Unique Liquors You Have to Try
Put these distinct, strange and couture alcohols on your bucket list.
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The savvy traveler would be remise to not try a local Amaro while in Italy. The word translates to bitter and is often drank after a pleasing dinner. One of the popular choices is Amaro Nonino. Try it neat or over a few ice cubes while watching the sunset.
While Chili also claims to be the origin of this spirit, most experts lean toward the Peruvian story. Pisco is a grape-based spirit that is somewhere between brandy and grappa when it comes to ingredients and preparation. The Pisco Sour is the way to go and will quench any palate.
During the 2016 games in Rio, Cachaça was seen around the world, drank in cocktails and sipped pool side. Next time you are in the largest South American country, try a Caipirinha which is lime, sugar and Cachaça.
All bartenders know the deliciously bitter flavor of Fernet, which finds is origins in Argentina. A neat shot of the drink is known as the bartenders handshake. But if that is too much for you, try it mixed with cola. This cocktail is very popular in Buenos Aires and the rest of the country.
Genever, The Netherlands
Call it jenever, genever, Dutch gin or genievre, all are correct. This spirit is the granddaddy to gin and is a much more lucious and slightly sweet version. Next time you find yourself in The Netherlands ask for a Martinez served with Genever and not gin (the classic way).
Trips to Japan are often filled with sake and beer but expand your horizons and try some Shochu. The spirit is very light and lower in alcohol so you can sip it and enjoy the nuanced flavors. The most popular is Iichiko and is barley based (like scotch).
We've all heard about Absinthe by why not experience Pastis the next time you travel to France. This liqueur is a sweetened spirit that is related to the green fairy. Try it the classic way on ice and water or some of the fantastic cocktails like the one above called the Bastille Day Boisson.
Fans of FX's Archer know that Pimm's Cups are amazing. Ever notice that the bottle says Pimm's #1? There are actually five other varieties that rarely make it to the U.S. and most aren't even made anymore. You can still find #3 and #6 in England so go check out an old bar and taste some history.
Rum is great but Rhum is incredible. Rum is made with molasses while Rhum is made with fresh pressed sugar cane. It's a much more artisan product and can be found in many French colony islands especially Martinique.
Soju, South Korea
Similar to its little brother in Japan, Soju is the national drink of South Korea. Jinro is the leader and is even making its way to the U.S. (slowly). Try this light spirit neat and cold like vodka or mixed in a refreshing cocktail.
Tequila is flowing in the U.S. and even Mezcal but what about other Agave-based spirits? If you can find Sotol on a trip to Mexico, check it out. This small batch spirit is subtle and tasty.
The national drink of Hungry is Unicum. In the U.S. we can sometimes see his brother, Zwack, but they are slightly different. Drink this herbal liqueur neat or in a cocktail but show the locals you can hang with their official drink.
Turkey is a country of many incredible spices and their national drink, Raki, is no exception. This anise based spirit (similar to Pastis) is often consumed with some water to give it a fantastic opalescent sheen.
A stop in India might get you a taste of Feni even though it is just starting to become available in the U.S. This is a traditional liquor made from the cashew apples or the fruit that sits above the nut on the tree. Try this spirit neat, over ice or with a local lemon and lime soda called Limca.