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What Are the Common Distilled Spirits in the United States?

Within the United States, there are many popular brands of distilled liquor, but types such as vodka and whiskey are highly consumed throughout the country. Vodka is made from the same type of fermentation process as beer or wine, and the distilling process will increase the strength of the drink. Vodka is often made from grains such as wheat, corn, and sorghum, and the alcohol by volume will start at around 40% and can go up to as high as 95%. American whiskey is a popular drink in the United States and the same can be said about bourbon. Whiskeys and bourbon are aged in oak barrels that create this unique caramel color and flavor. The average alcohol by volume for both American whiskey and bourbon can start at 36% and will go up to 50%, which is determined by how long it has been aged. Rum and gin have also been popular spirits in America; rum is made from fermented sugar cane, beet sugar, molasses or any other type of non-fruit sugar.

Through the distilling process, the alcohol level is increased and can start at 36% alcohol by volume and go up to 50% ABV. Gin, on the other hand, is a liquor that is started as a neutral distilled spirit, and then other types of juniper berries or an aromatic botanical is added to give it flavor, and the ABV will start at 36% and go up to 50% alcohol by volume. Tequila is a Central or South American originated beverage, but brands of tequila are made in the United States. Tequila is made from fermented agave, and many types of tequila originally had hallucinogenic properties in addition to the ethanol. The average alcohol by volume for tequila is around 50 to 51%, and will typically not go any higher. There is also a difference between liquor and liqueurs, a liqueur is a distilled spirit, but things such as fruit, cream, sugar or other types of flavoring are added. Common liqueurs include amaretto, triple sec, or schnapps, and the average alcohol by volume for liqueurs is around 15%.

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