Top Ten Favorite Alcoholic Drinks

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Posted on January 28th, 2008

Where would people be if alcohol had not been invented? Well, we’d be sober, parties would probably be less exciting, and bars would not be very fun. Sure, people wouldn’t throw up as much and hangovers wouldn’t exist at all, but isn’t drinking worth the hassle?

This list shows the top ten alcoholic drinks that people drink, how they came to be, and the reasons why they made the list in the first place.

10. Champagne

champagne
The perfect drink for a celebration, Champagne
Champagne is the wine of celebration. It’s the drink of choice for weddings and other special occasions. It has launched thousands of ships and accompanied countless couples during their romantic excursions. Mostly associated with happiness and festivity, its meaning and appeal are known worldwide. Even though it’s a famous and popular drink, many people are unaware of its origin.

Before it was known as sparkling wine, Champagne was a region at the crossroads of northern Europe. It gained its fame when it became the center of European trade during the middle ages. It was because of this that the famous Fairs of Champagne were created. These fairs were a benefit to the wine makers of Champagne because it gave them exposure and access to important wine markets. Contrary to legend and popular belief, Dom Perignon was not the inventor of sparkling wine. Thirty years before his work, an English scientist and physician named Christopher Merret documented a second fermentation by adding sugar. Therefore, around 1700, champagne, as we know it today was born. Although Dom Perignon did not invent champagne, he did develop many advances in its production.

9. Scotch Whisky

scotch_whisky
Different brands of whisky
Monks brought distillation, along with Christianity, with them to Scotland in the fourth and fifth centuries. The Scots adopted the process and the world followed suit. People have been enjoying Scotch whisky for hundreds of years. It is what many people drink at the end of a long and tiring day. They either drink it pure, with soda, ice or water. They say that it relaxes them and makes them feel warm and content.

Many people aren’t aware though, that there are different types of Scotch whisky. There are two major categories, single malt and blended. Single means that the whole product came from a single distillery, while blended means that it is composed of whiskeys from two or more distilleries. The types of Scotch whisky are: single malt whiskey, single grain whiskey, vatted/pure/blended malt, blended grain, and blended scotch.

8. Mojito

mojito
A tropical alcoholic drink, Mojito
The word Mojito comes from the African word “Mojo” which means “to place a little spell”. There are a lot of theories surrounding the drink’s history. One is that in the 1500s, Sir Francis Drake’s preferred beverage was a mojito, while others state that it was made in Cuba in the late 1800s. The most popular story of the creation of this drink is the one about the English pirate Richard Drake. It is said that he prepared the first version of the drink using an unrefined kind of rum that he mixed with some sugar, lime, and mint. It was originally named “El Draque” (which means Dragon, after his boss, Sir Francis). It was then said that the crew introduced the drink to Cuba on one of their exploits through the Caribbean and Latin America. This refreshing and satisfying drink is a favorite to many because of its light, bubbly taste.

7. Tequila Shots

tequil_shots
A hot shot of tequila
Ever heard the saying, “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor”? Many people enjoy this strong, fiery drink by taking it in shots, sometimes even using it for drinking games. Even people who abhor the smell and taste still take shots of this drink because of the unique and fun way of drinking it. The process of taking a tequila shot consists of the following steps: lick your hand, sprinkle salt on the wet area, lick the salt, take the shot, and then such on a lime or a lemon. Some people take it with a chaser. Most people drink tequila by the shots because of its tendency to get them easily intoxicated and because it is fun.

Where did this all begin? The drink’s origins are said to lie within Mexico’s Aztec people, who made a beverage from a plant called agave in a village called Tequila. There are different kinds of tequila. These are: blanco (silver), joven/oro (gold), reposado (aged), anejo (extra aged), and extra anejo (ultra aged). The most common type that people ingest is tequila gold.

One of the many reasons why tequila is popular is because it appeals to people who are image or health conscious. After all, everyone has seen and heard of “beer guts,” but there has yet to be any evidence that a “tequila gut” exists.

6. Margarita

margarita
A glass of margarita with a slice of lemon
This is the most common tequila based cocktail. Silver tequila is the best to use when making a margarita, but sometimes gold tequila is also used. Margaritas come in a variety of flavors in colors. From red to blue, from strawberry to peach, the possibilities are almost endless. It can also be served either with crushed ice or regular ice and the rim of the glass is often covered in salt. This drink is enjoyed by many because of its sweet and refreshing taste similar to a fruit smoothie with a kick. It also has traitorous tendencies, making the drinker feel confident that they aren’t consuming a lot of alcohol until, after a few glasses of course, they realize that they’re already drunk.

5. Gin

gin
Gin, perfect on the rocks
Gin is made from grain and flavored with a mixture of juniper berries and botanicals. Gin gets its distinctive aroma from the berries. It was popularized by the English, even though it was first made in Holland. It was brought to the US by the English working class and the majority of it sold is dry.

While many people like to drink it by itself, a majority prefer to consume it mixed with another beverage. One of the most popular “gin plus something” drinks are: martini, gin and tonic, gin and juice, and Tom Collins.

There are also classifications of gin: London Dry Gin, Plymouth Gin, Old Tom Gin, and Genever or Hollands Gin.

4. Vodka

vodka
A glass of vodka
Since many nations have claimed to be the birthplace of vodka, this popular drink’s origins are still in question. The two leading countries, though, are Poland and Russia. In these countries, this eighty proof liquor is actually drunk with meals. It is believed that the word Vodka originated from the Russian word “Voda” which means water. This famous spirit can be ingested by itself or mixed to make a cocktail. There are also different flavors of vodka available.

Popular vodka based cocktails include: Bloody Mary, Fuzzy Navel, and Black Russian. (Want to know other uses of vodka, read 21 amazing alternate uses for vodka)

3. Wine

wine
A Ramon Roqueta red wine
Not only is wine the healthiest alcoholic drink to consume, but also one of the oldest. It is said that grape cultivation and wine drinking started around 4000 BC and even maybe as early as 6000 BC. The first developments were around the Caspian Sea and Mesopotamia. In ancient Egypt, texts from tombs prove that wine was drunk there around 2700 to 2500 BC.

There are a lot of different types of wine, especially since wine production has become a global industry. The types and name brands come from the type of grape and location of where it is cultivated. The color of the wine usually depends on the amount of time grape skins are left in the juice after being crushed and the taste differs depending on the type of grape. Red wine is produced when the grape skins are left for a long time while white wine is produced when the skin is left for only a short while. Many people enjoy wine because of its sweet flavor and effect.

* Many of us enjoy chugging a beer or downing a shot of tequila but not many of us know how satisfying it is to make your own drink. Why not try home winemaking? This craft will not only save you some cash but will also let you enjoy the fine way of making this delectable drink.

2. Rum

rum
Different classes of hum
The origins of rum dates back hundreds of years. The development of fermented beverages made from sugarcane juice is believed to have first occurred in ancient India or China. The idea was believed to have spread from there.

An early drink called brum is such an example. It dates back thousands of years and was produced by the Malay people. Marco Polo recorded an account in the 14th century of a “very good wine of sugar” that was given to him in what is modern day Iran. Its first distillation took place on a sugarcane plantation in the 17th century. The slaves of this plantation discovered that molasses can be fermented into alcohol. The distillation of these by products concentrated the alcohol and removed the impurities, thereby, producing the first rum.

This strong yet calming drink can be taken by itself or mixed with other beverages such as soda and juice. Drinks that can be made with rum as its base include: Pina Colada, Mai Tai, and Zombie.

1. Beer

beer
Beer: the best alcoholic drink in the world
How can a top ten list of alcoholic beverages exist without beer in it? Beer is the oldest and most popular of them all. It dates back to the 6th millennium BCE. The earliest Sumerian writings even had references to beer.

Beer is categorized by yeast and these categories are: ale, lager, lambic beers, and pale and dark beer. It is also served in different ways such as: draught and keg, cask-conditioned ales, cans, and bottles.

What people love the most about beer is that it hits the spot. It is light yet still gives a satisfying feeling of contentedness. No wonder this drink, as old as it may be is still around and will for surely be for a very long time. (Want to learn how to create one, see how to make beer)

Man by nature is a social animal. It is within us to seek and enjoy the company of others. Maybe this is one of the reasons why alcohol drinks have been around since time immemorial. We drink with each other, become merry, and enjoy a brief yet welcome reprieve from the realities of life.

* Drinking and alcoholic drinks are a part of any celebration, such as holidays like Christmas. All of these famous drinks may be present during your Yuletide party, but if you want to be a bit more creative, you should try these unique beverages for your Christmas cocktail party.



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