While most of us enjoy a good drink every now and then, what alcohol we choose may be related to our current state of mind or who we’re hanging out with. If you’re at a bar with friends you might have shots, but if we’re home alone you might prefer a glass of wine. Yet, with all the varieties of booze that are available, we usually stick to those that are familiar to us — maybe because it’s what your parents drank or because it’s a favourite among friends.
Now’s the time to break from the popular traditional alcoholic drinks like tequila shots, whiskeys, Screwdrivers, Rum and Cokes, Black/White Russians, and get curious about what your taste buds are missing. In the following infographic by BeverageLabels.Net, we’re guided through the exploration of 10 obscure alcoholic drinks. For example, did you know that Metaxa was the first alcoholic drink consumed in space? Find out how it and others came to be, how best to consume them and other interesting facts in the infographic below:
10 obscure alcoholic drinks worth tasting
Believed to be the “elixir of long life”, Chartreuse was discovered by French monks from the Grande Chartreuse monastery in 1605. Today, only two monks in the whole world know the original recipe.
- Base: Wine + 130 herbs, plants, flowers and secret ingredients.
- Alchohol Content: 55%
- Best Consumed: Cold or on the rocks
Umeshu is a traditional Japanese sweet and sour liqueur. In the winter, mix Umeshu with hot water to warm it up.
- Preparation: Still green and unripe ume fruit soaked in alcohol.
- Base: Sake, or Shochu and Awamori, or Brandy and White liquor.
- Alcohol Content: 10-15% depending on the base.
- Best Consumed: On the rocks
A traditional Sardinian liqueur from myrtle berries, there are two types of Mirto: red (made out of berries) and white (made out of leaves).
- Preparation: Ripe berries soaked in pure alcohol, after 40 days the juice is squeezed out; sweetened up with sugar or honey syrup.
- Alcohol Content: 30%
- Best Consumed: After lunch or dinner as a digestive, or after espresso, served cold in a shot glass.
Vinjak is a brown brandy produced in Serbia. Like French Cognac, Vinjak bottles contain a label that shows how long the drink was aged: VS (very special), VSOP (very special old pale), and XO (extra old).
- Preparation: Wine distillation, then aged in oak barrels.
- Alcohol Content: 40%
- Best Consumed: As an aperitif or as a digestive, at room temperature.
A dairy cream liqueur made from African Marula fruit. Elephant is the symbol of this drink because marula fruit is its favourite treat. Amarula producers support these mammals’ preservation.
- Preparation: Fermented, distilled twice and left to age for 24 months in oak barrels.
- Alcohol Content: 17%
- Best Consumed: On the rocks or in a cocktail.
Metaxa is a Greek grape brandy. There are six varieties each marked with a number of stars that represent years of aging.
- Preparation: Blended with white wine and flavourings like rose petals and honey, then aged in oak casks for a minimum of 3 years.
- Alcohol Content: 38-40% depending on the Metaxa age.
- Best Consumed: As a shot or in cocktails.
Sweet German vodka-based liqueur made from honey. In German, Bärenjäger means “bear hunter”. The bottle resembles a beehive, and the label shows a bear hunter and a trapped bear.
- Base and Flavours: Vodka-based, it’s available in four different flavours; original honey, honey & bourbon, honey & tea, honey & pear.
- Alcohol Content: 35%
- Best Consumed: On the rocks, as a shot or in a cocktail, poured in tea or over vanilla ice cream.
Suze is the most popular aperitif in France. It’s spicy and fruity flavoured. The famous painter Pablo Picasso depicted Suze in his collage titled “Glass and bottle of Suze”.
- Preparation: Macerated and distilled gentiana root and aromatic plant extracts.
- Alcohol Content: 15%
- Best Consumed: As an aperitif or in cocktails.
Disaronno is an Italian liqueur similar to amaretto, made out of apricot kernel oil, burnt sugar, 17 different spices and herbs and alcohol. It contains no nuts, but has the bittersweet taste of almonds. And according to legend, in 1525, a woman who posed as Madonna for an artist thanked him for choosing her by giving him a delicious handmade beverage that is today known as Disaronno.
- Alcohol Content: 26%
- Best Consumed: As a shot, on the rocks or in a cocktail.
Black Seal – Gosling’s Rum
This rum, produced in Bermuda, comes in three flavours: butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. Mix Black Seal rum with ginger beer to make Bermuda’s national drink, Dark’n Stormy.
- Alcohol Content: 40%, 70%, or 75%
- Best Consumed: Neat on the rocks or in a cocktail
So which of these alcoholic drinks are you looking forward to trying tonight — or what have you already tried some of them? Share your stories below or on social media.