than one distillation is required to produce a spirit of sufficient alcoholic strength.

The distillate is divided into three parts:

Heads( foreshots) this part is of insufficient purity and is redistilled as part of a later batch. Hearts(spirit) this is the major part of the distillation which produces the potable spirit. Tails(feints) this last part, like foreshots, is transferred to the later batch for redistillation.

Spirits distilled in a pot still, will keep some of the character of the original alcoholic liquid, examples being is malt whisky and cognac. They need to be matured in cask before being mellow enough to drink.

Sometimes called continuous still or Coffey still. This still was invented in 1831 by an Irish customs officer, Aeneas Coffey. It is a continuous process in which the spirit vapours are condensed at a greater strength than that in the pot still. It produces a spirit of high alcoholic strength which consequently has less flavour and character than the spirit produced in a pot still.

Not all patent still spirits require maturation. A patent still is used for lightly flavoured spirits such as white rum, grain whisky, gin and vodka.

Grain produces whiskies, gin and vodka. Fruit the source of brandies, calvados, kirsch, etc. Vegetable the source of rums, arrack, schnapps and tequila.

WHISKY An aged spirit with a base of fermented mash ( water and sugar extracted from converted cereals).


Produced at a distillery in Scotland. Matured for a minimum of 3 years in Scotland Bottled at a minimum of 40% abv.

Different types of Scotch Whisky:

1. Malt Whisky
Single Malt whisky that comes from a single distillery. Blended malt a blend of whiskies from several malt distilleries.

2. Grain Scotch Whisky

Single grain whiskies are released in small quantities. Blended Grain whiskies combining more than one grain distillery.

3. Blended Scotch Whisky Blended from malt and grain whiskies.

Examples of: Dewar whisky and Johnny Walker Black.

1494: First records of spirits production. 1823: Excise act legalises use of small stills. 1853: First blended whiskies made, creating a market for large volumes of Malt whisky. LOCATION Many distilleries throughout Scotland.

Raw materials:
Malted barley is milled and then hot water extracts the sugars create a sugary liquid(wort), which is then fermented to create a wash of 7-10% abv. Distillation: Copper still required by law, double distillation Maturation: must be aged in Scotland for at least 3 years in oak barrel.

Note: Most malts are aged in ex-bourbon barrels (American Oak), but ex-sherry vessels are used as well.

1827: invention of the continuous(Coffey) still.Grain whisky was rather bland, but in 1853, the first blended whiskies were made, provided a large market for grain whiskies. LOCATION - Seven large distilleries, mostly in coastal Lowland locations

Mainly maize, but other grains can be used. Some enzymes from malted barley are needed to carry out the conversion from starch to sugar. DISTILLATION: - Distilled to a maximum 94.8% abv in a large continuous still. MATURATION: minimum of 3 years in new American barrels.

1853: the first blends combined a continuous still grain whiskies with the more intense flavoured single malts. Blended whiskies continue to account for around 90% of all whiskies. MATURATION: - The better blend are also aged after blending to allow the components to marry together.

Irish whiskeys are generally distilled three times and must be aged in wooden casks for a period of not less than three years .

Canadian whiskies have the regulatory requirement of being aged for at least three years in a barrel.

American whiskey includes both straights and blends. The most common of the "named types" are:
Bourbon, which must be at least 51% corn (maize); Rye, which must be at least 51% rye, and Corn, which must be at least 80% corn



A spirit flavoured with botanicals, of which juniper berries must dominate.

14TH CENTURY: Juniper based elixirs spread across Europe, juniper berries is supposed to be effective against black death. 1572: first eau de vie made in Leiden, Holland. 1689-1720: Gin replaces Brandy and anise flavoured spirits and becomes hugely popular in London.

1761-1803: after the UK gin production was brought under control by limiting licenses to the large distilleries, production becomes concentrated in the large brands (Booth, Tanqueray, Gordons). 19th century: continuous still improves the quality of the base spirit.

Anywhere , mainly in UK, Holland, Spain and USA. RAW MATERIALS: - Raw spirit ( usually grain based, but can be molasses or sugar beet), is redistilled to create a highly rectified spirit of 96% abv, then reduced to around 60% with demineralised water. - Botanicals: juniper berries, coriander, citrus peel and other herbs and spices.

For the cheapest gin, flavourings are added directly to the spirit (cold compounding) and no further distillation takes place. Botanicals are added to the spirit, or placed in the still above the base spirit, this is then redistilled in a pot still to fix the botanical aromas, multiple distillation may take place, with different botanicals added at each stage.

Not matured, with the exception of some Dutch gins.

London Dry Gin Plymouth Gin Sloe Gin Dutch Gin American Gin

Must be a distilled gin, not cold compounded, may come from anywhere.

Must come from Plymouth; uses only sweet botanicals, and very aromatic.

Sloe gin is a common ready-sweetened form of gin that is traditionally made by infusing sloes (the fruit of the blackthorn) in gin.

Oude Genever is made from pot still, rye or barley based spirit. It is pungent and oily, but with a less fresh juniper character than other grains.

American gin- similar to Dutch gin but it is distilled and flavored with juniper berries.







An unaged spirit, distilled to a high strength so that little character of the base material remains, it may be flavoured as well.

8TH-9TH CENTURY: first distilled spirits made in Russia and Poland. 15th century: first pot still 18th century: first charcoal-filtration to purify vodka. 19th century: Russian vodka production under state control. 1934: Smirnoff sets up first American Vodka distillery.

Anywhere for international and some premium styles in USA, UK, France, New Zealand. RAW MATERIALS: - any source of fermentable sugars, cereal grains are most common (rye, barley, wheat) but potatoes are used for some premium vodkas, even grapes are used in France and California.

Usually in column/patent/continuous still but some premium vodkas are made using pot stills. Distilled to a minimum of 96% abv. Very little flavour of the base material should remain. Most vodkas are filtered through activated charcoal to remove impurities an colour, then reduced to a bottling strength of a minimum of 37.5% abv.

Not matured.
NOTE: Russian Vodka usually wheat based, light in flavour, with a spirit bite. Polish Vodka usually rye based, subtly spicy and citric, some potato vodkas also being produced which is softer and creamier in texture.

An unsweetened spirit made by the distillation of fermented natural fresh grape juice.


COGNAC a type of grape brandy that came from Cognac region in France. ARMAGNAC - is made from grapes of the Armagnac region in Southwest of France Popular brands are Darroze, Baron de Sigognac, Larressingle, Delord, Laubade, Glas and Janneau

18TH century: Dutch market for Brandewijn, meaning burnt wine. 19th century: dominated by British and Irish consumer. 1872: arrival of phylloxera, after which Ugni Blanc replaced Folle Blanche.

North of Bordeaux region. 6 Crus: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois, Bois Communs. RAW MATERIALS: - low-strength (around 8% abv), high in acid wine made manly from Ugni Blanc, grown in the delimited Cognac region.

Relatively small copper pot stills, heated by naked flames, spirit is approx. 70% abv before ageing. MATURATION: - used mainly Limousin wood(coarsed grained, accelerates ageing) and Troncais(tighter grain,less tannin).

Generally maturation starts in new (up to 4 yo) barrels, to give tannin and vanillin, then it is moved to older barrel for slow oxidation. GRADES OF MATURATION:
VS/*** - minimum 2 years old VSOP - minimum 4 years old XO - minimum 6 years old Fine Champagne: a blend of Grande and petite Champagne.


The unofficial grades used to market cognac include:

VS (Very Special) or *** (three stars), VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale), Rserve, where the youngest brandy is stored at least four years in cask. XO (Extra Old), Napolon, Hors d'Age, where the youngest brandy is stored at least six years in cask.

Grande Champagne (13766 hectares total) Grande Champagne eaux de vie are long in the mouth and powerful, dominated floral notes. The most prestigious of the crus. "Champagne" means chalky soil, a characteristic shared with the area around Reims where Champagne (wine) is produced. Petite Champagne (16171 hectares total) Petite Champagne eaux de vie have similar characteristics to those from Grande Champagne, but are in general shorter on the palate

The top cognac houses also produce premium-level cognacs. These include:

Extra by Camus is their premium cognac beyond XO containing their oldest cognacs from the Borderies, Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne regions in a distinctive decanter style bottle. Louis XIII by Rmy Martin is composed of more than 1,200 of the finest eaux-de-vie aged between 40 years and a century in very old Limousin oak barrels

According to Rmy Martin's website, this product is "the highest quality cognac on the market today." Louis XIII cognac is manufactured using grapes from the Grande Champagne of Cognac. It is blended from eaux de vie, some more than a century in age, then it is aged in "tiercons," barrels that are several hundred years old, in its own cellar. Generally this product is regarded as one of the finest brandies in the world.

A bottle of Louis XIII may be priced as high as $2,000(US) however average price range is between $1,000 to $1,300. The hand blown crystal decanter (by Baccarat) alone sells for approximately $100. The limited edition 'Spectaculaire' comes in a decanter embedded with a diamond, ranging from 4 to 4,75 carat (800 to 950 mg). The company recommends dealers to sell the limited edition for circa $43,800.


Production predates Cognac, but transport difficulties meant that the region developed more slowly. Early 19th century: introduction of Alembic Armagnacais Late 19th century: arrival of phylloxera devastates the production. Late 20th century: increasing production of still wines.

South of Bordeaux region 3 Crus Bas Armagnac, Tenareze, and Haut-Armagnac RAW MATERIALS: - low strength (8-11% abv), high-acid wine made mainly from ugni blanc, grown in the delimited Armagnac region. This wines are generally higher in alcohol and lower in acid than those of Cognac. Baco 22A, Folle Blanche an Colombard are also used.

Distilled to 52-72% abv, using an alambic armagnacais (small continuous still) or pot still. MATURATION: - in 400 liter casks, mainly Limousin with some Alsace and Monlezun oak, it aged slowly.

VS/*** - very special minimum 1 year old VSOP very special old pale min. 4 years old XO extra old minimum of 5 years old. Vintage all the contents must come from a single year.

16TH century and earlier: brandy used to stabilise Jerez wines for transport. Early 19th century: Brandy as a product is made Jerez. LOCATION: - Jerez and Penedes.


JEREZ: holandas( pot still), aguardientes(column still) Penedes: usually pot still. MATURATION: - Jerez: Solera system - Penedes: solera or static ageing Solera: minimum 6 months Reserva: minimum 1 year old Solera Gran Reserva: 100 holandas,min. 3 yrs. old

Portugal- brandy is called aguardente (burning) liquid. Mexico Germany South Africa- South African grape brandies are, by law, made almost exactly as in Cognac.





Pomace brandy is produced from fermented grape pulp, seeds, and stems that remain after the grapes are pressed for their juice. Examples include the Italian grappa and the French marc.

Fruit brandies are distilled from fruits other than grapes. Apple, plum, peach, cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and apricot are the most commonly used fruit. Fruit brandy is usually clear, 80 to 90 proof, and usually drunk chilled or over ice.

Calvados is an apple brandy from the French region of Lower Normandy. Kirschwasser is a fruit brandy made from cherries. Plinka is a fruit brandy traditional to Hungary. Slivovitz is a fruit brandy made from plums, traditional to Serbia. Slivovice is a strong 70% vol. fruit brandy made from plums, in Slovakia.





A brandy can be aged in one of three main ways.

No aging: Many pomace and fruit brandies are not aged after distillation. The resulting product is typically a clear liquid. Single barrel aging: Brandies that have a golden or brown color have been aged in oak casks. Solera process: Some brandies are aged using the solera system. Brandies from Spain are typical of this variation.

Lambanog is a locally produced distilled spirit

made by distilling palm wine locally known as tuba

Sources of tuba /lambanog:

Coconut Nipa/sasa- a family of palm tree commonly found along river banks or swamps. Sugar palm or locally known as kaong

Plain Flavored

Rum is a distilled beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses and sugarcane by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak and other casks.

16TH century: sugar cane cuttings taken from Europe to the Caribbean. 1647: records of kill-devil(cane-based, distilled spirit) produced in Barbados. Mid 19th century: first commercial rum distillery in Puerto Rico.


Can only be distilled in sugar-cane producing countries, mainly Caribbean and South America, but also in USA, Australia, India and Philippines. RAW MATERIALS: - Sugar cane, most rums are made from molasses (a by product of the sugar industry). This is mixed 50/50 with water, then fermented to produce wash approx 10% abv. - for RUM AGRICOLE, sugar cane juice is fermented then distilled.

No ageing is required, some rums are aged in the region of production (where , in the high temperature they mature rapidly), others are shipped for maturation in more temperate climate.

Light Rums, also referred to as light, silver, and white rums. In general, light rum has very little flavor aside from a general sweetness, and serves accordingly as a base for cocktails. Gold Rums, also called amber rums, are medium-bodied rums which are generally aged. Spiced Rum: Theses rums obtain their flavor through addition of spices and, sometimes, caramel.

Dark Rum, also known as black rum, classes as a grade darker than gold rum. It is generally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels. Dark rum has a much stronger flavor than either light or gold rum, and hints of spices can be detected, along with a strong molasses or caramel overtone.

Flavored Rum: Some manufacturers have begun to sell rums which they have infused with flavors of fruits such as mango, orange, citrus, coconut, and limke which is a lime rum found in Sweden.

Over proof Rum: is rum which is much higher than the standard 40% alcohol. Most of these rums bear greater than 75%, in fact, and preparations of 151 to 160 proof occur commonly.

Premium Rum: As with other sipping spirits, such as Cognac and Scotch, a market exists for premium and super-premium spirits. Dry Rum: Dry rum is a rum made strictly from sugarcane juice fermentation. It originated in Panama, where it is commonly referred to as "'seco'"(lit. dry).







Mainly white rums, but some aged, golden rums, copied by other regions like Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Trinidad. CACHACA Brazilian cane based spirit, usually distilled in a column still and unaged.

BARBADOS - Elegant, perfumed rums. JAMAICA pungent, esters rums GUYANA spicy dark rums that are lighter in body than those from Jamaica. FRENCH ANTILLES Martinique and Guadaloupe specialise in Rhum Agricole, a grassy fruity style of rum made from fermented cane juice.

A spirit made from a distilled wash where most of the sugar come from Blue Agave grown in the delimited Tequila regions. Maybe aged or unaged.

1636: production of mezcal wine formally legalised. 1795: licence to distil granted to Jose Maria Guadaloupe Cuervo. 1870s: First exports of Tequila ,by Sauza 1948: invention of the margarita leads to explosion of demand in the USA.

Delimited region within Mexico. RAW MATERIAL: - the heart(pina or Cabeza) of the Blue Agave. - harvested at 7-10 years old, then cooked in a steam autoclave for 6-14 hours, some traditional producers cook for 36-48 hours in brick ovens. After crushing and shreeding, the juice extracted. A mixture of other sugars must make minimum of 51% of the total, 49% are cane sugar. This is fermented and a wash of 5-7% abv results.

Distilled twice, in copper or stainless steel pot stills, or continuous stills, first distillation to 20% abv, second to around 55% abv. MATURATION: - none is required. Reposado and Anejo Tequilas are aged in oak.

SILVER(Plata, Blanco): unaged, white tequila. GOLD( Joven Abocado): either unaged but coloured with caramel, or blend of white and older tequilas. REPOSADO: minimum of 2 months in oak. ANEJO: minimum of one year in oak cask. MEZCAL: a tequila type spirit made from other species of Agave or from outside of delimited Tequila zone, can be very pungent.







1 1/2 oz tequila lemon or lime wedge 1 pinch of salt Moisten the back of your hand below the index finger (usually by licking) and pour on the salt. Lick the salt off your hand.The salt lessens the burn of the Drink the tequila. Quickly bite the lemon or lime wedge.


The sour fruit balances and enhances the flavor of the tequila.

is a sweet alcoholic beverage, often flavored with fruits, herbs, spices, flowers, seeds, roots, plants, barks, and sometimes cream. The word liqueur comes from the Latin word liquifacere which means "to dissolve." This refers to the dissolving of the flavorings used to make the liqueur. Liqueurs are not usually aged for long periods, but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.

All liqueur contains three elements, and most contain a fourth. 1. Alcohol 2. Sugar syrup - fruit spirit are unsweetened but liqueurs are. Ex: Kirsch is unsweetened but Cherry brandy is sweetened.

3. Flavourings there are three ways of putting the flavour into a liqueur: The spirit may be distilled with the chosen flavouring in a pot still. The flavouring element may be in the alcohol for about four weeks. This is called maceration, often used in soft fruits. The alcohol maybe pumped over the flavouring in much the same way as water is pumped over coffee in a percolator, this is called infusion.

4. Colour most liqueur are coloured. To complete the liqueur, all the ingredients are blended together and matured for a short period to allow them to marry.

1. Anise Liqueurs- is a category of liqueurs that are flavored with either anise, star anise, or licorice. Substitutes: aniseed (finely ground) or herbal liqueur or anise extract (Substitute a teaspoon of anise extract for every 1 or 2 tablespoons liqueur.)

Anisette : ann-uh-SET or ANN-uh-set. This French liqueur is flavored with anise seeds. It's sweeter and lower in alcohol than other aniseflavored liqueurs. Marie Brizard is a wellrespected brand. Substitutes: anis or anise extract (Substitute one teaspoon anise extract for each tablespoon of anisette.) or Pernod or ouzo or pastis, or sambuca.

Galliano/ Liquore Galliano: galYAHnoh. This excellent Italian liqueur is flavored with anise and comes in a bottle that's one inch taller than your liquor cabinet. It's used to make Harvey Wallbangers and other cocktails. Substitutes: Neopolitan liqueur (a cheaper American substitute for Galliano) or sambuca

Pastis. This is a licorice-flavored liqueur that the French like to serve with water. It's higher in alcohol than anis or anisette. Popular brands include Pernod and Ricard. Substitutes: ouzo OR other anise-flavored liqueurs

2. Bitter Liqueurs- These are liqueurs and fortified wines that have a bittersweet flavor. They're often mixed with soda and served as apritifs. These liqueurs are sometimes called bitters, but they're not as intensely flavored as the bitters that come in little bottles, which are normally measured out in drops.

Amer Picon. This is a bitter French apritif that's usually served with water and a sweetener, or sometimes mixed with beer. Substitutes: Lillet or Dubbonet or Byrrh or Punt Mes 0r Suze

Campari bitters. This popular Italian bitters is often mixed with soda, ice, and a twist of lemon and served as an apritif. Substitutes: Fernet Branca or Punt Mes or Suze.

Dubonnet: due-bunNAY. This is a French apritif made with white or red wine and flavored with quinine and other herbs and spices. The white version is drier than the red. Substitutes: Byrrh (more bitter) or Punt Mes (more bitter) or Lillet (more bitter)

Crme de cacao = creme de cacao: KREM de cahCOW. This is a crme liqueur that has a chocolate flavor. Buy either white (actually clear) or dark crme de cacao--they both taste the same. Substitutes: chocolate liqueur (not as sweet) or Cheri Suisse or Vandermint or coffee liqueur (not as sweet) orchocolate syrup

Vandermint. This liqueur is flavored with chocolate and mint. Substitutes: chocol ate liqueur or chocolate syrup.

Godiva liqueur. This is a brand of chocolate liqueur. Substitutes: choco late liqueur or chocolate syrup

Fruit liqueurs/Berry liqueurs/Crme liqueurs- are liqueurs with higher sugar content.

Chambord- is a premium, allnatural black raspberry liqueur produced in the LoireValley, south of Paris, France

Cherry liqueur- A tart fruit accent made of cherries and pits. A great on the rocks sipper as well

Cointreau- An orange-flavored cousin of triple sec, curaao and Grand Mariner

Crme de Bananes, Banana LiqueurCream of banana liqueur that is usually quite sweet and is true to the fruit's flavor. Wonderful addition for a banana daiquiri.

Crme de mre: KREM de MYUR. This is a crme liqueur that's flavored with blackberries. Substitutes: crme de cassis

Grand Marnier- A distinguished orange liqueur from France with a Cognac base.

Midori- A light green-colored liqueur that has a sweet melon flavor. It's a versatile liqueur for cocktails including the Grinch and Vanilla Vixen

Peach LiqueurMade from an infusion of whole, fresh and/or dried peaches in brandy or a neutral spirit base.

Herbal liqueurs- liqueurs flavored or infused with herbs

Benedictine Liqueur- Made of herbs, roots and sugar with a Cognac base.

Drambuie: dramBOO-ee. This is a Scottish liqueur made with Scotch, honey, and various herbs. Substitutes: Lochan -Ora or Glayva or Bndictine

Jagermeister: YAYgher-my-ster. This is a potent, bittersweet herbal liqueur. You can sometimes see Jgermeister bumper stickers on cars, often the kind that also sport surf shop decals. Substitutes: Benedic tine or Fernet Branca

NUT LIQUEURS flavoured with nuts.

Amaretto. This is a brandy-based liqueur that's flavored with almonds and apricot pits. It complements chocolate, coffee, and fruit especially well. Substitutes: almond liqueur OR almond extract (use 1/8-1/4 as much) OR hazelnut liqueur

Cream Liqueurs- liqueur added/flavored with cream.