You may have heard people refer to their wine as being dry or saying that they like dry drinks. But, what do they mean by dry? In this article, we are going to explain everything you need to know about dry drinks.
A dry drink is a drink (usually containing alcohol) that has little to no sugar. In other words, dry drinks don’t taste sweet.
Dry liquors or spirits
The following are dry drinks:
- Vodka can be distilled from any starch-rich plant. The more traditional raw materials used to make vodka are grains like barley, corn, rye and wheat. Most vodkas are designed to taste as neutral as possible. The neutral taste (including a lack of sweetness) is what makes vodka so versatile.
- Gin is made by distilling a neutral grain with juniper berries and other botanicals, giving it its characteristic flavor. The dryness of gin comes from the lack of added sugar, which allows the juniper and other botanicals to shine through.
- Brandy is alcohol produced by distilling wine made from grapes. It is also a dry alcohol which allows fruity and floral aromas to shine through. It often had toasty or vanilla notes from being aged in barrels.
- Whiskey is alcohol made from distilling fermented grain. It is also a dry alcohol.
- Tequila is a liquor or spirit distilled from agave. It tastes sharp and dry.
- Rum is made from sugar cane products, such as molasses, but it can be dry, off-dry (slightly sweet) or sweet. White rum is more common and the majority are dry and neutral in flavor, similar to vodka.
- Beer is a bitter tasting alcohol that contains little to no sugar.
Wine comes in a range of sweetness levels. Some grape varieties, such as Riesling, can be made in a range of sweetness levels from dry to sweet.
A dry wine is one that has little to no residual sugar, so it is not sweet. Wines that taste slightly sweet are known as “off dry” wines.
Dry white wines
- Pinot Grigio (Italian)
- Sauvignon Blanc (French)
Dry red wines
- Tempranillo e.g., Rioja
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Malbec (French)
Champagne and sparking wines also come in a range of sweetness levels. Champagne with the lowest levels of sugar is labelled Brut Nature.
Dry cocktails and mix drinks
The following are dry cocktails and mix drinks that contain little or no sugar:
- Dry Martini
- Aperol Spritz
- Gin and tonic
- Vodka tonic
Drinks that are NOT dry drinks
Most liqueurs, such as Maraschino liqueur, contain sugar.
Fortified wines, such as Port wine, Madeira are also usually sweet.
Dark rum is generally sweet in style.
What is a dry martini?
A dry martini has less vermouth than a regular martini.
What is a dry wine?
A wine is dry when the sugars in the grapes have fermented into alcohol. Wine that is off-dry or sweet contain residual sugars (sugars that did not ferment into alcohol).
What is a dry drinker?
A dry drinker or someone who is ‘on the dry’ does not drink alcohol.
Why is Canada Dry called dry?
Canada Dry, invented in 1890, is a Ginger Ale that was made with less sugar than its competitors, so the inventor labelled it “dry” so that customers would understand the difference.