Types Of Alcohol

Absinthe (Distilled Spirits)
Source Plant: Wormwood
Description: Absinthe, an alcoholic distillation containing a potent degree of the bitter herb wormwood, is particularly popular but a dangerous beverage. Some claim that drinking too much absinthe can eat away the mind and cause blindness, and while many regard it as being little more than a highly potent form of spirit, there is truth to the fact that absinthe can be particularly mind-affecting. This is due to the fact that wormwood contains thujone, and seasoned drinkers are known to describe absinthe intoxication as "being visited by a blue elf."

Ale (Brew)
Source Plant: Grains
Description: Ale is a very common alcohol and considered in many ways to be the "grandfather of brews." It is a bit heavier and bolder in flavor than lager beer, but is the common brewed beverage in most lands. In many areas, a good, yeasty ale is a meal unto itself, especially when the grain content is made especially high, though these ales tend to be somewhat less palatable than normal drinking ale.

Araq (Distilled)
Source Plant: Golden Grapes and anise
Description: Araq is an unsweetened distilled alcohol made from golden grapes and then flavored with aniseed (also called anise). It is usually served diluted with water and ice, which causes the normally clear liquor to turn cloudy white. It is commonly mixed with teas and juices or as a chaser on the side, or as an addition to garlic-based sauces in cooking.

Baijiu (Distilled)
Source Plant: Sorghum and other grains
Description: The literal meaning of the name of these distilled spirits is "white sprits." It is a clear drink derived from sorghum and other grains, including rice, wheat, barley, millet and pearl barley (which, incidentally, is not really barley).

Bourbon Whiskey (Distilled)
Source Plant: Corn with a blend of barley, wheat, rye, and malt
Description: Bourbon is a mellow though flavorful form of whiskey. Its warm, caramel colored texture gives a hint to the comforts of sipping smooth bourbon whiskey by the glow of a well-tended hearth during the cooler times of the year. Bourbon also makes makes for a great cooking ingredient. Steaks are given a unique flavor when they have been given plenty of time to be properly marinated with a combination of smooth bourbon and brown sugar.

Brandy (Distilled)
Source Plant: Grapes
Description: Brandy is the distilled alcohol from grapes. Usually it starts out as a wine, but through further refining the concentrated alcohol is removed from the wine, allowing the distiller to claim this resulting distilled batch of alcohol as brandy. Quite often this potable intoxicant will be added to another batch of wine, resulting in fortified wine, or port.

Cachaça (Distilled)
Source Plant: Sugarcane
Description: A distilled liquor made from fermented sugarcane, which is also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha, and several other local names. It is very similar to rum, except that, where rum is made from molasses as a byproduct of the refining process to boil cane juice and extract the sugar from it, cachaça is made from frech sugarcane juice that has been fermented and distilled. It is a common ingredient in tropical cocktails. There are two varieties of cachaça: white, which is unaged, and gold, which is aged. The white is faster to produce (usually twelve months at most), but seen as being of less quality, and is most commonly used to make other drinks, while gold cachaça (which can take from three to fifteen years to properly age) is seen as being of far greater quality, and is often drinken straight.

Chicha de jora and chica morada (Brewed)
Source Plant: Yellow maize
Description: An alcoholic beverage derived from maize, made through a similar process to beer. It is traditionally prepared from yellow maize and is usually referred to as chicha de jora. It has a pale straw color, a slightly milky appearance, and a slightly sour aftertaste, reminiscent of hard apple cider. It is drunk either young and sweet or mature and strong. It contains only a slight amount of alcohol. Chicha morada is not fermented. It is usually made of ears of purple maize which are boiled with pineapple rinds, cinnamon, and cloves.

Cider (Wine)
Source Plant: Apples
Description: Alcoholic Cider is an ancient beverage that is commonly served alongside wine and ale. Though often preferred by many ale and beer drinkers, the creation of cider is a bit more similar to winemaking than it is to brewing. Usually cider is treated to a mild spicing of a dash or two of cinnamon, clove, or other such spices during its fermentation process.

Cordials (Distilled Spirits)
Source Plant: Various
Description: Cordials, or flavored Liquors, incorporate a wide variety of fruit, spice, and herbal flavorings into a distilled spirits base. Though perhaps not the strongest of distilled spirits alcohol, these beverages are quite potent in the sense of taste, and are often drunk by themselves or used as additives for a variety of mixed drinks. Peach, apricot, cinnamon, licorice, and mint liquors are the most common, though many other flavors are known to exist.

Dandelion wine (wine)
Source Plant: Dandelion
Description: Dandelion wine is a potent, sweet "folk" wine that is created by allowing a base of sugars, pure water, brewer's yeast, and the flower heads of dandelions ferment. Usually fermentation takes around half a year so most batches are made in the spring and enjoyed during the coming of the colder autumn weather. Quite often some batches are allowed to age for a full year or more so that the wine may be enjoyed during the following spring and summer. While this recipe is mostly cherished by common folk, there are some professional brewers who take the production of dandelion wine with serious interest. Likewise, it's not unheard of for many taverns and inns to offer this delightful wine.

Fortified wine (Wine)
Source Plant: Grapes
Description: Fortified wines, or port as they are more commonly called, are non-carbonated table wines that are very potent in alcohol and tend to be reasonably sweet and fruity in taste. The taste and potency is caused by the addition of brandy to the wine mixture before the juices have had time to ferment on their own.

While a good glass of port is appreciated by some of the better folks of the community, fortified wines tend to be more popular amongst sailors, commoners, and alcoholics. There's also been evidence of various humanoid tribes adopting the addition of brandy to young wines, particularly amongst a few sources of orcish plums or prune nectar wines.

Fortified wines tend to be a bit cheaper than other wines, and there is less concern over the year that the wine was produced or the overall quality of aging in regards to the texture of the wine's taste. These wines have a simple, direct taste, much like their intoxicating kick, and are most savored by individuals who are seeking a quick means of getting drunk. Also, due to the particular fortification and fermenting processes of this variety of table wine, port wines tend to produce repulsive hangovers.

Fruit Beer (Brew)
Source Plants: Grains, various forms of fruit.
Description: Fruit beers are made in the same fashion of normal beers, especially lager, but in addition to the commonly used ingredients, portions of fruit are also mixed in and allowed to ferment with the rest of the mixture. This additive adds an extra depth of flavor to normal beer, resulting in a wide variety of fruity tastes.

Gin (Distilled Spirits)
Source Plant: Barley, maize, and juniper berries
Description: Gin is a typically clear, potent form of distilled spirits with a high alcohol content. It was originally intended to be a treatment for stomach ailments and gout, but it's more common use as an intoxicating beverage was quickly discovered. Sometimes gin may be flavored with additional ingredients, mint being quite popular. It is a sharp-tasting liquor, and notable for the oddly-shaped square bottles they come in.

Huangjiu (Brewed)
Source Plant: Rice, millet, and wheat.
Description: Literally translated as "yellow spirits," this alcoholic beverage is brewed from fermented rice, millet, or wheat. The liquor is not distilled, and so is not very potent. Generally these liquors vary in color from clear to beige, yellow-brown, or reddish brown.

Lager Beer (Brew)
Source Plants: Grains
Description: While various forms of lager beers exist, the effects are typically the same. Lager beer is usually somewhat watered down, and favored by those who want to drink and be rowdy all night. It is a reasonably cheap form of alcohol, and thus drinkable by the rich and poor alike. As such, lager beer is quite popular with bartenders and tavernkeeps as it brings in a large crowd of customers, and a few salted appetizers will keep these drinkers buying and buying.

Lambanog (Wine)
Source Plant: Coconuts
Description: Commonly called coconut wine, lambanog is an alcoholic beverage derived from fermented coconut milk and sugars along with the sap of the coconut flower. The initial stages of creating lambanog, after the fermentation and cooking, makes a less alcoholic product called tuba. Lambanog is created by distilling the tuba and is known for its extreme potency. The process is fast and cheap, making lambanog very inexpensive and easy to acquire in tropical areas, though it is less common in other places because of its fast rate of decay, requiring special storage procedures.

Malt Liquor (Brew)
Source Plants: Malt, grains, sweetener sources or refined corn syrups
Description: Malt liquor is a rough, potent variant of brew-based alcohol that has received additional fermentation and the additives of sugar-based sweeteners. Though usually giving the beverage a bit of an aftertaste, these sweeteners tend to intensify the alcoholic effects of malt liquor. This beverage is often rather cheap in comparison to other beer-based potables and favored by alcoholics due to the potency and price. Likewise, a few of the more barbaric humanoid races have been known to successfully brew up a batch or two of malt liquor.

The effects of drinking malt liquor can be particularly devastating. An aging old wizard once described each swig of this drink as being comparable to having one's mind ripped apart by a dwarven pickaxe. The drinker tends to be unable to think clearly and may often act in a somewhat careless, if not violent, behavior. Likewise, the hangover is particularly gruesome, leaving one lacking in agility and suffering from constant nausea. Despite these obvious drawbacks from consuming large amounts of malt liquor, the foul drink tends to remain popular amongst the cruel, destitute, and dangerous.

Mead (Brew)
Source Plant: Honey
Description: Most often referred to as the "nectar of the gods," mead is a popular drink that is derived from fermented honey. Thought the most common mead recipes call for nothing more than some fresh spring water, natural yeast, and honey, there's been many a mead maker who has experimented with the addition of various herbs, spices and flavorings.

Though the drink is highly respected and favored amongst nobles and aristocrats, mead is drunk in much of the same spirit as one would enjoy ale or beer, and mead-laced laughing and singing can be heard echoing from the taverns and public houses of the commoners as well.

Mezcal/Tequila (Distilled Spirits)
Source Plant: Cactus (Blue Agave)
Description: Mezcal is a powerful, potent form of alcoholic spirits that is distilled from a cactus. Quite often a larvae worm will be added to a bottle or flask of the fermenting substance. As mezcal is mostly respected for its intensive power over the mind and body when one becomes intoxicated from the "cactus juice," the drink is quite often valued by alcoholics and other such heavy drinkers.

Pulque (Distilled)
Source Plant: Maguey agave
Description: Also called octli, this is a milk-colored, viscous alcoholic beverage with a slight foam made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant (a form of agave). Mescal or tequila, which are related drinks, are made from the cooked heart of the agave plant, rather than the sap.

Rum (Distilled Spirits)
Source Plants: Sugar Cane
Description: Rum, favored by pirates, sailors, and landlubbers alike, has often made its way into the important commodities of the ocean-faring trade routes. This variety of distilled spirits comes from sugar cane and often comes in white, dark, and spiced varieties. Coconut rum, a version that has been flavored with the milk or white fleshy meat of the tropical dwelling coconut, is also somewhat popular.

One of the reasons for rum's popularity is the fact that white or dark rum makes an excellent additive for mixed drinks. This application of rum in beverages is particularly common in coastal regions. Also, hot buttered rum is a popular hearthside drink during the colder times of the year.

Though being a form of distilled spirits and, as such, rather potent, rum is not terribly notorious for evil hangovers. Usually, if the intoxicated drinker can puke his guts up, his resulting rum hangover is somewhat lessened in suffering.

Rye Whiskey (Distilled)
Source Plants: Rye
Description: Rye whiskey is a popular form of whiskey, though some alcohol connoisseurs claim that it is inferior to the finer qualities of bourbon whiskey. Rye whiskey sometimes goes down a bit harsher, but tends to warm one up fairly quickly and can give a bit of that old "instant courage" to even the most cowardly of individuals when such a drinker becomes intoxicated. While such outcomes are to be avoided in tavern settings, a good violent rye drunk is considered to be an added bonus in the dungeon.

Rye whiskey shares the same caramel coloration that is common in most forms of whiskey. It is popular amongst settlements along of the plains and meadows and can be usually found in rough dives and sophisticated taverns alike.

Sake (Brewed)
Source Plant: Rice.
Description: While often called "rice wine," sake is made from rice, rather than fruit, and so is not a wine at all. It is rather high in alcohol content, and also has a high sugar content. Sake is created through a process of multiple, parallel fermentation of rice, which is first polished to remove its protein and oils - the most finely milled the rice, the better the product. This rice is then allowed to "rest" so that it can absorb air moisture, which keeps it from cracking when immersed in water, whereupon it is washed clean and steeped in water; the longer the rice was milled or polished, the shorter the time it needs to be steeped. After soaking, the rice is then boiled in a large pot to perfection to ensure the best possible flavor. Part of this boiled rice is taken aside and a mold (called koji) allowed to grow on it, which takes about two days. The koji rice, water, and yeast are then mixed together, along with freshly steamed rice, a mixture which is cultivated for ten to fifteen days. More ingredients are gradually added over the course of three days, and the whole mash mixture is allowed to ferment for two to six weeks (higher grade sake takes even longer, as it is deliberately kept at a lower temperature, slowing the fermentation process). After fermentation, the sake mash is pressed to remove the sake, filtered to remove any sediment, and then allowed to mature before being diluted with water to reduce its extremely high potency to more normal levels, before it is finally bottled. Filtered sake (called seishu, the most common variety) is clear, but some prefer sake that has not been filtered, because it has stronger flavors (not all of them necessarily good); this sake (called muroka when totally unfiltered, or nigoizake when lightly filtered) is milky and cloudy in coloration. Koshu, or aged sake, has been specially made so that it can be aged for decages (sake does not normally age well), and gradually acquires a coloration and flavor similar to honey.

Soju (Distilled)
Source Plant: Rice, potatoes, what, barley, sweet potatoes and tabioca.
Description: A distilled beverage made from rice, potatoes, wheat, barley, sweet potatoes, or tapioca, with a clear coloration, and a flavor much like that of vodka, but much sweeter, and with a more nutty, earthy taste than sake.

Sparkling Wine (Wine)
Source Plants: Grapes
Description: Sparkling wine, better known as champagne, is a bubbly sort of wine that gains its carbonated effects from a secondary form of fermentation. Though this sort of wine begins as a common table variety wine, sugar and yeast are added to it and the mixture sealed, allowing the gasses of fermentation to build up in the mixture.

Sparkling wine usually provides a blissful variety of intoxication and is usually served on happy occasions and ceremonies.

Stout (Brew)
Source Plants: Grains
Description: Stout beer is a dark, almost murky form of grain brewed beverage with a rich, bold taste and a tan colored, foamy head. This beverage, served at or slightly above room temperature, is an autumn and winter hearthside favorite, and is enjoyed by laborers and members of the aristocracy alike. It is also the standard in dwarven brewing, and that race is generally noted for making the best stouts in the world.

Table Wine (Wine)
Source Plant: Grapes or other fruits
Description: Common table wine is a staple drink in the world. Though the exact varieties may differ in color or flavor, most of these wines are usually decent enough to the taste and spirits, though lacking the distinctive features of the more expensive varieties of wine. Likewise, common table wine tends to be a bit weaker alcohol-wise.

Oenology has a host of additional information about wines.

Vodka/Poteen (Distilled Spirits)
Source Plant: Potatoes
Description: Vodka is a form of potent, distilled spirits that is derived from fermented potatoes. This resulting alcohol is clear in color and may be drunk alone or as an ingredient to a mixed drink. quite often it is reasonably common to find vodka flavored with a bit of lemon as well.

Vodka is a pretty direct form of spirits. The flavor is mostly that of the alcohol itself, and it can warm the body and bones on a cold winter's night. As such, various individuals that live in cooler regions favor vodka.

Poteen is a variant potato alcohol also noted for its incredible potency. It is usually made by rural moonshiners seeking a cheap but highly-effective alcoholic beverage.