In 1963, Congress declared bourbon “a distinctive product of the United States.” Long before that, though, bourbon had become as all-American as baseball and apple pie. The no-fuss drink, with its unique blends of corn, rye, barley and wheat, can be enjoyed anywhere — in a line dancing bar on a hot summer night or at a posh lounge in the big city. For 50 years, bourbon has been recognized as a reward for hard work and a celebration of individuality. Cheers to the American spirit
Scotch drinkers like to keep things simple. Sure, you can make a fantastic whisky cocktail, but most aficionados want to enjoy the smoky flavor unadorned — except perhaps for ice, water or a splash of soda. Instead of looking for the best mixers, connoisseurs are trying to find the top distilleries in Scottish towns from the Highlands to the Lowlands that produce the best single malt scotch.
One of North America's first homegrown distilled spirits, tequila was initially produced by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, though long before that the Aztecs were making another fermented agave beverage, known as pulque. Today, tequila is made exclusively from blue agave, and offers a more refined finish than its smoky cousin mezcal, which is also produced from the agave plant. Far from its reputation as a cheap drink for college kids, tequila is truly an international spirit meant to be sipped and savored. As true connoisseurs of the Mexican spirit will tell you, this refined and sophisticated beverage carries with it a long history, making the bottles on this list something to truly celebrate.
Cognac, the favored drink of Victor Hugo, Winston Churchill and most big-name rappers, often seems to be reserved for only the most elite — and wealthy — individuals, and out of the reach of the everyman. This does not need to be the case. Like many bottles of the finest single-malt Scotch, there are a variety of Cognacs available under $75 that are sure to turn heads.
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