6/21/08

Six Essential Spirits

“I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion.” Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

As evidenced by the quote above, many of us like to partake of a cocktail now and then. The overview today will regard spirits – the products of distillation – and the last of the basic types of alcoholic drink to be invented.

Credit for invention of spirits and the distillation process generally goes to the Chinese, although there is much debate on this subject. Some archaeological evidence seems to show the practice of distillation dating all the way back to 5000 BC.

In the present time, the quantity and variety of distilled spirits is definitely awe-inspiring. Fortunately this assortment can be broken down somewhat, making it more manageable for the home bartender.

I am going to start at the absolute top level of organizing and look at what is considered the six essential spirits. They are as follows:

· Gin
· Vodka
· Rum
· Whiskey
· Tequila
· Brandy

This is the bare-bones list of where to begin when stocking a bar. Keep in mind that there are varieties in some of the categories, for example whiskey, that need to be accounted for when purchasing. I will cover that in future blogs.

Until then, even if you happen to have “no occasion”, mix yourself a nice cocktail and enjoy...!

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