A few years ago, I started bartending in a local hotel that hosted guests from around the world. I've never been a really big drinker, but I thought it was worth knowing the flavor profiles and overall tastes of each brand I was selling. After all, you can't exactly sell anything you've never tried before. With this in mind, we started our quest. Traveling to every liquor store within two hours of our home, we bought little shot bottles of various brands and many different types of alcohol. We'd take a few sips, holding each on our tongues for a few seconds to gauge the flavor and burn of each. By taking what I like to call our Liquor Adventure, we were able to find a favorite brand for each type of alcohol.
I've never really liked gin. To me, it tastes too much like shaving cream, but I've tried quite a few. Overall, there were two brands which really jumped out at me with their subtle hints of juniper.
- Tanqueray Rangpur Lime: Honestly, the lime flavors mixed in with the gin only seemed to make Tanqueray better. I wasn't reminded of shaving cream, like with most gins, but could pleasantly sip a glass. If you find gin isn't your favorite, Rangpur Lime is a great gin to get begin with.
- Monkey 47: I love reading about the best liquors in the world and tend to get extremely ecstatic when I finally come across one. Monkey 47 is just that. Never in my life did I think I would come across a gin that blends botanical notes together so smoothly. The price may be a bit steep to some, but this brand is worth every penny. If you're looking to buy a bottle, check out Vino's price and shipping availability at Vinosite.com.
Being a southern girl, I've been raised around bourbon and whiskey from day one. It's always been my go to, but I've never really enjoyed Crown. To me, it's not the pinnacle of bourbon. Instead, I've looked for brands that have more of a smooth finish with sweeter tasting notes.
- Knob Creek Smoked Maple: Around the world, Knob Creek is known as a reliable brand, but their Smoked Maple really blew me away. When you take a sip, you feel like you're eating an entire home-cooked meal complete with waffles, syrup, and bacon. Most flavored bourbons tend to taste overly syrupy and thick, but Knob Creek pulled out all the stops, presenting a flavored bourbon to please anyone. Check out Vino's cheap price at Vinosite.com.
Personally, I've always viewed vodka as nothing more than a mixed. I never believed that unflavored, straight vodka would be absolutely amazing and satisfying. That is, until I came across my now favorite brand.
- Effen: While it always sounds like you're saying a curse word every time you ask a bartender for a shot, the vodka really is Effen good. It's a little on the thick side when chilled, but goes down as smooth as a glass of water with slight notes of vodka flavor.
Tequila has never been my favorite drink. I've always thought tequila was for margaritas or frat parties, but never for sipping or relaxing on a beach. It's always been terrifying to me and a little gross. Finally, though, I found one brand who packs all of the flavor of classic tequila with a boutique twist.
- Casa Noble Anejo: Organic may not always be the way to go, but in the case of Casa Noble, it makes a huge difference. The blanco has excellent agave notes, but the anejo really makes them shine. After spending two years in French White Oak barrels, Casa Noble Anejo is born. If you are looking for a tequila to sip over rocks, the Anejo is for you. Check out Vino's price at Vinosite.com.
All along our Alcohol Adventure, we asked the local liquor store owners and workers what they thought was the best. If you're ever in need of a second opinion, Vino Fine Wine and Spirits can easily help. So don't wait, start your own adventure today: contact us.