Absinthe is a spirit drink made with aromatics including star anise, fennel seed, and crushed wormwood leaves. It is green in color but turns white when water is added.

Ades are tall warm-weather drinks consisting of sweetened lemon or lime juice and distilled spirits, garnished with fruit. They may include plain or soda water.

Alcohol refers to ethyl alcohol or ethanol, the type found in alcohol beverages. It is also commonly used to refer to alcohol beverage in general. The word alcohol is from the Arabic "al kohl," meaning the essence.

Alcohol equivalence refers to the fact that a bottle or can of beer, a five-ounce glass of dinner wine, or a shot of distilled spirits (or a mixed drink) all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol. To a breathalyzer, they're all the same.

Alcohol monopoly prohibits the sale of alcohol beverages (either all forms or specific forms, such as beer, wine, or spirits) by anyone other than the state or a state agency. It does not operate to the advantage of the consuming public in that it eliminates competition and dramatically restricts brand choice.

Alcohol-related auto accidents are defined by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to include any and all accidents in which any alcohol has been consumed, or believed to have been consumed, by the driver, a passenger or a pedestrian associated with the accident. Thus, if a person who has consumed alcohol and has stopped for a red light and is rear-ended by a completely sober but inattentive driver, the accident is listed as alcohol-related, although alcohol had nothing to do with causing the accident . Alcohol-related accidents are often mistakenly confused with alcohol-caused accidents.

Ale is a style of beer made with a top-fermenting yeast. Ales are typically hearty, robust and fruity. [See also: Beer.]

ALS is the abbreviation for administrative license suspension (sometimes known as administrative license revocation), which is the temporary and almost immediate removal of a person's license if the person refuses to take or pass a BAC test. Thus, ALS does not require a conviction to occur and appears to be an effective practice in reducing drunk driving.

Amaretto is a liqueur with a slightly bitter almond flavor, made from apricot pits.

American Council on Alcohol Problems is a temperance organization that promotes the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach to reducing alcohol problems. [See also: Anti-Saloon League.]

Amontillado (ah-mon-tee-yah-doh) is a nutty dry sherry produced in Spain.

Anisette (ahn-i-set) is a fragrant liqueur made with anise seeds and having a licorice flavor.

Anjou (ahn-zhew) a white wine from the Loire Valley of France.

Anstie's limit is the amount of alcohol that Dr. Francis E. Anstie (1833-1874) proposed, on the basis of his research, could be consumed daily with no ill effects. It is 1.5 ounces of pure ethanol, equivalent to two and one-half standard drinks of beer, wine or distilled spirits. Today, we know that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstention or heavy drinking.

Anti-Saloon League was a major organization involved in bringing about national Prohibition in the US. It is now, combined with the American Temperance League, known as the American Council on Alcohol Problems and actively attempts to influence public policy. It promotes the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach to reducing alcohol problems. See control of consumption.

Aperitif (ah-pair-ee-teef) is an alcohol beverage that is typically flavored with herbals such as fruits, seeds, flowers or herbs.

Appelation contrôlleé refers to the French system introduced in 1855 designed to regulate the variety of grapes, quantity produced and geographic origin of wines that bear a specific place name, such as Champagne or Chablis.

Applejack is a sweet apple-flavored brandy.

Aqua vitae or "water of life" is the original name given to distilled spirits, which were first made for medicinal and health purposes. Scientific medical research has now made clear that the moderate use of distilled spirits or any other alcohol beverage is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstinence or heavy drinking.

Argmanac is a grape brandy produced in the Gers district of Southern France. It is aged in hard, black oak from Gascony.



BAC is the abbreviation for blood alcohol concentration or the proportion of alcohol in a person's blood. For example, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood can be expressed as .08, .08% or 80mg%. Also referred to as blood alcohol level or BAL.

Bacchus (bock-us) is the mythological god who was said to have spread wine culture throughout Europe.

Balthazar is a large bottle holding 12 liters or the equivalent of 16 standard bottles.

Barbera (bar-bear-ah) is a red grape grown in the Piedmont region of Italy.

Barbados rum is a smoky-flavored rum produced on the island of Barbados.

Barrel is a standard unit of volume. A US barrel is 31.5 gallons while a British barrel is 43.2 gallons.

Barsac (bar-sack) is a dessert wine from the Sauternes region of France.

BATF is the abbreviation for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, an agency of the U.S. government that, until 2002, regulated those products. Under the Homeland Security Act of that year, BATF's alcohol beverage tax and regulatory functions were transfered to the new Tax and Trade Bureau.

Beaujolais (bo-jo-lay) is a light, fruity red wine produced in the Beaujolais region of France.

Beaujolais nouveau (bo-jo-lay noo-vo) is a light red wine from the Beaujolais region of France that is released after a few weeks of fermentation.

Beer is a fermented beverage made from barley malt or other cereal grains. From the Latin dibere (to drink). Lager beer is a light, dry beer. Ale is heavier and more bitter than lager. Bock beer, porter and stout are progressively heavier, darker, richer and sweeter.

Beer Institute is the trade organization for the malt beverage industry in the US.

Belgian lace refers to the white pattern of foam from the head of beer that is left on a glass after the beverage has been consumed.

Binge drinking traditionally and clinically refers to drinking in which the binger is continuously intoxicated for a period of at least two days, during which time the binger drops out of usual life activities such as going to work, meeting family responsibilities, etc. In recent years some activists have used the term to refer to situations in which a man consumes as few as five drinks in a day or in which a woman consumes as few as four drinks in a day. Such a misuse of the term dramatically increases the number of individuals who are categorized as bingers and has been criticized as misleading and deceptive by numerous professional organizations.

Bitters is a type of aperitif or cordial with a bitter taste used primarily to flavor mixed drinks.

Blanc (blahn) is French for white, as in Chenin Blanc, which is a white grape variety.

Blind pig is another name for a speakeasy (see speakeasy). Perhaps called a blind pig because the establishment turned a "blind eye" to Prohibition or because consuming the often contaminated illegal alcohol beverages sold there sometimes caused blindness.

Blue laws, believed to be so-named because they were originally printed on blue paper in the 1600's, regulate both public and private conduct on the Sabbath. Historically, they have prohibited such things as shaving, dancing, singing, traveling, cooking, working and engaging in commerce. Today blue laws commonly prohibit the purchase of alcohol beverages on Sundays or Sunday mornings, in an effort to promote church attendance.

Bock is a very strong lager beer traditionally brewed to celebrate the approach of spring. Bocks are typically full-bodied, malty and well-hopped. [See also: Beer.]

Bodega is a Spanish wine cellar. Also refers to a seller of alcohol beverages.

Bordeaux (bore-doe) is a large wine growing region in southwestern France. Includes the areas of Medoc (meh-doc), Pomerol (paw-meh-rawl), St.Emilion (sant eh-mee-lyon) and Sauternes (saw-tairn).

Botrytis Cinerea [See: noble rot.]

Bottled-in-bond whiskey is straight whiskey produced under US government supervision for tax purposes.

Bottom fermentation occurs when saccharomyces carlsbergensis ("lager yeast") is used in fermentation. This strain of yeast settles to the bottom of a tank during fermentation. See top fermentation.

Bourbon is a beverage that is distilled from a mash of at least 51% corn and aged in new charred oak barrels. It was first produced by Reverend Elijah Craig in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

Brand name means proprietary name. The term originated from the practice among American distillers of branding (or burning into the wood) their names and emblems on their kegs before shipment.

Brandy is a beverage distilled from wine or fermented fruit mash. The word is from the Dutch brandewijn, meaning burnt (or distilled) wine.

Breathalyzer is a device used to measure blood alcohol concentration by measuring the alcohol content of a person's exhaled breath.

Brief intervention is a technique used to help individuals either abstain or reduce their use of alcohol and can be very effective.

Brown ale is a British-style, top-fermented beer that is lightly hopped and flavored with roasted and caramel malt.

Brut (brute) refers to dry Champagne. It refers to brutally dry.

Burgundy is a wine district in France. It is generically used to refer to other wines that resemble those produced in Burgundy.



Cabernet Sauvignon (cab-air-nay so-vee-n´yohn) is the most important red grape variety in the world.

Calvados (col-va-dose) is apple brandy distilled from cider in the town of the same name in northern France where it is produced.

Canadian whiskey is blended of straight whiskeys (usually rye corn and barley) distilled only in Canada under government supervision.

Capsule is the foil that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.

Cassis (kah-seece) is a purple liqueur made from currants.

Center for Alcohol Studies is the pioneering center for alcohol research located at Rutgers University.

Century Council is an organization dedicated to reducing drunk driving and underage drinking.

Chablis (shah-blee) is a dry white wine made from Chardonnay grapes in the Chablis region of France. It is also used generically to refer to other wines that resemble the wine produced in Chablis.

Champagne is an effervescent wine made in the Champagne region of France, generally blended from several different years and from as many as 40 different wines. Occasionally a vintage is of such a superior quality that a vintage Champagne is produced. Sparkling wines from other areas of the world are sometimes generically labeled champagne, but increasingly producers elsewhere are now correctly and accurately labeling such wine "sparkling wine."

Châteauneuf-du-Pape (shah-toe-nuff doo pahp) or "new castle of the Pope" is a village in the Rhone valley of France whose red wines are made from Grenache and Syrah grapes.

Chardonnay (shar-doh-nay) is a white grape variety that is widely planted around the world and can produce fine wine.

Charmat or bulk fermented sparkling wines receive a second fermentation in large tanks. Compare with Methode Champenoise.

Chenin Blanc (sheh-nan blahn) is a versatile white grape variety widely grown in California and South Africa.

Cherry brandy is distilled from cherries and is often called by its German name, kirchwasser.

Chianti (k'yahn-tee) is a wine from the Tuscany region of Italy.

Cider refers to unfermented apple juice in the US but to fermented apple juice in the rest of the world. In the US, fermented apple juice is called hard cider.

Claret is a dry red wine from the Bordeaux region of France.

Cobblers are tall drinks consisting of shaved ice, fruit and distilled spirits decorated with berries, fruit or mint.

Coffee brandy is a coffee-flavored brandy distilled from coffee beans.

Congeners (khan-gen-ers) are taste and flavor elements in alcohol beverages.

Cognac (cone-yack) is brandy distilled from wine in the Cognac region of France. Thus, all cognac is brandy but not all brandy is cognac.

Cold duck is a mixture of red and white sparkling wine that has a high sugar content.

Control of consumption refers to an approach to reducing alcohol problems that attempts to do so by reducing the consumption of alcohol. It is more accurately called the reduction of consumption approach. Its ultimate goal is to re-establish the prohibition of alcohol. Currently being promoted by many governments and temperance groups. Also called public health model, neo-prohibitionism, and the new temperance movement. [See also: drinking pattern.]

Cooler is a beverage made with a base of beer, wine or spirits combined with ingredients such as fruit or cocktail flavors.

Cordial is liqueur made in the US.

Corn whiskey is distilled from a mash of at least 80% corn.

Cream ale is a blend of top- and bottom-fermented beers. It is typically sweet and lightly hopped.

Crèmes are extra sweet liqueurs.

Crème de is a French term for a liqueur of thick consistency.

Crème de banana is a sweet, banana-flavored liqueur.

Crème de cacao (ka-cow-oh) is a sweet, chocolate-flavored liqueur.

Crème de cassis (kah-seece) is a sweet, black currant-flavored liqueur.

Crème de framboise is French for raspberry liqueur.

Crème de kirsch is a sweet, black cherry-flavored liqueur.

Crème de menthe is a sweet, mint-flavored liqueur.

Crème de noya is a sweet almond-flavored liqueur.

Crème de violette is a sweet liqueur flavored with violet oil and vanilla.

Cru refers to the grape production from a French vineyard.

Cups are wine cocktails made with brandy and triple sec mixed with sweet wine, dry sparkling wine or cider.

Curacao is a cordial flavored with sour orange peel.

Cuvee (cue-vay) is a large vat used for fermentation.



Daisies are cocktails made of spirits, a cordial and lemon or lime juice. They are usually shaken with cracked ice, served over an ice cube and decorated with fruit.

Dégorgement (day-gorj-mahn) is the disgorging or removal from bottles of sediment that results from a secondary fermentation. Remuage causes the sediment to settle in the neck of bottles where it is frozen and popped out. [See also: remuage.]

Demi-sec is moderately sweet to medium sweet sparking wines.

Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol that is made undrinkable by the addition of nauseating or poisonous substances.

Density of alcohol outlets refers to the number of alcohol beverage retail sales locations per unit of population or area of land. Research suggests that increased density follows, rather than causes, demand for alcohol beverages.

Designated driver is a person who does not drink at an event and drives others home. The use of designated drivers is widespread and has resulted in saving thousands of lives.

Digestif is French for liqueur.

DISCUS is the abbreviation for Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, which is the trade association of distilled spirits producers in the US.

Distilled spirits refers to ethanol that is produced by heating fermented products, such as wine or mash, and then condensing the resulting vapors. Sometimes referred to as liquor or hard liquor. The term hard liquor is misleading in that it implies that the product is more intoxicating or potent than beer or wine. In reality, a bottle or can of beer, a five-ounce glass of dinner wine, and a shot of distilled spirits (gin, vodka, etc.) each contains an equivalent amount of alcohol.

DO is the abbreviation for Denominacion de Origen, or "place name." This is Spain's designation for wines whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law.

DOC is the abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or "controlled place name." This is Italy's designation for wine whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law. It is also the abbreviation for Portugal's highest wine category, which has the same meaning in that country.

DOCG is the abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Guarantita, or controlled and guaranteed place name, which is the category for the highest-ranking wine in Italy. [See also: DOC.]

Doux (doo) is the French word for sweet. Usually refers to the sweetest category of sparking wines.

Dram shops are establishments licensed to sell alcohol beverages by the drink.(See package store)

Draught beer is keg beer served on tap. Sometimes called draft beer, which is the way it is pronounced.

Drink driving (This is the British term for drunk driving) refers to driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (UK).

Drinking pattern refers to such factors as the typical or characteristic quantity, frequency, speed of consumption, location, reason for drinking, and other characteristics of drinking as distinct from simply the quantity of alcohol consumed. The same quantity of alcohol consumed in different patterns can have vastly different consequences. For example, consuming two drinks a day (14 drinks per week) is associated with better health and longevity than is abstinence or heavy drinking. However, consuming 14 drinks once a week would be associated with negative outcomes. This important distinction, along with many more, is ignored by the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach to reducing alcohol abuse, which incorrectly assumes that simply reducing average consumption reduces alcohol problems.

Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act is a federal law designed to eleminate alcohol and drugs from all schools and colleges throughout the US.

Dry refers to the absence of sugar or sweetness in a beverage. It also refers to political subdivisions or areas in which the sale of alcohol is prohibited or to individuals who advocate prohibition.

Dublin stout is a very bitter and very dark style of beer.

DUI is the abbreviation for driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

DWI is the abbreviation for driving while intoxicated or driving while ability is impaired by alcohol or other substances. Impairment can also be caused by other factors, such as sleep deprivation.



Eggnog is a beverage made with milk, whole eggs, and nutmeg.

Eiswein (ice-vine) is wine made from frozen grapes (German). Same as ice wine.

Enology (or oenology) is the science and art of wine making. Also called viniculture.

Extra dry, when referring to sparking wines, actually means sweet.



Fermentation is the process during which yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Finish is the lingering aftertaste that results after an alcohol beverage is swallowed.

Fizzes are mixed drinks of distilled spirits, citrus juices, and sugar shaken with ice. "Fizz" (soda water) or other carbonated beverage is then added.

Flips are made with a distilled spirit, egg and sugar, which is shaken with cracked ice and strained into a glass.

Fortified wine is wine to which alcohol has been added to increase the proof to a higher level than the maximum possible from fermentation.

Foxy refers to a musty odor and flavor common to wine made from grapes of the vitis labrusca breed of grapes native to North America. It is caused by the methyl anthranilate common to vitis labrusca grape varieties such as Concord, Delaware, Catawba and Niagara.

Frappé (fra-pay) is a liqueur over crushed ice.

French Colombard is a white grape variety widely grown in California. It is typically blended with other white wines.



Gamay is a red grape variety well known for its use in making France's Beaujolais wines.

Gamay Beaujolais is a red grape variety grown in California.

Generic wine refers to wines that are believed to resemble those traditionally produces in specific regions of Europe, such as Burgundy, Champaigne, Chablis, and Sherry. Generics are generally blends of common grape varieties. The better varieties are usually produced as varietal wines. [See also: varietal wine.] [See also: semi-generic.]

Genever. [See also: Hollands gin.]

Gewurztraminer (geh-vurtz-tra-mee-ner) a pink grape variety used to make a distinctively spicy-flavor white wine.

Gill is equivalent to five ounces. British soldiers used to be guaranteed a ration of two gills of gin or rum each day.

Gin is distilled spirits flavored with juniper berries. It may also include additional flavorings. Although gins may be aged, producers of those sold in the US are prohibited from reporting that they have been aged or, if so, for how long they have been aged.

Graduated licensing is a multi-stage program to allow new drivers on-road driving experience under conditions of reduced risk. It typically involves a beginning stage during which driving is permitted under supervision followed by a stage of unsupervised driving under restricted conditions (for example during daylight hours and with a limited number of passengers).

Grappa is Italian brandy made from pomace, which refers to the seeds and skins that remain after wine making.

Grenache is a red grape variety widely grown in the Rhone Valley region of France.

Grinadine is a non-alcoholic syrup made from a variety of fruits and is used to flavor alcoholic drinks.

Grog is rum diluted with water and is also an early English name for Caribbean rum.



Hangover is the unpleasant consequence of over-consuming alcohol. It is characterized by headache, fatigue and often nausea. It can be prevented by not over-consuming alcohol.

Harm reduction refers to policies or programs that reduce the harm that can occur as a result of alcohol abuse. Harm reduction can involve teaching moderation, promoting the use of designated drivers, improving highway safety, reducing drunk driving, etc.

Highballs are made with almost any distilled spirit, ice, and any of a number of carbonated beverages.

Hogshead usually refers to a 60-gallon oak barrel.

Hollands gin (sometimes called Genever) is made from malted grain spirits. It's a heavy aromatic beverage.

Hops is the small cone shaped flower of a vine (humulus lupulus). Some varieties contribute mainly bitterness to brews, while others contribute aromas. Hops was originally used to preserve beer.



ICAP is the abbreviation of the International Council on Alcohol Policies, which is a public interest organization that seeks to reduce the abuse of alcohol worldwide.

Ice wine is made from frozen grapes. Same as eiswein (German).

Ignition interlock is a device that requires a person to blow into a breathalyzer before starting the engine of an automobile on which the interlock is installed. If the breathalyzer detects no alcohol, the interlock will permit the engine to be started.

Imperial stout is a very strong, dark, fruity beer. [See also: beer.]

India pale ale was originally an ale brewed in England for British troops stationed in India during the 1700s. It was brewed very strong to survive a voyage that could last as long as six months and was highly hopped to help preserve it.

Irish whisky is triple distilled, blended grain spirits from Ireland.



Jamaican rums are medium heavy-bodied rums produced in Jamaica.

Jeroboam is a large bottle holding three liters.

Jigger is a container for measuring liquids when making mixed drinks.

Juleps are traditionally made from Kentucky bourbon and fresh mint leaves. However, they can be made with gin, rye, brandy, brandy, rum, or champagne.



Keg is a measure of volume. A keg of beer contains 1,984 ounces.

Kentucky whiskey is a blend of whiskeys distilled in Kentucky.

Kirchwasser. [See : cherry brandy.]

Kosher wines are those produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean. Although commonly sweet, they need not be so.



Lager is a beer style made with bottom fermented yeast and is generally smooth and crisp. [See also: beer.]

Legal drinking age refers to the minimum age at which alcohol beverages may legally be consumed. It is distinct from legal purchase age, which is the minimum age at which alcohol beverages may legally be purchased.

Legal purchase age. [See also: legal drinking age.]

Legs are the streams of liquid that cling to the sides of a glass after the contents have been swirled. Commonly believed to be an indicator of quality, there is little evidence to support this belief. Also called tears.

Liebfraumilch (leeb-frow-milsh) or "milk of the virgin" is a blended white German wine.

Light beer is reduced-calorie beer created by removing dextrine, a tasteless carbohydrate. Although beer, wine and spirits all contain calories, their consumption does not appear to increase weight!

Liqueur (li-cure) is a sugared and flavored distilled spirit.

Liquor historically referred to any alcohol beverage but today it generally refers only to distilled spirits.

Liter is a measure of volume equal to 33.8 ounces.

Loire (l'war) is a region of France that includes the areas of Anjou (ahn-zhew), Touraine, Vouvray (voo-vray), Pouilly-Fume (poo-yee-fume-aye) and Sancerre (san-sair).

London dry gin is an unsweetened gin.



MADD is the abbreviation for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an organization that strongly and actively opposes any driving after the consumption of any alcohol.

Maceration is the process of placing crushed fruit into distilled spirits for a period of time in order to impart the flavor of the fruit.

Madeira (muh-deh-rah) is a dessert wine made on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

Magnum is a bottle holding 1.5 liters or the equivalent of two regular bottles.

Malolactic fermentation is a secondary fermentation in wines during which malic acid is converted to lactic acid.

Malt (or malted barley) is barley that has been moistened, allowed to germinate, then dried.

Malt beverages are brewed from grain which has been permitted to sprout and then dried. Such grain is called malt and contains much more sugar than un-malted grain.

Malt liquor is not liquor or a distilled spirit of any kind. It is a beer with higher alcohol content and often sweeter taste than most other beers. [See also: liquor.]

Maraschino cherries are tart cherries from Dalmatia, used to garnish drinks.

Maraschino liqueur is a cordial distilled from a bitter wild cherry (marasca).

Mash is ground malt (germinated barley) mixed with water.

May wine is light German wine flavored with sweet woodruff in addition to strawberries or other fruit.

Mead is a beverage made by fermenting honey mixed with water.

Médoc (meh-doc) is a region of France that includes the villages of Margaux (mar-go), Saint-Julien (san-jew-lee-en), Pauillac (po-yack), and Saint Estephe. [See also: Bordeaux.]

Merlot (mair-lo) is a red grape variety that can produce fine wine. It is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mescal is a distilled spirit made from the dumpling cactus plant in Mexico.

Méthode Champenoise (may-tud sham-pah-n'wahz) sparkling wines receive a second fermentation in the same bottle that will be sold to a retail buyer. Compare with Charmat or bulk fermented.

Methuselah is a large bottle holding six liters or the equivalent of eight regular bottles.

MI is the abbreviation for milliliter, or onethousandth of a liter.

Midi (mee-dee) is a large region in the south of France that produces an abundance of ordinary wines.

Minimum drinking age is sometimes called legal drinking age. [See also: legal drinking age.]

Minimum purchase age is sometimes called legal purchase age. [See also: legal drinking age.]

Mis en boutielle au château (meez ahn bootay oh shah-toe) is French for "bottled at the winery," usually in Bordeaux.

Mist is any drink in which the spirit is poured into a glass over crushed ice.

Mixed messages are identified by some as messages that do not convey a single viewpoint. Preventing mixed messages is a major policy of the control of consumption movement.

Mocktail is a non-alcohol drink that otherwise resembles a cocktail or other alcohol beverage.

Moonshine is illegally-produced distilled spirits. It is profitable to produce this illegal and sometimes dangerous product because legal spirits are very heavily taxed.

Mountain dew is another name for moonshine. [See also: moonshine.]

Mull is a sugared and spiced hot drink made from a base of beer, wine or distilled spirits.

Muscat Blanc is grape of the Muscat family that produces sweet floral wines



NCADD is the abbreviation of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Neat refers to serving an unmixed , non-iced distilled spirit in a shot glass.

Nebbiolo is a red grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of Italy.

Nebuchadnezzar is a large bottle holding 15 liters or the contents of 20 standard bottles.

Négociant (nay-go-syahn) is French for a wholesale wine merchant, blender and shipper.

Neutral spirit refers to ethyl alcohol of 190 proof or higher than has no taste of the grains or fruits from which it was made.

NIAAA is the abbreviation of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a US agency that supports and conducts biomedical and behavioral research on the causes, prevention, consequences and treatment of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. It promotes the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach to reducing alcohol abuse problems. [See also: control of consumption.]

Noble rot is another name for the botrytis cinerea (bo-trie-tiss sin-eh-ray-ah) mold that can pierce grape skins causing dehydration. The resulting grapes produce a highly prized sweet wine.

Nog or egg nog is a beverage of eggs and milk or cream, traditionally made with rum or brandy, although whiskey, sherry, ale or cider may be used. The name may have come from "noggin," a small drinking vessel or from joining the sounds of "egg 'n grog." [See also: grog.]



Oenology. [See also: enology.]

Oktoberfest is a beer festival held annually in Münich for 16 days and nights in late September and early October. Originated to celebrate a royal wedding in 1810.

Oloroso is a type of sherry, which is usually dark and often sweet.

On-the-rocks refers to serving a beverage poured over ice cubes.

Ouzo (ooze-oh) is an anise flavored brandy-based Greek liqueur.



Package store is another name in the US for liquor store. Package stores sell "package goods" because of laws requiring that alcohol containers be concealed in public by being placed in paper bags or "packages."

Petite Sirah (puh-tee see-rah) is a red grape grown in California. Not to be confused with Syrah.

Phylloxera vatatrex is a microscopic underground insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots. The insects destroyed virtually all of Europe's vineyards in the last quarter of the 19th century. Therefore, today virtually all of Europe's grape vines are grafted onto the roots of American grape varieties that are resistant to the destructive insects.

Pinot Blanc (pee-no blahn) is a white grape whose wine is often blended with Chardonnay.

Pinot Gris (pee-no gree) is a grayish-rose colored grape that can produce full-bodied white wines.

Pomace refers to the skins and seeds that remain after making wine.

Port is a fortified dessert wine from Oporto, Portugal.

Porter is a very dark, top-fermented beer. [See also: beer.]

Pouilly-Fuissé (poo-yee fwee-say) is a dry white wine from Pouilly-Sûr-Loire in southern Burgundy.

Pouilly-Fumé (poo-yee fume-aye) is a white wine from the Loire valley of France.

Pousse cafés (poose ka-fay) are sweet, colorful drinks consisting of cordials and liqueurs poured in succession so that one floats on another.

Price elasticity refers to the extent to which changes in the price of a product influence demand for that product. Price increases have the least impact on individuals who are addicted to alcohol. Therefore, raising the cost of alcohol beverages has little impact on their consumption.

Prohibition refers to legally attempting to prevent the production and consumption of alcohol beverages. National prohibition has been tried in numerous countries around the world during the twentieth century but has always failed and always been repealed. It is the ultimate goal of the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach to reducing alcohol abuse.

Proof refers to the alcohol content of a beverage. In the US, proof represents twice the alcohol content as a percentage of volume. Thus, a 100 proof beverage is 50% alcohol by volume and a 150 proof beverage is 75% alcohol. In the Imperial system, proof, (or 100% proof), equals 57.06% ethanol by volume, or 48.24% by weight. Absolute or pure ethanol is 75.25 over proof, or 175.25 proof.

Pub is short for public house for drinking, as contrasted to a private house or club. (UK)

Public Health Model is another name for the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach. [See also: control of consumption.]

Puff is a traditional afternoon drink made of equal parts of a spirit and milk, to which club soda is added and then served over ice.

Pulque (puhl-kay) is Mexican cactus beer.

Punch is a drink mixture prepared in large quantities and is typically made with citrus juices and two or more wines or distilled spirits. Carbonated beverages are often included. Hot punches often use milk, eggs and cream as a base.



Qualitätswein (kvah-lee-tayts-vine) is a designation of better quality German wines.

Qualitätswein Bestimmter Anbaugebeite (kvah-lee-tayts-vine be-shtimter ahn-bough-ge-beet-eh) is a designation of better quality German wines from recognized viticultural areas.

Qualitätswein mit Pradikat (kvah-lee-tayts-vine mit pray-dee-kaht) is a designation of best quality German wines that must conform to specific requirements of origin and composition.



Raspberry liqueur is a raspberry-flavored cordial, often called crème de framboise.

Reduction of consumption is a more accurate name for control of consumption. [See also: control of consumption.]

Rehoboam is a large bottle holding 4.5 liters or the equivalent of six regular bottles.

Rémuage (ray-mew-ahje) is the process whereby bottles of sparkling wine are successively turned and gradually tilted upside down so that sediment settles into the necks of the bottles in preparation for degorgement. [See also: degorgement.]

Retsina (rhet-seen-uh) is wine flavored with pine resin and is a very popular beverage in Greece.

Rice wine. [See: saké (saki).]

RID refers to Remove Intoxicated Drivers, which is the oldest anti-drunk-driving organization in the US. RID also fights non-alcohol offences, such as reckless driving or using bald tires, that are associated with traffic accidents and fatalities. The national headquarters operates out of donated office space, the organization has no paid field workers, and it employs no professional fundraisers. Ninety percent of all funds are spent on programs while 10% is spent on administration and fundraising.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a foundation that promotes the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach to reducing alcohol problems. See control of consumption.

Rock and rye is a liqueur originally made from rye whiskey and rock candy.

Root beer is a non-alcohol beverage that was developed by temperance activists in the hope that it would replace real beer in popularity.

Rosé wines (ro-zay) are red wines which have not been permitted to have long contact with the skins of the red grapes from which they are made.

Ruby is a style of Port that is generally sweet.

Rum is a beverage distilled from fermented molasses.

Rye whiskey is distilled from a mash of at least 51% rye grain.



St. Emilion. [See: Bordeaux.]

Saké - or saki - is a fermented drink made from rice that is very popular in Japan. Although commonly called rice wine, it is actually a beer.

Salmanazar is a large bottle holding nine liters or the equivalent of 12 regular bottles.

Sambuca is an Italian licorice-flavored liqueur made from elderberries.

Sangarees are made with whiskey, gin, rum or brandy with port wine floated on top. Alternatively, they are made with wine, ale, porter or stout with nutmeg. Not to be confused with sangria. [See also: sangria.]

Sangria is a tart punch made from red wine along with orange, lemon and apricot juice plus sugar.

Sauternes (saur-taire) is a sweet wine made in the Bordeaux region of France made from grapes infected with noble rot. [See also: noble rot.]

Schnapps (schnopps) is a spirit distilled from potatoes or grain. Called schnapps in Scandinavian countries and Germany, it is called vodka elsewhere.

Scotch whisky is a blend of whiskies generally aged up to ten years (about four years on average). Its characteristic smoky flavor results from drying malted barley over peat fires.

Semi-generic are wines made in the US but named after places that the Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco and Firearms requires be modified by a US name of geographic origin. Examples would be New York Chablis, Napa Valley Burgundy or California Champagne.

Sherry is a fortified wine that has been subjected to controlled oxidation to produce a distinctive flavor.

Shiraz (shee-raz) is the Australian name for the Syrah grape.

Shooter is a mixed drink, served straight up in a small glass, to be swallowed in one gulp. Differs from neat because it is served with a mixer.

Single malt Scotch whisky is unblended Scotch whisky. They vary substantially in characteristic depending on the mash from which they are made but all exhibit the unique smoky flavor of any Scotch whisky.

Sling is a tall drink made with lemon juice, sugar, spirits, and club soda.

Sloe gin is not gin but a brandy-based cordial made from sloe berries (the fruit of blackthorn bushes).

Smash is a short julep served in a small glass.

Social norms marketing is a highly effective method of reducing alcohol abuse. It is based on the fact that most people falsely believe that a much larger proportion of their peers abuse alcohol than actually do so. When the actual incidence of alcohol abuse among those peers is widely reported and publicized, individuals feel empowered to reduce their abuse of alcohol. It has consistently proven to be very effective.

Sommelier (so-mel-yay) is French for wine waiter or server.

Sour mash whiskey is made from a mash containing about 25% residue from a previous mash, which provides additional character to the resulting whiskey.

Sours are made with lemon juice, ice, sugar, and a distilled spirit.

Sparkling wine is carbonated wine.

Spätlese (schpate-lay-zuh) is German for "select."

Speakeasy was an establishment in which people could consume illegal alcohol beverages during national Prohibition in the US (1920-1933). Name derived from fact that people often had to whisper a code word or name through a slot in a locked door in order to gain admittance. Sometimes called a blind pig.

Split is a bottle holding 375 milliliters or half the equivalent of a typical bottle holding 750 milliliters.

Spumantes are effervescent wines from Italy; spumante means sparking in Italian.

Still wine is any wine that is not effervescent.

Stout is a very dark, heavy, top-fermented beer. [See also: beer.]

Sulfites are naturally occurring compounds that prevents microbial growth. They are found on grapes, onions, garlic and many other growing plants.

Swizzles are made of lime juice, sugar, a distilled spirit and bitters packed with shaved ice.

Syrah (see-rah) is a red grape variety. It is especially important in the Rhone valley of France. Not to be confused with Petite Sirah.



Tannin is a naturally-occurring astringic acid found in many alcohol beverages that imparts a slight dry "puckering" sensation in the mouth.

Tears. [See: legs.]

Teetotaler is a person who abstains from alcohol.

Temperance is a term that referred to moderation in the 1700's and early 1800's. However, the word was later used by prohibitionists to refer to abstinence. Thus, the temperance movement is now associated with the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the American Council on Alcohol Problems (formerly existing separately as the Anti-Saloon League and the American Temperance League), the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), the Center for science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the marin Institute, and, increasingly, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Such groups are more often referred to as prohibitionist or neo-prohibitionist, rather than temperance, groups.

Tennessee whiskey is made in compliance with the regulations for making bourbon but is charcoal filtered immediately after distillation. [See also: bourbon.]

Tequila is distilled from the Mescal Blue or Tequilana Weber agave plant in Mexico.

Thief is a tubular instrument for removing a sample from a cask or barrel.

TIPS is the abbreviation for Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers of Alcohol, which is a program to teach servers responsible alcohol service.

Toasting is drinking an alcohol beverage along with a statement wishing good health or other good fortune. It is said to have started in ancient Rome, when a piece of toasted bread was dropped into the beverage.

Toddies are made of sugar water, a distilled spirit, and either ice or hot water to which is added clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, or lemon peel.

Tonic is a tall drink made of ice, a spirit and tonic water.

Top fermentation occurs when saccharomyces cerevisiae ("ale yeast") is used in fermentation. This strain of yeast rises to the top of a tank during fermentation. See bottom fermentation.

Triple sec is a cordial flavored with the bittersweet oils of orange peels.

Trokenbeerenauslese (traw-ken-bear-en-ouse-lay-zah) is a type of German wine made from vine-dried grapes. Such grapes can be so rare that it can take a skilled picker a day to gather enough for just one bottle.



Uisge beatha is Gaelic for whisky.

Ulanda is a cocktail containing dry gin, triple sec and absenthe substitute.

Union Jack is a cocktail containing sloe gin, dry gin and grenadine.



Varietal wine refers to a wine that is made primarily from one variety of grape. In the US, at least 75% of the wine in the bottle must be made from one variety for the bottle to carry the name of that variety. Therefore, in order to be labeled Cabernet Sauvignon, at least 75% of the wine in the bottle must be made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Vehicle impoundment refers to the confiscation of an automobile by law enforcement officers. It can occur in those jurisdictions that permit such impoundment when a driver has been determined to have been driving while intoxicated or with ability impaired.

Vermouth is a wine that has been soaked with as many as 40 flavorful aromatic.

Vin is French for wine.

Vinho verde (veen-vo vaird) is an effervescent white wine produced in Portugal.

Vintage technically means harvest. When a vintage year is indicated on a label, it signifies that all the grapes used to make the wine in the bottle were harvested in that year. Except in case of French Champagnes, vintage is not a clear indicator of quality.

Viniculture is the art and science of making wine. Also called enology (or oenology). Not to be confused with viticulture. [See also: viticulture.]

Vinification is the process of making grape juice into wine.

Viticulture is the cultivation of grapes. Not to be confused with viniculture. [See also: viniculture.]

Vitis labrusca is a breed of grapes native to North America.

Vitis vinifera is a breed of grapes native to Europe.

Vodka, or "dear little water" in Russian, is a beverage distilled from potatoes or grain (usually corn and wheat). Most American-made vodka is filtered through charcoal. Some vodka is sweetened and flavored.

Vouvray (voo-vray) a white wine from the Loire valley of France.



Wassail has had many meanings... ...a festival, a bowl , a toast, and a punch served from a bowl.

WCTU is the abbreviation of the Womens Christian Temperance Union, an organization that was pivotal in bringing about national Prohibition in the US. It is still a very active organization promoting the control of consumption (more accurately called reduction of consumption) approach to reducing alcohol abuse. [See also: control of consumption.]

Wheat beer is produced from a mash that includes wheat. The resulting beer varies from light and fruity in the US to a dark bock in Germany.

Whiskey is a spirit distilled from grain in the US, Canada, or Ireland (note spelling and compare to whisky). From Gaelic "uisge beatha," pronounced "wheesa - bee."

Whiskey bead is the string-like circle of bubbles formed by whiskey when poured into a glass or shaken in a jar. It is said that the higher the proof, the more uniform and long lasting the bubbles.

Whisky is a spirit distilled from grain in Scotland (note spelling and compare to whiskey).

White lightning is another name for moonshine, or illegally-produced distilled spirits. . It is profitable to produce because of the very high taxes on legally-produced spirits.

White Riesling (reece-ling) is a white grape variety widely planted in cool regions of the world. Called Riesling in Germany and Johannesberg (yo-hahn-iss-bairg) Riesling in the US.

Wine is fermented juice of grapes.

Wine Institute is the trade association of California wineries.

Wort (vort) is the sweet liquid mash extract that is food for yeast that produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.



Xeres is a cocktail consisting of dry sherry and orange bitters.

X.Y.Z. is a cocktail consisting of lemon juice, triple sec and rum.



Yolanda is a cocktail consisting of brandy, dry gin, sweet vermouth and grenadine.



Zero mint is a cocktail consisting of creme de menthe dilluted with water and served partially frozen.

Zinfandel is a red grape variety widely planted in California although it is not, contrary to common belief, native to that state.

Zombie is a cocktail containing pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, apricot brandy, rum and powdered sugar.

Zymurgy is the science and art of brewing.