26 votes

What are some drinks I should try?

I like drinks, especially new types, not just new flavors. So I've had rum, kombucha, La Croix, and so on. Are there any alternate drinks or less well known drinks you enjoy?

67 comments

  1. grahamiam
    Link
    Have you tried Vietnamese-style coffee? The kind that has chicory mixed in and is made with condensed milk. It's a very different flavor profile from normal coffee and is so great. Here in Taiwan,...

    Have you tried Vietnamese-style coffee? The kind that has chicory mixed in and is made with condensed milk. It's a very different flavor profile from normal coffee and is so great.

    Here in Taiwan, I love lemonade that's mixed with winter melon tea, but I never saw it in the US so don't know how available it is.

    16 votes
  2. [3]
    Omnicrola
    (edited )
    Link
    There are many variations of this depending on what country you're in, but Horchata. The specific version I'm familiar with is the one common in Mexico horchata de arroz, which is made from rice...

    There are many variations of this depending on what country you're in, but Horchata. The specific version I'm familiar with is the one common in Mexico horchata de arroz, which is made from rice milk with a bit of cinnamon. It's very delicious.

    I found these randomly at one of the nearby upscale grocery stores. They're not super remarkable but they do have interesting flavors. https://drinkdiabolo.com/

    11 votes
    1. grungegun
      Link Parent
      I've heard of that before. I'll try it!

      I've heard of that before. I'll try it!

      2 votes
    2. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      I can't think of horchata anymore without thinking of Cardi B, lol.

      I can't think of horchata anymore without thinking of Cardi B, lol.

  3. pocketry
    Link
    Next time you get Thai food, try Thai iced tea. It's a sweet creamy tea that goes really well with spicy food.

    Next time you get Thai food, try Thai iced tea. It's a sweet creamy tea that goes really well with spicy food.

    10 votes
  4. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    They're fairly popular now but there's still a lot of people who haven't tried them, so I'll recommend you go down to a modern style teahouse and get one of everything. But start with the classic...

    They're fairly popular now but there's still a lot of people who haven't tried them, so I'll recommend you go down to a modern style teahouse and get one of everything. But start with the classic - boba milk tea. It's basically tea with evaporated milk and soft chewy pearls made out of tapioca starch and cooked in a sugar syrup or honey. They serve it with a big straw so you can sip up the boba and eat them while drinking your tea.

    There's one near me that does a chocolate milk tea with boba and pudding and it's amazing. But at that point it's pretty much desert. But no matter where you go, you should have a pretty big arrangement of choices and options.

    9 votes
    1. grungegun
      Link Parent
      Neat, I'll try it. Whenever I go to an Asian restaurant, those teas tend to be fairly expensive, so I've avoided getting it up to now.

      Neat, I'll try it. Whenever I go to an Asian restaurant, those teas tend to be fairly expensive, so I've avoided getting it up to now.

      2 votes
  5. [5]
    determinism
    Link
    One category that isn't very popular in the United States is yogurt-based beverages, might be a fruitful place to look. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doogh Just some random examples pulled from...

    One category that isn't very popular in the United States is yogurt-based beverages, might be a fruitful place to look.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doogh

    Just some random examples pulled from the bottom of that page:
    Borhani, yogurt-based drink from Bangladesh
    Calpis, Japanese yogurt-based soft drink
    Chal, fermented camel's-milk
    Chaas, yogurt-based drink made with yogurt, salt and water, and occasional mint and coriander leaves
    Chalap, beverage consisting of fermented milk, salt, and carbonated water
    Filmjölk, a yogurt drink from Sweden
    Kefir, fermented milk drink made with yeast grains
    Kumis, fermented mare's milk drink[4]
    Lassi, yogurt-based drink from the Indian Subcontinent
    Qatiq, fermented-milk beverage
    Yayık ayranı, Turkish soured and churned yogurt-based drink

    I've tried Ayran, Kefir, and Lassi. I don't make a habit of drinking any of those, my beverage diet consists almost entirely of water, coffee, milk, beer, and whisky.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      asoftbird
      Link Parent
      Considering Ayran; it's salt content is ridiculous at about 6-8 grams per liter. So don't drink a lot of it.

      Considering Ayran; it's salt content is ridiculous at about 6-8 grams per liter. So don't drink a lot of it.

      4 votes
      1. ChuckS
        Link Parent
        I thought, "6-8 grams per liter, what's wrong with that?" Then I realized it's GRAMS, you're taking 6,000 to 8,000 mg of salt per liter, which is insane.

        I thought, "6-8 grams per liter, what's wrong with that?"

        Then I realized it's GRAMS, you're taking 6,000 to 8,000 mg of salt per liter, which is insane.

        3 votes
    2. grungegun
      Link Parent
      Woah. yogurt based soft drink? I'll have to try that.

      Woah. yogurt based soft drink? I'll have to try that.

      2 votes
    3. parsley
      Link Parent
      +1 for calpis. It's super easy to make too, just yogurt, any citric juice and water (plus some sweetener if you need to).

      +1 for calpis. It's super easy to make too, just yogurt, any citric juice and water (plus some sweetener if you need to).

      1 vote
  6. [4]
    asoftbird
    Link
    Tea! There's a ton of varieties, each with very different flavors. My favorites are puerh (fermented tea) which tastes like the way forest soil smells, and is very potent; a single bag filled with...

    Tea! There's a ton of varieties, each with very different flavors. My favorites are puerh (fermented tea) which tastes like the way forest soil smells, and is very potent; a single bag filled with a tablespoon of tea leaves can probably make you 10-20 cups with ease. In fact, if you get the bag wet before use, you can dip it in your cup once and you've got a pitch black cup of tea. In light concentrations it's very nice and has a pink/orange-ish color.

    Another favorite is Dragonwell, which is a green tea with very floral tastes, it reminds me of morning dew on grass. Unlike other teas I usually steep these without a teabag and just keep them in the cup, as they basically just unfold back into leaves, which are edible and add a little extra taste.

    Another tea I drink quite often is Lapsang souchong, which is a fairly common tea type and probably readily available in Asian stores. It's smoked tea and therefore smells like smoke. It's got a distinct smokey taste which I quite enjoy in more moody weather or seasons like fall/winter.

    There's also gunpowder tea which are little balls of green tea, which have a much stronger taste than dragonwell (a little more bitter as well). Usually also available in Asian stores.

    Anyway, see if you can find a tea store and let the people there select some tea types for you. Get some leaves, get some tea bags (unfilled ones!) and get some boiled water.
    If you want an enhanced experience, see if you can find a low and wide teacup with a light-colored interior. You'll be able to see (and smell) the tea a lot better that way. I have an old cup I got from a friend which has a lot of little cracks in the ceramic. Over time, tea starts staining those cracks, which looks pretty nice.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      wcerfgba
      Link Parent
      I got quite interested in Chinese tea last year. The variety and intensity of flavours is quite amazing: I have had different teas that tasted like spring blossoms, chocolate, or raspberries. The...

      I got quite interested in Chinese tea last year. The variety and intensity of flavours is quite amazing: I have had different teas that tasted like spring blossoms, chocolate, or raspberries.

      The traditional Chinese tea brewing ceremony is called gongfu which one might translate as 'skillful method' (it's the same word as 'kung fu', but a different transliteration). You use a lidded cup called a gaiwan to brew a large amount of tea leaves in a small amount of water for a short period of time, and rebrew the same leaves multiple times. As you do this, you get different 'slices' of flavour from the tea. I don't practice an authentic/intricate ceremony, but I find making tea like this and pouring it from my gaiwan into my drinking vessel very calming. Sometimes I use a small cafetiere to brew my tea and then drink from my gaiwan.

      I am particularly fond of oolongs, which are semi-oxidised and often roasted in pans, and they have very complex flavours. So-called 'rock tea' from the mountains of Wuyi are regarded as some of the best of such teas. Favourites of mine include tieguanyin, dahongpao, and rougui.

      If you're looking for quality teas, I suggest looking for suppliers who provide good information on provenance. Merchants should be able to tell you about the specific farm the tea comes from and the background of the tea master who oversees the farm, and at an absolute minimum they should tell you the province the tea comes from and the harvest date (season and year).

      Two high quality direct from China suppliers: https://verdanttea.com/ and https://www.teavivre.com/
      Tea reviews: https://ratetea.com/

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        There is a really unique Japanese tea I would recommend trying at least once called genmaicha, which is a mixture of green tea (I think Sencha, but not really sure) and roasted barley. It has a...

        There is a really unique Japanese tea I would recommend trying at least once called genmaicha, which is a mixture of green tea (I think Sencha, but not really sure) and roasted barley. It has a very unique flavor profile that is much more mellow than mugicha (tea with only roasted barley).

        5 votes
        1. Deimos
          Link Parent
          It's roasted rice, and usually mixed with bancha, which is lower grade than sencha but comes from the same trees. My wife loves genmaicha, here's the description of it from the farm in Kyoto we...

          It's roasted rice, and usually mixed with bancha, which is lower grade than sencha but comes from the same trees.

          My wife loves genmaicha, here's the description of it from the farm in Kyoto we order from:

          Genmaicha (玄米茶) is a traditional Japanese tea that has been growing in popularity in recent years. Genmaicha, actually meaning ‘brown rice tea’ is a composition of Japanese green tea and roasted rice. Combining the two traditional Japanese products tea and rice makes Genmaicha an unmistakable exponent of Japanese culture. Although it is called genmaicha, white mochi rice is usually used to create this blend. This is due to the fragrant aroma the white rice develops by roasting. After steaming, drying and roasting the rice is traditionally combined with Bancha tea in a proportion of 1:1, although this ratio can change depending on the manufacturer. Nowadays a lot of genmaicha variations, such as sencha genmaicha or houji genmaicha are also offered by different tea producers. Some might call Genmaicha ‘popcorn tea’ as some sellers add popped grains that look just like popcorn. The pleasant roasted taste also reminds people a bit of popcorn. This is a good tea for those who are just beginning to get familiar with the taste of Japanese tea.

          If you like the "roasted" flavor of it, you'd probably also enjoy hojicha, where the tea itself is roasted.

          5 votes
  7. patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    Wine is a deep rabbit-hole of new tastes. You don't have to pay attention to the snobbery; there's a tremendous range of varieties, many of which may be locally produced in your country or region,...

    Wine is a deep rabbit-hole of new tastes. You don't have to pay attention to the snobbery; there's a tremendous range of varieties, many of which may be locally produced in your country or region, and often as affordable as any other alcohol-containing beverage.

    You can get great bottles starting around €4 - 5, varying from dry, floral or herbal flavors to syrupy sweet fruit. The toughest thing about wine is that there are thousands of labels! [There are hundreds of wine grape varieties, but only twenty or so that are prominent in global production; the others are regional or only used for blending.]

    Generally, the rules are:

    1. Nobody knows everything about wine, and taste is both biological and learned. Check Internet reviews (if you've been trying for a while, you may find a reviewer whose taste matches yours), ask the store clerk, share with friends, and be willing to experiment. Take notes so you know what you liked or disliked about each; that can make it easier to find or avoid new bottles according to your tastes.

    2. Different grape varieties have different characteristic flavors, but a good winemaker can coax out still more notes. Depending on how the grapes are handled and fermented, you can get everything from banana to liquorice to rose to barnyard in the flavors and aromas from the same grape variety.

    3. Thanks to modern technology, cheap wine is usually drinkable-to-very good, but often isn't as complex and distinctive as bottles produced in smaller, more expensive batches. Boxed and canned wines aren't always to be avoided these days, and can be very affordable ways to start exploring.

    4. If you're pairing it with a meal, you're usually best off choosing a wine from the same region as your food preparation. The cuisine and the drinks evolve together.

    5. Don't worry too much about the color of the wine to go with any given food - think about complementary flavors. Richer foods need wines with more acidity and/or tannin - this pairing helps refresh your palate so that each bite and sip remains distinctive-tasting.
      E.g. Riesling is usually paired with poultry and pork dishes because it has both apple fruit flavors and acidity to cut greasiness; Shiraz goes with barbecue sauce because it has plum fruit flavors and tannins to cut sweetness. Heavier, bolder-flavored food goes with heavier, bolder-flavored wine, and vice versa. [There are cuisines that don't come from winemaking regions. You can still pair some wines with these foods, like Gewürztraminer with curries, because they have bolder, more aromatic fruit and some spiciness.] Have fun experimenting!

    6. There's no guarantee that the same grape from different years, locales, or winemakers will taste similar - climate, soil, and technique all influence the product. The length of time the wine spends in the bottle and how it's handled change the flavor as well.
      Wine is an adventure - prepare to be surprised!

    Footnote: Generally, stick with wine made from grapes. A lot of things can be fermented, but shouldn't. A few countries and regions have long histories of winemaking from other fruits, plant saps, or grain, but grape fermentations seem to have fewer toxic byproducts, and people have been making grape wine for thousands of years.

    6 votes
  8. [5]
    skullkid2424
    Link
    If alcohol is on the table, then theres tons of options. From beer to cider to mead to liqueur to all the cocktails you can dream of. Recently I've done a bit of liqueur infusing, with a chai...

    If alcohol is on the table, then theres tons of options. From beer to cider to mead to liqueur to all the cocktails you can dream of. Recently I've done a bit of liqueur infusing, with a chai whiskey and turning vodka into a "gin" with juniper berries and other botanicals.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      grungegun
      Link Parent
      Alcohol is on the table! Do you have any particular suggestions? I've never had a mead before. Any you would suggest?

      Alcohol is on the table! Do you have any particular suggestions? I've never had a mead before. Any you would suggest?

      2 votes
      1. skullkid2424
        Link Parent
        Mead (and cider) tend to vary in taste with sweet, dry, tart, and sour all being valid options. It'll depend on what your taste buds like. Honestly I'd look around for a local meadery (when theres...

        Mead (and cider) tend to vary in taste with sweet, dry, tart, and sour all being valid options. It'll depend on what your taste buds like. Honestly I'd look around for a local meadery (when theres less covid) and see about doing a flight of samples. The people at most brewery/cidery/meadery places are usually pretty willing to talk you through the tastes and whatnot.

        For cider, you've got traditional european cider, which is closer to a wine and tends to be drier and bubbly. A lot of the new american ciders are closer to a beer, and vary in sweetness. If you're in the northeast, one of my favorites is Downeast (Boston)- which is an unfiltered cider very similar to what you would get at an orchard. Bold Rock from Virginia has some really drinkable options. If you're on the west coast, Ace Cider (CA) is pretty good and has some fun flavors like pineapple and strawberry. Schilling Cider is up in Seattle and has a ton of fun options as well. If you aren't in a place that has some of the more niche ciders, Angry Orchard is going to be the "bud lite" of ciders. A lot of people are turned off because it is very syrupy-sweet, but its available almost everywhere. If you get a chance to go to their orchard in NY, they've got a lot of other flavors that are very different from their flagship, including some of my favorites (which really surprised me).

        Same thing applies about finding some of your nearby cideries and exploring. Grab a flight and try them out. Talk to your friends that don't like beer, as they may like cider and the enjoy the experience. If you get really into it, its actually pretty easy to make your own cider with apple juice + yeast. It can take a bit to get the flavor right, but the process is easier than homebrew beer.

        For liqueur, its a pretty big world. I would recommend starting by trying out various base spirits to try and figure out which ones you like. You can do that by ordering cocktails at your local bars/restaurants, or finding friends who have a small collection and would be willing to guide you through some taste testing.

        For example, I have found that I like rum, gin, and bourbons that don't burn. I'm OK with some tequila, but I don't like Vodka. From there, I started exploring individual drinks from the basic mixed drinks (rum + coke, gin + tonic) to some of the more interesting cocktails (painkiller, dark + stormy, aviator, negroni, old fashioned, etc). I don't really like straight spirits like some folks, but theres a big world of sipping whiskey/scotch/bourbon/vermouth/etc as well.

        6 votes
      2. Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        Mead is delightful. If you've never had it before, I'd say try pretty much anything by Bnektar. They also have some nice hard ciders. For mixed drinks, I enjoy watching How to Drink and learning...

        Mead is delightful. If you've never had it before, I'd say try pretty much anything by Bnektar. They also have some nice hard ciders.

        For mixed drinks, I enjoy watching How to Drink and learning about different cocktails. Some are pretty outlandish with unique ingredients, but there are plenty you can make with an inexpensive set of liquors.

        5 votes
      3. spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        I'll second @Omnicrola's B. Nektar recommendation - their vanilla cinnamon mead is the absolute best mead I've ever had. Tastes like a cinnamon roll. If you want to learn more about beer, there's...

        I'll second @Omnicrola's B. Nektar recommendation - their vanilla cinnamon mead is the absolute best mead I've ever had. Tastes like a cinnamon roll.

        If you want to learn more about beer, there's a fantastic free resource - BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) is a qualification you need to be a judge for beer-tasting competitions (both for professionals and homebrewers).

        As part of the learning materials for that program, they publish a ~100 page guide (pdf) with a description of every style of beer they recognize, what its characteristics are, and examples of that style that are available commercially.

        They have guides for cider and mead as well.

        3 votes
  9. [3]
    Adys
    Link
    Have you ever had Advocaat? It's a dutch egg-based liquor, very creamy consistency. It tastes kinda like cookie dough. I guarantee you it's weird. But really good.

    Have you ever had Advocaat?

    It's a dutch egg-based liquor, very creamy consistency. It tastes kinda like cookie dough. I guarantee you it's weird. But really good.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      grungegun
      Link Parent
      Looks delicious. I'll get some. Any brand you recommend?

      Looks delicious. I'll get some. Any brand you recommend?

      2 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        My favourite is Shirley's here in Belgium, but I've not tried that many.

        My favourite is Shirley's here in Belgium, but I've not tried that many.

        2 votes
  10. [14]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Whiskey mule if looking for alcohol. Get some good ginger beer, not ale, I suggest the Q brand as it's the strongest/spiciest I've come across. Add in a shot of whiskey, half a shot of lime juice,...

    Whiskey mule if looking for alcohol.

    Get some good ginger beer, not ale, I suggest the Q brand as it's the strongest/spiciest I've come across. Add in a shot of whiskey, half a shot of lime juice, and ice and you're golden. I prefer two shots of good whiskey, but some find that too strong. The Q ginger beer is strong enough to cut through a double shot, while other more common brands get lost if there's more than one shot of whiskey.

    Non-alcoholic I say Vietnamese Iced Coffee. The legit stuff will be brewed like this with the coffee being brewed and dripping down from the top over sweetened condensed milk and ice. Absolutely amazing and much less sweet than the Thai Iced Tea suggested elsewhere here.

    4 votes
    1. [13]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The Moscow Mule (vodka instead of whiskey) is easily my favorite cocktail. And while I don't think you can get it outside of Canada, The Great Jamaican Ginger Beer Co. has by far the spiciest...

      The Moscow Mule (vodka instead of whiskey) is easily my favorite cocktail. And while I don't think you can get it outside of Canada, The Great Jamaican Ginger Beer Co. has by far the spiciest ginger beer I have ever had. It's so pungent it's genuinely painful to drink straight, but it works perfectly in a Mule with loads of ice.

      p.s. Another unique Canadian drink I would recommend people try if they get the chance is Brio Chinotto, which is a myrtle-leaved orange soda. It's very bitter and incredibly medicinal tasting, but I love it, and it also makes a great cocktail. It's reasonably popular in the Italian-Canadian community, and most Italian pizzerias here in Ontario carry it.

      6 votes
      1. [9]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Looks like it's available through a couple of online stores, but probably not anything local here as I'm almost as far away from Canada as you can get while being in the US (Texas), so I might...

        The Great Jamaican Ginger Beer

        Looks like it's available through a couple of online stores, but probably not anything local here as I'm almost as far away from Canada as you can get while being in the US (Texas), so I might pick some up to try it. The Q is the same on the pungency level and must be drank slow with ice if you're having it straight. It has one advantage over your suggestion in that it comes in 12oz cans, so I can have two cocktails out of a single can and that usually has me feeling quite well for the evening. Moscow mules were my cocktail of choice for a long time, but whiskey/bourbon just takes it a whole other level and I greatly suggest it if you're a Mule fan.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          grahamiam
          Link Parent
          If you're in Texas, I was a big fan of Maine Root's Ginger Brew and found it easily in Austin, though it is quite high in sugar.

          If you're in Texas, I was a big fan of Maine Root's Ginger Brew and found it easily in Austin, though it is quite high in sugar.

          2 votes
          1. AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            I've had it, ginger "brews" tend to slide in between the outright sweetness of ginger ales and the spiciness in ginger beers; so it doesn't fit well into the cocktail rotation for me. Outside of...

            I've had it, ginger "brews" tend to slide in between the outright sweetness of ginger ales and the spiciness in ginger beers; so it doesn't fit well into the cocktail rotation for me. Outside of mules I don't drink anything soda related.

            2 votes
        2. [6]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Ah yeah, I really wish Great Jamaican was in bigger bottles, as I often have to use 1 per Mule which is kind of annoying. Sadly it doesn't look like I can get Q up here to give that a try though....

          Ah yeah, I really wish Great Jamaican was in bigger bottles, as I often have to use 1 per Mule which is kind of annoying. Sadly it doesn't look like I can get Q up here to give that a try though.

          And yeah, I would definitely like to try to make a really good Whiskey or Bourbon Mule for myself at some point, but I honestly know very little about either of those spirits, or which are good ones. The only thing I know for sure is that Scotch Whiskeys like Johnny Walker and Glenfiddich makes me gag, and neither Jack Daniels, or Canadian Club (rye whiskey) are particularly to my tastes either.

          1. [5]
            AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            For whiskey I'd suggest Very Old Barton or Benchmark Old No. 8, both are different mashbills distilled by Buffalo Trace in Kentucky. I prefer the extra spiciness of the Barton while my wife likes...

            For whiskey I'd suggest Very Old Barton or Benchmark Old No. 8, both are different mashbills distilled by Buffalo Trace in Kentucky. I prefer the extra spiciness of the Barton while my wife likes the sweetness in Benchmark. Both of these are called "bottom shelf" due to price (whiskey and almost all alcohol is largely overpriced as it is), but punch well above their weight class in my opinion. A buddy of mine and I have a little back and forth going as we search for great cheap whiskey and bourbon and Barton is the present leader for us with Benchmark right behind. If you require the class of glass then Barton gets the nod as I've only seen Benchmark in plastic bottles. Barton comes in 80, 86, 90, and 100 proof variants (for some reason), but I'm partial to the 86. And having recently tried putting Barton in lemonade I'm trying to find a reason to even keep vodka around as the only cocktails I make for myself are Whiskey Mules and adding Vodka to sweet or tart drinks to booze them up. It also helps, at least here in the states, that Barton can be had in a 1.75L bottle for the price of cheap vodka (vodka being the biggest liquor racket around). So take a look for those two during your next trip to the liquor store. I'm 90% sure I've seen both in those tiny airline sized bottles as well, so you don't have to go all in to give a Whiskey Mule a shot.

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Dang, looks like I can't get VOB or Benchmark Old up here at the LCBO (Ontario's Crown corp. liquor store). My only decent priced 750ml options for Kentucky Bourbons are listed here. If you...

              Dang, looks like I can't get VOB or Benchmark Old up here at the LCBO (Ontario's Crown corp. liquor store). My only decent priced 750ml options for Kentucky Bourbons are listed here.

              If you wouldn't mind checking that list out, and letting me know if you see any there that you would recommend, I would greatly appreciate it! I have heard of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, and Buffalo Trace before, but I have no idea if they or any of the others I can get are actually any good.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                AugustusFerdinand
                Link Parent
                Hit some sticker shock at first seeing the prices, but then saw you had it filtered for $40-50 and with the currency conversion you're running about $10USD more than I pay here, which is honestly...

                Hit some sticker shock at first seeing the prices, but then saw you had it filtered for $40-50 and with the currency conversion you're running about $10USD more than I pay here, which is honestly a little better than I expected being imported. Do the prices listed include tax?

                Of the ones in your filter Bulleit and Buffalo Trace are both the lowest priced and good. Bulleit is spicy, with a 62/28/4 corn/rye/barley mashbill; I used this for sweeter cocktails in the past but it wasn't a right fit to my tastes for a whiskey mule. Buffalo Trace is 90/10 corn/rye mashbill and might work well for you if you're looking to cut some of the pungency of the Great Jamaican in a whiskey mule. The Benchmark No 8 that I mentioned earlier is believed to be the same 90/10 mashbill as normal Buffalo Trace, just not aged as long, so that may be a very good start for you in your filter. As a reference the Very Old Barton that I prefer is 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% barley.

                Very few (if any?) distilleries publish their mashbill, but recipes have gotten out since the only way for three people to keep a secret is for two of them to be dead and/or people much better than me at whiskey/bourbon can identify what's in it, but here's a primer:

                1. Corn = sweetness - Some people will say you get vanilla or maple flavors from the corn, but they're mistaking the flavors picked up by the barrel from the corn component in the whiskey. If you want to compare directly you'll need to do some side by side testing with moonshine (which is now widely available commercially if you don't know anyone making their own), but honestly moonshine is just corn vodka and makes since if you're dodging taxes in the mountains, but not if you're just being a hipster at the liquor store.
                2. Rye = spiciness - Since we were talking about the pungency of ginger beers you may want to look for something low in rye. All whiskey/bourbon is going to be mostly corn, compared to rye whiskey being mostly rye, but rye is common to balance out the sweetness of the corn. Rye will add spicy/peppery flavors and depending on how long it spends in the barrel can pick up clove and nutmeg. If it's poorly distilled the rye will pick up minty flavors. Rye also gives it a "dry" component. I've had a couple of rye whiskeys on my shelf, but nothing I'd recommend to anyone just yet and certainly not put into a already spicy ginger beer.
                3. Barley = punch - Barley brings cocoa, toffee, and a bit of cereal flavors, which fit well in whiskey (in the right amounts in my opinion), but are taken overboard in Scotch (since scotch is mostly barley) plus the general taste of burning shit ahem... grass that the peat brings (I too am not a scotch fan if you can't tell.) It does sharpen the taste of a whiskey, cutting sweetness, but is not spicy itself.
                4. Wheat = kiss - The description is here to show that wheat is opposite of barely. A whiskey with wheat will "soften" it making it easier to drink. As you'd expect from something used in bread and cereals, those are the flavors it brings to the table. A whiskey with wheat will typically say so on the bottle, but the most commonly available wheated whiskey is Maker's Mark.
                5. Age = maturity - When talking about "bottom shelf" you aren't going to get much more than 6 years of aging and this addition is more of a FYI in the flavor profiles. The older a whiskey the less of that burning alcohol flavor you're going to get. So if/when you hear someone say a whiskey tastes "young" they mean you get a distinct taste of alcohol off of it. The longer it's aged the more flavors of wood you'll get and the more expensive it'll be.

                To give you a point of comparison for what you listed, Jack Daniels is 80% corn, 8% rye, and 12% barley. So sweetness, a touch of spice to not make it all corn, and barley to give it that back of the throat kick. Scotch whiskey is mostly barley and smoke, while rye whiskey is mostly spice.

                4 votes
                1. [2]
                  cfabbro
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  Heh, welcome to Ontario, Canada... with our glorious 61.5% tax on spirits! Though it helps fund our public healthcare, so we can't really complain too much TBH. :P And yes, IIRC the spirit tax is...

                  Hit some sticker shock at first seeing the prices... Do the prices listed include tax?

                  Heh, welcome to Ontario, Canada... with our glorious 61.5% tax on spirits! Though it helps fund our public healthcare, so we can't really complain too much TBH. :P And yes, IIRC the spirit tax is already included in the listed price on the LCBO site, but the 15% sales tax isn't though.

                  Thanks for the advice, and detailed breakdown on whiskeys/bourbons. It's very much appreciated! I will likely pick up a smaller bottle of Bulleit and/or Buffalo Trace to give them a try next time I'm at the LCBO.

                  p.s. All this talk of Mules got me thirsty, so I just went and made a Moscow one for myself:
                  https://i.imgur.com/wItPtHE.png

                  2 votes
                  1. AugustusFerdinand
                    Link Parent
                    I'll gladly exchange higher priced alcohol for public healthcare any day of the week! Prices here will include the spirit taxes, but like you the sales tax is added at the register (I'm a firm...

                    I'll gladly exchange higher priced alcohol for public healthcare any day of the week! Prices here will include the spirit taxes, but like you the sales tax is added at the register (I'm a firm believer that sales tax should be on the sticker). Here liquor taxes are by volume instead of price with the federal gov't wanting $13.40 per "proof gallon" (a gallon of 50% alcohol or equivalent, so $13.40 for a gallon of 50% whiskey or two gallons of 25% liqueur mixer and so on) plus Texas adds another $2.40 per gallon, then the 8.5% sales tax.

                    Doing it right with the fresh lime too, internet fist bump! I'll join you in a drink this weekend as unless it's just been an utter shit day and I want something to take the edge off I don't drink during the week.

                    4 votes
      2. [3]
        charbon_de_bois
        Link Parent
        Moscow Mules love a really good ginger beer. The one that I like is DG Jamaican Ginger Beer. It sort of has a rooty/bark/cinnamon like quality that really comes through. One trick I learned with...

        Moscow Mules love a really good ginger beer. The one that I like is DG Jamaican Ginger Beer. It sort of has a rooty/bark/cinnamon like quality that really comes through.

        One trick I learned with these is to cut the lime on the equator if the stem and base were the poles. This exposes the six separate cores. When you squeeze the half, more aromatics from the peel tend to come out as well. Even more so when you squeeze most of it out and roll it around in your hand.

        All in all I love Caribbean style drinks. If you can have a fresh Pina Colada or Daquiri definitely try it. Making them fresh is so much better than getting them from a machine on the beach.

        My favorite happens to be the Suffering Bastard. It uses the idea behind a Mule but spruces it up. The ingredients may sound nuts (brandy & gin!?) but I promise you it's delicious.

        Here's a recipe from Beachbum Barry's Potions of the Caribbean:

        • 1 oz Gin
        • 1 oz Cognac
        • 4oz Ginger Beer, chilled*
        • 1/2oz Rose's Lime**
        • 2 dashes Angostura

        For the ginger beer he recommends Reed's or Bundaberg because Fever Tree or other strong brands will overwhelm it. The gin and the brandy are crazy enough together. The ginger beer essentially bridges the two sides.

        On the Rose's Lime he mentions that the old stuff used to be really good, made out of sugar cane and other special flavorings. He says it's still the best option.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Pina Colada's use to be my absolute favorite drink... but they are kind of a PITA to make, so I rarely do anymore. I also got deathly ill off them last time I was in Mexico (turns out the water...

          Pina Colada's use to be my absolute favorite drink... but they are kind of a PITA to make, so I rarely do anymore. I also got deathly ill off them last time I was in Mexico (turns out the water used to make ice at the beachside bar wasn't filtered like it was in the rest of the hotel)... so even though I love them, that definitely tainted my opinion of them a bit. :( And while I'm not a huge fan of daiquiris, I will rarely say no if offered one either, so... :P

          And yeah, Mules made with shitty mass-market ginger ales are the worst, which is why I never really order them at bars. And it's funny your should mention Reed's since a buddy of mine in discord a little bit ago just mentioned that being his parent's favorite for making their Mules.

          I will have to give that Suffering Bastard a try next time I get a hankering for a Mule... well, next next time, since I just made myself a Moscow mule a few min ago because all this talk of them got me thirsty. :P The only thing I don't have is lime cordial or angostura (though I do have fresh lime and various other bitters), so I will see how those work instead.

          1. charbon_de_bois
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Mass market isn't necessarily bad. It's just the aftermarket is soooo much better for a drink who's feature is the ginger beer. I still kinda dislike Fever Tree though, its harsh with no...

            Mass market isn't necessarily bad. It's just the aftermarket is soooo much better for a drink who's feature is the ginger beer. I still kinda dislike Fever Tree though, its harsh with no substance.

            The only time I ever like frozen drinks are when they are blended on site. Or the well, whatever mode

            I'd also caution into the Suffering B, just try out the ratios first. They are highly dependent on the flavor of your gin, brandy, and ginger ale. I'd recommend beefeater and some armagnac if you're trying to make middle class. The Rose's is essential, it mostly is sold in grocery stores though. I think it sits too long in most liquor stores.

            Real Cognac and Great Gin would overshadow each other.

            Good call and nice squeeze on the lime!

            1 vote
  11. knocklessmonster
    Link
    Kvass. It's made from rye bread, and if you can find a European market, particularly that specializes in eastern European stuff, you'll find it. It's hard to describe, but it's kinda sweet, a...

    Kvass. It's made from rye bread, and if you can find a European market, particularly that specializes in eastern European stuff, you'll find it. It's hard to describe, but it's kinda sweet, a little bitter, fruity, and tastes like the rye it's made from. It's made by taking toasted rye bread and fermenting it and adding currants or raisins, but it won't get you drunk or anything.

    Yerba Mate. I like the main prep where you take a bunch (~50g) of leaf, put it in a cup, and pour water over it (hot or cold, depending on the day). It's a lot of caffeine to get, but it doesn't cause the same sort of jitters that coffee can. It's more like drinking too much tea: you'll be woken up and ready to go, but not jittery. You can also cold-brew it (I have a Takeya tea brewer I do this in), brew it like a conventional tea (this is nice). The flavor can vary by brand and region: Argentinian variaties typicall containt he stems and are smoke-dried (brands like Taragui or Cruz de Malta, and the American brand Guyaki), or you can get the finer cuts used in Brazil or Uruguay, which have the stems removed and tend to be unsmoked (Canarias comes to mind as a Uruguayan variety, but I can't track a Brazilian one). I've never found the canned stuff to taste as good as the real thing, and hated my first taste from a can of Guyaki.

    Somebody mentioned wine. I'm not that into it, but I've been known to clear the occasional cheap bottle (Winking Owl, made by E&J Gallo, is available at Aldi and real nice, people rave about Charles Shaw from Trader Joes, aka $2 Chuck in California, but it costs a little more when shipped elsewhere). I'm not too knowledgeably still, as it's not my interest, but keep it cheap and grab a random bottle, keep track of what you're drinking, and you may be surprised. For cheap wine, stick to food stores. I've had bad experiences at Target trying to get some beers, ciders, and wines, probably because of their loading practices.

    4 votes
  12. [7]
    evrim
    Link
    Ayran: A Turkish beverage made from yogurt, water and salt. I like it a lot, but I grew up with it. Most foreigners don't like it, at least at first. It's probably and acquired taste. Sago...
    • Ayran: A Turkish beverage made from yogurt, water and salt. I like it a lot, but I grew up with it. Most foreigners don't like it, at least at first. It's probably and acquired taste.
    • Sago gulaman: A Filipino beverage that is basically sugar syrup, grass jelly and sago.
    • Caipirinha: A Brazilian cocktail, made with cachaça, sugar, and lime. I very rarely drink alcohol, but every now and then I make it at home, and I also add fresh mint leaves, which elevate the cocktail to another level IMO.

    Also, there is "coffee." Most people drink coffee, but it's either instant coffee or something filled with sugar from a place like Starbucks. If you haven't tried "specialty coffee," you might want to. Or not. I used to make Nespresso at home, and enjoy it. I became a complete coffee snub now, and Nespresso or an espresso from Starbucks isn't enjoyable for me anymore.

    If you find the combination of a great barista and great beans, you'll realize what you were drinking before was just "bitter water" compared to a well-prepared shot of espresso or a nice cup of V60.

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      tunneljumper
      Link Parent
      What’s a good non-reddit resource to start getting into coffee? I’ve always been interested (seeing the whole beans at markets and such) but also really intimidated at the same time.

      What’s a good non-reddit resource to start getting into coffee? I’ve always been interested (seeing the whole beans at markets and such) but also really intimidated at the same time.

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        evrim
        Link Parent
        To be honest, I didn't learn from a single resource. What kind of coffee do you like? Are you interested in making filter coffee or espresso?

        To be honest, I didn't learn from a single resource. What kind of coffee do you like? Are you interested in making filter coffee or espresso?

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          tunneljumper
          Link Parent
          Honestly don’t know, I get gas station stuff. I’m interested in trying it to expand my palette, so to that end I don’t know what specifically I like, but I’m sure that as I get more in to it I’ll...

          Honestly don’t know, I get gas station stuff. I’m interested in trying it to expand my palette, so to that end I don’t know what specifically I like, but I’m sure that as I get more in to it I’ll have a better idea for my tastes.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            evrim
            Link Parent
            What I would recommend in that case is trying different types of coffee at different specialty coffee shops. I'd say try espresso and V60. Espresso is very strong, has a punchy flavor. If it's...

            What I would recommend in that case is trying different types of coffee at different specialty coffee shops. I'd say try espresso and V60.

            Espresso is very strong, has a punchy flavor. If it's done wrong, it's just unbearably bitter.

            V60 is a type of filter coffee. It tastes much milder than espresso. When you get a good barista make it with good beans, you get to taste really interesting fruity notes.

            That all being said, trying these probably isn't going to be earth-shattering at first. When I first tried V60, I didn't really get it. The flavors are very subtle, it's not like eating Doritos. So, it takes time appreciate it. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I think it's more like appreciating classical music (which I personally can't, really). You need time to learn to recognize the subtler notes, but when you do, there is a whole new world of experience lying ahead.

            2 votes
            1. tunneljumper
              Link Parent
              I actually went to school for classical music so that’s a perfect analogy, thanks!

              I actually went to school for classical music so that’s a perfect analogy, thanks!

              2 votes
      2. scrambo
        Link Parent
        I recently got into coffee, what kicked it off for me was watching some videos from James Hoffman. He goes into a good deal of depth and detail in most of his videos, I'd highly recommend him!

        I recently got into coffee, what kicked it off for me was watching some videos from James Hoffman. He goes into a good deal of depth and detail in most of his videos, I'd highly recommend him!

        3 votes
  13. jwong
    Link
    I’ve recently discovered a canned tea called “HopTea” that’s brewed hops and tea. It’s been a really refreshing way to enjoy a hop beverage without drinking alcohol. Next step is to try making it...

    I’ve recently discovered a canned tea called “HopTea” that’s brewed hops and tea. It’s been a really refreshing way to enjoy a hop beverage without drinking alcohol.

    Next step is to try making it myself, though that will take some more prep.

    3 votes
  14. [3]
    JoylessAubergine
    Link
    Don't know whether its available in America but have your tried Vimto or Ribena? Both are staples in the UK, Vimto is a blend of fruits and spices and Ribena is a blackcurrent drink.

    Don't know whether its available in America but have your tried Vimto or Ribena? Both are staples in the UK, Vimto is a blend of fruits and spices and Ribena is a blackcurrent drink.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      grungegun
      Link Parent
      Haven't tried it, but I'll see if I can find some.

      Haven't tried it, but I'll see if I can find some.

      3 votes
      1. Tardigrade
        Link Parent
        As an addition to that a "Cheeky Vimto" is a student club drink in the UK. It's made with a WKD and 2 shots of port.

        As an addition to that a "Cheeky Vimto" is a student club drink in the UK. It's made with a WKD and 2 shots of port.

        3 votes
  15. symmetry
    Link
    Cream soda and milk. You have to get the Schweppes one (available in most asian supermarkets) or else it doesn't taste the same. Here is a blog post about this odd mixture:...

    Cream soda and milk. You have to get the Schweppes one (available in most asian supermarkets) or else it doesn't taste the same. Here is a blog post about this odd mixture: http://forksnchopsticks.blogspot.com/2011/04/cream-soda-with-milk.html

    3 votes
  16. ali
    Link
    In Australia there is this drink called lemon lime bitters. It’s made of angostura bitters (a few drops), and them some lime syrup and some lemonade (think sprite or 7up) I love the drink because...

    In Australia there is this drink called lemon lime bitters.
    It’s made of angostura bitters (a few drops), and them some lime syrup and some lemonade (think sprite or 7up)

    I love the drink because the bitters give it this mouthful feel ( I actually can’t really put it into words) - you should give it a try though.

    3 votes
  17. [2]
    perfect
    Link
    I have two suggestions! First is a turmeric latte; it's not expensive and it isn't caffeinated. Here is a recipe. My second suggestion is a London Fog aka Earl Grey Latte. I consider it my...

    I have two suggestions! First is a turmeric latte; it's not expensive and it isn't caffeinated. Here is a recipe.

    My second suggestion is a London Fog aka Earl Grey Latte. I consider it my favorite dessert drink, because I load it up with extra sugar :). It's a typical latte, except with a teabag of Earl Grey or Earl Grey syrup instead of a shot of espresso.

    3 votes
    1. Tardigrade
      Link Parent
      I've heard of it being made with Latte milk, an earl grey tea bag, and vanilla syrup which replaces some of the sugar and adds a little extra flavour.

      I've heard of it being made with Latte milk, an earl grey tea bag, and vanilla syrup which replaces some of the sugar and adds a little extra flavour.

      1 vote
  18. krg
    Link
    Champurrado, yo. Pair it with a tamal for a nice, hearty breakfast that's available from many a street vendor in areas with a sizeable Mexican population.

    Champurrado, yo. Pair it with a tamal for a nice, hearty breakfast that's available from many a street vendor in areas with a sizeable Mexican population.

    3 votes
  19. [3]
    moocow1452
    Link
    In sparkling water news, both Coke and Pepsi have new products out called Aha and Bubly, respectively. Aha is flavor mixes, with caffeine in a few like Citrus-Green Tea, and Coffee-Black Cherry,...

    In sparkling water news, both Coke and Pepsi have new products out called Aha and Bubly, respectively. Aha is flavor mixes, with caffeine in a few like Citrus-Green Tea, and Coffee-Black Cherry, where as Bubly is more conventional fruit flavors like lemon, orange, raspberry.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      grungegun
      Link Parent
      Cool. Is there an aftertaste? I'm sensitive to that, which is why most pop alternatives don't work for me. La Croix is an exception, since its flavor is to weak to even have an after-taste.

      Cool. Is there an aftertaste? I'm sensitive to that, which is why most pop alternatives don't work for me. La Croix is an exception, since its flavor is to weak to even have an after-taste.

      1 vote
      1. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        Not for me, tastes like fruit water or juice mixed into it. But that might not be your experience.

        Not for me, tastes like fruit water or juice mixed into it. But that might not be your experience.

        1 vote
  20. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Kind of 'beginner-y' but if you can get your hands on it, Guaraná juice/refrigerant IMO, even if it's just a powder type.

    Kind of 'beginner-y' but if you can get your hands on it, Guaraná juice/refrigerant IMO, even if it's just a powder type.

    2 votes
  21. Hidegger
    Link
    Aloe juice, in particular, this one https://alodrink.com/alo-original/alo-crisp/ Also a good one https://alodrink.com/alo-original/alo-allure/ There are a few different brands and a bunch of...

    Aloe juice, in particular, this one https://alodrink.com/alo-original/alo-crisp/
    Also a good one https://alodrink.com/alo-original/alo-allure/

    There are a few different brands and a bunch of different flavors to try out, but the taste varies widely among all of them from being more fizzy and soda like to more or less sugary to being over-powered by the accompanied flavor. So even if you don't like one there might be something better suited to your taste. The 2 I suggested are like a moderately sweet juice with aloe pulp.
    I think of these like a refreshing soda substitute since I don't drink soda aside from an occasional root beer or ginger beer. Which, btw, Bundaberg Ginger Beer is pretty decent.

    2 votes
  22. euphoria066
    Link
    I'm a big fan of coconut water, the kind that comes in big cans, and if you can find it at an international grocery store, there's a drink called Licorice Ramzy that is licorice root soaked...

    I'm a big fan of coconut water, the kind that comes in big cans, and if you can find it at an international grocery store, there's a drink called Licorice Ramzy that is licorice root soaked cold-brew style in water. Licorice has like.. a very sweet flavour in your mouth, without any of the mouthfeel of sugar. I really like it, it's super refreshing!

    2 votes
  23. RiderOfGiraffes
    Link
    When I used to go sailing, and when I used to go ballroom dancing, my drink of choice was, and to some extent still is: half'n'half pineapple juice and (ginger ale or ginger beer). Flavourful and...

    When I used to go sailing, and when I used to go ballroom dancing, my drink of choice was, and to some extent still is:

    half'n'half pineapple juice and (ginger ale or ginger beer).

    Flavourful and refreshing.

    2 votes
  24. [2]
    Weldawadyathink
    Link
    If you ever find a shop that serves it, Turkish Coffee. It is an older method of making coffee from when filtering was not readily available, and getting a consistent ground size was very...

    If you ever find a shop that serves it, Turkish Coffee. It is an older method of making coffee from when filtering was not readily available, and getting a consistent ground size was very difficult. It gets a consisting size by grinding the coffee to a powder. You then make the coffee on the stove in a special pot. This pot has a lip on it to skim just the liquid off into a small espresso cup. The coffee does still have a lot of grounds in it, because it isn’t ever filtered. It is more of an experience than a morning pick up, but it is quite fun.

    1 vote
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Turkish coffee pots (or even better IMO, Moka pots) aren't terrible expensive either if OP wants to make it at home. I got a Moka pot from the 1950s from a thrift store for a few bucks and it...

      Turkish coffee pots (or even better IMO, Moka pots) aren't terrible expensive either if OP wants to make it at home. I got a Moka pot from the 1950s from a thrift store for a few bucks and it still works great even after all these years. Sadly I don't drink anything but decaff these days and so mostly stick to using a French Press for the speed/convenience factor, but back when I could actually tolerate caffeine, the Moka pot was one of my other go to methods since it made such wonderfully strong coffee with glorious crema.

  25. FishFingus
    Link
    Lately I went through a crazy of making "Yin-Yang", or "Hong Kong-style" (according to my mother) coffee. It consists of a half-measure of coffee and a teabag in a cup, topped with condensed or...

    Lately I went through a crazy of making "Yin-Yang", or "Hong Kong-style" (according to my mother) coffee. It consists of a half-measure of coffee and a teabag in a cup, topped with condensed or evaporated milk (I forget which, but it's fine with the regular UHT stuff I use).

    I also tried a Bloody Mary (or 4) at a wedding a few years ago and loved it. The good thing about that drink is that, if you don't like vodka, you can leave that out and just drink something that tastes like a gazpacho in a glass!

    1 vote