How Well Do You Know Your Spirits?

F&W puts your drinks knowledge to the test.
Courtesy of Junípero Gin
Courtesy of Junípero Gin

1. Whiskey can be made from all of the following EXCEPT:

A. Rye
B. Spelt
C. Barley
D. Corn

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B. Whiskey cannot be made (or at least hasn’t been made) with spelt, though many Scotsmen will tell you "It’s spelt whisky."

2. Mezcal is distilled from:

A. Tequila
B. Pineapple
C. Agave
D. None of the above

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C. Mezcal is made from the agave plant, known as maguey in Spanish. Tequila is also agave-based, but only the blue agave plant can be used to make it in specific regions. Mezcal is also smokier than tequila; its flavor comes from roasting the agave hearts in pits before fermentation.

3. The predominant flavoring in gin is:

A. Anise
B. Caraway
C. Sage
D. Juniper

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D. A dry, clear spirit, gin is made with juniper berries, plus a blend of other botanicals, including caraway, anise, coriander, cardamom and dried citrus peel. These ingredients often add piney, spicy or citrusy notes. Ubiquitous dry gin, also known as London dry, is bolder in flavor than the slightly sweet, less botanically intense Old Tom style.

4. Bourbon can only be made in:

A. Kentucky
B. Tennessee
C. Angst
D. It can be made anywhere in the U.S.

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D. Smoky-sweet bourbon can be made even in Alaska, as long as it’s distilled with at least 51 percent corn and aged in new charred oak barrels for at least two years.