Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon whiskey is made with a minimum of 51% corn, with the remainder being wheat, rye, or malted barley. The resulting clear spirit is placed in newly charred American oak barrels for aging, during which it gains color and flavor from the caramelized sugars in the charred wood. Changes to the spirit also occur due to evaporation and chemical processes such as oxidation. Bourbons gain more color and flavor the longer they mature, often taking on spicy, scotch like notes.

Canadian Whiskey

Canadian Whiskey is made generally with a blend of grains including corn, wheat and rye for flavor. They are generally lighter and smoother than other whisky styles; however, the best Canadian whiskey has a hint of the spicy, bitter-sweet character of rye.

Scotch Whiskey

Scotch whiskies are required to be distilled in Scotland and matured for a minimum of three years in oak casks. They can be divided into two categories: single malt; generally reserved for premium aged whiskies and single grain; which is used to make blended scotch. Peat smoke is sometimes used during the malting process, lending a distinctive smoky flavor.


Traditionally, vodka is made by the distillation of fermented wheat, rye, or, potatoes, though some modern brands use other substances, such as fruits or sugar. Vodka will have been distilled to a high strength then filtered through charcoal to remove impurities before bottling. While most vodkas are unflavored, many flavored vodkas have been produced in traditional vodka-drinking areas and are increasing in popularity amongst cocktail drinkers.


Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the blue agave cactus and originating in the Mexican city bearing its name. Tequila has four levels of quality and classification: silver – unaged, used in mixed drinks; gold – unaged, colored with caramelized sugar pulp; reposado – aged in oak barrels between 2 and 12 months, has a deeper complexity, color and smooth texture; and anejo (old) – aged in oak barrels between 18 and 36 months, with an even deeper color and flavor.


Taking its roots in the Caribbean Islands, rum is largely made from molasses, a by-product of sugarcane industry. All rum is clear after fermentation, but dark rum gets its color from aging in barrels or having caramel and sugar added. Light rums have a shorter fermentation making them slightly sweet and better for mixing, while dark rum is usually fermented longer and produces a richer spirit. Spiced rum gets much of its flavor from herbs and spices that steep into the rum.