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Meta Title: What spirits are alcohol-free?

Meta Description: These liquors could be considered to be "alcohol-free spirits" due to their lack of detectable alcohol in comparison with traditional non-alcoholic beverages like coffee and tea. Learn more with Booze Free.


What Spirits Are Alcohol-Free?


A common alcoholic beverage, consumed by millions of people around the world every day, is a type of distilled liquor known as "spirits." The term "spirits" applies to all types of liquors that are primarily created through distillation, which separates alcohol from water and other parts of the beverage. 

However, not all spirits contain alcohol. Though they may still be referred to as such, there are several drinks that can be classified under the label "spirit" but lack the ingredients necessary for the drinker to feel any intoxicating effects. 

These liquors could be considered to be "alcohol-free spirits" due to their lack of detectable alcohol in comparison with traditional non-alcoholic beverages like coffee and tea. 

Examples Include:

Alcohol-Free Gin:

One kind of alcohol-free spirit is called "alcohol-free gin." This beverage can also be referred to as "gin," but it lacks the key ingredient that gives traditional gin its distinctive taste: ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Most varieties of this alcoholic-free drink are only distilled water and an assortment of botanical extracts. 

Some examples 

include juniper berries

coriander seeds, liquorice root 

angelica root

lemon peel granules

orange oil, cinnamon bark oil

dried grapefruit peel granules 

powdered sugar. The sugar helps give the gin a hint of sweetness that other types lack.

Alcohol-Free Rum:

Another type of "alcohol-free spirit" is sometimes called "rum." However, as traditional rum has an ABV (alcohol by volume) ranging from 35% to 50%, this alcoholic drink can be considered as such because it lacks the ethanol that this beverage is known for. 

Vodka: 

Vodka, which is sometimes called a "neutral spirit" because it lacks distinctive taste and smell, contains between 35% and 50% ABV.

Brandy: 

Brandy can be distilled from wine or various other types of fermented fruit juice. However, many brands found in the market today are distilled so many times they contain almost no detectable alcohol at all. A typical brandy has an ABV of about 20%. 

Schnapps: 

Similar to traditional vodka, schnapps is also a type of neutral spirit that is derived from potatoes and grain mash in most cases. As a result, this beverage often has an ABV in the range of 20%.

Cordials: 

Unlike other types of spirits, cordials are sweet, syrupy beverages that are prepared by infusing common ingredients like fruits, herbs and spices in high-proof alcohol. Once the flavor has been infused into the liquor, sugar is then added to create a liqueur. Liqueurs have an ABV ranging from 15% to 40%. Examples include chocolate vodka liqueur, creme de menthe and limoncello.

What are Alcohol-Free Spirits?

Alcohol-free spirits are drinks that lack the key ingredient found in traditional liquors—ethanol or ethyl alcohol. Alcohol can be distilled out of any fermented liquid through a process known as distillation. 

During this process, the liquor is run through a still where it is heated until it vaporizes. Then it's sent to a condenser and cooled back into liquid form. The temperature for this process can vary depending on the type of product you are distilling—such as fruit or grain alcohol.

Types of Grain Alcohol:

Moonshine: 

Moonshine is an infamous beverage that's derived from corn or rye and then distilled until no more than 40% ABV remains. This type of "white whiskey" gained popularity during America's prohibition era (1920-1933) because producers could easily distill their product in hidden locations outside city limits without being caught by authorities who enforced the law at the time.

White Rum: 

White rum is produced by distilling fermented molasses, sugar cane juice or other sugary products. The ABV of this type of liquor can range from 35% to 50%. It is the most popular base spirit for cocktails because it mixes well with almost any fruit or spice that you desire to use in your drink.

Grain Neutral Spirits: 

Grain neutral spirits, also known as "vodka," are an example of a distilled beverage that lacks any distinctive taste and smell on its own—hence the name "neutral spirit." These types of liquors are often used when creating mixed drinks because they blend well with virtually every ingredient you want to mix them with.

Types of Fruit Alcohol:

Applejack: 

Applejack is an American brandy that's derived from hard apple cider. The beverage has a long history in the United States—it was enjoyed by both colonists and American Indians during its early days.

Cider: 

Cider contains about 4 to 6% ABV, and it's made through the fermentation of fresh-pressed apples. It can be either still or carbonated, depending on what type of drink you desire when making it.

Pear Brandy: 

Pear brandy, also known as Poire William, is an example of fruit "neutral spirit" because it lacks any distinctive taste or smell when distilled at least two times after being fermented with pears only. This French speciality often contains around 40% ABV and has a deep, mellow flavor that's perfect for creating cocktails with.

Wine: 

Wine can be distilled to produce brandy, but it is also possible to ferment the beverage further into a fruit wine or a sparkling champagne-type of drink. Fruit wines can contain anywhere from 15% to 24% ABV, while champagne types of drinks generally have an ABV of 12%.

In conclusion

There are many different types of spirits available today, but all should contain an alcoholic ingredient which means they have been through a distillation process. There are some spirits that do not fall under this definition, e.g. cider, wine and beer, but these drinks still contain alcohol, so they must be treated with caution just like any other drink containing ethanol. As long as you're aware of how much you're drinking, then you won't be putting yourself at any risk.