Beverages are simply fluids apart from water consumed to stimulate, nourish, refresh the body and can also quench taste. They are alcoholic and non alcoholic.

Types of beverages

  1. Alcoholic beverages
  2. Non alcoholic beverages

                             ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

These are simply beverages that contain some percentage of ethyl alcohol between 1% -75%. It is either obtained by fermentation of sugar based foods or the distillation of fermented products e.g. spirits, liqueur, beer, cider and wine, local or traditional African beer (burukutu). Alcohol is the liquid made by the fermentation or distillation of ethanol (the sugar present in intoxicating drinks). It is also used as fuel and in thermometer. Alcohol is obtained in two forms name:

  1. Fermentation: The sugar in fruit or grain is converted into alcohol by the action of bacteria. Carbon dioxide a bi-product is retained for fizzy drinks like beer and champagne.
  2. Distillation: The fermented mash of fruit or grain is heated. Alcohol which is evaporates at a lower temperatures then water is trapped and condensed to a liquid by cooling. Pure distilled alcohol has no colour, taste or smell and it is used in fortifying other beverages such as liqueurs

Alcoholic Beverages Includes:

  • Spirits
  • Liqueurs
  • Beer
  • Cider and wine
  • Local traditional beer e.g. pito, burukuku.
  1. SPIRITS: It’s any liquid containing a significant amount of distilled ethanol. They contain drinkable alcohol such as esters, volatile acids or organic compounds obtained from distillation. Its classification is based on the source from where they get the sugar to convert into alcohol such as grains (barley, maize, rye, corn) for making whisky and liqueurs, vegetables (potatoes) vodka, fruit (sugar cane, grape, apricot, juniper berries (rum, brandy, liqueurs, gin, bitters, etc.).
  2. Brandy: They are spirits distilled from fermented juice of grape or other fruits
  3. Gin: It is produced from cereal like maize or rye. It is also from barley and flavoured with jumper berries and coriander seeds.

iii. Vodka:  It is a very pure still spirit which is purified by passing it through charcoal to remove aroma and flavor. It is colourless and flavourless. e.g. Smirnoff red,  blue, black, silver, citrus, raspberry.

  1. Whisky: It is a spirit made from the fermented mash of cereals such as maize, malted barley and rye and is aged in wood.
  2. Rum: It is made from fermented by product of sugar cane. It is popular in countries where sugar canes are many. It is classified into white and dark rum. White rum is made without adding any colour eg Bacardi rum while dark rum is the same as white rum except that a highly refined sugarcane syrup or caramel is added to it to give it colour and flavor e.g Bacardi dark rum, etc.
  3. Schnapps: It is a spirit distilled from fermented potato base and flavoured with caraway seed, mostly produced in Germany and Holland.

2 CIDERS: This is an alcoholic beverages obtained through the fermentation of apple juice or mixture of apple juice and 25% pear juice respectively. e.g. Liqueurs, draught, etc.

  1. BEER: Beer is a potable alcoholic beverage fermented from barley malt and flavoured with hops which is a dried ripe flower of the mulberry or nettle family. The alcoholic content in a beer ranges from 3% to 5%. e.g. Lager beer, Ale, Draft beer, Stout, etc.
  2. LIQUEURS: They are sweetened and flavoured spirit. It is flavoured with black currants, caraway, citrus nutmeg, cinnamon, kernels of almond, etc.

                           PRODUCTION OF LIQUERURS

Heat/Infusion method: This is when herbs, peels, roots are being used as heat can extract their oil, flavours and aromas.

Cold/Maceration method: This is best obtained when soft fruits are to provide flavours and aromas.


  1. Bailey’s Irish cream: This is a popular liqueur with coffee and honey or chocolate and cream colour.
  2. Comtreau: It is a clear liqueur produced by using orange/brandy as flavour and spirit based.
  3. Malibu: It is a clear liqueur in which coconut/rum is used for flavor.
  4. Maraschino: This is a clear liqueur which is produced by using maraschino cherry for flavor and spirit based made in Italy.
  5. Tia Maria: This is brown in colour. Coffee/rum is used as flavor.
  1. WINE: Wine is an alcoholic beverage obtained from the fermentation of freshly gathered grapes. It has been in existence since over 6000 years and is produced in most p[arts of the world.


  1. TABLE /STILL/LIGHT WINE: This is the largest category and its alcoholic strength is between 7% to 14%. e.g. red wine, white wine and rose wine.
  2. White wine: It is produced from white grape juice. It is usually fermented away from the skin.
  3. Red wine: It is produces from fermented grapes in which the skin is sed. It is a dry wine and it’s served at room temperature.

iii. Rose wine: It can be produced from three ways such as through black grape fermentation with the skin for 48 hours, by mixing red and white wine together or by pressing the grapes so that the colour is extracted.

  1. SPARKLING WINE: They are given sparkling effect treatment. These are wines with carbon dioxide to make it fizzy. It is achieved by pressure or re-fermentation when the carbon dioxide is captured in the bottle. They are referred to as effervescent as a result of its second fermentation in the bottle. e.g. Champagne.
  2. FORTIFIED WINE: They are strengthened by the addition of alcohol either during or after fermentation. This increases its alcoholic content from 14% to 24%. e.g. Sherry, Marsala, Malaga, Madeira etc.
  3. AROMATIZED WINE: They are produced by flavouring a simple basic wine with a blend of ingredient e.g., vermouth of different types, dubonnet. They are popular in aperitifs.


  1. Climate and micro climate.
  2. Nature of the soil and sub soil.

iii. Vine family and grape species.

  1. Method of cultivation and viticulture.
  2. Composition of the grapes.
  3. Yeast and fermentation.

vii. Methods of wine making (vinification).

viii. Lack of the year (vintage).

  1. Ageing and maturing process.
  2. Method of shipping and transportation.
  3. Storage temperature.

                           STEPS IN WINE PRODUCTION

  1. PICKING/ HARVESTING: The matured and ripe grapes are harvested for the production of the wine.
  2. SORTING/WEIGHING/REMOVAL OF STALKS: The harvest grape are gathered and sorted our according to colour and quality. Damaged or poorly grown ones are discarded.
  3. PRESSING/CRUSHING: After sorting, the grapes are weighed accordingly and crushed to extract the juice. To make white wines, the skin is not included during crushing and fermentation. While for red wine, the skin is included when crushing. This process is either done manually by the feet or mechanically.
  4. SULPHURING: Sulphur dioxide is added fairly early in fermentation process to prevent air from oxidizing the juice and converting the alcohol into vinegar.
  5. FERMENTATION: This is the conversion of the natural sugar in the grape into alcohol and carbon-dioxide. This takes place with the action of yeast. In hot climate, fermentation can be over in just one week while in cold weather it takes longer time. Fermentation is done in a stainless still vat by adding wine yeast known as (Saccharomyces Ellipsoideus) to fresh grape juice to convert the natural sugar in the grape to ethyl alcohol.
  6. MATURATION: The wine is allowed to mature in a cask or other container for several months to improve its flavor. This is called MATURATION/AGEING. As the wine matures, it evaporates so the cask must be topped with the same wine to avoid air from getting into it. Wine can also be matured in bottles.

                       FAULTS IN WINE PRODUCTION

  1. Corked wine: This is caused by diseased corks by the action of bacteria or excessively bottle age.
  2. Secondary fermentation: This happens when traces of sugar and yeast are left in the bottle giving the wine an unpleasant prickly taste.
  3. Cloudiness: It’s caused by suspended matter in wine.
  4. Foreign contamination: Its splintered or powered glass caused by bottling machinery or re-used bottle.
  5. Maderization or oxidation: It is caused by bad storage leading to too much exposure to air.
  6. Acetification: Occurs when the wine is over exposed to air thereby giving it a sour taste.
  7. Excess sulphur-dioxide (SO2): Sulphur-dioxide is used as preservative, however excess of it can spoils the wine.


When serving wine by a sommelier or wine butler at a table, he/ she must have a good knowledge of the wine contained in the wine list and must be able to identify examples of wine that will pair well with the menu dishes.


  1. The wine waiter should be able to describe the wine and their characteristics and avoid bluffing.
  2. Always serve the wine before the food and avoid delay in serving the food.
  3. Serve wine at the right temperature.
  4. Treat wine with respect and demonstrate a high level of technical skill.
  5. When pouring the wine, the neck of the bottle should be over the glass but not resting on the rim in case of an accident thus, care should be taken to avoid splashing the wine.
  6. Do not overfill the glass.
  7. Avoid unnecessary topping up as this irritates customers and drive them away.
  8. Serve white and sparkling wine chilled.
  9. White wine goes with sea foods, red wines with red meat and games and rose wine with any food.
  10. Do serve white wine with sweet foods or any food that have a sweet sauce.

                           STEPS IN SERVING WINE

  1. The wine list should be presented to the host immediately the food is ordered.
  2. Obtain the wine list and check that the order is correct.
  3. Take to the table in an ice-bucket and place the ice-bucket in a stand.
  4. Present the bottle to the host with the labeling showing.
  5. Ensure a clean napkin is tied to the handle of the ice-bucket to wipe away condensation of water from the outside of the bottle before pouring the wine.
  6. Use a wine knife to cut the foil away round, below the bottle rim.
  7. Place the cork in the ice-bucket; if the wine is a high quality vintage wine, then the cork would generally be placed on a side plate at the head of the host cover.
  8. Wipe the inside of the neck of the bottle with a clean napkin.
  9. Wipe the bottle dry.
  10. Hold the bottle for pouring so that the label is seen.
  11. Give a taste of the wine to the host.
  12. Serve the ladies first, the gentlemen and the host last; always commencing from the host right.
  13. Fill the glass to two third.
  14. On finishing pouring into a wine glass, twist the neck of the bottle and raise it at the same time to prevent drops from falling on the table cloth.
  15. Return the remaining wine in the wine bucket and re-fill the glasses when necessary.


  1. Explain five factors to consider in serving wine.
  2. Itemize five steps involved in serving wine.
  3. Mention five examples of commercial catering establishments.
  4. List five types of non commercial catering establishments and explain any two.
  5. List five examples of wine glasses and state their uses.

See also:

Table Cover





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