Types of beverages – alcoholic and non-alcoholic

Beverages have been an integral part of human culture for centuries, offering not just hydration but also pleasure, indulgence, and even cultural significance. From the humble cup of tea to the elaborate cocktail creations, the world of beverages is vast and diverse.

What is a beverage? The beverage is any potable liquid other than water. intended for human consumption. In addition to their basic function of satisfying thirst. The beverage is a drink artificially prepared and of an agreeable flavour. The word “Beverage” has been derived from the Latin word “bever”

Beverages play important roles in human culture. Common types of drinks include plain drinking water, milk, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, and soft drinks. Let’s see how the beverages are classified

Beverages may be further classified into two

  1. Alcoholic beverage
  2. Non-alcoholic beverage
Classification of beverages

An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, a type of alcohol produced by fermentation of grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar. commonly-known as alcohol. Ethanol is a psychoactive drug, with a depressant effect. Alcohol has been widely consumed since prehistoric times by people around the world, as a component of the standard diet, for hygienic or medical reasons, for its relaxant and euphoric effects, for recreational purposes, for artistic inspiration, as aphrodisiacs, and for other reasons.


Alcoholic beverages can be addictive and the state of addiction to ethanol is known as alcoholism.

Alcoholic beverages can be classified as:

  1. Fermented alcoholic beverage
  2. Distilled alcoholic beverage

1. Fermented alcoholic beverage

In the fermentation process, certain yeasts decompose sugars, in the feedstock in the absence of oxygen, to form alcohol and carbon dioxide; a method for the production of ethanol, wine, and beer. Low-alcohol content drinks are produced by fermentation of sugar or starch-containing products, and high-alcohol ones are produced by distillation of these low-alcohol products.


Examples of fermented beverages are:

1. Wine

Wine is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes or other fruits. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients. Wine has been produced for thousands of years, and its history stretches back to ancient civilizations. There are many types of wine, including red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert wines, each with its own unique characteristics and flavors. Wine is enjoyed worldwide and is often associated with social gatherings, celebrations, and fine dining.

2. Beer

Beer is another popular fermented alcoholic beverage and is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world. It is typically made from cereal grains, most commonly barley, though wheat, maize (corn), and rice are also used. The basic ingredients of beer include water, malted barley (or other grains), hops, and yeast.

3. Cider

Cider is a fermented alcoholic beverage made primarily from the fermented juice of apples. It’s similar to wine in its production process but uses apples instead of grapes. Cider can be made in a wide range of styles, from sweet to dry, and can vary in alcohol content. The process of making cider typically involves crushing apples to extract their juice, fermenting the juice with yeast to convert sugars into alcohol, and then ageing and sometimes carbonating the resulting beverage.

4. Perry

Perry is a type of alcoholic beverage similar to cider, but instead of being made from apples, it is made from fermented pear juice. Like cider, perry can vary in sweetness, flavour, and alcohol content depending on factors such as the types of pears used and the fermentation process.

2. Distilled Alcoholic beverages (Spirits): 

Distilled alcoholic beverages, also known as spirits or liquor, are beverages that have undergone a process of distillation to increase their alcohol content. Unlike beer, wine, and cider, which are fermented, distilled spirits are created through a process that involves heating a fermented liquid (often called a “wash” or “mash”) to separate and concentrate the alcohol.

These are unsweetened, distilled, alcoholic beverages that have an alcohol content of at least 20% ABV. Spirits are produced by the distillation of a fermented base product. Distilling concentrates the alcohol and eliminates some of the congeners. 


Examples of distilled alcoholic beverages are:

1. Whiskey

Whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. The grains used in whisky production typically include barley, corn, rye, and wheat, although the specific grain mixture can vary depending on the style and regulations governing whisky production in different regions.

2. Vodka

Vodka is a clear distilled spirit typically made from fermented grains such as wheat, rye, corn, or potatoes, though it can also be produced from other starch-rich crops. It is known for its neutral flavor profile and high alcohol content, usually around 40% to 50% alcohol by volume (ABV).

3. Rum

Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made primarily from sugarcane byproducts, such as molasses or sugarcane juice. It is typically produced in tropical regions, where sugarcane cultivation is prevalent, such as the Caribbean, Latin America, and some parts of Southeast Asia.

4. Gin

Gin is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is primarily flavored with juniper berries and other botanicals. It is known for its distinctive herbal and aromatic profile, which is derived from the various botanicals used in its production.

5. Brandy

Made by distilling wine or fermented fruit juices, with variations including grape brandy (such as Cognac and Armagnac) and fruit brandies (such as apple brandy and plum brandy).

6. Tequila and Mezcal

Distilled from the fermented juice of the blue agave plant, primarily produced in Mexico. Mezcal is similar to tequila but is made from a variety of agave plants and often has a smokier flavour.

7. Liqueurs

Sweetened and flavoured spirits are made by infusing fruits, herbs, spices, or other flavourings into a distilled spirit base. Examples include triple sec, amaretto, and coffee liqueurs like Kahlúa.

An alcohol-free or non-alcoholic drink, also known as a temperance drink, is a version of an alcoholic drink made without alcohol, or with the alcohol removed or reduced to almost zero. These may take the form of a non-alcoholic mixed drink (a “virgin drink”), non-alcoholic beer (“near beer”), and “mocktails”, and are widely available where alcoholic drinks are sold.

The term “soft drink” specifies the absence of alcohol in contrast to “hard drink” and “drink”. The term “drink” is theoretically neutral but often is used in a way that suggests alcoholic content. Drinks such as soda pop, sparkling water, iced tea, lemonade, root beer, fruit punch, milk, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, milkshakes, and tap water and energy drinks are all soft drinks.


Non-alcoholic beverages are classified into three:

  1. Stimulating
  2. Nourishing
  3. Refreshing

1. Stimulating

  1. Tea: Tea is a beverage made by steeping dried tea leaves in hot water. It comes in numerous varieties, including black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and herbal tea, each with its own flavor profile and health benefits.
  2. Coffee: Coffee is a brewed beverage made from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from certain Coffea species. It is a popular pick-me-up due to its caffeine content and comes in various forms, such as espresso, latte, and cappuccino.

2. Nourishing

  1. Water: Perhaps the most essential non-alcoholic beverage, water is crucial for hydration and is consumed in various forms, including plain, sparkling, and flavored.
  2. Juices: Fruit juices, such as orange juice, apple juice, and grape juice, are popular non-alcoholic beverages made by extracting the liquid from fruits. They are often consumed for their vitamins and natural sweetness.
  3. Sodas/Soft Drinks: Carbonated soft drinks, commonly known as sodas, come in a myriad of flavors and are made by mixing carbonated water with sweeteners, flavorings, and sometimes caffeine.

3. Refreshing

  1. Milk and Dairy Alternatives: Milk and dairy alternatives, such as soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk, are non-alcoholic beverages that are consumed for their nutritional value and as ingredients in other drinks and dishes.
  2. Smoothies: Smoothies are blended beverages made from a mixture of fruits, vegetables, yogurt, milk, or juice. They are often consumed as a nutritious and convenient meal replacement or snack.
  3. Mocktails: Mocktails are non-alcoholic cocktails made by mixing various fruit juices, flavoured syrups, and other non-alcoholic ingredients. They offer the same fun and refreshing experience as cocktails without the alcohol content.
Share This Article

Leave a Comment