Now seems like as good a time as any to take up chronic alcoholism as a hobby, as long as you don’t understand the concept of VAT. Alcohol, just like non-vegetarianism, showing affection & free speech in our great country, warrants intense social ostracism and vilification, especially if you’re caught drinking light beer in public. The most difficult thing for any young alcoholic is knowing exactly what goes into whatever they’re drinking (that and getting a believable fake id) which is why we’ve put together a little list that explains the different kinds of alcoholic drinks you’ll come across in your lifelong quest to pickle your liver. Here they are:
Beer is the starter kit for any alcohol enthusiast. It’s made from fermented barley and flavoured with hops. That’s right; they add the bitter taste on purpose. Fermentation is the process by which yeast converts sugar into alcohol and water. Beer is the third most widely consumed drink worldwide after water and tea, and is actually one of the reasons why early man began farming. As someone who’s tried to eat barley I can assure you, it’s not grown for its edibility. The alcohol content of beer is generally between 4%- 10% which is so low that in Russia it’s considered a foodstuff as opposed to alcohol. There are many different kinds of beer depending on the way they’re fermented and brewed, but the two major beer families (not in the Mallya way) are Ale; which is made by warm fermentation and Larger; which is a cool fermented beer. While ales tend to have complex, fruity flavours, lagers are clean and elegant and crisp, just what you’d wan’t after a tiring day.
Fun Fact: The workers who built the pyramids were paid in beer though the workers who interned there weren’t paid anything.
Whiskey comes from the Gaelic word “Uisge beatha” which translated into English literally means “water of life” which couldn’t be more true. Whiskey is prepared in a two step process, the first step is the fermentation of grain mash and the second is the distillation of the fermented grain mash. Distillation is the process by which impurities like water are removed from the alcohol, which is why whiskey is considered hard liquor. Typically the alcohol content of whiskey is anything above 40%. Scotch is nothing but whiskey made in Scotland, Bourbon is nothing but whiskey made in America and Royal Stag is nothing but acetone made in a basement in Delhi.
Fun Fact: The Whiskey Rebellion was armed insurrection against the newly formed US government in 1791 after the federal government imposed a tax on people’s whiskey.
Significantly Less Fun Fact: Budweiser is changing its name to America which means that theoretically, since it’s fermented by a group of yeast, America will finally have a real culture.
Rum is produced by the fermentation and then distillation of molasses, which are a by-product of sugarcane. Rum is the most popular alcoholic beverage in India by volume, especially among the criminal classes. Rum isn’t exactly the nicest tasting alcohol, which is saying a lot, which is why it’s usually found in cocktails like the Mojito (Rum+ Sugarcane Juice+ Mint + Lime Juice+ Sparkling Water), the Pina Colada (Rum+ Coconut Water+ Pineapple Juice) and of course Cuba Libre (Rum+ Coke+ Tears). There are two kinds of rum, red and white. Red rum is made from caramelised sugar; White rum is basically Red rum but is slightly sweeter and with its colour removed, so a bit like Michael Jackson in the mid 1980s.
Not So Fun Fact: When the British Admiral Horatio Nelson died in battle, his body was kept in the ship’s rum supply for preservation. It’s believed that his crew actually drank the rum while his body was still in there.
Before we continue, I Andrew Jacquet, do declare, that I’ve never been a fan of vodka, it’s basically gin but without a personality. Vodka comes from the Russian word Vodka meaning, Vodka. It’s made through the fermentation then distillation of cereals and potatoes and has a minimum alcohol content of 40% much like Salman Khan’s bloodstream. While vodka is drunk neat in Russia, Poland, Belarus and Finland in most other places, considering it’s basically potato sweat, it’s used in cocktails like the Martini (Vodka + Vermouth), the Cosmopolitan (Vodka+ Triple Sec+ Cranberry Juice+ A Sliced Lemon), the Screw Driver (Vodka+ Orange Juice) and the Bloody Mary (Vodka+ Tomato Juice+ Original Sin). Apart from the peoples of Eastern Europe, other frequent drinkers of this diluted hand sanitiser include alcoholics who don’t like the taste of alcohol and the vast majority of women who just see you as a friend.
Fun Fact: Vodka isn’t very interesting.
Wine is simply fermented grape juice. It has an alcohol content of anywhere between 5- 15%. The largest producers of wine in the world are France and Italy while the largest consumers of wine in the world are bratty rich girls and old married couples with relationship problems. While being an alcoholic is never a good thing, wine alcoholics tend to get a free pass because they seem classy. A true gentleman always knows exactly which wine he wants for every occasion; or Asti Spumante if he doesn’t.
Fun Fact: Drinking two glasses of wine a day can reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes in men. If it’s on the internet, it must be true.
Fact That Will Make Absolutely No Difference To Your Existence: Champagne isn’t a kind of wine, it’s a sparkling wine that comes from a region in France called Champagne so Sula Rose Brut Champagne isn’t Champagne so much as it’s Sula Rose Brut Nashik.
If you’re into alcoholism, do check out Manly Cocktails You Can Make Right Now, if you tried the whole alcohol thing and think it’s killing you do check out Signs You Might Be An Alcoholic.