When it comes to whiskey, I don’t know what kind of image will appear in everyone’s mind. Maybe it was the black party in the KTV set menu, mixed with green tea? Hmm, no. Or is it a clip from the American country movies in the 1980s, in a small bar in the western United States, American cowboys are smoking a cigar while holding a glass of whiskey, chatting loudly, and drinking? Cool… Could it be that in the 007 series of movies, which beauty he was chatting with on the bar with a glass of whiskey? Or, it could be a big question mark…
Distilled liquor? What kind of alcohol is whiskey?
The alcohol content of low-alcohol liquor is generally below 5 degrees, which is basically some beer or some rice wine made at home. The alcohol content of medium alcohol is generally 5-15 degrees, which contains most of the wine and a small part of beer. The alcohol of low-alcohol and medium-alcohol is derived from the conversion of sugar by yeast.
Medium to high wines, generally at 15-25 degrees, are basically fortified wines. Why is it called fortified wine? Because alcohol itself has an inhibitory effect on yeast, if it exceeds a certain concentration of alcohol, the alcohol will in turn kill the yeast, so the yeast cannot continue to ferment. Therefore, it is not possible to directly reach above 20 degrees by fermentation. It is only possible to add more highly distilled spirits to these wines, so they are called fortified wines.
High-grade liquor is actually distilled liquor. The alcohol is extracted through distillation, so the alcohol content will be very high. The freshly distilled liquor can reach an alcohol content of more than 70 degrees, but in the end it is diluted with water or the alcohol evaporates naturally during the aging process. The final alcohol content of this type of wine is 40-50 degrees, and our protagonist today-whiskey belongs to the category of high-grade wine.
Can all distilled spirits be called whiskey?
We just count the distilled spirits around us, such as the most familiar Chinese liquor, as well as vodka, rum, tequila, gin, and all kinds of liqueurs that are used in cocktails in bars. For example, the Baileys that everyone is most familiar with. In addition, the VSOP and XO of Remy Martin, Hennessy, and Martell that you usually drink are also distilled spirits. But none of these wines can be called whiskey.
Liquor, vodka, rum and whiskey are also distilled spirits. What’s the difference?
That’s right, that’s the raw material used! Everyone knows that our liquor uses all kinds of grains, most of which is sorghum. The brandy mainly uses a variety of fruits, most of which are grapes, the most representative being French cognac. In addition, among the base wines used in cocktails in bars, the raw materials used in vodka are mainly potatoes. Many cocktails use vodka as the base wine, such as Bloody Mary when I eat Bruch on weekends.
The raw materials of rum are black molasses and sugar cane juice. The most famous brand is that bat, Bacardi. There are many pre-mixed drinks made with it as the base wine in the supermarket. In the bar, the most famous one is based on it. The classic cocktail made is Mojito; Tequila is made from the roots of cacti. There are many ways to drink tequila. We can drink it in small cups, called Shots, or it can be used to make cocktails. The classic is Magarita; the final gin is distilled with various spices and diluted vodka. The most important of the spices is gin. The most common cocktails for gin are Gin Tonic and Gin Martini.
What is whiskey made of?
Perhaps many consumers know that whiskey is also made of grains. The grains used in whiskey in different styles and countries are different. There are mainly four: barley, wheat, rye and corn. Whiskey in Scotland, Japan and Ireland is mainly used. It is malted barley. If 100% of the malted barley is used, we call it malt whisky. Others can also be used alone or mixed with sprouted barley to make blended whiskeys.
American bourbon whiskey mainly uses corn. In addition, there are also whiskeys of different grains, which use more than 51%. For example, American malt whiskey requires more than 51% of malted barley to produce. Many Canadian whiskeys are blended with these, mainly blended whiskies.
In summary, we can now give whiskey a definition, which is a distilled spirit with barley, wheat, rye and corn as the main raw materials. Of course, due to the difference in raw material selection and production methods, even if they are all whiskey, there will be big differences between them.