The world of whiskey, vodka, cognac, rum, tequila, and liqueur is a vast one, but the more you drink, the more you realize just how small it gets. And when it’s time to order something to drink, the selection can seem downright intimidating. But what if you can’t decide which of the many varieties of vodka or bourbon you’d like to sample?
Or maybe you’ve had a really good drink and don’t know what to order next? Do you have to choose between rum and cognac, or are other options available? Here are some excellent alternatives to some famously named liquors.
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select (Alternative to Johnnie Walker)
The famous Distiller’s Select® Woodford Reserve is among the largest bourbon producers worldwide.
In the U.S., Woodford Reserve accounts for more than 15% of the market share. The Woodford Reserve “Limited Edition” Black Maple Hill Edition is an excellent example of the high-quality whiskey for which the Woodford Reserve brand is known.
The Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select comes in different flavors: honey, vanilla, citrus, chocolate, toffee, cherry, and spice. This bourbon has a rich, chewy, rounded and smooth taste with a variety of notes that progresses from an almost creamy start to a warm, silky-smooth finish.
You can consume it with ginger ale, club soda, on the rocks, or simply straight.
Svedka Vodka (Alternative to Smirnoff)
SVEDKA Vodka is an unflavored vodka made from spring water and winter wheat.
After going through five distillations, this unflavored vodka has a subtle, rounded sweetness that is not overpowering. This process makes it light and refreshing, making it ideal for a variety of vodka cocktails.
This 80 proof vodka goes well with a variety of cocktails and mixed drinks. It’s a beverage worth sipping with your buddies. You could have it with mixed vodka or a cosmopolitan martini on the rocks. The liquor is a worthy substitute for Smirnoff because of its balanced body, crisp finish, and other qualities.
Macallan 12yo Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey (Alternative to Jack Daniel’s)
Care to try out top American whiskeys? The Macallan 12yo should be on your list. The Macallan stands out — albeit expensively — when compared to Jack Daniels, which based on its charcoal refined process, doesn’t come close to having the defined “Bourbon taste.”
After sampling a few bottles, you might have a strong preference for the smooth wood smoky, spice taste of the all-natural-colored Macallan over the smooth, smoky-sweet “Jack-o-lantern” taste of Jack Daniels.
Whiskey Magazine, the QRW, and Michael Jackson’s definitive guidebook have frequently rated the Macallan Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey among the finest single malts with 12 years of existence.
Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey (An Alternative to Jameson)
Blanton’s bourbon is distinguished by its rich and lingering aroma of nutmeg, caramel, and caramel, interlaced with harmonious notes of powerful dry vanilla. It finishes with flavors of nutmeg and corn. In between, there are hints on honey.
Blanton’s Bourbon was the first commercially available Single Barrel Bourbon, released in 1984. While the price of this bourbon is still not cheap, it’s worth every drop — a liquor of choice for many celebrities and one of the most popular bourbons worldwide.
It’s exclusive in every sense of the word and to this day, the “liquid gold” as dubbed by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, remains as a true bourbon.
Arkay Vodka Flavored Drink (Alternative to Finlandia)
If you are a vodka drinker with a twist — healthy, natural, and alcohol-free vodka, Arkay vodka is your go-to beverage. With this liquor, you have one to one alcohol alternative.
It provides the complexity you need in terms of mouthfeel, nose, heat, and flavor without indulging you in alcohol. The award-winning drink matches its alcoholic counterparts pound for pound.
The Arkay vodka drink is also gluten-free, allergen-free, and has zero calories, so you don’t feel guilty after downing a glass or two. It is made perfectly with great care and fresh ingredients. In other words, it is crafted, not distilled, unlike Finlandia.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Alternative to Ciroc)
Similar to Ciroc, Tito’s handmade vodka is gluten-free, but unlike Ciroc, it is distilled from corn using old-fashioned pots, rather than grapes.
Its distillation is comparable to top-quality French cognacs and single malt scotches. What’s more? It is OU Kosher certified.
The founder, Tito, is a big part of what makes the liquor so popular. In Southeast Austin, Texas, he created the first and only legal distillery. This property, which spans 12 acres of land, was purchased with a credit card and financed through the seller.
The Vodka for Dog People program helps animals in need. Critics have referred to him as “a homegrown symphonic spirit to applaud.”
Bacardi Superior Rum (Alternative to Captain Morgan)
Bacardi is one of the world’s most famous rum brands known to have a “very complex flavor.”
The rum is aged in bourbon barrels which gives the rum its unique taste. It is also known for its distinct aroma and its high alcohol content. The Bacardi rum is most famous in its cocktail form.
The rum is mixed with sugar and lemon juice and then squeezed into a cocktail glass. This cocktail is called the “Piña Coladas.” Another popular Bacardi Rum cocktail is the Mojito. Both of these cocktails are popular for their refreshing and fruity taste.
On the other hand, Captain Morgan is a classic choice when it comes to spiced rum, especially if you don’t want something too pricey.
E.H. Taylor Colonel Bourbon (Alternative to Chivas Regal 12)
The E.H. Taylor Colonel bourbon spots not-too-complex flavors comprising white pepper, light tobacco, vanilla, and leather. You also get a pleasant burn on your mouth as the flavors dissipate after a couple of minutes.
However, there is a lingering aftertaste of dried apricot, white pepper, and dry leather.
On the other hand, Chivas regal 12-year-old blended scotch comes with dry grainy notes. Its background scents comprise almond paste, light toffee, dried flowers and parchment, and yellow fruit. It has an oily, buttery, and semisweet flavor to begin with.
At mid-palate, you taste cooking oil, brown butter, oatmeal cookie, and barley malt.
Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 (Alternative to Ballantine’s)
Eagle Rare Bourbon Whiskey comprises honey, herbs, orange peel, oak, and leather aroma. It begins with notes of rich cocoa and candied almonds that are bold, dry, and delicate, and ends with a dry, lingering finish.
This bourbon is painstakingly crafted and aged for at least ten years.
Ballantine’s is a range of blended scotch whiskey. Everything that goes into a bottle of Ballantine’s has been aged for at least three years, and the whiskey is bottled at 40% alcohol. It leaves a soft, sweet whiskey aroma with a hint of peat and a touch of spice.
Overall, it gives a lightly sweet vanilla taste.
Grand Marnier (Alternative to Baileys)
The Grand Marnier 80 proof is a premium blend of Caribbean wild tropical oranges and cognacs. Cognac adds orange essence and hazelnuts nuances to the fragrant orange flavors.
This drink can be consumed either straight or on the rocks. It’s also great in cocktails.
Bailey’s is a liquor made with cream, chocolate, vanilla, Irish whiskey, and other ingredients. At the moment, new variants are being added to those that already exist. Mint Chocolate, Coffee, Hazelnut, and Caramel Crème are just a few of the flavors available.
Bailey’s can be enjoyed the traditional way (on the rocks) or mixed with other alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.
All the above-mentioned liquors are great alternatives. They come with unique blends, tastes, and feel. They can be consumed straight or on the rocks. When deciding which liquor to take, consider whether you’re going to be drinking it straight up (on the rocks) or in a cocktail.
Straight up is generally just an excuse to enjoy drinking your alcohol straight. You pour a glass of wine, then take a sip, then take another sip, then drink the rest. In cocktails, the key thing is that you want your beverage to be enjoyable to drink. Also, consider the properties that suit your style best.
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