Sake: General Knowledge

Sake

This article is about the beverage. For other uses, see Sake (disambiguation).

Sake (/ˈsɑːk/ or /ˈsɑːki/)[1][2] is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. It may also be spelled saké.

In the Japanese language, the word sake refers to Japanese liquor, while the beverage called sake in English is termed nihonshu (日本酒, “Japanese liquor”).

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Mezcal: General Knowledge

Mezcal

 
  Various views of a bottle of mezcal. The worm can be seen in the middle image, at the bottom of the bottle.

Mezcal, or mescal, is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant (a form of agaveAgave americana) native to Mexico. The word mezcal comes from Nahuatl mexcalli[meʃ’kalːi] metl [met͡ɬ] and ixcalli [iʃ’kalːi] which means “oven-cooked agave”.[1]

The maguey grows in many parts of Mexico, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca.[2] There is a saying attributed to Oaxaca regarding the drink: “para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también” (“for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well”).[3][4]

It is unclear whether distilled drinks were produced in Mexico before the Spanish Conquest.[5] The Spaniards were introduced to native fermented drinks such as pulque, also made from the maguey plant. Soon the conquistadors began experimenting with the maguey plant to find a way to make a distillable fermented mash. The result was mezcal.[6]

Today, mezcal is still made from the heart of the maguey plant, called the “piña”, much the same way it was 200 years ago, in most places.[3][7] In Mexico, mezcal is generally consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor.[7] Though mezcal is not as popular as tequila (a mezcal made specifically from the blue agave in select regions of the country), Mexico does export the product, mostly to Japan and the United States, and exports are growing.[8]

Despite the similar name, mezcal does not contain mescaline or other psychedelic substances.[9]

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Gin: General Knowledge

Gin

This article is about the alcoholic beverage.For other uses, see Gin (disambiguation).
  A selection of bottled gins offered at a liquor store

Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). From its earliest beginnings in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved over the course of a millennium from a herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Today, the gin category is one of the most popular and widely distributed range of spirits, and is represented by products of various origins, styles, and flavor profiles that all revolve around juniper as a common ingredient.[1][2]

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Whisky: General Knowledge

Whisky

This article is about the alcoholic beverage. For other uses, see Whisky (disambiguation).

  Whisky on the rocks.

Whisky or whiskey[1] is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barleymalted barleyrye, malted rye, wheat, and corn. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, made generally of charred white oak.

Whisky is a strictly regulated spirit worldwide with many classes and types. The typical unifying characteristics of the different classes and types are the fermentation of grains, distillation, and aging in wooden barrels.

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