Distilled spirits or liquor is an alcoholic beverage distilled from fruits, grains, and fermentable ingredients. It is way stronger than wine and beer.
The six base liquors or distilled spirits available today are whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and brandy. While all of these have their qualities, we will mainly focus on the first through this article on the best-distilled spirits in NZ. Let’s start, shall we?
How are these Spirits made?
Each distilled spirit available in the market has a base ingredient that is first fermented. This process is just like producing wine or beer.
The yeast is added to the wort. For those who don’t know, the wort is a mixture of water and mash with a fermentable organic substance. Once the yeast starts working on the mix, the base ingredient’s sugars are transformed into alcohol.
The dry profile of gin is the best candidate for non-sweet or dry cocktails such as martinis and many classics. It has an excellent base required for cocktails with fewer ingredients and works well with light mixers and fruits.
It is a natural partner for herbs in these mixes. Gin is distilled from barley, rye, corn, and wheat (all the neutral grains). It is further flavoured with the help of different botanicals according to brands.
Gin is now being produced worldwide. Although, it has been mainly known as a European and British product. There are multiple styles available such as Plymouth gin, Genever, New American, London Dry Gin.
The alcohol content typically stands at 40 to 47 per cent ABV.
Vodka is one of those spirits in NZ that is exceptionally versatile! Vodka cocktails have every imaginable flavour available. It can range from savoury to sweet herbs or fruits and even sparkling mixers to spices.
Vodka goes long back and is distilled from anything along with fitting anywhere. Most commonly, it is produced from neutral grains such as wheat, corn, rye, etc., and potatoes. You will also find vodkas extracted from grapes, beets, and various bases.
This white spirit usually has a neutral ethanol or alcohol taste. This taste can be altered based on the distillate base and flavourings. You can also distinguish vodka based on texture into medicinal and oily.
Vodka is now made everywhere but traditionally referred to as the spirit from Poland and Russia. It also has an alcohol content of 40 to 50 per cent ABV. You can also try best polish vodka available in the market.
Whiskey is also a pretty versatile cocktail base like vodka! You can find many styles and diversity in its flavour profiles. Many people use whiskey to make complex drinks and go well with most fruits, especially the darker ones.
Malted grains have been used to distil whiskey for a long time. It can differ in style, but it is usually barley, wheat, corn, or rye. Some of the whiskies may have a combination of grains as well. You generally get a malted, roasted grain taste along with oak undertones in any whiskey.
Whiskey styles are differentiated based on the location it has been produced. On a general note, it is made all over the world. Styles could vary from Irish whiskey to Bourbon. Canadian Whiskey, Scotch Whiskey, or Flavored Whiskey.
The alcohol content is similar to vodka or gin.
Whiskey, Gin, and Vodka are the top distilled spirits available in the market. You must try them to get these hugely loved liquors’ real taste and feel. We suggest using them in cocktails is the best way to start. Hope you enjoy them soon!
The 6 Types of Base Distilled Spirits (thespruceeats.com)