Alcoholic beverages are produced through the fermentation of plant-derived carbohydrates by yeasts. Yeasts convert the sugars in the carbohydrates to ethanol and carbon dioxide. Alcoholic beverages can be classified based on the materials and processes used in their fermentation. Here’s a closer look at different types of alcoholic drinks:
- Beer – Beer is manufactured by fermenting the extracts of carbohydrate-containing grains with yeast. It is flavored with a bitter substance in order to balance out the sweet taste of unfermented sugars. Beers are made from grains, usually barley, in a very elaborate process.
- Spirits – Spirits include whiskey, bourbon, scotch, gin, rum, and more. Spirits are produced from plant products that were fermented and distilled. The fermented materials usually contain 10+ percent alcohol, or more, based on distillation.
- Wine – Wines are alcoholic drinks fermented from fleshy fruits such as grapes. The first step is to harvest ripened grapes from vineyards. The trick is to pick the grapes when they have achieved the proper balance of sugar and acids.