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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Lemon Drop cocktails
The Lemon Drop is a vodka-based cocktail that has a lemony, sweet and sour flavor, whereby the sweet and sour ingredients serve to contrast and balance one-another. It has been described as a variant of, or as "a take on", the vodka Martini. It is prepared with the addition of lemon juice, triple sec and simple syrup. Plain or citrus-flavored vodka may be used in its preparation, such as citron vodka, and lemon-flavored vodka is also sometimes used. It is typically prepared and served straight up, meaning that it is shaken or stirred with ice, strained, and served in a stemmed glass, such as a Martini glass.

The drink was invented sometime in the 1970s by Norman Jay Hobday, the founder and proprietor of Henry Africa's bar in San Francisco, California. After its invention, the drink swiftly spread to many San Francisco saloons. Some variations of the drink exist, such as blueberry and raspberry Lemon Drops. It is served at some bars and restaurants in the United States, and in such establishments in other areas of the world.

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Selected biography

Old Crow bourbon whiskey in a snifter glass
Doctor James C. "Jim" Crow (1789-1856) was the Scottish creator of the sour mash process for creating bourbon whiskey. Dr. Crow, a Scottish chemist-physician, graduated in medicine from Edinburgh University in 1822. He moved from Philadelphia to Kentucky in 1823 and began working for a distiller, bringing his scientific and medical training to the process. Crow began experimenting in 1835 at his Glenn's Creek Distillery in Woodford County Kentucky with a saccharimeter to measure sugar content. This litmus paper test to determine the mash acidity resulted in Crow's decision to age his "Old Crow" whiskey before selling it. Dr. Jason S. Amburgey, an employee of the same distillery as Dr. Crow, is also sometimes credited with creating the sour mash process.
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