Gin is a white grain spirit, which is flavored with juniper berries. It is drier than other spirits and usually combined with sweeter ingredients such as tonic water or vermouth to balance the dryness.
Vodka is produced by yeast from the fermentation of a sugar source, typically a grain like rye, wheat, oats, and barley. Vodka has also been known to be produced from potatoes as well. Naturally possessing an unyielding, bitter taste, a wide variety of flavored vodkas are now available.
Rye, bourbon, and scotch, by any name, each of these spirits are categorized as a whiskey because they are made in a similar manner — distilled from grain. America, Canada, Scotland, and Ireland are among the most popular producers of whiskeys.
Made from sugarcane byproducts that are fermented and then distilled, rum is produced foremost in the Caribbean and South America. Rums can be categorized by color (light, gold, or dark), as well as the infusion of certain fruit flavorings or spices.
Tequila is made from the fermented juice of the blue Agave plant, which looks similar to a cactus that created the incorrect popular belief that tequila comes from that prickly desert mainstay. This spirit is produced, by and large, in Mexico.