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5 Wines Beer Drinkers Will Love — and 5 Beers Wine Drinkers Will Love Slideshow

5 Wines Beer Drinkers Will Love — and 5 Beers Wine Drinkers Will Love Slideshow


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How to find the right beer and wines for your taste buds

Starting From the Beginning: How Do You Take Your Coffee?

Want to know what kind of beer or wine you (or your partner) might like? The answer may just lie in the coffee cup. Generally speaking, Laughren says, people who like bold craft beers or wines tend to drink their coffee black, while those who like lighter beers and wines will often add sugar and cream to their coffee. A person’s coffee preference "really gives insight into what beers and wines they’ll like," says Laughren.

If You Like: Big,

You’ll Like: Brunello, barolo, and shiraz from Australia

A taste for "big, extreme craft brews," Laughren says, indicates "a drinker whose palate is very tolerant and appreciative of extremes in flavors." That means the big, bold wines, like Italian brunellos and barolos, plus extreme shiraz from Australia, will best suit his or her taste buds.

Wines We Love: Delas Hermitage Les Bessards 2009, Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz 1998, Alban Lorraine Estate Syrah 2005

If You Like: Light lagers

You’ll Like: Pinot grigio, unoaked chardonnays, crisp, dry white wines (think sauvignon blanc), albariños, and lighter reds (think rioja)

A taste for light beers doesn’t mean an uneducated palate — it just means you want something that’s "easy to drink, not challenging on the palate but refreshing," says Laughren. So avoid the bigger, bolder red wines for these light drinkers; they’ll only be turned off. If you give them "a very heavy monster shiraz from Australia, that’s making a mistake," says Laughren. "It’s not even that he doesn’t like wine, he just hasn’t had the chance to try wine in style of beverage that he likes." So stick with wines that are similarly light and refreshing, like a dry, crisp white wine.

Wines We Love: Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Gris 2006, Domaines Schlumberger Princes Abbes Pinot Gris 2009, Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2008, Bodegas Raul Perez Sketch Albarino 2009

If You Like: Pinot grigio, unoaked chardonnay, moscato

You’ll like: Cream ales, lagers, brown ales, pilseners

Cream ales have a bit more weight to them than your basic lager (made only with grain, water, yeast, and a touch of hops), but have hints of citrus that will appeal to white wine drinkers. Brown ales are also lighter than the big hoppy craft beers, but with a bit of spice; another flavorful beer style that wine drinkers will love? Weisse beers or wheat beers, made with hints of coriander and orange peel. And you don’t have to shy away from the light beer market, Laughren says. "There are plenty of great lagers on the market," he says. "Try the Pilsner Urquell, the original lager."

Beers We Love: Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, Session Lager, UnderDog Atlantic Lager

If you like: Bold red wines, like shiraz

You’ll like: Yep, IPAs, IPL’s, and any beers with hops

Like a big, bold mouthfeel in a wine? Better go with a similar mouthfeel in your beer selection — and fortunately, there are more than enough IPAs on the craft beer market to satisfy your cravings.

Beers We Love: KettleHouse Brewing Company's Double Haul IPA From KettleHouse Brewing Company, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA, Societe Brewing Co.'s The Pupil

If you like: Sweeter wines, like moscato

You’ll like: Darker beers, like stouts

Technically speaking, Laughrem says, there's no such thing as a "sweet" beer. But that doesn't mean sweet wine-lovers should shy away from beer altogether. Drinkers typically think that the darker the beer, the bigger and heavier it will be. Not so, Laughren says. "The color of a beer reflects the roasting process" of the malts and grains, says Laughren. That usually gives a beer a caramelized flavor, rather than a big, bitter flavor. On the other hand, the deeper the color of wine, the more phenolic content in the glass, which translates into a heavier mouthfeel and texture. So don’t be alarmed by some of the stouts you’ll see on the market.

Another overlooked beer option for the sweet tooths? Lambics. A Belgian beer that’s fizzy, and often made with added fruits and sweeteners; you won’t believe it’s not wine.

Beers We Love: Anderson Valley/Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout

If You’re in the Middle

What do you do if your taste buds fall in the middle? You’re not in the mood for an overly hopped beer, or big bold red wine, but want to avoid lagers or light wine wines, too? Your beer options: Stick with a bock, a German beer that has just the right amount of sweetness and hops to it. Even some craft lagers, like Samuel Adams’ lager, Laughren says, are interesting enough to keep all drinkers happy. As for wine, try a cabernet sauvignon or blended wine from Washington state, a region known for its balanced, "elegant" wines that aren’t too bad on the wallet, either.

Wines We Love: Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon 2008


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


What Are Spirits?

The term “spirits” can refer to a lot of things: the stuff you’re not supposed to lose during hard times. Something cheerleaders are professionally obsessed with. The beings you negotiate with after you’ve accidentally moved into a haunted house. And, oh yes, bottles of power-packing alcohol.

But what are alcoholic spirits, exactly? Basically they’re the biggest, brawniest older brother of the alcohol family. All alcoholic beverages are made by fermenting some form of sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. Because yeast can only ferment so much before alcohol levels become toxic to them, we have to distill (or physically separate out the water) to get higher alcohol concentrations. And that’s why “spirits” are differentiated in two ways: they’re distilled, and they have higher average ABVs, from around 20% to as high as 80 or 90% ABV (most spirits fall somewhere much closer to the middle).

Of course, the term “spirit” (aka liquor) doesn’t refer to everything you see in a liquor store besides wine and beer. For instance, you may also see bottles with names like Fernet Branca, Amaretto, Peach Schnapps, or Peychaud’s Bitters. These are all part of the colorful, intoxicating extended spirits family, but they’re not quite spirits (because they’ve had things like sugar, herbs, and spices added to them and tend to have lower ABVs).

So how can you spot a spirit/liquor? These days, thanks to a glutted market, it’s not quite as obvious as a jug with a few X’s on it. There are craft distilleries cranking out newer, smaller brands, flavorings that make hard liquor taste like anything from jalapeño to marshmallow, and even some seriously unusual packaging that takes brand recognition to a freaky new level.

But thanks to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, all spirits bottles have to be labelled with some pretty specific information: the brand name the kind of spirit in the bottle (e.g. vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whisky, though you may also see things like moonshine, mezcal, pisco, and cachaça) any further required details regarding the spirit, for instance the age of the whiskey if it’s under four years the alcohol by volume (or ABV), which must be written as a percentage but will often also be labelled as “Proof” the country of origin as well as address and name of the importer or bottler and, last but not least, a big fat government warning about the dangers of alcohol.

There’s a lot more that differentiates one spirit from another, but this generally—plus centuries of distilling history—is what differentiate spirits in the alcohol world.

Spirits are the highest ABV products of the yeast-based fermentation of a liquid brewed to have fermentable sugars. Unlike beer or wine, however, spirits are the product of a second step called “distillation” that further fortifies them.


Watch the video: Cool white wines from Italy: Episode 357 (July 2022).


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    In my opinion you commit an error. I suggest it to discuss. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  3. Kajihn

    There is something in this. Okay, thank you very much for your help in this matter.

  4. Yozshurr

    WELL YES NOT THAT NORMAL



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