Portal:Liquor

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Distilled beverages at a bar    The Liquor Portal    Liquor shelves at a hotel

Introduction

An old whiskey still

Liquor (also hard liquor, hard alcohol, spirits, or distilled beverage) is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruit, or vegetables that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process purifies the liquid and removes diluting components like water, for the purpose of increasing its proportion of alcohol content (commonly expressed as alcohol by volume, ABV). As distilled beverages contain significantly more alcohol, they are considered "harder" – in North America, the term hard liquor is used to distinguish distilled beverages from undistilled ones.

As examples, this term does not include beverages such as beer, wine, mead, sake, or cider, as they are fermented but not distilled. These all have a relatively low alcohol content, typically less than 15%. Brandy is a spirit produced by the distillation of wine, and has an ABV of over 35%. Other examples of distilled beverages include vodka, baijiu, gin, rum, tequila, mezcal, and whisky. (Also see list of alcoholic drinks, and liquors by national origin.)

Selected article

Tequila
Tequila is a regional specific name for a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 km (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the north western Mexican state of Jalisco. Although tequila is a kind of mezcal, modern tequila differs somewhat in the method of its production, in the use of only blue agave plants, as well as in its regional specificity.

The two basic categories of tequila are mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos use no less than 51% agave, with other sugars making up the remainder. Mixtos use both glucose and fructose sugars. Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo.

Mexican laws state that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila is recognized as a Mexican designation of origin product in over 40 countries, is protected through NAFTA in Canada and the United States, and has been a protected designation of origin product in the constituent countries of the European Union since 1997.

Selected biography

Smirnoff vodka in a shot glass
Pyotr Smirnov founded his vodka distillery in Moscow in 1864 under the trading name of PA Smirnoff, pioneering charcoal filtration in the 1870s, and becoming the first to utilize newspaper ads along with charitable contributions to the clergy to stifle anti-vodka sermons, capturing two-thirds of the Moscow market by 1886. His brand was reportedly a Tsar favorite. When Pyotr died, he was succeeded by his third son Vladimir Smirnov. The company flourished and produced more than 4 million cases of vodka per year.


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Cocktail Glass (Cosmopolitan).svg
  • Distilled spirit. Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • Distilled beverages (category). Wiktionary.
  • Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits. U.S. Government Publishing Office.
  • The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

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