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Spirits Guide


Brandy is a class of spirits that is distilled from grape wine, the pomace left over from winemaking, or the fermented juice from other fruits. Most grape brandies are aged in oak, while the fruit and pomace brandies are unaged and clear.


Gin is a flavored spirit, obtained by redistilling a high-proof spirit primarily in the presence of juniper berries and other flavoring agents. There is no single way that gin must be produced and a variety of styles exist depending on distillation techniques.


Liqueurs, also known as cordials, are flavored spirits containing no less than 2.5% sugar by weight and prepared by mixing or redistilling any type of spirit with fruit, plants, or other natural substances.


Rum is a spirit distilled from a fermented mash of sugarcane juice or molasses. It is often aged in wood barrels, but this is not a requirement. Rums can be made into a variety of colors and styles.


Tequila is a spirit produced from the blue agave plant and comes in a wide variety of styles and flavor profiles. Unlike other major spirit categories, tequila can only be made in a few designated areas in Mexico.


Vodka is a clear, unaged spirit that is often considered to be completely neutral – without distinct characteristics, flavor, color, or aroma. Source ingredients can range from grains such as rye and wheat, to potatoes, grapes, and sugarcane.


Whiskey is a spirit made from a fermented mash of grain, distilled under 190 poof and stored in oak barrels before bottling at no less than 80 proof or 40% abv. (alcohol by volume). Whiskey must be made exclusively from grains, either as a single grain or a blend.