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Flashcards in Hard Liquor and Spirit Basics Deck (42)
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How many ounces are in a standard "shot" of liquor?

1.5 oz. or 45 ml

(This applies to a "shot" in the United States. In some countries a shot is 1 oz, ex. Australia)


How much beer and wine contain as much alcohol as a 1.5-oz. "shot" of liquor?

  • 12-oz. beer
  • 6-oz. glass of wine

(Based on standard 40% alcohol hard liquor)


Why was the concept of proof created?

18th Century British sailors were paid partially in rum, which had to be "proved".

The rum was combined with gunpowder and lit. If it burned, the rum was "proved"; otherwise, the rum was watered down too much and was "below proof".


How do you calculate proof?

Proof is double the alcohol-by-volume, so if a liquid is 50% alcohol, it would be 100 proof.


What are the 3 most popular beverages in the world?

Water, tea, and beer


What is the difference between a lowball and a highball?

Lowball drinks are served in a short glass and highball drinks are served in a tall glass. They should each contain the same amount of alcohol, but lowballs have less mixer, so the drink should be stronger.


What is the fermented
ingredient in wine?



What is the fermented ingredient in sake?


Note: Sake is commonly called "rice wine"


What is the fermented
ingredient in beer?

Malted barley


Where did rum originate?

Either in ancient India or China


What is the fermented ingredient in rum?

Sugar cane byproducts:

  • molasses
  • sugar cane juices


What aromas should you look for when nosing a rum?

  • vanilla
  • caramel
  • butterscotch
  • tobacco
  • leather


What can you determine from the appearance of a rum?

Its age

The longer a rum ages, the darker it will be


What flavors should you
look for in rum?

  • caramel
  • brown sugar
  • tobacco
  • molasses
  • leather


What popular drinks use rum?

  • Rum and Coke
  • Rum Runner
  • Piña Colada
  • Tom and Jerry
  • Mai Tai
  • Zombie


What is the fermented
ingredient in gin?

Neutral grain spirits flavored with juniper


What aromas should you look for when nosing gin?

  • citrus
  • fruit
  • floral
  • earth
  • spice
  • wood


What is the proper way
to taste gin?

  1. Sip and let roll around the mouth before swallowing
  2. Pay attention to the warmth of the alcohol (you will be able to notice an array of flavors from the botanicals)
  3. Let the gin rest on your palate while exhaling through your nose (the result of the spirit should be smooth and creamy on the tongue with a long, soft taste)
  4. Swallow and pay close attention to the aftertaste


Should gin be completely clear when held up to the light?

If made from natural ingredients, gin need not be completely clear


What popular drinks use gin?

  • Gin Martini
  • Gin and Juice
  • Gin and Tonic


What is the fermented ingredient in whiskey?

Dependent on the variety,
but can include:

  • barley
  • malted barley
  • rye
  • malted rye
  • wheat
  • maize (corn)


Scotch is a variety of what type of liquor?



What was colonial America's largest and most prosperous industry?

The manufacture of rum

The first rum distillaries were in Staten Island, New York and Boston, Massachusetts


What is the fermented ingredient in vodka?

  • grain (usually rye or wheat)
  • potatoes, or
  • sugar beet molasses


When and where was vodka invented?

14th century Russia


What should vodka look like?

A fine vodka has a thick and creamy texture when frozen


What should you look for in the nose of a vodka?

  • Good vodka: creamy, sweet, or grainy fragrance
  • Bad vodka: medicinal or aggressive with a harsh odor of ethyl spirits


What popular drinks use vodka?

  • Kamikaze
  • White Russian
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Lemon Drop


What was North America's first indigenous distilled spirit?


When the Conquistadors ran out of their own brandy, they began distilling the Aztecs' agave drink


What color should tequila be?

Clear, pale yellow, golden,
or golden brown

(Darker color indicates either extensive aging or the use of caramel coloring)