What kinds of alcohol do people drink (and for sober people)?
Alcoholic beverages come in a wide variety of types, so how should we identify them? What kind of alcohol do people drink can tell us where the alcohol-free market is going long term.
Trends are crucial, and we can help influence that.
And more importantly, if you are trying to cut back or out altogether, what kind of alcohol-free alternative will we see in the future by type of drink and will our preferences be on the list.
Some alcohol-free drinks are easy to make than others, and they don’t come cheap either.
Alcohol-free drink makers will not make anything unpopular, right?
Will it account for the explosion of one of your favourite alcohol-free tipples, maybe? Alcohol-free gin.
Of course, you can’t call it gin as it does not contain alcohol, so it’s an alcohol-free spirit, but as it is not legally a spirit, we cannot call it that either.
It is complicated being an alcohol-free drinker, honest.
The fact is there is a critical rule around the amount of alcohol in certain drinks.
So what kind of alcohol do your drinking buddies shove down their neck?
It is possible to identify them by analyzing their origin or their alcohol content from the descriptions.
Manufacturers are proud of where their alcohol is made and comes from.
And I get that. It is part of their identity as if you are a drinker yours as well.
Nevertheless, alcoholic beverages can be categorized based on the various methods by which they have been made.
It is all very prim and proper!
Fermented drinks, distilled drinks, fortified drinks, alcohol-infused red, white and rose wines, liqueurs, and creams are the main categories of alcohol.
Some people call them spirits, depending on where they live.
But as you might guess, the primary alcohol-free options are sparkling wine, beer and wine. Plus, there is now an influx of alcohol-free spirits.
Some spirits are easy to replicate, and some are harder.
It is mainly a manufacturing choice as whiskey, for example, is more brutal to replicate than gin and is left behind.
So what is a fermented drink?
Actually, in many cases, it tells us why alcohol-free drinks are so expensive. You often have to make it and then take the alcohol out and top it up with water.
The idea is to make them taste similar but not the same.
Although it has to be said, many people expect a like for like experience, and you will not get it.
But then you get some surprises like Leffe 0.0. Which is just amazing.
You can get fermented drinks by fermenting them.
Simple but make sense.
The fruits and grains used in the process (grapes, apples, wheat, barley, etc.) are transformed into alcohol.
There is a chain reaction when yeast is around, as that is yeast’s whole point and role in alcohol and, in some cases, alcohol-free drinks.
According to the Brewers Association, the most usual yeasts in red wine and beer are of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Plus, you have all the usual science to produce this drink, like heat and the absence of oxygen.
It does not mean producing alcohol-free drinks any easier.
Fermentation procedures also differ with different beverages.
During the fermentation process, the yeasts that are responsible for the fermentation are microscopic fungi. Usually, they live on the grape skins.
Approximately ten days are required for the fungi to initiate a reaction.
The container is typically made of stainless steel. During spontaneous fermentation, the temperature rises.
The most popular fermented beverages are white wine, sparkling wine, cava, and beer. Cider, vermouth.
And yes, I would add cider to that. It is adorable made without alcohol.
Check out the reasons to like Koppanberg Fruit Cider.
As ever, watch the sugar.
And does mocktails fall into this group? Not really as mocktails are cocktails but a right old mixture of everything.
Just no alcohol.
What about Distilled drinks or spirits?
That is another adventure altogether.
The distillation process transforms fermented drinks (such as fruit, grains, herbs, roots, or sweet plants) into alcoholic beverages.
But what is the process for purifying these drinks?
Distilling fluids are brought to the boiling point first so that the liquid can be separated from the alcohol.
Drinks with a higher alcohol content will be obtained once the alcohol is cooled.
I bet you never knew that there was so much in it.
It is one of the reasons creating an alcohol-free alternative to these different drinks is so challenging.
And let’s be honest, not cheap!
Of course, those are the alcoholic drinks that take forever to make.
With this thousand-year-old technique, you can produce a wide range of drinks.
It’s all about knowing how to add the correct components and get a drink that’s a pleasure for the taste buds and a drink with high alcohol content.
You can use starches or other seasonings of veggie beginnings for this.
Of course, the high alcohol content is not good news when you are cutting back on alcohol.
Always know the units in alcohol, and the website drinkaware is an excellent place to start.
Whiskey, vodka, tequila, rum, gin, brandy are among the leading distilled drinks.
Alcohol-free gin seems to be the most successful out there out of that list.
What is fortified, and is there an alcohol-free equal?
Well, remember, alcohol-free drinks should not contain alcohol, although some do have a trace by nature.
But alcohol-free wine or low alcohol-free wine is slowly making an impact.
But boy, it wasn’t very good at the beginning, but I bet you know that.
Fortified drinks are fermented white and red wines, which are fortified by increasing their alcohol content. Thus, the alcohol content is increased as well as its taste is balanced.
This means that alcohol in these drinks is derived from a natural fermentation process. And a purification procedure to get from the initial 15% to the preferred 17%-25%.
I mean, they are powerful.
A glass of port can go into your system fast, and again they are only meant to be drink in small quantities.
Just like ordinary everyday wine has gone from standard glass to a big one without anyone questioning it or noticing it.
You often think of Spain as the origin of some of these drinks. But the net goes much more widely than that.
Here you’ll find fortified red wines, such as Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Manzanilla, and French Banyuls.
Most of them are fortified with brandy.
Is there an alcohol-free cream drink?
Yes, this brings the spirit label into question, but that is not stopping the drinks producers, and Lyre’s is having success with this.
I know you thought you were “stuffed” for the after-dinner drink without any alcohol.
But slowly, things are changing.
A liqueur or cream is a beverage that mix sugars, aromatic spices, and fruits with milk or spirits.
There are various ways to make it. However, the final product is similar.
Liquors and lotions are divided into this group due to the diversity of the products.
Every region or country has some unique liqueur or cream that is unique to that region or country! For example, go to Spain, and you get a Spanish Cream.
Although I have yet to see a prominent alcohol-free alternative.
It is generally fruit- and herb-based drinks that are most popular. This is because some of them are medicinal. Which, in my view, is asking for trouble and potentially very dangerous.
All these drinks should be regulated. Sorry, Grandma.
Their alcohol content and glass shapes vary throughout the country.
But still, such drinks do not have rules or restrictions as you might find on your travels. Instead, the local brew is just wafted at you as a greeting.
If you are alcohol-free, be polite and say you have an allergy; that will get you out of most situations.
Please read my story below
Liquors can be made by mixing ingredients.
The mix may include natural herbs, fruits, seasonings, nuts, or other components and pour hot water over them (at approximately 90 degrees.
Maceration is another method for acquiring liqueurs.
Liquors are produced by extracting flavours from solid substances using a removal liquid comprised of alcohol and water.
Coldwater and alcohol cover most of the dish (fruits, herbs, etc.) before processing.
The blend is then filtered, the syrup is added. And the beverage is bottled after a few days (depending on the ingredients).
Adding active ingredients to liqueurs can further enhance their taste.
For example, the well-known Baileys Irish cream was created by combining milk cream with Irish whiskey. Cream spirit usually follows a similar formula as well, although everyone is protective about their method.
Bailey is the famous one though
What kinds of alcohol do people drink?
You can see the dilemma for alcohol-free drink makers.
The ease with which you can replicate the actual alcohol formula plays a significant role.
But the good news is their beer and gin seem to be at the front of the pack.
Then we have Sparkling Alcohol Free Wine which is fantastic. Spirits such as Caleno are racing ahead ( although there are some exceptions to the choices)
Wine is getting there but struggling just a bit, but don’t let that put you off. There is some excellent option like Guiltess Wine in the UK. They do 0.0 wines.
It seems the future of alcohol-free will depend on demand and the ease of making them. The cost will be a factor, of course.
What kinds of alcohol do people drink? Maybe it will be what kinds of alcohol-free drinks are people drinking soon. Who knows!