But some distillers aren’t satisfied staying within the confines of traditional spirit categories and are getting seriously creative. How creative? They’re coming up with altogether new types of liquor.
So, check out these nine truly unusual and inventive bottlings and then let us know which one you’d like to try.
We love making Negronis with both the traditional gin and also with smoky mezcal. But thanks to Pierde Almas +9, we no longer have to choose between the two spirits. The brand infuses its Espadín Mezcal with nine gin botanicals including juniper berries, coriander, fennel and orange peel. Problem solved.
This unconventional whiskey comes from the inventive craftsmen at Utah’s High West Distillery. It’s a blend of sweet bourbon and spicy rye—a combination that should catch any whiskey-lover’s attention. The bourbon is aged for at least five years and made from 75 percent corn, while the rye is aged for a minimum of three years and contains 95 percent rye grain. If you want a bottle, don’t delay: The distillery’s first batch, called just Bourye, sold out.
This spirit is so unique, we even have trouble describing it. But here we go: Hum starts off with a base of pot-still rum, which is then infused with hibiscus, ginger, cardamom and kaffir lime. The spiced elixir was created by talented Chicago mixologist Adam Seger, so he has plenty of ideas for you about how to use this special alcohol: The brand’s website offers dozens of recipes.
In case you’re bored with traditional green absinthe, you may be interested in Corsair’s Red Absinthe. The spirit is flavored with the traditional absinthe botanicals, plus citrus peel, tarragon (a relative of the infamous wormwood plant that’s also known as dragon wormwood) and hibiscus, which gives the spirit a sweeter, floral flavor—and its distinctive red hue. One aspect that doesn’t break with tradition: a powerful kick. The stuff is 112-proof!
The agave-based El Perico doesn’t contain any odd ingredients, nor is it made with any particularly cutting-edge techniques. In fact, it would be a tequila except for one small thing: it’s made in Texas. So what is it? Well, since anything called tequila must legally come from Mexico, it’s simply called an “agave spirit.” Even though it may not technically be tequila, you can still use El Perico in a Margarita or a Paloma.
This fruity elixir, made by acclaimed Ohio distillery Middle West Spirits, starts with a base of the brand’s standard vodka made from locally grown red winter wheat. The alcohol is then flavored with a combination of Montmorency cherries, yellow peaches, apricots, almonds, hibiscus and a touch of local wildflower honey. The result is a sippable, sweet, tart and fruity elixir.
Can you guess what’s in this mash-up? It’s, of course, a mix of rum and white whiskey. The unique combination was dreamed up by the newly founded Las Vegas Distillery. The company recommends substituting White Rumskey for any recipe that calls for either spirit, like a Mojito or the 1972 White Dog Julep.
Mixing your cocktail