Americans swim in liquor. A 2018 survey revealed that two-thirds of adults tried alcoholic beverages over the previous year.
Yet no two alcoholic beverages are alike. Every American has their own idea of what the best liquor is. If you want to drink some new drinks out, you need to know your different options.
What are the most popular types of liquor? What drinks are best for social occasions? What should you do to pair your drink with food?
Answer these questions and you can wade through the world of liquor in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Bourbon is a variant of whiskey made from corn. The drink is aged in a barrel for a long period of time, giving the liquor a smoky flavor. Bourbon is extremely popular in the United States, especially in the south.
You can order your bourbon “neat,” meaning you drink it by itself. But you can also have it with water or “on the rocks,” meaning the bartender pours it over ice.
Bourbon works well with fatty and salty foods. You can drink a glass with a steak or roasted ham. You can also drink it with desserts, including chocolate truffles and mousses.
Champagne is one of the best types of liquor for social drinking. It is a sparkling white wine that can taste sweet depending on the bottle you get.
It is a common drink at celebratory events, including parties. Some people have it as a dessert wine, after eating a full meal. But you can drink it with appetizers or by itself.
Champagne is a drink that the alcohol industry values highly. It is hard to find cheap and good-quality champagne.
Cocktails are mixtures of several drinks together. Cocktails may mix alcoholic beverages, or they may contain non-alcoholic drinks and sweeteners.
You can find a wide variety of cocktails. Popular ones include the martini and mojito. You can order a cocktail at any bar and in most restaurants for adults.
They are good options for social engagements, especially intimate ones like dates. But you can enjoy one if you want to sample something new.
Gin is a drink from juniper berries. It undergoes a heavy amount of liquor distillation, producing a highly concentrated liquor.
Juniper berries are sharp and pungent. Distilleries like to add different flavors to their gins, including citrus peel and spices. But the primary flavor is juniper, which can be an acquired taste.
Gin is the primary ingredient in the martini. You can also combine gin with tonic water to create a bubbly drink.
Gin complements lighter dishes like nuts and meat platters well. You may be able to pair it with chocolate, but try to pick a drink that does not have added flavorings in it.
Wine is an alcoholic beverage that contains fermented grapes. Wineries mash grapes and add yeast to them, which eats the sugar in the grapes to produce carbon dioxide. Over time, this produces alcohol.
Red wine is wine made with red grapes. The red skin imparts a strong color and sweet flavor. But you can find dozens of types of red wine, each with its own color and flavor notes.
In general, you can pair red wine with chocolate and cheese. It is an all-purpose drink, ideal for any setting or occasion.
Distilleries produce rum by fermenting molasses. They then boil the molasses to distill it.
Rums vary widely in flavor and texture. Lighter rums have mild flavors, while darker rums tend to have caramel or molasses hints. Some distilleries add spices like cinnamon to their drinks.
You can drink rum by itself, though light rum generally needs mixers or ice to be palatable. Cocktails like the daiquiri contain rum in them. If you need liquor to cook with, you can use rum in cakes and marinades.
Scotch is one of the best spirits made from grain. It is a smoky and strong drink, which beginners to alcohol may find overpowering.
You can drink scotch on its own or with water. If you want to eat food with it, you should find food with fat in it like cheese or chocolate. Grilled meat is a good entree for a pairing.
Distilleries make tequila by distilling blue agave over a long period of time. The drink originates from Mexico, but you can find American tequilas in many stores.
Tequila in Mexico is served straight without any added ingredients. But some restaurants like to combine the drink with salt and lime. Cocktails with tequila in them include the Long Island iced tea.
Vodka is the most popular liquor from Russia. Distilleries can use any plant that is rich in starch or sugar to create it.
This means that vodkas may be based on corn, rye, or potatoes. You should visit websites like 2xlswagger.com to see what goes into your vodka. Regardless of the plant that is used for distillation, the drink can be strong.
You can mix vodka with many juices to create original drinks. You can also pair it with small dishes like salads and toast.
Your Options for the Best Liquor
Finding the best liquor can take some time. If you want a great all-around drink, you can sample red wine.
Champagne is good for celebrations while cocktails are good for intimate occasions. Rum is good for beginners, but bourbon and gin are better for experienced drinkers.
For a complete experience, you should try to pair your drinks with food. Vodka lends itself to small meals while Scotch works for meat. Tequila works well when you mix it with other drinks.
New forms of liquor come on the market every day. Read more liquor guides by following our coverage.