Let's discuss Hard liquor around the world

I’m sort of familiar with the basic kinds of liquor: vodka, from Russia; whiskey/whisky from Ireland/Scotland, gin from England, tequila from Mexico, brandy from various parts of Europe, Cognac from France…uh and Jaegermeister from Germany.

What about other countries? Specifically, do they have hard liquor in Africa? If so, what countries have what kinds? And are there any native distilled spirits from South or Central America? You hear about the American Indians having problems with alcohol because they weren’t used to it, but I’m not sure about the Indians in the rest of the Americas.

Anyone who knows all about liquor from around the world ought to share. (Their thoughts.) (And the liquor, if there’s some way of transmitting it over the internet.)

There is a drink called Fenny, made from cashew and sometimes from coconut, that is made in Goa, India. I can personally vouch for the fact that it is really quite strong - imagine drinking three-quarters of a glass of gin, mixed with one-quarter of something tangy and sharp, and that’s somewhat like drinking Fenny. Yum! Perfect with a hot afternoon on a Goan beach.

I miss Goa.

FYI, the Goans spell it Feni. And uugh!

Goa rocks though :slight_smile:

Ouzo, from Greece.

Jaegermeister and Kummeling from Germany. Jaeger is now imported to the US. Kummeling, and it’s charming drinking game that is designed to destroy your liver in order to complete the circle, is not.

We also have a hard liquor, not sure if it is regional in Germany or what, but it is something like Asschloch. (sp?) Or Ass Hole. It is essentially paint thinner. :::shudder::::

Well, the Aztecs had a drink called pulque, but it was pretty weak - only about 3-4%. The Spaniards brought distilling technology to Mexico and developed tequila.

I had a chinese liquor called moutai a few years ago. It’s made from sorghum I think, and pretty strong. Not a bad flavor, but I don’t think I’d want to drink more than one.

In Brazil there is a native liquor called “Cachaca” (I’m not sure if I spelled that right) that is made from sugar cane. It is usually around 80 proof, and made from a different process than Rum. It’s used to make a traditional drink called “caipirinha” which is mashed lime, sugar and liquor.

Speaking of Rum, that’s a “biggie” that is native to the Carribbean, I believe.

Well, there’s aquavit, which is mainly Norwegian. It’s made from potatoes or grain, and flavored with things like anise, fennel, caraway seeds or cumin.

Then there’s calvados, which is an apple brandy made in Normandy.

And grappa, a distilled grape beverage originally made from the leftovers of wine production. That comes from northern Italy.

I’m no booze expert, but I occasionally enjoy sake from Japan with my sushi.

Sake isn’t hard liquor - it’s just fermented, not distilled.

The Japanese hard liquor is shochu. It can be made from a variety of grains or tuber, most commonly wheat, rice or sweet potato. I’m rather partial to the sweet potato shochu myself.

IMO the best way to drink good shochu is to mix it with hot water. Not boiling/scalding hot, but just slightly above “lukewarm”. Cheaper shochu is used in mixed drinks, namely chuhai (short for “shochu highball”). Basically shochu, soda water, and lemon juice and/or other fruit juices. In Japan you can buy canned chuhai (and beer) from vending machines.

Grappa, from Italy.

I don’t think it’s native because I don’t think the natives knew how to distill alcohol, but I can tell you that I enjoy Pisco a lot. It’s a spirit produced in Peru and Chile.

Raki from Turkey - which is probably exactly the same as ouzo but the traditional Turk/Greek rivalry means nobody can admit it.

I have had the pleasure of supping feni in Bombay (as it was in 1983) and Goa and have to say it was not a pleasurable experience.

Poteen in Ireland (illicitly distilled whiskey) is also fairly rough stuff. My uncle Paddy always has some in the house but swears it’s for his cattle - apparently it cures all bovine ailments. To ensure that it’s the good stuff, he has to drink three-quarters of a bottle himself before applying it to the beast’s infected parts. You can get “legal” poteen these days (e.g. Knockeen Hills) which takes away some of the mystique.

Oh god…let my alcoholism shine right through on this one…

Don’t forget the America’s distilate: Moonshine! Made from corn.

Slivovice is common to this area. You have heard of it called ‘Plum Brandy’ or ‘Pear Brandy’ or ??? this liquor is made from distilling different fruits into a strong, normally clear, drink. You could probably consider many drinks to fall into this category: Grappa is ‘Grape Brandy’, Arak from Indonesia is ‘Coconut Brandy’, etc. etc.

Raki & Ouzo are the same things…As stated it’s the politics that get in the way.

Around here you have many types of Herbal liquors. Germany has its Jagermeister, Czech has its Fernet and Becherovka (sold in the USA as Carlsbad Liquor, Hungary has its Unicum and there are probably about 200 more in the Central Eatern European region with flavors ranging from chamomile to cinnamon to clove to ???

Absinthe is a mixture of Pernod(French anise liquor) steeped with wormwood so the flavour and tujone (a pychotropic similar to marijuana in chemical form) give it an extra kick. The old recipes had over 200 p.p.m. of tujone, the ones these days have about 10 to 20 p.p.m. The reason why it has such a kick is that the alcohol content of the modern stuff is 70% (140 proof).

Gin should be mentioned as a UK drink (I believe). Juniper berries give it its flavour.

Moutai is a liquor in China, if not THE state sponsored tipple.

Curacao is the capital island of the Netherlands Antilles and the blue triple-sec made from the peels of their oranges.

Rum is traditionally made from molasses in the Caribbean.

Gosh, many more, and I have no time to post. Going home to enjoy me some good, old fashioned fizzy water with a vitamin supplement…Sigh.


Bai Zhou from northern China is very strong. It can be as high as 156 proof and is made from, I believe, rice.

It has a very unique smell that can fill a whole room as soon as the bottle is opened.

Ireland has poteen (pronounced POH-cheen), which is like a cross betweem vodka, white lightning and lighter fluid. I think it’s potato-based. Of course, they also have uisce batha (ISH-ka BAH-hah) – pronounce uisce phonetically and you come up with something close to the word “whiskey,” which, of course, it is. It means “water of life,” as does a number of different countries’ distillates. The Norwegian aquavit has already been mentioned.

I had a drink in a Korean restaurant called Soju. Specifically I had saan soju, which is distilled from sweet potatoes; also green tea is added. It tasted like a smooth and less strong vodka with a green aftertaste. Delicious! Traditionally I believe it is made with rice, though.

Rye (Now know as American / Canadian Whiskey): North America

Bourbon (Non-Kentucky types known as Sour-Mash): Southern USA

Am I the only person who doesn’t particularly like distilled liquor?