ABSINTHE Absinthe reached its peak of popularity and notoriety around the end of the nineteenth century and is now illegal not only in the United States but in Switzerland, the place of its origin. Absinthe is actually a green-hued cordial with aniseed (licorice) flavor. The ingredient that caused all the fuss was wormwood (actually deleterious only when taken in immense doses). Pernod, Abisante, Abson, Anisette, Ojen, and Oxygene are its modern, safe, respectable substitutes.
ABSOLUT A high quality vodka of swedish manufacture, most commonly and appropriately taken unmixed. Now available flavored with lemon, blackberry, and peppers.
ADVOKAAT A bottled egg nog mixture made with brandy and eggs that originated in the netherlands.
AMARETTO An after-dinner liqueur with an almond flavor that is made in Italy from apricot kernels. The original amaretto, Amaretto di Saronne, was first made in Saronne, Italy, in 1525.
AMER PICON A bitter French cordial, bitter, orange-flavored, made from quinine, spices, cinchona bark, oranges, and gentiam
ANGOSTURA BITTERS (see bitters) made from a trinidadian secret recipe.
ANISETTE A sweet, clear, aniseed-flavored liqueur, the principle ingredient being aniseed.
APERTIF An alcoholic drink taken before a meal or any of several wines or bitters.
APPLEJACK An apple brandy produced principally in the United States and France. A version produced in Normandy, Calvados, is of very high quality. Also known as "Jersey lighting" and "hard cider". Made from winter apples, a great deal of applejack produced in the Unites States is of the homemade variety, and thus of widely varying quality.
AQUAVIT (Akvavit) Scandanavian Vodka flavored with caraway, dill and other herbs and spices.
B&B A mixture of cognac and benidictine, yeilding a drier product than benidictine alone.
BACARDI The single best selling brand of rum or any other liquor in the United States. A light bodied rum, Bacardi was formerly made in Cuba and is now Manufactured in the Puerto Rico and several other places. The original Bacardi plant in 1862 was a tin roof shed housing a cast iron still, a few fermenting tanks, a few aging barrels and a colony of fruit bats nesting in the rafters, hence the bat logo on every label.
BAHAI A coffee flavored Brazilian liqueur.
BAILEYS IRISH CREAM A mocha flavored whiskey and double-cream liqueur, a combination of Irish whiskey, cream, coffee, chocolate, and coconut.