Liquids Category

Liquids
Includes alcoholic beverages, stocks, juices, and vinegar
Rock and Rye
Rock and Rye
This is a citrus-flavored liqueur that's based on rye whiskey. There's a piece of rock candy in every bottle.
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rum
rum
Rum is a key ingredient in many chilled drinks, like daiquiris, piña coladas, and Planter's punch. It's used in the kitchen, too, especially in cakes or fruit-based desserts. Rum is distilled from sugar cane, and most of it comes from cane-producing Caribbean countries. Its character varies according to its color. White rums are relatively dry and light, and commonly used in mixed drinks. The amber rums from Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and the Virgin Islands are heavier and more flavorful. The dark rums from Jamaica and Haiti are heavier still, and have a pronounced molasses flavor. Demerara rums are the darkest and heaviest of all. There also are aromatic rums that are flavored with fruits and spices.
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rum-based liqueurs
This category includes coconut rum and spiced rum.
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rye whiskey
rye whiskey
This American whiskey is made mostly with rye. It's similar to Bourbon, but not quite as elegant. Wild Turkey and Jim Beam are well-regarded brands. Whiskey should be served at room temperature.
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Sabra liqueur
This is an orange liqueur with a hint of chocolate. It's produced in Israel.
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sake, rice wine, saké, saki
sake
This is a Japanese rice wine, or more correctly, beer. It's usually served warm in tiny porcelain cups, but some trendy American restaurants served it chilled like white wine. Sake doesn't age well in the bottle and should be consumed within a year of bottling.
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sambuca
sambuca
This is a semi-dry Italian liqueur that's flavored with anise, berries, herbs, and spices. It's traditional to float three coffee beans in each drink. Molinari and Romana are well-known brands.
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Sangiovese
Sangiovese
This is the red grape variety that's often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to make Italian Chianti. California Sangiovesi are hearty and good with Italian food. The quality of this wine varies tremendously, but a good Sangiovese is sublime.
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Sauternes
Sauternes
Sauternes is a district in France that produces exquisite and expensive white dessert wines. The district includes the commune Barsac, which produces some of the best Sauternes. Sauternes are sweet and are delicious with blue cheese, pâté de foie gras, and light desserts, though they should never be served with chocolate. Don't confuse Sauternes with Sauterne, which is a cheap domestic imitation.
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Sauvignon blanc, blanc fume, blanc fumé
Sauvignon blanc
This light white wine is often described as having a "grassy" flavor. It's terrific with seafood, poultry, and other delicately flavored dishes.
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schnapps, schnaps
schnapps
In the United States, schnapps are flavored liqueurs based on neutral spirits. The flavorings vary widely, and include peppermint schnapps, root beer schnapps, peach schnapps, and cinnamon schnapps. These flavored schnapps can be sweet or dry, but most are sweeter and lighter than a typical liqueur. In Germany and Scandinavia, schnapps refers to any spirit that's dry and potent, like kirsch and aquavit.
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Scotch whisky, Scotch
Scotch whisky
The king of whiskies, Scotch has a very distinctive, smoky flavor. Single-malt Scotch whisky is considered the best--it has a stronger, more complex flavor than blended Scotch, which is a mixture of malt whiskies and grain whiskies. Connoisseurs of single-malt Scotch consider Macallan to be one of the finest brands. Of the blended Scotch whiskies, the more highly-esteemed brands include Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker Black Label. Use the cheaper blended Scotch for mixed drinks. Whiskey should be served at room temperature.
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seasoned rice vinegar, seasoned rice wine vinegar, sushi vinegar
seasoned rice vinegar
Accomplished Asian cooks who find this in your pantry are likely to purse their lips, just as Italian cooks would over a packet of spaghetti sauce mix. So keep it well hidden. It's lightly flavored with sugar and salt, and saves time when making sushi. You can also use it to dress salads, vegetables, and other dishes.
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Sémillon, Semillon
Sémillon
This is a grape variety that's sometimes developed into a dry white wine, sometimes into a excellent dessert wine.
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Shaoxing wine, Chinese rice wine, Hsao Shing wine, Shao hsing wine
Shaoxing wine
Chinese rice wine varies in quality, so cookbooks often specify Shaoxing rice wine, which is quite good. The Chinese drink it from small porcelain cups, in the same way that the Japanese drink their sake. Shaoxing cooking wine may be salted.
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sherry, Amontillado, Amoroso, Cooking sherry, cream sherry, Fino sherry
sherry
This fortified Spanish wine is typically served in small glasses before dinner, but many cooks also keep a bottle handy in the kitchen to perk up sauces, soups, and desserts. There are two categories of sherry: fino and oloroso. Fino sherry = Palma sherry is dry, fruity, and expensive. Examples of fino include the exquisite Manzanilla and the potent and nutty Amontillado. Oloroso sherry is more heavily fortified than fino. Examples include Amoroso and cream sherry, both of which are sweetened and especially popular in Britain. Once bottled, sherry doesn't age well, so you should plan to use it no more than a year or two after you buy it. Once opened, fino sherries should be consumed within a few days and stored in the refrigerator. Oloroso sherries can be stored a bit longer, say a week. Cooking sherry usually has added salt, and is shunned by more experienced cooks.
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sherry vinegar, Jerez vinegar, sherry wine vinegar, vinagre de Jeréz
sherry vinegar
Sherry vinegar is Spain's answer to balsamic vinegar. It's assertive yet smooth, and great for deglazing pans and perking up sauces, especially those that will accompany hearty meats like duck, beef, or game. The most expensive sherry vinegars are aged for a long time in wood casks.
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Silberwasser
has silver, not gold, flakes in it
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simple syrup, Rock candy syrup, sugar syrup
simple syrup
This is a mixture of sugar and water that's brought to a boil and simmered for about five minutes so that the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes syrupy. When it cools, it's used to make mixed drinks, liqueurs, baked goods, sorbets, sauces, and many other things. The thickness of the syrup depends upon the ratio of sugar to water used. Many simple syrup recipes call for equal parts sugar and water. For a thinner syrup, combine two parts water with one part sugar. Rock candy syrup, a heavy syrup used to make some liqueurs and mixed drinks, is made with two parts sugar and one part water.
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sloe gin
sloe gin
This liqueur is made by steeping sloe berries in gin. Gordon's is a well-regarded brand.
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smetana, slivki, smatana, smitane
smetana
This is very hard to find in the United States, but some Eastern European markets carry it.
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sorghum molasses, sorghum syrup
sorghum molasses
This is made from sorghum cane juice, and Southerners sometimes use it instead of molasses to make things like barbecue sauce, baked beans, and gingerbread. Look for it in health food stores.
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sour-mash whiskey, Tennessee sour-mash whiskey
sour-mash whiskey
This resembles Bourbon, but the mash is soured during the fermenting process, giving the whiskey a distinctive flavor. It's produced in Tennessee by George Dickel and Jack Daniels. Whiskey should be served at room temperature.
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Southern Comfort
Southern Comfort
This potent peach-flavored liqueur is made with Bourbon.
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soy milk, soy beverage, soya beverage, soya milk, soymilk
soy milk
Made from soybeans, soy milk is sweeter and darker than dairy milk, and it has a distinctive beanlike flavor. It comes refrigerated, or in aseptic containers (either full strength or concentrated), or in powdered form, with varying percentages of fat. A fortified version is available that supplies many of the nutrients normally found in cow's milk. Flavored versions are best for drinking, unflavored for cooking. Shake well before using.
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Spanish brandy
Spanish brandy
This sweet and heavy brandy is based on sherry.
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sparkling wine, bubbly, Champagne
sparkling wine
When first opened, sparkling wine becomes effervescent as bubbles of carbon dioxide gas escape from the liquid. It was first produced by Dom Pérignon in the 17th century, who cried out after sampling it, "Come quickly. I am drinking stars!" Champagne is perhaps the finest example of sparkling wine, and is named for the region in France where it's produced. The brand Dom Pérignon is considered to be the finest champagne. Sparkling wine and champagne are rated by their relative sweetness. The driest is brut, followed by extra dry, sec, and the sweetest of all, demi-sec. Sparkling wines are used to toast special occasions like weddings and the New Year, but they're also served before meals. They're especially nice with caviar.
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spice-flavored liqueurs
This category includes spiced rum, Goldschläger and kümmel.
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spiced rum
spiced rum
This is white or dark rum that's been sweetened and flavored with vanilla and spices.
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spumante
spumante
This is Italian sparkling wine. Asti spumante is a well-known sparkling wine produced in Asti, Italy.
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stout
stout
This dark beer tastes strongly of malt and hops. Guinness is a popular brand.
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Strega, Liquore Strega
Strega
This is a sweet Italian herbal liqueur.
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Suze
This is a bitter French apéritif.
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sweet vermouth, bianco, Italian vermouth, red vermouth, rosso
sweet vermouth
This comes as either red vermouth (rosso) or sweet white vermouth (bianco). It's used to make many cocktails, including Manhattans and Negronis. If you're planning to make martinis, you probably want dry vermouth.
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Syrah
Syrah
This wine is called Syrah in Europe and America, and Shiraz in Australia. It's a dry red wine that's especially good with barbecued meats, sausages, strong cheeses, and spicy foods. Don't confuse Syrah with Petite Syrah.
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table wine, still wine
table wine
Table wines are intended to be served with meals, and they're often classified by color: red, white or rosé.
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tarragon vinegar, tarragon wine vinegar
tarragon vinegar
This popular herb vinegar is used to make Béarnaise sauce and vinaigrettes. It's easy to make at home. Just put one or two sprigs of clean, fresh tarragon in a bottle of warm white wine vinegar, tightly seal the bottle, and let it stand for at least a few days.The sprigs will eventually become bitter, so remove or replace them after a few weeks. Make sure that the vinegar you use has an acidity level of at least 5% (this information is given on the label). Don't add too much tarragon to the bottle, or you may reduce the acidity of the vinegar so much that it loses its ability to preserve.
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tea
tea
The five most common types are green, white, black, oolong and pu'erh.
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tequila, Gold tequilas, Tequilas añejas, white tequilas
tequila
This fiery liquor is produced in Mexico from the fermented sap of the blue agave cactus. Mexicans like to drink it straight after licking salt from the back of their hands (which they squirt first with lime juice to help the salt adhere). Tequila is also used in several cocktails, including the Tequila Sunrise. Gold tequilas and white tequilas are very similar. Tequilas añejas are aged--and more expensive. The very finest tequilas are labeled "100 percent blue agave." José Cuervo is a well-regarded brand. Tequila should always be served ice cold.
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Tiramisu
Like the dessert, this liqueur has both chocolate and coffee flavors.
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Tokaj wine
Ordinary Tokay table wine is mediocre, but some Tokay grapes are affected by Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that pokes holes in their skins and makes them shrivel on the vine. This concentrates the sweetness and makes for an exquisite dessert wine. Look for bottles labeled Tokay Aszú, the Hungarian name for botrytised Tokay wine.
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tomato juice
tomato juice
To make your own: See the Tomato Juice Recipe posted on Recipesource.com.
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