Life Style

What Are the Main Types of Liquor?

Each day, about 10,000 new adults celebrate their twenty-first birthday and prepare for their first legal night on the town. If you’re coming of age this year, we bet you’re chomping at the bit to place your first drink order.

Do you know what your first big kid beverage will be?

We’ve found that the best way to pre-game your first big night of debauchery without literally pre-gaming is to research different types of liquor. That way, you’ll know exactly what to order at the bar the first time you flash your new ID. Learning liquor names in advance can save you embarrassment when you take your first sip.

We’ve created this guide to the most common types of alcohol. You’re likely to find all of these drinks in any college town’s most popular bar.

Keep reading to explore the top alcoholic liquors and drinks so you’ll know what to swear off after your first hangover.

Common Types of Liquor

All liquor starts its life as sugar, which becomes alcohol during the fermentation process. It’s then distilled to remove water and up the alcohol concentration. Many liquors also undergo an aging process, as described in this guide to whisky casks.

Nearly any substance that includes sugars can become alcohol. The most common types come from fruit and grains. The origin gives each type of liquor a unique flavor profile and appearance.


Have you heard that “real champagne” only comes from Champagne, France? Location also tells you a lot about the spirit we call whiskey.

When whiskey comes from Scotland, it goes by “Scotch.” When it comes from America, we call it bourbon.

Ultimately, any corn-based liquor technically falls under the umbrella of “whiskey.” If whiskey is rye-derived, it goes by “rye whiskey.”

It’s common to order whiskey in mixed drinks. Consider asking for a whiskey sour, a manhattan, or a mint julep.


Vodka is clear, unaged alcohol that comes from potatoes. It has a neutral flavor, making it perfect for various popular mixed drinks. Consider ordering a cosmopolitan, a bloody mary, or a screwdriver.


Rum begins its life as sugarcane or molasses, which lends it a sweeter taste. You’ll find rum in tropical, fruity drinks like pina coladas, mojitos, and daiquiris.


Tequila comes from the desert agave plant and tends to have a sharp, distinct taste. It’s the boozy aspect of the frozen margaritas popular among the college crowd. Most tequila comes from a specific region in Mexico and has a higher-than-average percentage of alcohol.

The Anatomy of Alcoholic Drinks

You can only take your first legal sip of alcohol once. This guide will ensure that your very first time drinking alcohol is everything you hope it will be. If your only goal is to get tipsy, any of these types of liquor should do the trick, so stay safe and enjoy!

Now that you’re officially an adult, it’s time to make some thoughtful choices about your grownup lifestyle. Check out the rest of the blog for great posts about how to make the most out of your one spectacular life.

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