How different alcoholic beverages are made
Alcohol has always been a popular drinking option when it comes to celebrations and parties. With the holiday season upon us we thought it fitting to talk about some of your favourite types of alcohol and share some facts about them you might not already know about them.
Who doesn’t love a nice, cold beer after a hot day in the sun? There are many different types of beer such as Ale, Lager, Sahti and Wheat Beer to name a few. Beer is made from grains, and usually has a slightly lower alcohol content that wine – 5% for light beers, to 8 or 10% for regular beers. Some can get even higher. The oldest known recipe is for a 4,000-year-old beer made by the Sumerians.
Quick idea: Next time before you down your beer, tilt the glass to see if foam sticks to the side. If it does, that’s called “Brussels lace”, considered by some as a sign of high-quality beer and its freshness.
Whether you’re a connoisseur who knows how to pair the perfect meal with a specific wine, or just someone looking forward to a nice glass during dinner – there’s something about wine that makes it the sophisticated alcohol of choice. Wine is fermented grape juice. Red grapes make red wine; white grapes with the absence of the pomace (skins and pulp) make white wine; and Pink grapes or a blend of white and red grapes make Rose. Adding a little bit of sugar and some fresh yeast just before bottling carbonates the bottle and makes Sparkling wine, Champagne being one of the most famous types of sparkling wine.
Typically wine has an alcohol content of 8-13%. There are many factors that influence the taste and flavour of wine including the style, grapes used, colour, mixture of sugar, acid, tannins (for red), and the age of the wine. Young wines tend to be fruity and flowery, and as they get older, develop ‘darker’ flavours.
Quick Idea: Did you know that the wine cork isn’t for smelling but actually for examining? When a waiter or sommelier gives you the cork, check to see if it’s all in one piece, a fragmented or mouldy cork can indicate a lower quality wine. Usually with higher quality wines, the cork also displays the bottled date and other info.
Vodka is a distilled spirit made by distilling fermented grain like wheat, corn or potatoes. It has an alcoholic content of 40%. It’s typically a neutral spirit with no flavour other than the alcohol and water; but there are definite variations in quality, as well as flavoured vodkas.
Quick ideas: Other than a fun night out (and possibly a bit of a headache the next day), Vodka also has a few uses helpful around the house. Received a beautiful bunch of flowers? A teaspoon of sugar with a few drops of vodka keeps flowers fresher longer. Worrying about ripping off that band-aid (literally)? Soak a cotton ball with a bit of vodka and rub it over the band-aid – vodka helps dissolve the adhesive.