How Local Distilleries Are Revolutionizing Spirits From Bourbon To Sugarcane Alcohol


Many spirits carry cultural significance that makes them ideal to pop open on special occasions. With local distilleries stepping up to produce more specialised spirit variants, there’s a lot of brewing that is ready to be tasted.

Over the years, the demand for organic, fresh, and less widely processed spirits has gripped the market to the extent that it is no longer a trend but a personal preference. As a matter of fact, sugar based ethanol has gained popularity in recent years due to its versatility and flavour-enhancing properties.

What is sugar-based ethanol?

Sugar cane alcohol is made by fermenting juice extracted from sugarcane plants. The extract is distilled and made to undergo controlled fermentation to develop the signature flavour and texture.

As the sugarcane juice goes through multiple filtration processes, it is clear from any impurities that can potentially ruin the flavours or consistency during transportation and storage.

The spirit usually contains 96% alcohol per volume and has no signature smell or intense taste. Notably, sugarcane and its derivatives like molasses are also used for the process in select places.

How is sugar-based ethanol made in local distilleries?

Sugarcane juice is used as a feedstock for making spirits on large scales. The significant steps involved during the process are reception of the cane, preparation of the cane, and juice extraction, followed by multiple rounds of filtration.

Here are the steps followed:

  • High-quality sugarcanes are crushed to extract their juices, which then get filtered to have their impurities removed.
  • Yeast is added to the extract. As the yeast consumes the sugar and converts it into ethanol, carbon dioxide is produced as a byproduct. This process is known as fermentation.
  • The fermented mix of ethanol, water, and other components is then heated and distilled.
  • As ethanol has a lower boiling point, it evaporates first and is collected in a separate chamber. The resultant solution has a higher ethanol concentration.

Reason for sugarcane’s popularity

Sugarcane is a readily available raw material that is also rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and phenolic acid. Additionally, the spirits made from sugarcane are enjoyed either as a base for popular liquors like rum or as a neutral base for vodka. Aside from its use in bars, pubs, and restaurants, sugar-based ethanol is also used in perfumes and cosmetics as a low-carbon biofuel.

Adding a dash of flavour to your top picks

Sugarcane is known for being versatile and has a signature refreshing flavour profile. With adequate and carefully measured processes, the feedstock can be turned into the base for enhancing flavours of popular liquor choices or can be used for industrial manufacturing purposes. Moreover, it gives local distilleries the opportunity to use the widely available crop to produce a beloved neutral spirit.

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