Want to know what's in your glass......
Vodka is distilled from one of the following: corn, wheat, rye or potatoes. It is usually clear, perhaps tinted (e.g., by fruit or herbal additives), but always clear, never cloudy. Vodka is very rarely aged in barrels. Usually it goes from distillery to bottle to store and bar shelves.
Gin is a hard alcohol flavored with the seeds of the juniper bush. Gin is a rather dry alcohol and is rarely drunk on its own, but used instead as a base for many different types of drinks. Good gin is very smooth, with a strong juniper flavor exciting the senses.
Rum is distilled from sugar cane juice and/or molasses. It is aged in barrels to impart additional flavors.
Whiskey is a drink made by distilling grains and aging the resulting alcohol in oak casks. It may also be spelled whisky, particularly when describing Scotch whisky, Welsh whisky, or Canadian whisky. Irish whiskey and American whiskey are usually spelled with the added ‘e’. The word whiskey is derived from an Irish Gaelic term, uisge beatha, which is often translated as “the water of life”.
Bourbon is an American whiskey, a type of distilled spirit, made primarily from corn and named for Bourbon County, Kentucky. It has been produced since the 18th century. Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn. On 4 May 1964, the United States Congress recognized Bourbon Whiskey as a "distinctive product of the United States.
o Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume).
o Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels
o Bourbon may not be introduced to the barrel at higher than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume).
o Bourbon which meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years, may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon
o Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.
o If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.
Brandy is distilled from grapes or other fruit. Think of it as wine that has been boiled so that the alcohol within turns to vapor and is caught, aged, and bottled.
EAU DE VIE:
An eau de vie (plural, eaux de vie; also spelled eau-de-vie and eaux-de-vie) is a clear, colorless fruit brandy that is produced by means of fermentation and double distillation. The fruit flavor is typically very light.
A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.
Grappa is an Italian alcohol which is made by distilling pomace, the leftovers of winemaking. The name grappa is in fact a reference to this, as it means “grape stems” in an Italian dialect. Many winemaking nations have their own versions of grappa, and these drinks tend to be very strong, fiery, and incredibly diverse.
Moonshine is a common term for home-distilled alcohol, especially in places where this practice is illegal. The name is often assumed to be derived from the fact that moonshine producers and smugglers would often work at night (i.e. under the light of the moon).
Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45%–74% ABV) beverage. It is an anise-flavored spirit derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, commonly referred to as "grande wormwood". Absinthe traditionally has a natural green color but can also be colorless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as "la fée verte" (the Green Fairy). Although it is sometimes mistakenly called a liqueur, absinthe was not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is unusual among spirits in that it is bottled at a very high proof but is normally diluted with water when consumed.