Beverage, Wines, liqueurs, liquors and other Spirits Guides

01/05/2016 12:20

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Bartender Training Course

6 bottles of various liquors in a bar display cabinet such as bacardi, cachaca, bauza and many more

 

Beverage Guide

 

Spirits / Distilled Wines

  • Are alcoholic beverages containing a significant amount of distilled ethanol? The five major source of alcohol of spirits are grain, plant and fruit liquor, liqueur and bitters. Spirits made from grain include whiskey, vodka, grain neutral spirits and compounded liquors such as gin and aquavit. Good quality spirits contain 40% to 45% alcohol. They can be served straight, on the rock, highball, mixed with water, ice cold and as basis ingredients of a cocktail.

 

Two Types of Spirits

  • 1) Liquor

  • 2) Liqueur

 

 

1) Liquor - unsweetened, high alcohol content beverages

 

Examples:

  • Vodka

  • Gin

  • Rum

  • Tequila

  • Brandy

  • Scotch Whiskey

  • Various Whiskeys

 

 

2) Liqueur - Also known as cordial, flavored, usually sweet alcoholic beverages.

 

Examples:

  • Amaretto - Almond-flavored liqueur from Italy

  • Baileys - Whiskey/mint-flavored from Ireland

  • Blue Curacao - Orange-flavored

  • Crème de Cacao - Chocolate/vanilla/ France

  • Crème de Menthe - Mint-flavored from France

  • Grand Marnier - Orange/Brandy-flavored/France

  • Kahlua - Coffee-flavored from Mexico

  • Tia Maria - Coffee-flavored liqueur / Jamaica

  • Triple Sec - Orange-flavored

  • Abricotine - Apricot/brandy-flavored / France

  • Advocaat - Egg.Sugar.Brandy-flavored/Holland

  • Anisette - Anise-flavored, France, Italy, Spain

  • Apricot Brandy - Apricot-flavored

  • B&B - Mixture of Benedictine/brandy, France

  • Benedictine - Herb-flavored liqueur / France

  • Blackberry Brandy - Blackberry-flavored

  • Chambord - Raspberry-flavored from France

  • Chartreuse - Herb-flavored from France

  • Cherry Brandy - Cherry-flavored / Denmark

  • Cointreau - Orange-flavored liqueur / France

  • Crème de Banana - Banana-flavored

  • Crème de Cassis - Black currants-flavored/France

  • Crème de Noyaux - Almond-flavored / France

  • Crème de Vanilla -Vanilla/France, Holland

  • Drambuie -Scotch- herbal, honey, Scotland

  • Florenza - Hazelnuts-flavored from Italy

  • Frangelico - Hazelnut-flavored liqueur, Italy

  • Galliano - Herb-flavored yellow liqueur, Italy

  • Goldwasser - Herbal-flavored from Germany

  • Irish Mist - Whiskey-based liqueur, Ireland

  • Keuck - Coffee-flavored liqueur /Turkish

  • Kirsch - Cherry-flavored from Alsace

  • Kummel - Caraway-flavored from Germany

  • Malibu - Coconut rum-flavored from USA

  • Maraschino Liqueur - Maraschino cherry/Italy

  • Midori - Honeydew melon-flavored, Japan

  • Monin - Lime-flavored liqueur from France

  • Ouzo - Anise-flavored liqueur from Greece

  • Pasha - Coffee-flavored liqueur from Turkish

  • Peach Brandy - Peach-flavored liqueur

  • Peppermint Schnapps - Peppermint-Germany

  • Peter Heering - Cherry-flavored / Denmark

  • Prunelle - Plum-flavored liqueur from France

  • Rumple Minthz - Peppermint / Germany

  • Sabra - Orange and chocolate-flavored, Israel

  • Sambuca - Liquorice/neutral spirits, Italy

  • Sloe Gin - Sloe berries-flavored

  • Southern Comport - Peaches-flavored / USA

  • Vander mint - Chocolate & mint/Netherland

  • Yukon Jack - Strong, amber-colored/Canada

 

 

Type of Liquor

 

Brandy

  • Is the spirits distilled from grapes wine and those distilled from fruits are called fruit brandy, It is aged in oak casks are usually bottled at 80 proof (a measurement of alcoholic strength or content). 

 

Brandy is expensive because ten of barrel of wine is used in making one barrel of brandy.

 

Examples:

  • Cognac

  • Armagnac

  • Calvados

 

Brandy

  • Produced from the region of cognac they called cognac. All brandies produced outside cognac they called brandy. The different between cognac and brandy is the cognac can called brandy but brandy cannot called cognac and they are different processing method: The cognac is a product of double distillation and brandy outside cognac mostly are single distillation.

 

Cognac

  • A brandy known for its smoothness and heady dry aroma is produced only in the cognac region of France. Cognac, by the definition and by international law, is brandy produced from grapes grown in the district of Cognac.

 

 

Grapes Variety

 

By Law Only 8 Varieties are allowed:

 

 Examples:

  • 1) Folle Blanc

  • 2) St. Emillion

  • 3) Colombar

  • 4) Blanc Rame

  • 5) Jurancom Blanc

  • 6) Montils

  • 7) Semillon

  • 8) Sauvignon

 

There are seven (7) geographical  divisions, and therefore seven grades of Cognac. They are in order of quality.

Examples:

  • 1) Grande Champagne

  • 2) Petite Champagne

  • 3) Borderles

  • 4) Fins Bois

  • 5) Bon Bois

  • 6) Bois  Ordinaires

  • 7) Bois Communes

 

Only the first two, which are the best, will appear on a Cognac's label. Since Cognac is a blend, there can be no vintage years. However, most companies indicate the relative quality of Cognac is identified by stars or letters. The quality of Cognac is identified stars or letters marked on the bottle. As follows:

 

Examples:

Stars

  • *       ( 1 star ) ----- 3 years in cask

  • **     ( 2 stars ) ---- 4 years in cask

  • ***   ( 3 stars ) ---- 5 years in cask

  • ****  ( 4 stars ) ---- 6 years in cask

  • *****( 5 stars ) ---- 7 years in cask

 

Letters

  • VO ---Very Old - 5-10 years

  • VSO - Very Special Old -10-15 years

  • VSOP-Very Special Old Pale-15-20 yrs

  • XO ---Extra Old - 20-years or more

 

Examples:

  • Luis XVIII

  • Remy Martin

  • Hennessy

  • Martell Cordon Blue

  • Courvoisier

 

 

Whiskey

 

  • Is distilled from a fermented mash of grain(usually corn, rye, barley or wheat) and then aged in oak barrels. During the aging period whiskey obtain its characteristic amber color flavor and aroma. The major whiskey producing countries are: United State, Canada, Scotland, and Ireland.

 

American Whiskey Fall into 3 Major Categories

  • 1) Straight whiskey

  • 2) Light whiskey

  • 3) Blended whiskey

 

Straight Whiskey

  • Is distilled from corn, rye, barley or wheat(not blended with neutral grain spirits or any other whiskey) and aged in charred oak barrel for a minimum of two years. There are 4 major type of straight whiskey.

 

There are 4 Major type of Straight Whiskey:

  • 1) Bourbon Whiskey

  • 2) Tennessee Whisky

  • 3) Rye Whiskey

  • 4) Corn Whiskey

 

 

1) Bourbon Whiskey

 

  • Is distilled from a mash of grain containing not less than 51% corn and is normally aged in 4 years in new charred oak barrels. It is amber in color and full-bodied in flavor. When distilled in Kentucky it is usually referred to as Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Bourbon is named for Bourbon Country in Kentucky where this type of whiskey originated. It is also produced in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Missouri.

Examples:

  • Jim Beam

  • Wild Turkey

  • Old Taylor

  • Early Times

  • Hiram Walker

  • Old Grand Dad

 

2) Tennessee Whiskey

  • Is called sour mash whiskey instead of bourbon, it is filtered through maple charcoal after distillation, which gives delicate smoothness and flavor. Sour mash is a spirit made from a regular sweet, mash brew mixed with some soured old mashed brew in a ratio of about 2 regular to one sour. The sour mash gives a heavier body and finer flavor to bourbon, lending it a bit of sweetness and delicacy. Most bourbon is sour mash, although their labels may not indicated it.

Example:

Jack Daniels

 

 

3) Rye Whiskey

  • Is distilled from a mash of grain containing not less than 51% rye and is much like bourbon in color but it is different in taste and heavier in flavor.

Examples:

  • Old Thompsons

  • Fleishman's,

  • Seagram's 7

  • Seagram V.O

  • Canadian Club

  • Crown Royal

 

4) Corn Whiskey

  • Is distilled from a mash of grain containing not less than 80% corn. Corn whiskey is commonly aged in re-used charred oak barrels.

Examples of Three Categories:

 

1) Bottle in Bonded Whiskey

  • Is produced under United States government supervision. Though the government does not guarantee the quality of bonded whiskey, it does require that the whiskey be at least 4 years old, that it be bottled at 100 proof. That it be produced in one distilling by the same distiller and it be sorted and bottled at bonded warehouse under government supervision.

 

2) Light Whiskey

  • Is a new type of American whiskey which is produced at between 160 proof and 189 proofs and stored in used charred oak containers for a minimum of 4 years, Significant characteristic are the lightness of Flavor and smoothness of taste color, which may vary from clear to amber, is not significant.

 

3) Blended Whiskey

  • Is a blend of one or more straight whiskies and neutral grain spirits containing at least 20% or more straight whiskey bottle at not less than 80 proofs.

  • 1) Kentucky Whiskey a Blend - Blended whiskey in which all straight bottled whiskies are distilled in Kentucky.

  • 2) A Blend of Straight Whiskies - occurs when two or more straight whiskies are blended together to the exclusion of neutral grain spirits.

  • 3) American Blended Light Whiskey - is a new American whiskey category consisting of less than 20% straight whiskies, at 100 proof and 80% of American light whiskey.

 

Canadian Whiskey

  • Blended whiskies usually distilled from rye, corn and barley. Produced only in Canada, under government supervision. Most of the Canadian whiskey sold in this country is at least 4 years old. Canadian whiskey is 80 proof and is lighter bodied than American whiskey.

 

 

Scotch Whiskey

  • Is produced only in Scotland. All scotch blends contain malt whiskey grain whiskey ( similar to American grain neutral spirits) Scotch distinctive smoky flavor comes from drying malted barley over peat fires. All the scotch imported into this country is at least 4 years old and is usually 80 or 86 proof. Scotch sold in the rest of the world is almost 80 proof. It has 2 kinds:

 

Two (2) Kinds of Scotch Whiskey

  • 1) Malt Scotch

  • 2) Grain Scotch.

 

 

1) Malt Scotch

  • Is made from 100%  barley malt. The greater amount of malt gives it a heaver flavor.

Examples:

  • Glen Fiddich

  • Glen Livet

  • Macallan

  • Pinch

  • Glenmorangie

  • Singleton

 

 

2) Grain Scotch

  • Is made from malt combined with unmalted barley and corn. It is lighter or more delicate than malt scotch.

Examples:

  • Passport

  • Teacher's

  • Ballantine’s

  • Dewar's

  • J & B

  • Cutty Sark

  • Johnnie Walker

  • Chivas Regal

  • Swing

  • Royal Salute

 

 

Irish whiskey

  • Is produced only in Ireland. Like scotch, it is a blended whisky containing both barleys malt whiskies and grain whiskies. Unlike scotch, however, the malt is dried in coal fired kilns and the aroma of their fires does not reach the malt, Irish whiskey is heaver and more full-bodied than scotch and is usually 86 proof.

Examples:

  • Jameson

  • Old Buslmills

 

 

Rum

  • Is distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, cane syrup and molasses at less than 190 proofs (160 proof New England Rum) and bottled not less than 80 proofs. It is aged in uncharred barrels where it picks up very little coloring: Dark rums often have caramel added to them for color. Most rum are blends of several aged rums, ranging from heavy, pungent type to light, brandy like varieties selected for special aroma flavor and odor.
  • 1) Light Bodied Rums - dry with only a very slight molasses flavor, available in 2 varieties, white and gold label (or Light and dark), the gold or dark is a little bit sweeter with a more pronounced taste.

  • 2) Heavy Bodied Rums - darker and sweeter and has a pungent bouquet, body and flavor, these rums are distilled by a different and slower fermentation process which allows more time for a fuller, richer molasses like body to developed

Examples:

  • Bacardi

  • Mount Gay

  • Myer's

  • Captain Morgan

  • Havana Club

 

 

Gin

  • Distilled from grain and receives its flavor and aroma from junifer berries and other aromatics such as coriander, orris, lemon peel, etc, It is colorless, but some brands may have a golden color because of the aging process in the barrels. Every gin producer has its own special recipes. Gin sold around the world at 80 proofs is bottled in this country at proof varying from 80 to 94 proofs.
  • 1) Dry Gin - merely signifies that the lacks sweetness

  • 2) Vacuum Distilled Gin - distilled in a glass lined vacuum still at low 90 degree Fahrenheit capturing only the light, volantile flavor and aroma without the bitters found in some gins.

  • 3) London Dry Gin - originated in England and now considered as generic term and may appear on American made gins as well dry gin from England are inclined to be little heaver bodied.

  • 4) Golden Gin - dry gin aged in wood where it acquired its golden color.

  • 5) Holland, Geneva or Schiedam Gins - are importanted from Holland, where gin originated and are highly flavored and rich in aromatic oils, they do not mix well with other ingredients in cocktails.

  • 6) Old Tom Gin - is an English gin that has been sweetened with sugar syrup. Is a sweet gin usually flavored with orange, lemon or mint.

Examples:

  • Gordon Gin

  • Beefeater

  • Tanqueray

  • Bombay

 

 

Vodka

  • most versatile of all alcoholic beverages, highly refined and filtered liquor distilled at or above 190 proof, bottled at not less than 110 proof. It was originally made in Russia, from potatoes, but in the U.S, it is usually distilled from grain primary corn and wheat. The subtle differences between various vodka result from the types of grain used and the distilling and filtering processes employed. Most American vodka is filtered through activated charcoal. Is not aged, it is colorless and virtually tasteless and odorless.
  • 1) Flavored Vodka - An American originated product. Excellent straight or in mixed drinks, it has been sweetened and flavor, usually with orange, lemon, lime mint, or grape. It is usually bottled at 70 proofs.

  • 2) Flavored Vodka - a polish vodka in which a bit of special “buffalo" grass is steeped. This European grass gives the vodka a light yellow color and a slight aromatic bouquet; it can be made at home by buying buffalo grass from an herb company and it in vodka.

Examples:

  • Absolute

  • Smirnoff

  • Stolichnaya

  • Finlandia

  • Skyy Vodka

  • Belvedere Vodka

  • Gordon Vodka.

 

 

Tequila

  • Is the national drink of Mexico, distilled from the fermented sap of century plant, a type of cactus ( Maguey or Mescal Plant ).

Examples:

  • Jose Cuervo

  • Two Fingers

  • Sauza

  • Camino Real

 

Aquavit

  • Made from wheat, potatoes and various spices distilled in the Scandinavian countries mainly Denmark and Sweden. It is serve very cold.

 

Arrak

  • Made by distilling fermented rice, plant shoots and molasses. The main producing countries are Indonesia, china, and South America.

 

 

Liqueur

  • Also known as cordials, are compounded spirits flavored in various ways, it is drink based on a spirits or fine alcohol with added sugar syrup and aromatic substances. ( fruits, plants, flowers ) which give its characteristic taste. The preparation generally consists of simply mixing the ingredients and allowing them to stand. It is produced mainly in France and Holland.

Examples:

  • Cointreau - France. Flavor of orange rind.

  • Curacao - Flavor of orange

  • (Note: Please see on type of spirits above)

 

 

one can of san miguel beer

Beer

  • Is a brewed and fermented beverage made from malt barley and other starchy cereals flavor with hops. Beer is the generic embracing all malt beverages.

 

Type of beer

  • 1) Stout - a brew similar to porter but got its name by being more "stout" that is higher in alcohol content that porter. It is fermented and has a dark color, acquired from roasted unmalted barley, It has more of a hoppy taste than either porter or ale. It has 2 kinds: Dry and Sweet stout.

  • 2) Dark Beer - has a rich and creamy taste which has a dark color and pronounced flavor from malt sprouts roasted at high temperatures.

  • 3) Lager Beer - bottom fermented brew, bright, clear, light bodied sparkling beer pilsner is a term used universally on light labeled beer, these are bright, light lagered beer.

  • 4) Pasteurized Beer - beer have under gone pasteurization  ( exposing them to 140 degree to 150 F / 160 degree F. in order top kill bacteria which cause spoilage) before these are packaged.

 

 

Dessert Wines

  • Can be distinguished from ordinary wines by their sweeter taste and their higher alcoholic content. These wines come from southern countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary, and Southern France.

 

Type of Dessert Wines

 

Port Wine

  • Is a sweet wine from Portugal, which can also be taken as an aperitif and used in the preparation of many foods.

 

 

Sherry Wine

  • Is drier and stronger and is fortified with spirit. A true sherry may only come from the Jerez area of Southern Spain.

 

 

Aperitifs

  • Aromatized wines that stimulates the appetite under 40 proof thrist quenching and refreshing drink taken before meals to improve the appetite or to stimulate the appetite.

 

 

one bottle of martini bianco on the bar counter

Types of Aperitifs

  • 1) Vermouth- is made on the basis of a sweet or dry wine in which selection of aromatic herb is infused. Its alcohol content is from 16% to 18%.

 
 
 
one small bottle of angostura bitters in a bar counter
  • 2) Bitters- are wine based drinks, in the same way as vermouths. Various plant and roots are steeped, noted for their tonic and stimulant properties. Its alcohol content is 17% to 30%.

 
 
 
one bottle of anise in a bar counter
  • 3) Anises- are aniseed based drinks used in place of absinthe, which is now forbidden. The alcohol content is 45% and this should be stated on the label. These are always served w/ very cold water.

 

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
 
Approximate Blood Alcohol %
 
Body Weight (lbs)
 
  • Drinks            100    120     140    160     180    200
  • 1                     .04     .03     .02     .01     .01     .01
  • 2                     .08     .05     .04     .03     .03     .02
  • 3                     .11     .08     .07     .06     .05     .04
  • 4                     .15     .12     .09     .08     .07     .06
  • 5                     .19     .14     .12     .10     .09     .08
  • 6                     .23     .17     .15     .13     .11     .10
  • 7                     .26     .20     .17     .15     .13     .12
  • 8                     .30     .24     .20     .17     .15     .14
  • 9                     .34     .27     .23     .20     .17     .15
  • 10                   .38    .25     .22     .19     .19.     .17
 
 
 
 
Note No.1:
 
 
  • To have some knowledge on how to get the alcoholic content of every bottle of liquor, liqueur and wines please find 
 
below example.
 
Example: 
 
Formulas
 
  • One bottle of JW Red Label - 1 litter with 40% vol.
  • 40% vol X 2 = 80% alcoholic content in one bottle of JW Red Label - 1 litter
  • For every one bottle of JW Red Label - 1 litter (1,000 ml) Approximate with 20 shots of 50 ml per shot
  • 1,000 ml  /  50 ml = 20 shots
  • 80% alcoholic content / 20 shots = .04 Approximate Blood Alcohol % per shot of JW Red Label
  • 04 Approximate Blood Alcohol % per shot of JW Red Label
 
 
  • The computation is the same to all other spirits and wines, just follow the guides and you can get the Approximate 
 
Blood Alcohol %
 
 
Note No.2:
 
  • All wines and spirits and all alcoholic beverage have alcoholic % vol, when you check the vol of alcoholic beverage always multiply by 2 and you can get the whole alcoholic content of the one bottle, can or what ever measurements of the beverage. 
  •  

 

 

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