Types of spirits in Kenya
The world of drinks is full of wonderful and exciting drink brands, each offering unique and distinct styles. The numerous drinks make it challenging to pick the best drink in Nairobi, especially if you are new to drinks, or you're not familiar with different drinks categories. In general, drinks are classified as beer, wines, and spirits. Beers and wines are only fermented and are not distilled while the spirits go through the distillation process. To assist you in diving and exploring different types of drinks in Kenya with head high, in this article, we will look for various types of spirit beverages.
Distilled spirits are also referred to as distilled drinks or distilled liquor. The distilled spirit is an alcoholic beverage derived from the distillation process. All spirits go through at least two process; fermentation and distillation. Fermentation is where alcohol (ethyl) is created by fermenting grains mash, corn, fruits, or vegetables. The distillation process follows the fermentation process to make the fermented alcoholic liquid have concentrated ethanol (alcohol). During the distillation stage, the alcohol is separated and purified, making it have highly concentrated alcohol content.
The distillation process requires the fermented mixture to be vaporized. The fermented mash is usually heated in a still pot, where the heat vaporizes the alcohol. The alcohol vapor is trapped, cooled, condensed, and drawn off as clean liquid with high alcohol concentration. Distilled spirits begin as pure ethyl alcohol and colorless liquid. The alcoholic distillation principle is based on the different boiling points of alcohol and water. Flavors may be added to provide distinctive beverage characters.
Compared to the early distillation process, the modern process of distillation has evolved over time giving birth to flavorful and smooth spirits. The distilling pot has also evolved from simple heated containers, condenser, and receptacle to still pot and to toady refinement continuous still. The materials used have also broadened from just sugar base material, grapes, and honey to accommodate other materials. Let have a cross look at the different types of spirit alcoholic beverages we encounter in liquor shops in Kenya and what makes these spirits.
Raw materials used in making various types of spirits
The production of distilled spirits is based on fermented alcohol. A natural process occurs whenever the two necessary ingredients are present; raw material containing sugar and yeast. Yeast is a vegetative organism that lives in materials containing carbohydrates and feeds on sugar. The bi-product of yeast consuming sugar in this material is alcohol and carbon dioxide. Any material containing sugar can be converted into alcohol. Distilling is essentially the process whereby the fermented liquid is purified by heating. The vapors/liquids distilled is separated from other ingredients that have lower boiling points. The raw materials used in making different distilled spirit are basically classified into two categories;
- Naturally sugary materials - Materials with a high concentration of natural sugars
- Starchy materials - Materials with carbohydrates that are easily converted to sugars by enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts (biocatalysts) to speed-up biochemical reactions.
Naturally sugary materials
The commonly sugary materials used are fruits and vegetables.
Fruit materials: most used fruits are grapes, apple, plums, and peaches. The grape juice is fermented and distilled to create the desired spirit, usually brandy. Most fruits are limited to the region they are cultivated.
Vegetable materials – the mostly used sugary vegetable materials are sugarcanes, sugar beets, and agave. Sugarcane and its products, including molasses, are the most important vegetable raw material used in alcohol production. Sugarcane juice is extracted from the cane for use as the base raw material for fermentation. If the juice is concentrated and crystallized to produce sugar, the residue from the crystallized sugar syrup is the molasses. This molasses is also used as base raw material for fermentation. This process also applies to sugar beets.
Starchy raw materials
The starchy material that is used for liquor production is grains. Different grains are cultivated in different regions that are used in the production of different types of spirits. The economic, availability and desired final spirit factor considerations usually determine the principal grain's choice to be used. The grains are first milled, then mixed with water, cooked and then mixed with malted barley and warm water. The mixture is left for some time, and it is converted into a sugar-rich liquid known as mash. The most commonly used grains are; corn, rye, barley, wheat, potato, and rice.
Types of spirit classification
All spirits come out of the still as clear liquids. The taste, smell, and appearance of the final product depend on how the distiller processes the liquid. Depending on the production process and the type of raw material used, various spirits have specific character and flavor profile. All spirits you frequently order online on drinks delivery Kenya are categorized into two broad categories;
- Clear spirits
- Dark spirits
Clear spirits are generally unaged or little aged, have less taste, and you can see through. However, depending on the raw materials used in making them, some clear spirits have enticing flavors. This type of liquor is moderately priced and is popularly used as base drinks for making cocktails.
Types of clear spirit
Gin is one of the most famous spirits in Kenya, with various styles and flavour profiles. Gin flavors revolve around juniper as the predominant ingredient that legally must be included. Gins are clear spirits distilled from grains with enticing herbal, floral, and aromas. It is usually redistilled with juniper berries and other herbs to add gin distinct botanical flavors, aroma, and taste. The distillate is derived from neutral grains (barley, corn, rye, and wheat), and usually are not aged. It is mostly consumed as a mixed with tonic water and often used as a base spirit to produce flavoured gin-based cocktail, traditionally by adding fruit, flavorings ingredients, and sugar. Explore different types of gins in Kenya on the leading online liquor shop and enjoy the most convenient shopping platform and a wide selection of the world's best gin brands.
Types of gin
- London dry gin
- Plymouth gin
- Old Tom Gin
- Genever gin
- International style gin
- Sloe gin
London Dry Gin is not necessarily made in London, England; however, this gin style originated there. This type of gins has its primary flavor derived from juniper and is spiced with other natural botanicals. Botanical used in London dry gins must be distilled, and not cold compounded. The termed 'dry gin' means there are no added (artificial) flavoring and sweetness. London Dry Gin style is full of juniper flavors with citrus, coriander, and angelica root notes rounding out.
Plymouth Gin – Plymouth gin is geographically protected and refers to gin distilled in Plymouth, England. It is more akin to a London Dry in character; however, Plymouth Gin is drier with soft taste than London Dry Gin that distinguishes it. It also has a higher botanicals roots proportion, which leads to its earthy characters. Currently, only one distillery produces Plymouth gin.
Old Tom Gin – Old Tom was the street name for the gin. Originally, Old Tom was a sweetened style of gin. It is rich in flavors and is often aged in barrel. It was initially dispensed by tubes marked with a secret sign of black cat-shaped wooden plaques (tomcat) placed outside pubs. The patrons inserted their money into a slot and received a gin shot through a tube protruding from the wall. Old Tom works well in mixed drinks, and it fantastic for shaken cocktails like Tom Collins.
Genever Gin - Genever is also called Dutch / Holland Gin. It is the original style of gin, with its roots in Holland. Genever is not juniper predominant in flavor, but it is richer with a more robust flavor of savory, malty and earthy. Genever base grains are malted, instead of using a neutral grain spirit. The grains are fermented and then turned into a mash, similar to how whiskey is made, then different botanicals are added for flavouring. Genever is best in rich cocktails, with something like sweet vermouth and an excellent choice for a Gin Old Fashioned.
International Style – it is also known as New American Style Gin. Though it uses the same base process for distilling gin, this type of gin is somehow different from other gins as it downplays the use of juniper berries as the dominant flavor. The distillers emphasize on use of other botanicals flavors and fragrances. The idea is to appeal to fans who have a taste of other gins with different flavors. The international style of gin offers a wide range of aromas and flavors. This type of gin is a popular option for modern cocktails.
Sloe Gin – this is technically a gin-based liqueur. It is a gin-based British red liqueur made with gin and sloe. Sloes are the fruit a relative of the plum common in England. Sloe gin is typically made by soaking sloes in gin and sugar to extract the flavor. It has an alcohol content in a range of 15 to 30% ABV, but it must be bottled with at least 25% ABV in the European Union. Sloe gin can be enjoyed straight, on the rock or in mixed drinks and cocktails such as Sloe Gin Fizz.
Rum is a popular alcoholic drink in Kenya found in most beer, wine, and spirit shops. It is either distilled from sugar cane juice or molasses. Most rums are produced in the Caribbean and America, but also other sugar-producing countries such as India produced it. All rums start as clear spirits, but aging gives the dark rum shades of golden, amber, and very dark. Light rums are not age and are clear, while dark rums are aged in oak barrels. Molasses-based rums generally are sweet with flavors notes of molasses, banana, and tropical fruit. Aging them adds to its complexity. Sugar cane juice made rum typically have dominant grassy and vegetal notes. Light rums and unaged rums are usually consumed in mixed drinks and cocktails, while "golden" and "dark" rums (aged rums) are generally sipped neat/straight or iced. Get the best rum brand in Kenya by buying online on reliable online wine & spirit in Kenya and enjoy a wide selection of best spirits drinks at the best drinks prices in Kenya.
Types of Rum
- Light/white rum
- Dark/aged rum
- Gold rum
- Spiced/flavored rum
- Overproof rum
- Cachaca rum
- Rhum Agricole
Light Rum/white Rum - White Rum is clear, generally light-bodied, and relatively neutral compared with dark rum, and they tend to offer the most straightforward rum experience. These light types of rum are often aged for one or more years, then filtered to remove color. Light rum is a popular base spirit for classic cocktails that call for lesser bond flavors. This type of spirit is among the best affordable alcoholic drinks in Kenya than the more aged varieties.
Dark Rum/aged Rum- Dark types of rum is made from molasses that has been caramelized. It is generally matured in oak barrels for a more extended period, leading to light golden amber and strong spices and caramel flavors.
Gold Rum- also called "amber" rum. This type of rum is medium-bodied and is midway in style between light and dark rums. It is often aged several years in wooden barrels, and caramel may be added for coloring, giving it a golden hue. These types of rum usually have a flavorful profile of vanilla, caramel, citrus, and almond, and it offers a smoother rum taste experience. It can be sipped neat or on the rock. It is also popularly used in cocktails, mostly where a more robust flavor is desired.
Spiced and flavored rum – this rum type is infused with spices giving it a rich and robust flavor. The robust flavor adds to the sweetness and complexity of this rum. This rum's flavoring makes it to have a wide range of exciting variations of spiced rum spirits. Spiced and flavored Rum types offer unique flavors to cocktails, adding an abundant spiciness to the final drink.
Overproof rum – this type of rum has a much higher proof than the standard 80 proof. The distillation process usually produces a spirit that generally has 160 to 190 proof, but after aging and blending, they are diluted with water to reach the standard 80 proof. Overproof type of rum is mostly used for drinks requiring flambé treatment, or as a floater on top of an ignited drink. It is can also be used in cocktails, provided you are mixing with rum of lower proof. The higher the proof, the less rum you should use.
Cachaca – cachaca is only produced in Brazil and is crafted from the freshly pressed sugar cane juice. Cachaça is often bottled with little or no aging making it a sweet and palatable rum with a full-flavored profile. Some of the Cachaca's premium products, referred to as artisanal Cachaça, are aged in woods indigenous to Brazil and are usually produced in small quantities. This type of spirit is popularly used in the Caipirinha cocktail, a Brazilian national cocktail.
Rhum Agricole - Rhum Agricole is produced from fresh sugar cane juice and is only produced in the French Caribbean, Martinique region. It strictly adheres to the rum standard of production, strength, aging, and labeling regulation. Rhum retains more of the sugar cane juice sweetness and flavor with a pleasant grassiness. This spirit is mostly used in the famous cocktail known as petit punch mixed with lime and cane syrup.
Tequila is distilled from the Mexican blue agave plant. The name is derived from the Mexican Tequila town. The spirit labeled as tequila must be produced in the areas around the Tequila city (Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas). If it is made outside Mexico, it is not labeled as tequila. There is strict regulation that governs the control of how it is made and what can be called tequila. Those adhering to these regulations are authenticated by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) and carry a NOM number (Norma Official Mexicana) on each bottle's label identifying the distillery. There are two categories of tequila; the Premium Tequilas made from 100% blue agave and is only sweetened by the agave plant sugar. And the mixto (mixed) tequila, which typically contains 51% agave with the remaining made up of molasses, glucose and fructose sugars or other sugars. Aging Tequila spirit gives it amber or light to vibrant golden color. Apart from Blanco tequila, other tequilas are matured usually on bourbon oak barrels while gold tequila is blended. Tequila must have an alcohol content of between 35 – 55 % ABV. Tequila is usually served neat in Mexico and can be accompanied by salt and lime wedge. Buy online to enjoy a wide choice of the best Tequila brands in Kenya and get the most affordable tequila prices on drinks delivery Nairobi – drinks zone.
Popular types of tequila
- Blanco Tequila
- Joven Tequila
- Reposado Tequila
- Anejo Tequila
- Extra-Anejo Tequila
Blanco (sliver) - Blanco is a clear, unaged spirit. It is usually bottled and packaged directly after being distilled. Some producers allow it to rest in steel tanks for a few weeks to let the flavors settle. This slight rest does not affect the young and fiery flavors of Blanco. Since Blanco tequila is unaged, it offers pure and true characteristics of the blue agave plant. Blanco tequila is the best spirit for Margarita cocktails. Dial drinks zone for the original and best Blanco Tequila in Kenya.
Joven (gold) – Joven means "young" in Spanish. Joven/ Gold tequila is typically a mixto tequila and is a less expensive tequila, with golden or rich light brown color, and is not made with 100% agave. It is made by adding flavorings ingredients, sugar, colorings, glycerin, and oak extracts. Gold tequila can also be made by blending Blanco tequila with aged tequila without the added sugars and flavorings.
Reposado (aged) - reposado tequila is a gold-colored spirit aged in American or French oak barrels for at least two months to a year. This gives Reposado tequilas enough time to develop a subtle gold hue and unique flavor profile without losing the original agave juice young notes.
Anejo (extra aged) - Anejo is a Spanish word that means "old." Anejo tequila is aged in oak barrels (American, whiskey, French, or cognac barrels) for at least a year but less than three years. The aging barrel is limited to a maximum capacity of 600 liters, so as to give every drop of Anejo ample interaction with the wood. Anejo tequila takes more character from the wood. There are more complex, darker in color, richer, and smoother in flavor. You can enjoy Anejo tequila neat. Dial us to get a bottle of this complex tequila and enjoy free home delivery in Nairobi.
Extra-Anejo (ultra-aged) – the extra Anejo tequila category was established in 2006. It has the same distilling and aging process as Anejo tequila, but it is matured for a minimum of three years. Because of the lengthy aging process, extra-Anejo is darker in color than Anejo and is one of the most expensive Tequilas and smoothest. The alcohol content of extra Anejo must be cut by adding water after the aging process.
Vodka was originally a famous spirit and #1 drink in Eastern European counties (Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and others), but today Vodka is one of the most popular spirits globally. It is a crystal clear, neutral spirit with no discernible flavor or aroma, though some are slightly flavored. It is made from grain or potatoes. It is typically un-aged, and it is bottled at a high proof, usually 65 to 100 proof. Vodka is a simple spirit that makes it one of the most popular drinks; however, this simplicity limits it to become more complex like most other spirits such as whiskey. Vodka's neutral taste makes it a versatile spirit, and it can be used in many cocktails, most popular being Martinis and shooters. Vodka is a trendy alcoholic drink in Kenya, quite an affordable alcoholic spirit, and is enjoyed on various occasions. You can buy your favorite vodka brand online by just dialing the top online liquor shops in Nairobi.
Types of Vodka
There are three popular types of vodkas:
Plain Vodka is the simplest and unsophisticated alcoholic beverage. These drinks are made from traditional Russian or Polish recipes. It only contains a mixture of ethanol and water, and its quality depends on the alcohol used to make it. This type of Vodka is made with 95% alcohol, with premium vodka being made with a higher alcohol percentage. It has a neutral taste, and it is clean and smooth with no strong aroma and flavor, which exclusively comes from the alcohol. Plain vodkas really kick your head and work best for mixed drinks due to its neutral taste and color. Dial a drink to grab your bottle.
These type of vodkas are made from fruit or herb infusions to create unique and flavorful spirits that tantalize taste buds. This process requires a longer time to produce, but the result is a more flavorful, aromatic, and colorful drink. The infusion process may take about three weeks, and then it is filtered and finalized through the aging process.
As the name implies, flavored vodkas are vodkas that have flavor and aroma added to them. For many years Vodka was just pure alcohol and water, but in recent years flavored vodkas have raised in demand become a popular type of Vodka due to its versatility is unique and pleasantly smooth flavors. The most common aromas and flavors of flavored vodkas are fruits (lemon, cherries, orange, peaches, and berries), coffee, and honey.
Dark spirits are distilled from grains apart from brandy which is distilled from wine. The dark spirits start out clear, but aging and the addition of coloring agents such as caramel to maintain color consistency add the different hues of this spirit category. Dark spirits range in color from warm golden amber to deep brown. The popular types of dark spirits in Kenya are;
Whiskey is a very popular drink in Kenya, and one of the broadest spread alcoholic spirits globally. It is distilled from fermented grains mash mostly corns, barley, wheat, rye though millet, and sorghum can be used. Whiskies are generally aged in wood casks, usually made of charred oak. Whiskey is a strictly regulated spirit, with each country having its own set of regulations. These regulations, combined with local natural resources and traditions, create the unique region styles of whisky we encounter on Kenya's online beer, wine & spirits shops. The unifying characteristics of different types of whiskey are grain fermentation, distillation, and wood aging. Whiskey can be blended, straight, or single. Whiskey brands are wide and cater to everyone as it offers different price points from the most expensive whisky to cheap whisky in Kenya. Here are popular types of Whiskey in Kenya. You can choose from super-premium whiskey brands, premium brands to regular brands. Dial whiskey delivery Nairobi and enjoy a wide variety of whiskey brands in Kenya.
Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey
Malt and Single malt whisky
Single Pot still whisky
Scotch whisky is produced in Scotland. It is primarily made of malted barley or grain. Like wines, Scotland has a great history in whiskey-making, and the Scots take it seriously with the government putting in place the laws that whiskey distillers must follow. Scotch whiskey must be aged in an oak barrel for at least three years. Also, they must be made in Scotland and carry age statements reflecting the youngest aged whiskey. Generally, Scotch whiskey has an earthy and smoky flavor. Scotch whisky is the most demand whisky in Kenya and offers customers a broad choice.
This whiskey is made in the Republic of Ireland and has a turbulent history as Scotch whisky. It is made from grain mash mostly barley or a mash of malt and is aged in a wood cask for about three years. As compared to earthy and smoky Scotch Whiskey, Irish whiskey has smoother flavors, and it is easy to sip straight/neat or on the rocks.
Canadian whisky is produced in Canada, and it is smoother and lighter than most other whiskey types. It is usually made with corn though wheat, rye, and barley are also used, and it must be matured in barrel for a minimum of three years.
Japanese whiskey is produced in Japan. Japanese whiskeys are made almost similar to Scotch whisky. This whiskey is made from malt or peated barley, double distilled, and is aged in a wooden cask. Japanese whiskey is drier and smokier.
Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey are traditional American whiskeys. American whiskeys are distinct from European styles since they are aged in new charred oak barrels and bottled at 80 proof or more. Bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys are less smoky, less peaty, and are sweeter. Bourbon is made in America and by law must contain 51% corn, should be aged in new charred oak casks, and has no minimum aging period. The production of Tennessee whiskey is similar to that of Bourbon, what makes Tennessee different is that it must be made in Tennessee State, while Bourbon can be made anywhere in America provided it follows the set requirements. Also, Tennessee whiskey must be filtered through maple charcoal before aging. Explore the different variety of Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey online on 24-hour alcohol delivery Nairobi shop – drinks zone and enjoy the best whisky prices in Kenya.
Blended whiskey is a very popular whiskey brand in Kenya. As the name implies, blended whiskies contain a mixture of different whiskeys (malt and grain). Most blends contain more grain whiskey than malt whiskey. The character of the blended whiskeys is determined by the mixture ratio of whiskeys from different distilleries. There are malt whiskey distilleries that produce exclusively for the blended whiskies, each distillery producing different flavors and don't bottle single malts. The most popular blended whiskey falls under the Scotch and Irish whiskey categories. These types of whiskeys are excellent to sip straight and are excellent for cocktails.
Malt and single malt types of whisky are made from malted barley. The word single denotes that the whiskey is exclusively produced and bottled from a single distillery and is not blended with whiskeys from other distilleries. These whiskeys are matured in oak casks for at least three years Single malt whiskeys are among the best whiskey brands in Kenya and best-selling whiskeys globally.
Rye whiskey was mainly made in North America, but today is produced in other counties, particularly Canada. It contains at least 51% rye mash and is aged in charred barrels for at least two years. Rye whiskey aged for two or more years and is not blended is dubbed as "straight rye whiskey." Rye whisky tends to have spicy flavors.
Single Pot Still Whiskey
Pot Still whiskey contains malt and grain whiskey, and both are distilled in Pot Stills. This whiskey is not categorized as a single malt as it contains both malt mash and unmalted barley. The word 'single pot' is added to this whiskey, where the materials used come from only one distillery as it is with single malt whiskies.
Grain whisky is made from single grain or a combination of grains. It is not made from malted barley, and mostly it contains wheat since wheat offers a higher utilization level than corn. Grain whiskey is usually distilled at a higher proof than malt whisky in column stills and is aged for a short time. It is mainly produced for the blended whiskey industry and has lesser flavors.
Brandy is an alcoholic spirit distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice. The word brandy is a Dutch word for burnt wine - brandewijn (Brandywine). Brandy varies by style, and different brandy varieties can be found across the winemaking regions. Some types of brandy are aged in oak casks; others are colored with caramel to imitate aging effect while others are produced using both aging and coloring. Brandy is mostly consumed as an after-dinner digestif. There many different styles of brandy, and there most classified with the region there are produced. The most common types of brandy are; Cognac, Armagnac, Pomace Brandy, Brandy de Jerez, Pisco brandy, American Brandy, Cypriot Brandy, South African Brandy, Grappa, and Calvados. Explore the different brandy types online and enjoy quick, free home delivery services plus the best brandy prices in Kenya.
Cognac, usually referred to as the king of brandy is produced in the wine-growing region of Charente and Charente-Maritime surrounding the cognac town in France from which it takes its name. It is made from grapes, particularly Ugni blanc, twice distilled in copper pot stills and is rested in French oak barrels made of Limousin or Tronçais for at least two years to age. Most cognacs are aged for longer than the minimum legal required period. The wood aging adds cognac color and flavors. There are wide cognac types that you can easily order online from prestigious cognac brands, expensive cognac in Kenya to the best affordable cognac in Nairobi. Buy online your best cognac brand from Hennessey cognac, Courvoisier brands to Remy martin, and enjoy the best cognac prices in Kenya plus quickest and free home alcohol delivery in Nairobi and its environs.
A liqueur is flavored and sweetened distilled liquor. It is composed of distilled spirits and additional flavorings such as fruits, herbs, spices, and sugar. It is made by combining a base spirit, mostly brandy, with fruits, herbs flavors, and adding sugar syrup for sweetening. It may be aged or bottled immediately. Whiskey, rum, and other liquors can also serve as a base spirit for liqueurs. A liqueur is a Latin word - liquefacere, which means "to make a liquid." In some regions such as America and Canada, liqueur spirit is referred to as cordials or schnapps, though the terms apply to different beverages elsewhere. Liqueurs generally contain alcohol content (15–30% ABV), which is lower than other spirits, though some have higher ABV of up to 55%. Liqueurs are commonly served neat, over ice, and in cocktails. There are fruit and plant liqueurs.
Fruit liqueurs are made by the infusion method, in which fruit is steeped in the spirit to absorb aroma, flavour, and colour.
Plant liqueurs are naturally colorless and produced by either percolation or distillation of aromatic or flavoring agents.
Point to note:
- Spirit referred to as a neutral spirit with very high alcohol content is limited or prohibited for sale in some countries and certain region jurisdictions.
- Spirit alcoholic beverage with a high alcohol content above 70% ABV is not permitted to be transported in aircraft due to its flammability.
These are the most recognized and popular types of spirits in Kenya that are easily accessible on online beer, wine, and spirit stores in Kenya. Every type of spirit is unique, offering customers something distinct, enjoyable, and best compatible with his/her palate. You can explore different types of spirit alcoholic beverages in Kenya on your number one wines and spirit shop and enjoy the best drinks price plus quickest, free drinks delivery in Nairobi. Now that you know the various type of spirit alcoholic beverages in Kenya, I believe you're ready to pour drinks. No matter your taste from dry, smoky, sweet to smooth, dial drinks delivery Nairobi, to order your cherished drink and Drinks Zone will deliver directly to your doorstep in a few minutes. Cheers!