Glossary

On this page you will be able to get the meanings of the terminology used in the distilled spirits and craft cocktails industry. Words will be broken down by category and then alphabetized.

Spirit Classifications:

  • Absinthe – a green liqueur which is flavored with wormwood, anise, and other aromatic herbs and commercial production of which is banned in many countries for health concerns
  • Advocaat – Egg flavored distilled spirits product
  • Aquavit – Caraway flavored distilled spirits product
  • Bitters – Distilled spirits product distinguished by it bitterness produced by blending extracts of plants, seeds, herbs, barks and/or roots with any class and/or type of distilled spirits
  • Bourbon – a whiskey distilled from a mash made up of not less than 51 percent corn plus malt and rye
  • Brandy – Spirits distilled from the fermented juice, mash or wine of fruit or from its residue at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to brandy and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
  • Cognac – a brandy from the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime distilled from white wine
  • Gin – Spirits with a main characteristic flavor derived from juniper berries produced by distillation or mixing of spirits with juniper berries and other aromatics or extracts derived from these materials and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
  • Liqueur – Flavored spirits product containing not less than 2½% by weight sugar, dextrose, levulose or a combination thereof made by mixing or redistilling any class or type of spirits with or over fruits, flowers, plants or pure juices therefrom or other natural flavoring materials or with extracts derived from infusions, percolation or maceration of such materials
  • Mezcal – Spirits distilled in Mexico in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Mexican Government from a fermented mash derived from the Mezcal plant, having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to Mescal/Mezcal and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
  • Moonshine – Informal. smuggled or illicitly distilled liquor, especially corn liquor as illicitly distilled chiefly in rural areas of the southern U.S.
  • Rum – Spirits distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses or other sugar cane by-products at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to rum and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
  • Scotch
  • Tequila – Spirits distilled in Mexico in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Mexican Government from a fermented mash derived principally from the Agave Tequilana Weber (“blue” variety), with or without additional fermentable substances having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to Tequila and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
  • Vodka – an unaged, colorless, distilled spirit, originally made in Russia.
  • Whisk(e)y – Spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)

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