Technically-speaking, there are scores of liquors around the world that hit above 95 on the ABV scale. But are you sure you would like to drink them?
For instance, Everclear has a whopping 95% ABV and, sure, you can drink it if it is watered down (on the advice of its producers) but this grain alcohol is so potent, it is also banned in 15 American states! Likewise, some Polish grain spirits hit even higher at 96% ABV but they are not only drunk neat but used for medical and industrial purposes.
We are going to look at the world of wines and spirits and give you the lowdown on the top 5 strongest liquors in the world – but there is a caveat. We also want you to be happy to drink them, and probably the more mixers the better! So, read on for the most powerful yet utterly quaffable liquors across the world of firewater.
Hapsburg Gold Label Premium Reserve Absinthe (89.9% Alcohol)
Seems like this heady green liquid of the French demi-monde scene has been banned then made legal so many times it can make you dizzier than the drink itself!
Absinthe (sometimes called the Green Fairy because of its other-worldly qualities) which originally hailed from Switzerland, is made in a similar way to top-grade gins. Its botanicals, wormwood, fennel, and anise are macerated in a distilled base alcohol which is followed by redistillation to iron out the bitter tastes and add complexity to the final spirit.
This green fire tastes quite fine but do go steady with it.
Balkan 176 Vodka (88% Alcohol)
Vodka is always up there on the high alcohol front but when it is triple distilled like this bevvie, it becomes even more potent.
Made in the Balkans as its name suggests, this pure vodka is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Triple distilled and carefully crafted in small batches, it is so strong, producers have to slap 13 consumption warnings about it on the bottle.
We would say it is far too strong to drink neat and we are not alone. However, if you want a powerful ingredient in a cocktail, this vodka will fit the bill.
Sunset Rum (84.5% Alcohol)
Winning ‘The World’s Best Overproof Rum’ by World Rum Awards in 2016, this is one of the most powerful rums on the planet.
In rum production, molasses is dissolved in water which is then fermented and distilled in pot or column stills. Following this process, it is stored for up to ten years in oak barrels giving it a golden color and special flavor.
Even on this rum’s label, there is a firm recommendation to drink it with a mixer and we cannot disagree.
Devil Springs Vodka (80% Alcohol)
It is no surprise that another vodka makes the list of the top 5 strongest (drinkable) liquors. This Devil Springs Vodka is only used in small amounts in cocktails and is hugely popular for making flaming shots.
This spirit is crafted through the standard distillation of liquid made by fermenting grains which accounts for its strength. You may be tempted to buy such a strong liquor when shopping for alcohol online in Singapore, but is not a good idea to drink vodka straight. It goes beautifully with fruit juice or ginger ale. Cheers!
Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled Whisky (92% Alcohol)
One of the most alcoholic single malt whiskies, X4 is Bruichladdich’s is quadruple-distilled in a method that dates from the 17th century with eye-watering results. The legend goes that with one sip, you gain eternal life, two sips make you go blind, and three sips mean your immediate expiration!
Made from malt from a single distillery (hence the name), after distillation, it is aged in a mix of new oak casks and, for good measure, a few that have been used for bourbon. The latter imparts deep, sweet notes that enhance the intensity of the whisky.
This whisky is pretty difficult to get hold of now so, if you do manage to find a bottle, you might want to take it slow.
So, there you have it – some of the strongest liquors in the world. As you can see, the production methods of these spirits is what gives their breath-taking high ABV levels. They are drinkable but in small amounts and fare much better with mixers. Lastly, always store your wines & spirits well, and enjoy with care!