Drink Responsibly (ie 0-2 drinks/day). Prices are formatted 750ML/1.5L

Nasty Spirit: Grappa, Sambuca (Anise/Licorice)

Limoncello: Get Pallini over Luxardo and Caravella. Villa Massa was the first mass produced limoncello.

Bitters: Campari or Aperol – Italian bitters that are usually served mixed in orange juice or seltzer water (Aperol is sweeter and Campari more bitter). Campari is better as a simple drink because it is more flavorful (with seltzer as a spritz or with OJ). Aperol is better as the specialized drink below –

Aperol Spritz (Venice, Italy drink)
2 ½ ounces Prosecco
¾ ounce of Aperol to 1 ½
Splash of soda water, sparkling water or club soda
Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass, top with a couple of ice cubes and garnish with an orange wheel. Serve with melon and prosciutto.

Amaro (italian bitter liqueur – a digestif – the “good” popular brand is Fernet Branca, most popular drink in Argentina is Fernet and Coca Cola (1:2 ratio) (warning – tastes like black licorice-flavored Listerine)

Various – Mulled Wine
Mulled Wine [Amazon], tastes just like Gluhwein in Germany, use Merlot or Shiraz 2x 750ml bottles, ie Barefoot California Merlot. First combining 1 c. sugar, 1 c. of apple juice, 1 c. water, and the spice bag. Boiled the sugar, water, spice bag, and apple juice at a rapid boil until half the mixture was gone. Then reduce the temperature to a simmer and add the wine, then let that simmer for half an hour (never let it boil once you’ve added the wine)
British mulled wine, German and Austrian Glühwein, Nordic glögg

Various – Anise (Licorice) / Distilled Pomice Flavored Spirits
Arak (Lebanon)
Raki (Turkey)
Rakia (Bulgaria), Rakija (Serbia)
Ouzo (Greece), Tsipouro (Greece)
Pastis (France), Brands: Maison Pernod Fils (aka Pernod Fils), Ricard
Sambuca (Italy)
Chinchon (Spain)
Mastika (Macedonia)
Absinthe (Switzerland). We most recommend premium absinthe, as the cheaper ones are much worse. A good USA-domestic value absinthe is Mt. Defiance from VA (better than Pernod, Absente, Vieux Carre). The best brand is Jade – either Jade Esprit Edouard (144 proof) or Jade PF 1901. Nouvelle Orleans Absinthe (136 proof) is also great but less authentic, more of a candy licorice and festive pepperiness $80 [AbsintheOnline].
To drink it authentically, don’t use sugar cubes (that was for when Absinthe was unbearably bitter) but slowly pour cold water to create a good louche (3-5oz ice cold water to 1oz absinthe). Quality absinthe doesn’t require sugar. Hallucinations from the wormwood in absinthe is a myth – distillation removes the toxic thujone component of the wormwood that was wrongly purported to be the cause of the hallucinations. Not as great: Jade Terminus Oxygenee

German – Bitters
Underberg – German digestif drink [Amazon]

Brazil – Cachaca
Brazilian Cachaca (to make Caipirinhas) – Sagatiba Cachaca is the most popular in Brazil but not found globally. Leblon is nice and Cachaca 51 Pirassununga is okay (better than the Pitu swill). Brazillian sugarcane cousin of rum generally mixed with fruit juice to quell it’s fiery back-side

Japan – Saké / Sake
I recommend Nigori, as it is more delicious than clear Saké. Nigori is an opaque white saké (although on the shelf the white rice settles at the bottom, gotta shake to mix uniformly)
Sho Chiku Bai is a popular decent Nigori Saké (you can buy a big bottle)
Tozai Snow Maiden is a higher quality slightly more expensive one

Iichiko is Japan’s most popular hooch: a shochu

Korea – Soju
Jinro (brand) – best-selling liquor in the world
Best tasting brand of Soju, however, is Joeun Day

Emperador – a brandy – number-two most popular liquor in the world

Don’t get: Chartreuse $50 (tastes like Pine Oil)

Officer’s Choice – Whiskey, Best Selling in India
McDowell’s No. 1 – Whiskey

Ginebra San Miguel – gin

China – Baijiu – similar to Vodka
Red Star Er Guo Tou is China’s leading liquor
Moutai – Premium Brand

Galway Bay Eggnog
See also Irish Whiskeys

Khlebny Dar – Ukraine

Crappy Pilsners of the World

Good Beers by Country
Guinness, Ireland

Popular Mixed Drinks by Country
Mexico – Paloma
Brazil – Caipirinha
Peru – Pisco Sour (Best Pisco: Macchu Pisco Quebranta Pisco)
Singapore – Singapore Sling
Cuba: Mojito
Italy: Negroni
Spain: Tinto de Verano (easier to make Sangria), Calimocho (coke and red wine)
France: Kir Royale
Great Britain: Pimm’s Cup
Pina colada, Puerto Rico
Scotch whisky, Scotland
Cider, England
Martini, United States
Yerba Mate, South America
Champagne, France
Baileys Original Irish Cream, Ireland
Tequila, Mexico
Gin and tonic, England

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