Alcohol is a fermented drink which consumes some amount of Ethanol. Though, it is consumed for enjoyment purpose but is scientifically also known as a depressant. The amount of alcohol consumed decides its effects.
Alcohol by its chemical composition is an organic compound. Alcohol denotes ethanol which is the main component present in Alcoholic Beverages. If overdose of ethanol is consumed, it can be fatal due to its toxic nature.
Alcohol, if consumed as a stimulant relaxes the brain functioning and helps in loosing up, while if consumed in excess makes you lose control over body coordination.
The alcohol content in different beverages can classify further Alcohols.
The Most Famous Alcohol Based Beverages are:
Beer is usually fermented grain juice and has an alcohol content of about 2-6%.
There are two classifications of Beer, Them being:
(a) Ales: Fuller in taste and dark in color, ales have a deeper flavor than lagers. Further Ales are classified as:
- Pale: Lighter than other ales but rich in flavor.
- Wheat Beers: German And Belgian wheat Ales are considered the best.
- Indian Pale: It is heavier in its alcohol content and thus rich in flavor.
- English Bitter Ale: This is served warm unlike other beers and is not bitter.
- Amber Ales: Amber colored beer with caramel and toffee like flavors.
- Stouts and Porters: These are dark colored ales. They are almost black to see.
(b) Lagers: Lagers are the crisp beers with a light color. Just like ales lagers are further classified in:
- Pilsner: When a pale lager is flavored with a Saaz hop for the rich flavor it is called pilsner.
- Dark Lagers: They are darker than other lagers but not so much like ales.
- Pale Lagers: These are light, crisp and clean beers.
Tequila is a distilled alcohol and has an alcohol content of 40%. It is made of fermented blue agave. Primitively it was only used for shots but now also consumed as rich alcohol due to the improvement in its quality.
Fermented fruit Juice is distilled to receive brandy. Majorly grapes are used and not all fruits. Brandy usually has 40% or more alcohol content. Brandy can also be distilled wine.
Ciders are fermented fruit juices. They have a refreshing taste and can be used to substitute beer. They have a low alcohol content of around 6-8%. Various ciders available are apple cider, pear cider, orange cider, strawberry cider and a combination of two or more of these.
It is a clear spirit made from grains. Vodka is said to tasteless, but flavors can be sensed and differentiated as per brands. The alcohol content of vodka lies between 40-50%.
Whiskey is often called a gentleman’s drink. It has an alcohol content of around 40–50 % and whiskey is the final product of the fermentation process. The various types of whiskey available are Bourbon, single malt, double malt, Tennessee, Rye and Cask strength whiskey.
Almost always confused with brandy, Rum is produced by fermentation and distillation of sugarcane or by molasses. The older the rum, the better it tastes. Thus, rum is often left for aging in barrels. It has an alcohol content of 40% or more.
Fermented grapes are used to provide us with the royal alcohol, i.e. wine. This process can range from a month to years for completion. It has an alcohol content of 8-20%.
Wine can further be categorized in 5 headers:
(a) Red Wine: When the skin of the grapes is left on during the fermentation process red wine is received.
(b) White Wine: When before the process of fermentation is started the grapes are skinned then the wine received is white.
(c) Sparkling Wine or Champagne: The sparkling wines are generally carbonated and do not depend on the quality of grapes but the process of fermentation.
(d) Rose Wine: The skin of red grapes is removed during the process of fermentation giving this wine the rosy color that it has.
(e) Fortified Wine: These are the beverages which are a combination of both the distilled and the fermented beverages.
Gin can be explained easily by addressing it as flavored yet not sweetened vodka. Until it is flavor with Juniper berry, Gin is not considered to be Gin. It has an alcohol content between 40–47%.
Liqueurs have an alcohol content between 15-60% and are sweetened spirits. These are often consumed after receiving flavor from various herbs or spices. They are available in various varieties. Some of them have been listed below:
(a) Absinthe: This one has an anise flavor to it.
(b) Amaretto: The base of this liquor are almonds.
(c) Southern Comfort: A lightly peach and spiced liquor with a hint of whiskey.
(d) Campari: This liquor is well known for its bitter taste.
(e) Chambord: A unique raspberry flavor.
(f) Sambuca: Anise-flavored again and usually consumed as shots.
(g) Crème de anything: A French name with any added flavor.
(h) Fireball: A whiskey based out of Canada with a sweet cinnamon flavor.
(i) Maraschino: Marasca cherries are used to make this strong sweet liquor.
(j) Jägermeister: It is a thick sweet liquor rather herbal liquor with its roots from Germany.
Bitters are usually alcohols which are flavored with botanical matter and thus, their bittersweet or bitter-sour flavor.
Beverages with an alcohol content of around 3-7% are called alcopops. They can be malt beverages or wine coolers or natural fruit juices with some alcohol in them.
This is the classification of Alcohol as further beverage alcohol is a part of the carbon family in chemistry and has its own subdivisions namely:
• Methyl Alcohol
Methyl alcohol is also called methanol and find its primary use as a solvent in industries. Degrading methanol forms formaldehyde which is another useful carbon family compound.
• Iso Propyl Alcohol
This is famous among physicians for disinfecting purposes. It is commonly known as rubbing alcohol and is combined with water before use. To prevent people from consuming it, many bittering agents are added to it.
• Ethyl Alcohol
Ethyl alcohol is the beverage that we consume, It is also called ethanol and has been discussed in detail above.
Alcohol thus, might be a way to let yourself loose and enjoy for a while but, it should not regularly be consumed and neither should it be consumed excessively. IT has harmful effects on our body, and its overdose can at times be fatal.