Portal:Liquor

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Distilled beverages at a bar    The Liquor Portal    Liquor shelves at a hotel

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Rows of distilled beverages in a bar

A distilled beverage, spirit, liquor, hard liquor or hard alcohol is an alcoholic beverage produced by distillation of a mixture produced from alcoholic fermentation. This process purifies it and removes diluting components like water, for the purpose of increasing its proportion of alcohol content (commonly expressed as alcohol by volume, ABV). As distilled beverages contain more alcohol they are considered "harder" – in North America, the term 'hard liquor' is used to distinguish distilled beverages from undistilled ones, which are implicitly weaker.

Examples of distilled beverages include vodka, gin, rum, whisky, eau de vie (fruit brandy or schnapps), tequila, baijiu, soju, aguardiente, pálinka, cachaça, singani, borovička and slivovitz. Brandy is a spirit produced by the distillation of wine, and has an ABV content of over 35%. Distilled beverages bottled with added sugar and added flavorings are known as liqueurs, which includes beverages such as Grand Marnier, Frangelico, and American schnapps.

Distilled beverages are served in many ways, including neat/straight, as a shot, straight up, on the rocks, as an ingredient in a cocktail, as a mixer, blended or frozen, in a gelatin shot, and with water.

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Burned rum
Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts, such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels. Rums are produced in various grades. Light rums are commonly used in cocktails, whereas "golden" and "dark" rums were typically consumed straight or neat, on the rocks, or used for cooking, but are now commonly consumed with mixers. Premium rums are also available, made to be consumed either straight or iced.

The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the location where a rum was produced. Despite these variations, the following terms are frequently used to describe various types of rum: dark, light, gold, flavored, overproof, spiced and premium.

The majority of the world's rum production occurs in the Caribbean and Latin America. Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as in The Maritimes and Newfoundland. Rum is also produced in Austria, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, the Philippines, India, Réunion, Mauritius, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, the United States and Canada.

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Smirnoff vodka in a shot glass
Pyotr Smirnov founded his vodka distillery in Moscow in 1864 under the trading name of PA Smirnoff, pioneering charcoal filtration in the 1870s, and becoming the first to utilize newspaper ads along with charitable contributions to the clergy to stifle anti-vodka sermons, capturing two-thirds of the Moscow market by 1886. His brand was reportedly a Tsar favorite. When Pyotr died, he was succeeded by his third son Vladimir Smirnov. The company flourished and produced more than 4 million cases of vodka per year.
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