Sip and Enjoy

Common Liquors And How To Use Them

Liquor stores stock numerous different types of liquors. Here are some of the most common ones, along with their traits and how to use them.


Bourbon is a type of whiskey that's made mostly from corn. Whiskey is popular in certain parts of the United States but is hardly limited to any one area. Bourbon whiskey has a round and sweet taste, along with a strong punch of alcohol.

Drinking bourbon liquor straight is fairly popular, especially if enjoying a flavored bourbon. It's also used in "old fashioned"s and Long Island iced teas. For a simple yet classic combination, combine bourbon and cola.


Scotch specifically comes from Scotland, where the government strictly controls what can be officially labeled as scotch. It's a type of whiskey made from primarily malted barley, which has a somewhat smoky and earthy flavor. Some scotches have harsh tastes, but others are sweet and smooth.

The biggest distinction among scotches is whether they're made with peat. Peaty scotches have strong notes of smoke, ash, earth, and similar flavors. Non-peaty scotches have lighter notes, which might include citrus, honey, or any number of other flavors except ash.

Scotch is a liquor that's often drunk on its own, either straight, with a dash of water, or on the rocks (i.e. with ice). Try it with a little spoonful of water if you're new to scotch, as the water helps soften the flavor and accentuate the notes. Alternatively, it can be combined with club soda to make a scotch and soda.


Gin is a light and floral-tasting liquor that's light. It's made with various botanical concoctions, but almost all of them contain juniper—which is largely responsible for the floral notes.

Gin may be enjoyed on its own, or perhaps more commonly with ice. It's the base for classic martinis, which combine gin, dry vermouth, and olives (or lemon). You can also combine gin and tonic water, creating a gin and tonic.


Vodka is a liquor that's made from potatoes, and it has a bland flavor, much like potatoes are fairly bland. 

Although vodka certainly can be drunk on its own, the liquor's bland taste makes it well-suited for mixing. A screwdriver is vodka and orange juice, but you can spike any juice or soda that you like with it. It's also the alcoholic part of bloody marys. Modern martinis sometimes use vodka rather than gin. 

For more information about liquor, contact a local company.