The drinks include a large number of liquids called accessories or even complementary , which is why “the National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition (INRAN)” and “the Italian Society of Human Nutrition (SINU)” have not included them in the of the 7 food groups.

Classification of drinks

Beverages can be classified into:

The main (or most consumed) alcoholic beverages are wine and beer , but the group includes all liquids containing ethyl alcohol (distilled, fermented, liqueurs, alcopops , etc.). On the contrary, NON-alcoholic drinks are further differentiated into: water ( drinking , mineral and table), nerve drinks ( coffee , tea , liquid chocolate , chamomile etc.) and non-alcoholic drinks (soft drinks, fruit juices and syrups).

Alcoholic beverages

Wine : wine is a hydro-alcoholic liquid obtained from the fermentation of fresh or slightly dried grape must . It is a drink that exploits the fermentative action of yeasts from the Saccharomyces family which transform sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. It can be red (or black), white or rosé, based on the presence or absence of pomace during vinification. A further classification of the wine can be carried out on the basis of the DESTINATION for consumption, that is: for cutting, for table (including IGT – typical geographical indication), produced in specific regions – VQPRD (of which DOC – designation of origin are part controlled and DOCG – controlled and guaranteed designation of origin) and special ( dessert ) wines .

Beer : it is the most consumed alcoholic drink in the world; it is obtained by alcoholic fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and carlsbergensis of musts prepared with barley malt , water, flavorings and hop inflorescences . Based on the alcohol content, beers can be classified into: non-alcoholic, normal (3ml/100ml), special (3.5ml/100ml), double malt (not less than 4ml/100ml).
Distillates and liqueurs : distillates are prepared by distillation of some alcoholic beverages or by fermentation and subsequent distillation of vegetable products rich in carbohydrates ; the alcohol content varies between 38 and 60°. Liqueurs are prepared from alcohol or distillates by adding sugar , essences , herbs, water and sometimes even colorings ; the alcohol content varies between 20 and 50%. They are classified into: fruit liqueurs, bitter and semi-bitter liqueurs, essence-based liqueurs.

I’m nervous without water

Coffee : coffee is a nerve drink obtained by hot infusion of coffee powder. The plant species from which the bean is obtained (subsequently roasted and pulverized) are Coffea robusta and Coffea arabica . The production of coffee is based on a few steps: harvesting, extraction of the seed from the fruit, selection of the seeds and roasting (before consumption, obviously, also grinding). Coffee is a drink that contains caffeine , an alkaloid with stimulant effects on the body.
Tea : tea or tea is a drink obtained by hot infusion of the leaves of Thea sinesis or Thea assamica or Camellia Tea . There are various types of tea: green tea , black tea , oolong tea , scented tea. It is also possible to find instant soluble teas, decaffeinated teas and ready-to-drink teas; tea alkaloids are mainly made up of caffeine (or theine ) , theophiline and theobromine which act on the central nervous system as stimulants. Liquid chocolate : liquid chocolate, also called “in the cup”, is the result of mixing: bitter cocoa powder , milk and possibly sugar . Chocolate in a cup, in addition to a drink, is also a food in its own right as it provides: fats , sugars, proteins , mineral salts , vitamins and antioxidants .

Alcohol-free drinks

Soft drinks : they are drinks that can be distinguished into 4 groups:

  • Soft drinks sold under the name of one or more fruit juices: fruit juice NOT < 12%
  • Soft drinks sold under the name of a fruit NOT juice: e.g. chinotto , cedrata etc.
  • Soft drinks sold under fictitious names: includes a wide range of drinks, such as colas, bitters, tonic waters, etc.; they also contain plant extracts and caffeine.
  • Carbonated : these are “simple” drinks composed of water, sugar, lemon essence , citric or tartaric acid , and carbon dioxide (without colourants).

Fruit juices : they are NON-fermented drinks that maintain the aroma, flavor and color of the raw extraction material; they are obtained by mechanical extraction of juice from fruits. It is appropriate to distinguish:

  • Fruit juice: which contains 100% natural juice
  • Nectar or fruit juice and pulp: obtained by adding water and sugar to a natural or concentrated juice (these are drinks that on average contain 40-50% fruit).

Syrups : They are obtained from fruit juices or vegetable extracts by adding a high percentage of sugar ranging from 60 to 70%.


Bibliography :

  • Food and health –S. Rodato, I. Gola – Clitt – page 202:212