12 Must-Try Drinks and Where to Get Them
Consider this your ultimate drinking bucket list. Learn about iconic drinks and where you should taste them before you die.
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Pisco in Peru
Peruvians love pisco and my favorite producer is BarSol. Take a trip to their San Isidro bodega in the Ica Valley region. There you can try any number of their product offerings and some that never come to the US.
IPA in Stowe, Vermont
The US has so many amazing beers it is hard to select one. If you visit The Alchemist in Stowe, Vermont, you'll find one of the hardest beers to get your hands on that's really ahead of its class, Heady Topper. Not only is the beer incredibly delicious but it is gold when it comes to trading with other beer nerds. I, myself, will be making this journey soon.
Scotch on Scotland
If you’re fan of scotch and Star Wars, you are probably one of the more than 45,000 people who follow @scotch_trooper on Instagram. His pick is Ardbeg for scotch. "Enjoying a dram at the Ardbeg Distillery on the island of Islay,” he says. “Whether you are enjoying a private tasting in the warehouse with the rest of the sleeping whisky, visiting the Chairman's Study among all the bottles showing the history of the distillery, sitting at the amazing Old Kiln Cafe or just standing outside on the Ardbeg Pier, there really isn't a bad place to enjoy their amazing whisky. No matter where you are on their grounds, you feel like you are one with their whisky and part of the family."
Whiskey in Tennessee
What could be more American than Tennessee Whiskey? Taking a pilgrimage to Jack Daniel's should be on everyone's list. The tour is unique and features options to explore, taste and buy a piece of American history.
Brennivín in Iceland
The national drink of Iceland is Brennivín. It’s a clear schnapps-like spirit that is enjoyed for holidays or special-occasions. This product is extremely hard to find in the US, so going to the source is your best bet. Take a tour of the Olgerdin facility in Reykjavik for the perfect experience.
Horilka in Ukraine
Being part Ukrainian, I must send you to visit my homeland. Grab yourself a shot of horilka, a native spirit of the country, at Cupidon in Kiev. The bar is a meeting place for scholars and artists. Say "hi" to manager Fedir Balandin while you are at it. His English is great and can serve as your translator if you don’t speak Ukrainian.
Sake in Tokyo
Sake evangelist and author of The Sake Handbook, John Gauntner, shared a personal story of his ultimate bucket list visit. "Once, at Kozue, the sake som brought me a glass of sake and told me nothing of it,” he says. “It could have been one of about 20,000 sake products available. And I nailed it, blind. That will never happen again, but I am sure to get back to Kozue at the top of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku." Note: If that place sounds familiar, then you have seen the movie Lost in Translation.
Guinness in Ireland
For something that has become near standard in many bars around the US, there is something special about drinking one at the source. Make your way to Dublin and visit the Guinness Storehouse. This complex features the full history on the product and is a treat for every sense. You'll also get a lesson on the proper technique to pour the product and savor the beer in an ideal environment.
Cachaça in Brazil
Brazil is famous for its parties and a spectacular drink to enjoy at those events is a caipirinha. This cocktail features cachaça. Check out Costello Copacabana Quiosque in Rio de Janeiro for the full experience. This bar exclusively serves Cachaça 51, which is one of the biggest and most respect brands in the country.
Champagne in France
I tapped an expert to sip on one of the most famous wines in the world, Champagne. "The Côte des Blancs is heaven for me, and it starts with Pierre Peters in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger,” Justin King, certified sommelier and owner of Bridge Street Social, says. “There's this place about a 15-minute walk away called La Gare, that is dripping with charm. Right now, there's little I dream of less than enjoying a glass of Les Chetillons Cuvee Speciale in their outdoor seating, surrounded by this idyllic, sleepy town."
Vodka in Russia
When you think of vodka, you think of Russia. Take a trip to Mariinsk to tour the Russian Distillery Co., which produces Beluga vodka. This is one of the most popular vodkas in Russia and has a strong following in the US as well. Word of caution, the distillery is in the heart of Siberia, so bring your snow shoes.
Gin and Tonic in London
A spot for the ultimate gin experience opened up in London in 2016 and is called The Distillery. This place is a theme park for gin lovers with multiple bars and a hotel all in one. Settle into their GinTonica room and order something the English do best, a proper gin and tonic cocktail.