About AlcoholAll alcohol beverages (distilled spirits, beer and wine) are made by the natural process of fermentation of a natural source of sugar by a catalyst, usually yeast.
Fermentation is a process whereby the carbohydrates such as starch and sugars in the plants are transformed into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. The ethyl alcohol molecule produced by the fermentation process is the same for all alcohol beverages.
Fermentable plants are the primary raw materials for beer, wine and distilled spirits.
- Distilled spirits use the widest variety of plant material, which can include grains for whiskey, sugarcane syrup and molasses for rum and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for vodka and gin.
- Beer begins with grains such as barley and wheat. Hops are also added.
- Grapes are usually used for wine, but other fruits and vegetables can also be used.
The sugar from grapes is fermented to produce wine. Beer is produced through a malting and brewing process beginning with barley and wheat sugar. Distillation turns beer into whiskey.
The distilling process is accomplished by removing water to concentrate the alcohol strength and the flavors.
The making of alcohol beverages has a rich history. The exact recipe for any of the many alcohol brands available is a well-kept secret among the distillers, brewers, or vintners who make them.